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The dance sphere's farewell to summer is the spectacle-filled Pearl, choreographer-director Daniel Ezralow's tribute to the important writer and humanist Pearl S. Buck. The daughter of a missionary in China, Buck wrote the 1931 novel The Good Earth, which introduced American readers to the harsh realities and sudden beauties of Chinese peasant life. In these photos, you can see how Ezralow's poetic work makes metaphor concrete: Buck's sympathy for China built connections across cultures, and by projecting moving water onstage, Ezralow asks his company of American and Chinese dancers to bridge a space that's become part Yangtze River. August has been a surprisingly rich month for dance, with performances such as the Battery Dance festival, Antigona and more. The precious Pearl brings the month to a close—use these evocative images to center yourself before the overwhelmingly busy autumn gets underway with some of the best dance shows this fall.