Next Wave, the Brooklyn Academy of Music's annual avant-garde performance festival, begins this week with a flurry of modern dance from Taiwan and multimedia art-rock opera from L.A. The first crest of the wave—which will continue for the next four months—comes from Taiwan’s Cloud Gate Dance Theatre, which kicks off the festival on September 16th with Rice, performed by two dozen dancers.

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre takes grain, field, and flower as verdant muse in this celebration of the life cycle and natural beauty of the island’s essential crop. Dramatically poised against stunning video vistas of the Chihshang growing region, 24 dancers cross-pollinate modern dance and martial arts, ballet and qigong to become wind-rippled paddies, erotic agents of springtime germination, and fire walkers returning scorched seed to soil.

Wielding bamboo sticks, recast as field implement, slender stalk, and weapon, they prod the seasons and coax valley rains as Taiwanese folk songs and Bellini arias waft in the wind.

Cloud Gate, which formed over four decades ago, "has become a roving, bounding symbol of the island," the NY Times reports. Time Out London adds, "When you’re talking about Cloud Gate, magic is not too strong a word." Tickets cost $20 and the performance run ends on the 19th.

On Thursday the 17th, L.A.-based glam rock band Timur and the Dime Museum hits BAM with their live rock opera COLLAPSE, a "multimedia requiem for the natural world." Frontman Timur Bekbosunov describes the show as "a ride to the end of the world with a glass of champagne," which sounds promising. The "dark and satirical" performance, which uses large-scale video-projections mixed live with the music, tells "stories of the human impact on the environment and its impending collapse." Here's a taste:

Tickets cost $25 and performances continue through September 19th.

The 2015 Next Wave Festival continues through December 20th at BAM.