Romantic Russian tragedy downtown; international fest returns live to Lincoln Heights, LGBTQIA+ celebrated in Santa Monica; summer dance series opens in West LA;  COLA solo downtown; tap fest showcase in West Adams; Hollywood fest on the fringe; more SoCal dance this week, plus a peek at next week.

Live This Week

Beware of trains

Choreographer Yuri Possokhov is having an LA moment. Last month, Los Angeles Ballet closed its season with Possokhov’s Firebird. This weekend, The Joffrey Ballet brings the choreographer’s retelling of Tolstoy’s tragic romance Anna Karenina. A well-known figure in San Francisco where he was principal dancer with San Francisco Ballet, Possokhov segued into choreography and since 2006, has been that company’s choreographer in residence. In-demand nationally and internationally, Possokhov developed an ongoing relationship with Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet including this Anna Karenina, created in 2019 as a joint project for the Australian Ballet and the Joffrey, the latter bringing the ballet to LA. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Music Center, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri.-Sat., June 21-22, 7:30 pm, Sat.-Sun., June 22-23, 2 pm, $34-$138. Music Center Home Page

Joffrey Ballet - Victoria Jaiani, Alberto Velazquez and Dylan Velazquez in "Anna Karenina" - Photo by Cheryl Mann.

The Joffrey Ballet. Photo by Cheryl Mann

Together again

In 2019, the ever-adventurous LA Dance Festival founder Deborah Brockus launched an auspicious exchange with Korean contemporary dance companies. For the pandemic-restricted second iteration in 2020, Brockus and the Korean organizers shifted to a zoomed performance exchange for four years. With Covid hopefully now in the rearview mirror, the organizers return to an in-person LA Dance Festival International Exchange, welcoming dance artists from Korea as well as a team from Canada for two nights of performances, preceded by a meet and greet, workshops, and classes. Details on the performing artists and all festival events are at the website Performances are at BP Studios Black Box Theater, 618B Moulton Ave., Lincoln Heights; Fri.-Sat., June 21-22, 7:30 pm. Pay via Venmo @BrockusProjectStudios – leave date and email in notes.

LA Dance Festival International Exchange - photo by Denise Leitner

LA Dance Festival International Exchange – photo by Denise Leitner

A solo COLA

Among this year’s City of LA (COLA) awards, choreographer/dancer Jay Carlon is the only awardee from LA’s dance community. His work will be on view with the other COLA recipients at Grand Performances, 350 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri., June 21, 6 pm, free. 

Jay Carlon. Photo by Nyah Rodriguez

Jay Carlon. Photo by Nyah Rodriguez

A matter of pride

Celebrating LGBTQIA+ artists, Behold! presents a triptych that includes new dance. Dance artists Monica Williams, Tippy Dringman and Mason Gray worked together for more than seven years before forming their collaborative ensemble TRIN in 2021. Their dance theatre ensemble for these performances includes Bella Allen, Tippy Dringman, Gia Granto, Mason Gray, Mark Ibanez, Cassidy Jorgensen, Caleigh Knapp, Makena Sekimoto, Casey Shea, Haley Smith, Erika Soto, Jess Wicke, Monica Williams, and Jane Zogbi, along with the three founders.  Since 2018, Ironstone has created experimental dance, this timeworking with Cade Moga offering Property, a non-linear survey of history and self that segues to Brazil and the concept of ‘cultural cannibalism.” Cuban-born Martin-Matamoros brings Princesa, an autobiographical consideration of a queer childhood. Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Fri.-Sat., June 21-22, 8:30 pm, $15-$20,

Ironstone. Photo courtesy of the artists 

Ironstone. Photo courtesy of the artists

Tip top tap

The concluding event of the Hollywood Tap Fest All-Star Concert 2024 finds tap stars joined by promising participants from the three days of classes and an earlier choreographic residency. Presented by Chloe and Maud Arnold, aka Syncopated Ladies, and Debbie Allen, concert info, as well as festival workshops and classes are at the website. Shonda Rhimes Performing Arts Center, 1850 S. Manhattan Place, West Adams; Sat., June 22, 7:30 pm  $45.

American Contemporary Ballet - photo by Anastasia Petukhova

American Contemporary Ballet – photo by Anastasia Petukhova

All that glitters

American Contemporary Ballet artistic director Lincoln Jones has long sought to emulate the legendary ballet choreographer George Balanchine, both by bringing in works by Balanchine and in Jones’ own choreography for the company. In his most ambitious and perhaps audacious effort, Jones latest, Sapphires, purports to provide a fourth act to Balanchine’s Jewels. Set to Schoenberg’s Suite for Strings, Sapphires can be judged alongside excerpts from La Source, an actual Balanchine ballet. Bank of America Plaza, 333 S. Hope St., C-150, downtown; Thurs.-Sat., 8 pm, thru Sat., June 29, $60-$140. SEASON XII 2023 – 2024

Armstrong Dance - photo courtesy of the artists

Armstrong Dance – photo courtesy of the artists

Stepping up

The history of Irish step dance is captured by Armstrong Dance in Celtic ThroneThe Royal Journey of Irish Dance. The company stops off on their fifth U.S. tour. Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Dr., Irvine; Tues.-Wed., June 25-26, 7:30 pm, $30-$60.

Summer dancing

Part performance, part participatory event, the free, al fresco summer series Dance DTLA opens this week with Bollywood. A beginner/refresher lesson at 7 pm is followed by a chance to dance or just watch and enjoy until 11 pm. If this week is not your style, the full line up of upcoming dance options is at the website. Music Center, Jerry Moss Plaza, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri., June 21, 7 pm, free. Music Center | Dance DTLA

Dance DTLA Bollywood night - photo courtesy of the artists

Dance DTLA Bollywood night – photo courtesy of the artists

Going South (Bay, that is)

Celtic, hip hop, flamenco, contemporary, and more dance genres are part of TOCAPalooza. Formerly known as the South Bay Arts Festival, the day long event offers South Bay-based dance and music groups, food trucks and other festive activities on multiple stages. Performance line up and schedule at Torrance Cultural Arts Center, 3330 Civic Center Dr., Torrance; Sat., June 22, 11 am to 5 pm, free with ticket at

Book to stage

Following up on the burlesque parody, The Empire Strips Back, Russall T Beattie riffs on his coffee table book that tracked Gotham’s caped crusaders in comic books from 1919. What originally was announced as Gotham Follies of 1939, now is billed as Batette Follies of 1939. There will be dancing with vaudeville and burlesque along with irreverent parodies of the times and comic book personalities. Montalban Theatre, 1615 Vine St., Hollywood; Thurs.-Sun., thru Fri., July 14, 8 pm, $39-$154.

French Fridays

Promising a French flavored performance, Cabaret Versatile presents Ohlala! Nights. Cat’s Crawl, 660 Heliotrope Dr., East Hollywood; Fridays, thru June 28, 87

Hollywood Fringe Festival

Drawing comparisons between the career and legacy of legendary ballerina Anna Pavlova and her signature solo Dying Swan, Devil’s Dice Productions brings Death of a Swan to the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Maddie Natoli is Anna, Mason Williams is Death. The show won Best Dance/Physical Movement at the 2023 Tucson Fringe Festival. Zephyr Theatre, 7456 Melrose Ave., Hollywood; Fri., June 21, 8:45 pm, Sun., June 23, 12:45 pm, Sat., June 29, 5:15 pm

Death of a Swan -courtesy of the artists

Death of a Swan -courtesy of the artists

Ashley Wren Collins
 provided the choreography for the seven member cast of the Hollywood Fringe Festival event Foxy Ladies Love Boogie 70’s Explosion!  Three Clubs Stage Room, 1123 N. Vine St., Hollywood; Fri., June 21, 10:15 pm, Mon., June 24, 7 pm, $25.

Employing movement and magic, Liz Toonkell appears in Magic for Animals, part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival. LGBT Center, Davidson/Valenti Theatre, 1125 N. McFadden Pl., Hollywood; Sat., June 22, 5 pm, Fri., June 28, 10:30 pm, Sun., June 30, 3:30 pm, $15.

Liz Toonkell. Photo courtesy of the artist

Liz Toonkell. Photo courtesy of the artist

The mental health and trauma of a single individual and those around her are the subject of DRIP. The cast in this Hollywood Fringe Festival entry includes Gia Ochsenbein, Sadie Luce, Melody Tay, Romy Kim, Christopher Martin, and Ashwath Ram. Actors Company (Other Space Theater), 916 N. Formosa Ave., Hollywood; Fri., June 21, 11:30 pm, Sat., June 29, 9 pm, Sun., June 30, 5:30 pm, $15.

Suggesting a blend of movement and yoga, Mayuri Bhandari embodies The Anti “Yogi” for the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Zephyr Theatre, 7456 Melrose Ave., Hollywood; Thurs., June 20, 7 pm, $15.

A Peek at Next Week (06-28 to 07-04)

Heidi Duckler Dance – Ebb & Flow at Exposition Park, Sat., June 29, 11:30 am, free w/reservation at

Primera Generación Dance Collective – NOStalgia POP at REDCAT, Disney Hall, 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; Fri.-Sat., June 28-29, 8:30 pm, $27. https://www.redcat.org

Varviani & Selcouth Dance Theatre Company – MARK, Dance at the Odyssey at the Odyssey Theatre , 2955 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West LA; Sat., June 29, 8 pm, $25.

Marianna Varviana/Jack X Proctor - photo courtesy of Dance at the Odyssey

Marianna Varviana/Jack X Proctor – photo courtesy of Dance at the Odyssey

Breayre Tender 
Anthony Hernandez – Dear Life, Dance at the Odyssey at the Odyssey at Odyssey Theatre, 2955 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West LA; Sun., June 30, 2 pm, $25,

a/o/x (previously Latinx) Series at Highways, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Fri.-Sat., July 28-29, 8:30 pm, $15-$20.

 Zhihan Yang, Chorong Yang, Paul ‘Peide’ Liu, Jaryd Farcon – Playdate Culminating Residency Performances at Pieter, 2701 N. Broadway, Lincoln Heights; Fri.-Sat., June 28-29, 7 pm, $10 donation.

Playdate - photo courtesy of Angel Origg

Playdate – photo courtesy of Angel Origg

LA Unbound 
– Spring 2024 Show at Mainstage Theatre, Glendale Community College, 1601 E Mountain St, Glendale; Sat., June 29, 4 & 7:30 pm, $23-30.

BODYTRAFFIC teen summer showcase at Loyola Marymount University, Drollinger Family Stage in Lawton Plaza, 1 LMU Dr., Westchester; Fri., June 28, 1:30 pm, free w/reservation

Viver Brasil – Rezas e Folhas at Ebony Repertory Theatre, Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4718 W. Washington Blvd., Mid-City; Sat., June 29, 8 pm, $30.

KimBambula Cuban Dance & Music Ensemble – Gloria Molina Grand Park, Backyard Stage, 200 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Thurs., July 4, 4 pm – midnight, free.

Featured photo:  LA Dance Festival International Exchange – photo by Denise Leitner

Ann Haskins Blog appears at