A great Russian ballet with a snake in Costa Mesa, flamencas in Torrance, the threat of mass surveillance surveyed downtown, the immigrant experience expanded in Eagle Rock, new choreography in Long Beach, and more SoCal dance this week.
5. When love hurts/helps
The Beatles may have been exaggerating when they sang “all you need is love”, but choreographer Mallory Fabian and her two year old contemporary dance company fabe are convinced that love can help and sometimes hurt. How love motivates is the subject of Fabian’s latest Drugs Can’t Buy. Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Fri.-Sat., Oct. 11-12, 8:30 p.m., $25, $15 students & seniors. https://www.highwaysperformance.org.
4. Should we all wear face masks?
The contemporary dance troupe Re:borN joins with Curious Minds Los Angeles for the premiere of Omniscopic. Choreographed by Re:borN’s artistic director Boroka Nagy, the new work draws on dance, architecture and technology to explore the emotional toll of mass surveillance. Fatham And Form, 737 Kohler St, downtown; Sat.-Sun., Oct. 12-13, 8:30 p.m., $30-$35, $20-$25 students & seniors. https://www.reborndance.org/omniscopic.
3. Tragic temple dancer
Now named for its famous home theater, Mariinsky Ballet and the Bolshoi are Russia’s two major ballet companies. Reflecting Soviet ambitions, the Moscow-based Bolshoi’s name means big and it is grandiose and boisterous. In contrast, the Mariinsky, based in St. Petersburg, dates back to when it was the Tsars’ personal ballet company and in different political climes underwent name changes from St. Petersburg Ballet to Leningrad Ballet and now Mariinsky. Rising above any identity crisis, the company has maintained its reputation as the repository of classical Russian ballet, though in recent decades it also has incorporated western choreography particularly George Balanchine. The Mariinsky brings both during a two-week visit. For Orange County, temple dancers, rajahs and palace intrigue provide the setting for Marius Petipa’s classic full-length story ballet La Bayadere (the Temple Dancer). The company moves to L.A. for the George Balanchine’s only three act abstract ballet, the masterwork Jewels. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa; Wed.-Sat., Oct. 16-19, 7:30 p.m., Sat.-Sun., Oct. 19-20, 1 p.m., $39-$199. https://www.scfta.org. Music Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Thurs.-Sat., Oct. 24-26, 7:30 p.m., Sat.-Sun., Oct. 26-27, 2 p.m., $34-$138. https://www.musiccenter.org.
2. A “flex”-ible expansion
Building on the powerful premiere of Flex earlier this year, Jay Carlon has expanded his exploration of the Filipino immigrant experience as well as larger universal themes reflected in one individual’s experience. Dedicated to his father who immigrated from the Philippines to work in California’s fields during the depression, at its premiere, the ensemble cast of his troupe Carlon displayed the choreographer’s admiration and honor to be paid to his father and so many like him. Here is a chance to see where the dancemaker has taken the work and where it might be going. Oxy Arts on York, 4757 York Blvd., Eagle Rock; Fri., Oct. 11, 7 p.m., free. https://www.jaycarlon.com.
1. “Terra”-ing around
When she was an undergraduate student at USC, Kate Hutter wrote a business plan for L.A. Contemporary Dance Company and after graduation not only made it a reality, but established LACDC as a major player on the LA dance scene. Part of that business plan included turning the company over to new blood after ten years. She did that too and her selected successor Genevieve Carson has carried on, expanding the company’s profile as a repertory company incubating new dance, especially from LA-based choreographers. While Hutter has been low profile since her “retirement” from LACDC, she has not been idle, recently opening of a new dance performance space The Stomping Ground. With LA dance troupes always in search of rehearsal/performance space at the same time many long-time venues/studios are falling to redevelopment and soaring rent increases, the new space is an occasion for celebration. Aptly, LACDC stomps the new ground with terra. The Stomping Ground, 5453 Alhambra Ave., El Sereno; Tues.-Sat., Oct. 8-12, 8 p.m., $25, $15 students & seniors; https://www.artful.ly/store/events/18803; Sun., Oct. 13, performance and party $150, https://www.artful.ly/store/events/18804.
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 premieres and six world premieres, divided into three programs labeled 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 (Oct. 10-13, 20,& 25) includes dances from two former New York City Ballet now LADP dancers Janie Taylor and Gianna Reisen, plus contributions from Emily Mast & Zack Winokur, and NY-based Kyle Abraham who is currently a UCLA artist in residence. Program B (Oct. 3-6, 16-18 & 25) brings Lewitzky’s Kinaesonata, and works from Charm La’Donna, Mast & Winokur. Program C (Nov. 14-17 & 21-24) presents two dances from LA Dance Project director Benjamin Millepied, Lewitzky’s Kinaesonata, plus dancemakers Tino Sehgal and Madeline Hollander. 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.
Artistic director/choreographer Natasha Middleton and her Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre turn their attention to the Great White Way with ballet and jazz interpretations of excerpts from Chicago, West Side Store, Phantom of the Opera and more in Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre Goes Broadway. The Alex Theater, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale; Sun., Oct. 13, 5 p.m., $55-$125. https://alextheatre.org.
Artistic director/choreographer Lincoln Jones’ take on Dante’s Inferno and the world of Burlesque premiered in 2018. The double bill returns as American Contemporary Ballet opens its season and a new space. Ticket price includes a post performance reception with the dancers. Whether a caution or enticement, the company notes that there is nudity. On Halloween, the show is followed by ACB’s annual benefit party with food, cocktails, live music and a performance by burlesque artist Dita von Teese. ACB, 1207 E. Washington Blvd., downtown; Fri.-Sat., Oct. 11-12 & 18-19, 8 p.m., Fri., Oct. 26, 8 p.m., Sat., Oct. 27, 7:30 & 10 p.m., Tues.-Wed., Oct. 29-30, 8 p.m., Thurs. Oct., 31, 7:30 p.m., Fri-Sat., Nov. 1-2, 7:30 p.m., $45-$500. https://www.acbdances.com.
Reflecting influences of Martha Graham and Pina Bausch, Spanish performance artist Marta Carrasco brings her provocatively titled latest, Perra de Nadie (Nobody’s Bitch). Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring St., downtown; Thurs.-Sat., Oct. 10-12 & 17-18, 8 p.m., Sun., Oct. 13 & 20, 4 p.m., $20-$38. [ed note: Today (Oct 9, 2019), the performances by Marta Carrasco were cancelled after the artists were not allowed into the country and were forced to return to Barcelona. The Latino Theatre Company and The Los Angeles Theatre Center have advised that all tickets will be refunded: https://www.thelatc.org/perradenadie.]
Guest choreographers, faculty and BFA candidates provide new dances under the banner Variance. Participating dancemakers include Micaela Taylor, Rebecca Bryant, Aisha Shauntel Bardge, Jeffrey Finneman, Jasmyn Hamblin, Allie Miks, and Nancy Rivera. Martha B. Knoebel Theater, Cal State University Long Beach, 6200 E. Atherton St., Long Beach; Thurs.-Fri., Oct. 10-11, 8 p.m., Sat., Oct. 12, 2 & 8 p.m., $22 online, at door cash only. https://ci.ovationtix.com/27175/production/1015957?performanceId=10445408&fbclid=IwAR1vRvyMvvsnpUxOG69yo5aJvxUYHHDhK6oHdUqFoNt6Q_phQekeweCKDI8.
Artistic director/dancer Rina Orellana is joined by dancers Vanessa Albalos and Misuda Cohen in this edition of Noche Flamenca, highlighting the female side of the art form. The dancers get support from singer Reyes Barros, guitarist Kai Narezo and percussionist Kassandra Kocoshis. Boogiezone Utopia, 1951 W. Carson St., Torrance; Sat., Oct. 12, 8 p.m., $30-$40. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/noche-flamenca-tickets-72310551807?aff=ebdssbdestsearch.
Choreography by Nikolai Kabaniaev and the luminous score by Igor Stravinsky are featured as the youthful dancers of Festival Ballet Theatre perform The Firebird. Excerpts from other ballets from the Ballet Russes are included in the program. Details at https://www.festivalballet.org. Irvine Barclay Theater, 4242 Campus Dr., Irvine, Sat., Oct. 12, 7 p.m., Sun., Oct. 13, 2 p.m., $35-$45. http://thebarclay.org.
Choreographer Heidi Duckler can’t resist a chance to create site specific dance and Agua Viva, the 34th gala benefit for Heidi Duckler Dance’s is no exception. The company offers two performances in this fully restored, historic movie palace along with drinks, food and a silent auction. Los Angeles Theater, 615 S. Broadway, downtown; Sat., Oct. 12, 5 p.m., $250 and up. http://heididuckler.org/events.
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: LA Contemporary Dance Company. Photo courtesy of the artists.
Ann Haskins Blog also appears at CulturalWeekly.com