Thanks guys! I prefer those last two shots too, as well as the "cathedral-esque" shots like the second photo in my first post up top. However, all of the dancers have different tastes in photos, so I try to give them a variety of compositions.
For the smoke, they use two types: dry ice smoke and chemical smoke. The dry ice smoke is thick and stays low to the surface of the stage and is harmless. The chemical smoke is more "airy" and envelops the entire stage (and backstage areas) from top to bottom. One of the stagehands who runs one of the chemical smoke machines wears a mask because the high concentration of smoke at her location irritates her throat. If it gets too thick on stage it can be an irritant to the contact lenses in my eyes, but that's rare. Most of the time it's far less risky than being in a smokey pub.
Here's one more set of photos. I hope no one minds.
These are all from the downstage left wing. It had a little spot where I could sit on the floor and stay out of everyone's way... and it was in close proximity to my second act entrances.
Thanks for looking!
A99, 24-70 ZA, F 3.2, 1/400, ISO 1600
A99, 24-70 ZA, F 3.2, 1/320, ISO 1600
A99, 24-70 ZA, F 3.2, 1/250, ISO 1600