French inspirations in West LA, the almost last-of-Frida downtown, beach adjacent artistry in Venice, new choreography downtown, professional Nutcracker ballets jete across town, more SoCal dance this week, and a peek at next week.

French twist

Drawing inspiration from poetry, sculpture in the Louvre Museum, and Jean-François Millet’s painting The Gleaners, choreographer Deborah Brockus brings her contemporary company with a program dubbed Extractions. The concert offers Westside audiences a chance to view the work of this Lincoln Heights-based artist and her excellent dancers. Theatre Raymond Kabbaz, 10361 W. Pico Blvd., West LA; Thurs., Dec. 7, 8 pm, $25, $15 students/seniors. Theatre Raymond Kabbaz.

BrockusRED. Photo courtesy of the artists

BrockusRED. Photo courtesy of the artists

Dancing at Disney

This winter edition of CalArts Dance finds students from CalArts Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance in new choreography from Tuixén Benet, Gheremi Clay, Oren ‘Flea Rock’ Michaeli, Sara Silkin, and Mike Tyus & Luca Renzi. REDCAT, Disney Hall, 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; Fri.-Sat., Dec. 1-2, 8:30 pm, $20. REDCAT.

CalArts 2018 Dance Concert. Photo courtesy of the artists.

CalArts Dance Concert. Photo courtesy of the artists.

All electric

Timed to coincide with First Friday events on nearby Abott Kinney Boulevard, High Voltage offers an eclectic, ever-changing line-up of performers, often including dance and movement performers.  Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice; Fri., Dec. 1, 8 pm, $10.  Electric Lodge.

Max 10. Photo courtesy of the artists.

Max 10. Photo courtesy of the artists.

Ten for ten

The mostly monthly program Max 10 gives ten performers ten minutes each onstage. Hosted by venue director Joel Shapiro and curated by the staff, dance is a mainstay in the line up of performances. A post-show reception gives a chance to chat with the artists. Electric Lodge, Scott Kelman Theater, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice; Mon., Dec. 4, 7:30 pm, $10. Electric Lodge.

El último sueño de Frida y Diego (The Last Dream of Frida and Diego). Photo by Cory Weaver

El último sueño de Frida y Diego (The Last Dream of Frida and Diego). Photo by Cory Weaver

Frida returns

Mexico City-based choreographer Ruby Tagle collaborated with the creators of El último sueño de Frida y Diego (The Last Dream of Frida and Diego), a new opera that considers what would happen if Frida Kahlo returned from the dead and confronted Diego Rivera. This production brings to the LA Opera main stage composer Gabriela Lena Frank and librettist Nilo Cruz. The duo created the mesmerizing Las cinco lunas de Lorca (The Five Moons of Lorca) that debuted LA Opera’s Digital Shorts initiative during the 2020 pandemic shutdown. Music Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Thurs., Nov. 30, 7:30 pm, Sun., Dec. 3, 2 pm, Wed., Dec. 6, 7:30 pm, Sat., Dec. 9, 7:30 pm, $16-$274. LA Opera.



So Cal’s newest professional ballet company, Hollywood Ballet debuts its Nutcracker choreographed by co-artistic director Eris Nezha with a live orchestra led by Daniel Suk. The company is new, yet the dancers have strong roots in LA. Nezha, co-artistic director/principal dancer Petra Conti, principal dancer Tigran Sargsyan, soloists Madeline Hook and Brittany Rand are all alums of Los Angeles Ballet. This promising new venture includes dancers and guest artists from New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and Britain’s Royal Ballet. JACCC Aratani Theatre, 244 San Pedro St., Little Tokyo; Fri.-Sat., Dec. 1-2, 7:30 pm, $63.20-$119.

Tigran Sargsyan in Los Angeles Ballet’s “Nutcracker.” Photo by Reed Hutchinson

Tigran Sargsyan in Los Angeles Ballet’s “Nutcracker.” Photo by Reed Hutchinson

Tried and true

The artistic directorship has transitioned from founders Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary to current director Melissa Barak, but the Los Angeles Ballet’s Nutcracker set in 1912 Los Angeles remains the Christensen/Neary version that has drawn praise and happy audiences since its debut in 2006. LAB opens at the first of four venues, continuing to bring professional ballet to the audience with performances throughout SoCal. Info and tickets at Pasadena Civic Auditorium, 300 E. Green St., Pasadena; Fri., Dec. 1, 8 pm, Sat, Dec., 2, 6 pm, Sun, Dec. 3, 2 pm, $38-$131. Also at UCLA Royce Hall, 10745 Dickson Ct., Westwood; Fri., Dec. 8, 8 pm, Sat., Dec. 9, noon & 5 pm, $38-$131. Also at Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Redondo Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach; Fri., Dec. 15, 8 pm, Sat., Dec. 16, noon & 5 pm, Sun., Dec. 17, 2 pm, $38-131. Also at the Dolby Theatre (with the Los Angeles Ballet Orchestra), Hollywood & Highland, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Thurs. Dec. 21, 7:30 pm, Fri.-Sat, Dec. 22-23, 2 & 7:30 pm, Sun., Dec. 24 & Tues., Dec. 26, 2 pm $45-$138.

And more!

(Details on these Nutcrackers this week and the rest of the season at

Debbie Allen’s Hot Chocolate Nutcracker Redondo Beach Pacific Ballet at Rancho Cucamonga; Contemporary Ballet downtown https://www.acbdances.comWorld Ballet Series San Diego Westside Ballet Santa Monica https://westsideballet.tix.comPalos Verdes Ballet Rolling Hills Estates! To Your Hearts Delight, Inc. Downey Etudes Huntington Beach Evolution Dance Center Escondido Lake Arrowhead Classical Ballet Company San Bernardino;

A Peek at Next Week

Truth or Consequences– Belonging In The World at Bendix Rooftop Suite, 1206 Maple Ave., Suite 1100B, downtown; Sun., Dec. 10, 6 pm, $35, $20 students.

Versa-Style Dance Company at Carpenter Performing Arts Center, Cal State University Long Beach, 6200 Atherton St., Long Beach; Fri., Dec. 8, 8 pm, free with reservation at

Versa-Style Dance Company - Photo courtesy of The Ford Theatres.

Versa-Style Dance Company – Photo courtesy of The Ford Theatres.

Lynn Jessum 
– Being Richard Greene at the Zephyr Theatre, 669 N. Vista St., West Hollywood; Fri., Dec. 8, 8 pm, $15-$25.

Trinity Irish Dance Company – A Very Irish Christmas at the Soraya, Cal State University Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Sat., Dec. 9, 3 pm, $39-$89.

Trinity Irish Dance Company. Photo courtesy of the artists

Trinity Irish Dance Company. Photo courtesy of the artists

Santa’s Circus 
at the Montalbán, 1615 Vine Street, Hollywood; Fri., Dec. 8 & 15, 7 pm, Sat., Dec. 9 & 16, 2, 5 & 8 pm, Sun., Dec. 10 & 17, 2 & 5 pm, Thurs., Dec. 21, 7 pm, Fri., Dec. 22, 5 & 8 pm, Sat., Dec. 23, 2, 5 & 8 pm, $37-$109.

And more Nutcrackers (watch this space!)


Featured photo: BrockusRed – photo by Ginger Sole Photography

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