A Merce Cunningham exhibit closing in Mid-City, improvisational tap and violin in Pasadena, intimate flamenco in Echo Park, youthful award winning dancers in Westwood, restoring a modern dance downtown, summer dance starts in Hollywood, and more SoCal dance this week.
5. Mixing it up with MUSE/IQUE
The adventurous musical group MUSE/IQUE continues to explore inventive intersections of dance and live music. For Unrestrained/Refrains, founder/director Rachael Worby recruited tap master Savion Glover who usually cohorts with percussion or jazz bands. Also participating is violinist Charles Young, who like Glover, is known for his improvisational abilities. Should be fun with pre-show nibbles and mingling at 6 p.m. Pasadena Museum of California Art, Kosmic Krylon Garage, 490 Union St., Pasadena; Sun., Mar. 31, 7 p.m., $70. http://muse-ique.com.
4. Taking it to the floor/tablao
Known best for music performances, this venue has a growing rep for its dance offerings curated by Licia Perea including Black and LatinX choreographers in the BlakTina Festival and hip hop in Shut Up and Dance! The venue expands into the world of flamenco co-produced with respected dancer Briseyda Zárate. Under the title Flamenco Tablao (loosely translated as a venue or the platform where flamenco is performed), this month’s installment finds Zárate joined by singers, dancers and musicians including Manuel Gutiérrez, José Cortez and Andres Vadin. Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd. Echo Park; Sun., March 31, 6:30 p.m., $25 & $40. https://www.bootlegtheater.org/event/1801110-noche-de-tablao-flamenco-los-angeles.
3. Something old, something new
The deservedly popular Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater arrives with seven shows with four different programs. The programs range from premieres to classics and, yes, the company’s signature work, Ailey’s Revelations, will close every performance. With Rennie Harris’ Lazarus, AADT offers its first two-act work (Wed. & Sat. eve.). The company premiere of Wayne McGregor’s Kairos and West Coast premiere of Ronald K Brown’s The Call are paired with Jawole Willa Jo Zollar’s Shelter (Thurs. & Sun.). Excerpts from repertoire classics are assembled from Blues Suite, Streams, Mary Lou’s Mass, The Lark Ascending, Hidden Rites, Night Creature, Cry, Phases, Opus McShann, Pas de Duke, For “Bird”–With Love, Love Songs and Memoria (Fri.-Sat. eves.). The L.A. premiere of company dancer Jamar Roberts’ Members Don’t Get Weary is paired with a new production of company director Robert Battle’s Juba, and his duet Ella (Sun. mat.). Music Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Wed.-Sat., Apr. 3-6, 7:30 p.m., Sat.-Sun., Apr. 6-7, 2 p.m., $34-$145. https://www.musiccenter.org.
2. Seven a-Drift
Seven dancers from choreographer Micaela Taylor’s TL Collective take the stage in Drift, the product of Taylor’s year-long experience as a Ford Theatre Artist-In-Residence. Described as an exploration of an individual’s constantly evolving relationship with oneself, the evening-long work bears the dancemaker’s distinctive blending of street with contemporary dance and marks an early opening to this venue’s summer performances. In SoCal, summer comes early. In summer proper, the work will be presented at the respected Jacob’s Pillow. More about Taylor and her troupe at https://www.thetlcollective.com. More about the complete summer season at https://www.fordtheatres.org. Ford Theater, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood; Sat., Mar. 30, 5 p.m., $20, $15 students. https://www.fordtheatres.org.
1. The long good-bye’s farewell
Over the past seven years, more than 75 emerging choreographers and dance companies have been presented in Highways’ recurring series New Shoes. Curated by Highways Artistic Director Patrick Kennelly, the series four-week farewell fest Best of New Shoes showcased four choreographer alumni each of the last three weeks. The final week belongs to Yanina Orellana, Jordan Saenz, Carissa Songhorian, and Lara Wilson. Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Fri.-Sat., Mar. 29-30, 8:30 p.m., $25, $20 students & seniors. https://highwaysperformance.org.
Other dance of note:
Cuba may be better known for its ballet dancers, but the high-energy Cuban contemporary company Malpaso Dance Company under director Osnel Delgado has attracted top international choreographers and arrives for performances at the second of two local venues. This week’s program includes Waltz by Canadian choreographer Aszure Barton and Face the Torrent by Sonya Tayeh. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Bram Goldsmith Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills; Thurs.-Sat., Mar. 28-30, 7:30 p.m., $35-$105. http://thewallis.org.
Lester Horton is widely considered the father of modern dance in L.A., in part due to the efforts of his lead dancer and muse Bella Lewitzky. She emerged in her own right assuming a pivotal position not only teaching Horton’s technique, but also as director of her own company, as a proponent of dance in this city, as an educator, as a choreographer and as founder of CalArts dance department. Her tireless efforts populated SoCal and the world with dancers and choreographers who in turn share Lewitzky’s passion and precision with new generations. Lewitzky’s legacy is celebrated in this open rehearsal for Kinaesonata, a first step in the Bella Lewitzky Revival, an ongoing LA Dance Project effort to recreate the work with help from former Lewitzky Dance Company rehearsal director, Walter Kennedy. A Q&A follows. LA Dance Project Studios, 2245 E. Washington Blvd., downtown; Fri., March 29, 2 p.m., reservations at email@example.com.
What is it about Canada, especially Montreal, that produces so many “cirque” troupes? The current arrival is Cirque Éloize with its take on the Old West in Saloon, blending movement, acrobatics, music and more than a bit of clowning. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Dr., Cerritos; Fri., Mar. 29, 8 p.m., $45-$85. http://www.cerritoscenter.com. Also at The Soraya, Cal State University, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Sat., Mar. 30, 8 p.m., Sun., Mar. 31, 3 p.m., $30-$65. https://www.thesoraya.org.
Now in its 7th year, the National YoungArts Foundation brings youthful winners to town for performances, writers’ readings, screenings and exhibitions. The Dance, Theater & Voice Performance component is directed by Ana Maria Alvarez who leads L.A.-based urban Latin troupe Contra Tiempo. See a full line up of events, including master classes, at https://www.youngarts.org/events-list. UCLA Royce Hall, 10745 Dickson Ct., Westwood; Sat., March 30, 8 p.m., $8.50. https://www1.ticketmaster.com/youngarts-los-angeles-dance-theater-voice-performance/event/0B00564EF6CB3D9F.
Promising to distill millennia of Chinese culture in a swirl of colorful costumes and in sync dancing, the touring production Shen Yun 2019 stops off at nine local venues over the next two months. Granada Theatre, 1214 State St., Santa Barbara; Fri., Mar. 29, 7:30 p.m., Sat., Mar. 30, 2 & 7:30 p.m., Sun., Mar. 31, 1 p.m., $80-$165. Also at Fred Kavli Theatre, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks; Tues., Apr. 2, 7:30 p.m., Wed., Apr. 3, 2 & 7:30 p.m. $80-$165. Also at Pomona College, Bridges Auditorium, 450 N. College Way, Claremont; Fri., Apr. 5, 7:30 p.m., Sat., Apr. 6, 2 & 7:30 p.m., $80-$150. Also at Music Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Wed., Fri. & Sat., Apr. 10, 12 & 13, 7:30 p.m., Thurs. & Sat., Apr. 11 & 13, 2 p.m., Sun., Apr. 14, 1 p.m., $80-$220. Also at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Tues.-Sun., Apr. 16-28, (dates & times at website), $80-$200. Also at The Soroya, Cal State University Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Tue.-Wed. Apr. 30-May 1, $80-$165. Also at Dolby Theatre, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., May 3, 7:30 p.m., Sat., May 4, 2 & 7:30 p.m., Sun., May 5, 1 p.m., $80-$200. Also at McCallum Theatre, 73000 Fred Waring Dr., Palm Desert; Thu. & Sat., May 9 & 11, 7:30 p.m., Fri.-Sat., May 10-11, 2 p.m., $80-$165. https://www.shenyun.com/la
A harbinger of 2019 centennial activities celebrating the life and legend of the late modern dance choreographer Merce Cunningham, Clouds and Screens, includes two large works by Andy Warhol and Charles Atlas, both artists associated with Cunningham’s company. The exhibition closes just before a major simultaneous performance in London, New York and here. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Hancock Park; Thurs.-Tues., thru Mar. 31, $25, $21 students & seniors (museum admission). https://www.lacma.org/art/exhibition/merce-cunningham-clouds-and-screens.
Note to readers: In keeping with the growing activity surrounding the Cunningham Centennial, LA Dance Chronicle is providing a place for individuals who worked with Merce Cunningham, saw his work or otherwise just want to say something about Merce Cunningham to participate in the Centennial remembrance. L.A. Dance Chronicle founder Jeff Slayton danced with Cunningham’s company and championed the idea of a place individuals could post a remembrance or comment about Merce Cunningham, his dance works or his legacy. The Cunningham Centennial Page now is live at the website (http://LADanceChronicle.com). Comments will be collected and passed on to the Cunningham Trust.
Feature photo: Best of New Shoes’ Lara Wilson. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Ann Haskins Blog appears at CulturalWeekly.com