South of the border visitors downtown, Ezralow’s “Open” in Malibu, celebrating Dr. King in Beverly Hills, and new choreography in West L.A., Lincoln Heights, mid-Wilshire and downtown.
5. Animating the inanimate
Over the next weeks, several downtown venues host performance art entries, many with dance components, as part of the Pacific Standard Time Festival: Live Art LA/LA, all from Latin America (hence the LA/LA part of the title). Chilean Sylvia Palacios Whitman collaborated with local performers including L.A. choreographer Meg Wolfe in a work that “activates” props including giant hands, mummies, and a volcano, all to reenact actions from New York’s 1970s minimalist dance movements. Whitman’s work is known on the East Coast, but this marks her West Coast debut. REDCAT Gallery, 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; Thurs., Jan. 11, 7 p.m. & & Sat., 13, 6 p.m., free. http://redcat.org.
4. Want to contribute to the universe of steps?
Over the nine-day Pacific Standard Time Festival: Live Art LA/LA (next time how about a shorter title?), a quintet from Mexico’s Colectivo AM will staff a mobile kiosk at LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions) and other neighborhood venues for a participatory dance performance that solicits L.A. residents to contribute dance steps and moves to be videotaped. The videos will become part of the group’s Banco Universal de Pasos (Universal Bank of Steps). In addition, excerpts can be viewed at LACE’s storefront and as a finale will be part of a large, al fresco participatory dance and music event, La Pista de Baille (The Dance Floor) on Saturday, Jan. 20.The main kiosk is at LACE, 6522 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Thurs.-Fri., Jan. 11-19, 6-10 p.m., free. Outdoor finale at Hollywood Blvd. & N. Hudson Ave., Hollywood; Sat., Jan. 20 at 6 p.m., free. 323-957-1777. http://welcometoLACE.org.
3. Psst! Enter at the side door!
In a short four years, Jacob Jonas has emerged as an significant player on the L.A. dance scene. Growing up in Santa Monica, as a teen he frequently joined a street-dance group performing at Venice Beach, eventually going on tour with them, spent time in Seattle with the respected choreographer Donald Byrd before starting his own troupe Jacob Jonas The Company. Jonas draws on dance styles ranging from hip hop to ballet, gymnastics to modern dance. Perhaps more important, the individual dancers represent that range of dance styles and one of Jonas’ skills is melding those different trainings and body types into a cohesive whole. Beyond the company, Jonas has gained local and national attention for his imaginative use of film, photography and social media in ways that reach new audiences for dance. The influential Dance Magazine recently included Jonas among its 25 to Watch in 2018. This informal performance offers an early look at the troupe’s newest. The Side Door, Los Angeles Ballet Center, 11755 Exposition Blvd., West L.A; Thurs.-Sat., Jan. 11-13, 8 p.m. $25. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/jacob-jonas-the-company-side-door-series-tickets-37320364214
2. Celebrating the legacy of Dr. King
With live music performed by Marcus L. Miller and his Freedom Jazz Movement, Lula Washington and her eponymous Lula Washington Dance Theater offer three different programs on three different nights. Sequentially titled African-American Male Voices; Dance, Live Jazz & Social Meaning; and Movement for the Soul of It; each celebrates different aspects of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Bram Goldsmith Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills; Thurs.-Sat., Jan. 11-13, 7:30 p.m., $45-$125. http://thewallis.org.
1. Dances across the universe
To the non-dance world, Daniel Ezralow is best known for choreographing the film Across the Universe, Broadway’s Spiderman: Turn off the Dark, and part of the Sochi Olympics’ opening ceremony, all of which drew liberally from the choreographer’s quiver of dance moves, gymnastics, projections and his trademark sense of humor. To dance fans, he also is known as the founder of modern company ISO and as a dancer-choreographer with the innovative dance troupe Momix. Three years ago, Ezralow set down roots locally with Ezralow Dance Company which performs his Open, a 75-minute, multi-section work that considers topics ranging from briefcase toting office workers, marriage as a boxing match, and the romantic possibilities when one rescues someone covered in kelp. Smothers Theatre, Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu; 8 p.m., Wed., Jan. 10, $22-$45. https://arts.pepperdine.edu/events/ezralow-dance-company.htm.
Other dance of note:
Eastern European performer Valerie McCann offers Helplessness Makes Patients Harder to Please with musical help from Raquel Bell and Lauren Gurgiolo. Pieter, 420 W. Avenue 33, #10, Lincoln Heights; Sat., Jan. 6, 8 p.m., non-monetary donation. https://pieterpasd.org.
An open rehearsal previews the Micaela Taylor and the TL Collective’s newest Rosewood. Dance Arts Academy, 731 S. La Brea Ave., mid-Wilshire; Thurs., Jan. 11, 1 p.m., free. https://www.thetlcollective.com.
L.A.-based choreographers offer previews in Downtown Dance & Movement’s Dance in Progress. Downtown Dance & Movement, Fri., Jan. 5, 8 p.m. http://downtowndancela.com.
Feature photo: Ezralow Dance Company Photo by Angelo Redaelli
Ann Haskins‘ blog appears at CulturalWeekly.com