Kyle Abraham took us in his arms and invited us in with three intimate pieces danced by his superb A.I.M (Abraham.In.Motion) company at the Balboa Theatre on Thursday. Then, before anyone could get too comfortable, he ignited the stage with the propulsive, hip hop-flavored “Drive.” The program also offered a rare treat: Abraham himself, filling in—in “The Quiet Dance”—for a company member who couldn’t perform that night.

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Brooks commented on Barton’s gorgeous partnering and counterpoint.

“There was a sweeping quality that felt like calligraphy,” he said. “I like your sense of centrifugal force and not stopping.” His statement triggered laughter from Ms. Whelan in the bleacher seats, who is keenly aware of Brook’s dance aesthetic and approach to partnering.

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