Dance festivals downtown and in San Pedro, Spanish flamenco visitors in Hollywood, diversified dance in Echo Park, that swan ballet flutters around town, contemporary dance trafficking in Beverly Hills, National Dance Day in Costa Mesa, and more SoCal dance this week.
5. That lady in red
One of LA’s most consistent presenters of flamenco, the Fountain Theater joins with this venue’s prestigious Ignite @ the Ford to present the Olga Pericet Company. Pericet’s technical accomplishments and performance persona won her Spain’s 2018 National Dance Prize. The company brings La Espina (The Thorn that Dreamed of Being a Flower or the Flower that Dreamed of Being a Dancer), described as evoking memory and dreams. Ford Theater, 2850 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood; Sat., Sept. 21, 8 p.m., $35-$70. https://secure.ticketsage.net/websales.aspx?u=fordtheatres&pid=329682.
4. A matter of want
In 2016, the art world was taken aback when the $100,000 Mohn Award for artistic excellence did not go to a visual artist, but to choreographer Adam Linder. Described by the Hammer museum award announcement as “the choreographic equivalent of a film editor, creating an assemblage of occasions phrases, postures, and poses, Linder is not a run of the mill dance maker. In his latest,The Want, Linder takes inspiration from mercantile archetypes in Bernard Marie-Koltès’ play In the Solitude of The Cotton Fields. The dancers, singers and actors are Jess Gadani, Justin F. Kennedy, Jasmine Orpilla and Roger Sala Reyner. REDCAT at Walt Disney Hall, 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; Thurs.-Sat., Sept. 19-21, 8:30 p.m., Sun., Sept. 22, 7 p.m., $35, $28 students. https://www.redcat.org.
3. A matter of devotion
Considered one of India’s most important Bharata Natyam dancers, Malavika Sarukkai performs that devotional classical dance in this concert. Sarukkai and four musicians perform Darshan, described as “exploring moments when the diving is envisioned” in the myths and legends of India. The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica; Sat., Sept. 28, 6 p.m., $22-$45 in advance, $25-$50 at door. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/malavika-sarukkai-tickets-68175692331.
2. A gender tweak
In a thoughtful nod to gender inclusivity, the long-running BlakTina Festival has tweaked its name to BlakTinx Dance Festival. The endeavor led by Licea Perea continues to showcase Black and Latinx dancemakers, ten in total, with two, Shaniece Brazwell and Angelina Ramirez, from the sister fest in Phoenix, Arizona. The eight L.A.-based choreographers are Alex “Swift” Almaraz, Jade Charon, Nancy Rivera Gomez, Irishia Hubbard, Alvin Rangel, Rosanna Tavarez, Shantel Ureña, and Sarah Yarrington. Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Dr., Echo Park; Fri., Sept. 20, 7:30 p.m., Sat., Sept. 21, 2 & 7:30 p.m., $25. https://www.bootlegtheater.org.
1. Traffic control
In 2018, BODYTRAFFIC debuted at this venue as the final event of the dance season. This year, the contemporary company assumes the mantel of Company-in-Residence and opens a dance season devoted to LA-based dance companies. Artistic directors Lillian Rose Barbeito and Tina Finkelman Berkett have attracted dancers who shift seamlessly from impressive ballet technique through a range of equally demanding contemporary moves, abilities that draw major national and international choreographers to create on the company. For this program, the company selected two works from L.A.-based choreographers, a world premiere by Michaela Taylor and a west-coast premiere by James Gregg and Rubberlegz known as Wewolf. The program also includes a U.S. premiere from Fernando Hernando Magadan (artistic director of Nederlands Dans Theatre 2) plus the reprise of A Million Voices by Ballet X artistic director Matthew Neenan which had its world premiere at the company’s 2018 debut program here. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Bram Goldsmith Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills; Thurs.-Sat., Sept. 26-28, 7:30 p.m., $39-$99. https://thewallis.org/bodytraffic.
Other dance of note:
In its newest endeavor, LA Dance Project hosts LA Dances, promising an intermittent festival spread over six weeks with ten LA premiers and six world premieres, divided into three programs. Labeled “Program A, B & C,” each installment has works from four or five choreographers, most from New York, a few based here, plus a revival of a work by the late Bella Lewitzky. The opening Program A includes an untitled work from former New York City Ballet now LADP dancer Janie Taylor, Rising Water from current NYCB dancer Gianna Reisen, Mad Patient from L.A.’s Jacob Jonas of Jacob Jonas/The Company, and Chapter Song from NY-based Kyle Abraham who is currently a UCLA artist in residence. This program repeats Oct. 10-13, 20, & 25. Program B brings Lewitzky’s Kinaesonata, and works from Charm La’Donna, Emily Mart & Zack Winokur on Oct. 3-6, 16-18 & 25. Program C presents two works from LA Dance Project director Benjamin Millepied, Lewitzky’s Kinaesonata, plus dancemakers Tino Sehgal and Madeline Hollander on Nov. 14-17 & 21-24. LA Dance Project, 2245 E. Washington Blvd., downtown; Program A: Thurs., Sept. 26-29, 8 p.m., complete schedule at website. $45. http://ladanceproject.org/19-20-season.
Now in its third year, the Veterans Project series continues with the dance company Diavolo: Architecture in Motion and its founder/director Jacques Heim joining military veterans in workshops that in the past have led to powerful performances. Drawing on personal stories, the process employs Diavolo’s distinctive and highly physical movement style with the participating vets incorporated into with the company for the final performance. The evening also includes Diavolo’s mesmerizing Voyages, commemorating the moon landing. Musco Center for the Arts, Chapman University, 415 N. Glassell, Orange; Sat., Sept. 21, 7:30 p.m., $38-$68. https://muscocenter.org.
Dance performances and free classes highlight the 10th annual National Dance Day. Once again a dance routine can be viewed and learn in advance on-line at http://bit.ly/AmericanDanceMovement. Choreographed by Matt Steffanina, those who cannot attend the in-person dance challenge can submit their performance of the routine by social media by with the hashtag #DanceMadeMeDolt (details at the website). The live performances and workshop leaders include Hannahlei Cabanilla and Jay Jay Dixonbey (both from So You Think You Can Dance), The Rollettes, CultureShockLA, Tupua Productions, Relampago del Cieclo, Adaa Dance Academy, Dev Edwards, Crazy 8’s, Kyle Van Newkirk-World of Dance, GROOV3 and students from American Ballet Theatre’s William J. Gillespie School. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Argyros Plaza, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa; Sat., Sept. 21, noon-6 p.m., free. https://scfta.org/Events/Plaza-Events-List.aspx.
The inventive folks at Los Angeles Performance Practice debut Casual, a new monthly, work-in-progress series. Hosted by choreographer d. Sabela grimes, the pilot project is focused on work in process that would benefit from an audience performance. The initial performers include Maya Gurantz, Kate Ladenheim, Jinglin Liao, & Isaac Schankler. The Vortex, 2341 E. Olympic Blvd., downtown; Wed., Sept. 25, 7:30 p.m., $5-$20. https://www.artful.ly/store/events/18908/.
The annual San Pedro ♥ Festival of the Arts offers a cornucopia of dance with more than 20 companies each afternoon of the two-day fest. Dance is continuous from 1 to 4:15 p.m. at which point the musical groups take over. Announced performers range from school groups to professionals including Katusha, The PGK DANCE Project, DAGDAG Dance Company, Navarasa Dance Theater, Kairos Dance Company, VIDA – Vannia Ibarguen Dance Arts, PROJECT21DANCE, White Crane Dance Theatre, Akomi plus host company Louise Reichlin & Dancers. Find a full list of participants, tentative performance times, and other festival activities at the website https://triartsp.com. Anderson Memorial Senior Center, lawn, 828 S. Mesa St., San Pedro; Sat.-Sun., Sept. 21-22, 1–4:15 p.m., free. https://triartsp.com.
One of the companies that tours with “Russian Ballet” in its title, Russian Ballet Theatre starts its tour of several SoCal venues with its version of Swan Lake. The media material and the troupe’s website focus on the costumes and production team more than the dancers, boasting 150 newly designed costumes. Fox Performing Arts Center, 3801 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside; Sun., Sept. 22, 1 p.m., $54-$74. Also at The Wiltern, 3790 Wilshire Blvd., Koreatown; Tues., Sept., 24, 7:30 p.m., $88.50-$138. Also at Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale; Thurs., Sept. 25, 7 p.m., $31-$98. Also at Oxnard Performing Arts Center, 800 Hobson Way, Oxnard; Thurs., Sept. 26, $25-$85. http://www.russianballettheatre.com/tickets/.
Not just a dance company, Lineage Dance is also a hub for other community performances and classes including the Pasadena Dance Festival. The company celebrates with its annual gala. Performance, food and festivities as well as updates on the troupe’s capital campaign to build a new performing arts center. Private residence in Pasadena, address provided with reservation. Sat., Sept. 21, 6 p.m., $150. https://www.lineagepac.org/performances.
Born in 1919 amid the human and physical debris of World War I, Bauhaus is widely hailed as an influential school of architecture and design, but an often overlooked facet is the part dance played in its curriculum and later on, its role in Bauhaus’ survival when under siege by the Nazis. The Getty’s Research Institute’s two-part deep dive into the world of Bauhaus includes a physical exhibition Bauhaus Beginnings (to October 13) along with an on-line exhibition Bauhaus Building the New Artist that offers a chance to participate in three Bauhaus-style endeavors including selecting movement, costume and music to choreograph a dance. At the physical exhibition, dance fans should seek out the darkened alcove with photos, programs, and other memorabilia. Videos of recreated Bauhaus dance performances reveal how the integration of craft and fine art were captured in movement. Mostly created in the 1920’s, the movement admittedly is dated, but for its time was considered experimental. Some costumes are reminiscent of Pablo Picasso’s creations for the 1917 Ballet Russes ballet Parade and even today could appear as part of the popular Swiss human puppet troupe Mummenschanz. While ultimately the school closed and Bauhaus figures were among the Nazi victims, ironically instead of Bauhaus’ destruction the Nazi persecution inadvertently propelled its influence. The exhibit includes a section on the Bauhaus diaspora which has a dance element in North Carolina’s Black Mountain College where major Bauhaus figures were faculty and whose students included Merce Cunningham and John Cage. The college closed in 1957, but a book in the museum store recounts its history and how the founders’ ideas on progressive education fused with the Bauhaus philosophy. Bauhaus Beginnings Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Dr., Brentwood; thru October 13, 2019, Tues.-Fri., Sun., 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Sat., 10 a.m. -10 p.m., free, parking price varies. www.getty.edu. Bauhaus Building the New Artist- online exhibition www.getty.edu/bauhaus.
Feature Image: BODYTRAFFIC. Photo by Lee Gumbs.
Ann Haskins Blog also appears at CulturalWeekly.com