SoCal doesn’t experience a crocus flower as the first sign that winter is ending and spring is stirring the world back to life. Perhaps that makes it harder to know whether announced steps to gradually reopen from the pandemic lockdown are market-driven or a true sign that someone has a real handle on the pandemic that as of this writing has infected 1.6 million and killed 100,000 souls just in the U.S. Performing arts including dance require lead time for creation and rehearsal, but remain in the last phases of announced reopening plans. Still, like a crocus, signs are popping up here and there as venues, choreographers and dancers announce live performances starting in late summer and fall as well as continuing inventive and livestream ventures. Here’s some of what is happening this week, a nod to cancelled and postponed events, and platforms to find video dance and explore streamed dance classes, many free.
The right moves
Originally scheduled as part of the LA Jazz Caravan in Leimert Park, choreographer Pat Taylor and her Jazz Antiqua Dance & Music Ensemble have reenvisioned the planned work for streaming. The Movement in the Music: A Digital Jazz Dance Showcase includes performance by company members and alums including Bernard J. Brown (BB Moves), Maura Owens Townsend (Project21Dance), special guest tapper Chester A. Whitmore and frequent collaborator trumpeter Brian Swartz. Vimeo, Sun., May 31, 3 p.m., PDT, free. Info at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-movement-in-the-music-a-digital-jazz-dance-showcase-tickets-105439620744, view the performance at https://vimeo.com/419375533.
Speedreading 1001 stories
A concentrated taste of choreographer Rosanna Gamson’s consideration of a legendary storyteller is performed on-line in Layla Means Night. Drawn from her company Rosanna Gamson/World Wide’s performance, the work is inspired by The Persian tale of Shahrzad or Scheherazade who entranced her husband and kept herself alive telling stories for 1001 nights. https://vimeo.com/407374713.
Stepping up their game
Ballet and non-classical dance are two of the categories as the Music Center Spotlight‘s final performance showcasing SoCal high school performers goes viral for the first time. Past Spotlight talent include ballet’s Misty Copeland and singer Josh Groban. This year’s high school dancers include Jacob Jovanni Alvarado from San Diego and Ashley Lew from San Juan Capistrano in ballet plus Maya Alvarez-Coyne from Santa Ana and Bergundi Loyd from Riverside in non-classical dance. The event is free, but donations to support this scholarship program are invited by texting TMCSPOTLIGHT to 44-321 or at the website https://www.musiccenter.org/tmc-offstage/. The performance is Sat., May 30, 7 p.m., PDT, free. https://www.musiccenter.org/spotlightfinale.
Not about the ABBA song
The 3rd Annual Viver Brasil Dancing the Queens celebrates Brazilian dancer, story-teller and all around woman of wisdom Dona Ceci along with contemporary dance teacher Vera Passos. This year the festivities go viral. Sat., May 30, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., PDT, $30. http://www.viverbrasil.com/queens?utm_term=0_21a10c61f8-b7b6d37331-264062773.
How about an encore?
Earlier this spring, the Music Center’s annual Children’s Festival was cancelled, but its live-streamed return last week with a celebration of tap dance headlined by Dorrance Dance led by tap’s “it girl” Michelle Dorrance is still on view for a limited time. Also on view for a limited time, the family-friendly performance by Cuba’s contemporary Malpaso Dance Company. https://www.musiccenter.org/tmc-offstage/.
Talking about incarceration
With what is described “interactive jail bed installation,” SoLA Contemporary opens a three day full art gallery exhibition #Jailbeddrop. The pop-up performance art is an expanded version of the original 2017 project. This iteration includes daily performances by dancer/choreographer Brianna Mims with spoken word by Bindhu Swaminathan. The workshops, classes and performances will follow strict in-person measures supplemented by a dedicated website. SoLA Contemporary, 3718 W. Slauson, Ave., Windsor Hills; Thur.-Sat., June 4-6, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., free. https://www.solacontemporary.org/gallery-view/jailbeddrop/.
Something about Harry
Known internationally as the first designated resident choreographer for Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company, Barak Marshall is known locally for his choreography for his own company and his status as the son of celebrated choreographer/teacher Margalit Oved. Marshall’s work for Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal was not included in les BJM’s Santa Monica performances earlier this year. This streamed performance of Marshall’s Harry is a chance to see a dancework from a neighborhood kid who made good. at https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=ballet+jazz+de+montreal, thru Sat., May 30, https://linktr.ee/barakmarshall.
Other Platforms to Find Video Dance and Dance Classes
Companies are streaming past performances to compensate for cancelled spring seasons, and dance videos have gained more prominence whether a thread of solo dancers tag teaming a movement sequence, dancing on the roof, the backyard or their kitchen. The popular long-running video competition Dare to Dance in Public curated by Sarah Elgart has been joined by her new challenge, Six Foot Distance Dances (details on how to submit at https://www.culturalweekly.com/dare-dance-public-film-festival-six-foot-distance-dances/).
Over the next few months, the Palm Springs International Dance Festival is accepting submissions for an October performance under the title MERDE! A Dance Makers Moment. Seven submissions will be selected for presentation on October 23 with by the voting audience and an expert panel. The winner of the voting will be presented as part of the Festival’s gala in March 2021. Details on submission at https://www.nickersonrossidance.com/merdeapp.
Dance Camera West screens 60 films from its 2020 dance film festival for one more week on Ovid TV, details at http://www.dancecamerawest.org/. Dance Resource Center also has been tracking similar opportunities at https://www.danceresourcecenter.org/.
On-line dance classes continue on zoom, instagram and other on-line platforms, many classes free, low cost or suggesting a donation. One central, constantly updated source on dance classes and in-depth reporting on SoCal dance, LA Dance Chronicle https://w3.ladancechronicle.com/, lists on-line dance classes including any cost and contact info. Grab a chair or clear off a corner of the room and use this time to dance.
Cancelled or Postponed:
Ford Theaters and Hollywood Bowl Dance usually augments the music two or three times during the summer Hollywood Bowl season, but the loss of the Ford Theater is particularly harsh. Over the years, the Ford has become an informal summer dance festival for SoCal dance companies. Other replacement venues may emerge as things open up, but the Ford Theater cancellation is a tough one for SoCal dance. Cancelled.
Choreographer Janet Roston and her Mixed eMotion Theatrix’s scheduled premiere of Gatsby Redux has been rescheduled for September. The site specific work inspired by the vintage environment of the venue will, like it’s title, redux. Brand Library & Art Gallery, 1601 W. Mountain St., Glendale; Sat., Sept. 26, free. More details to come at http://memtheatrix.com/our-work.html. Postponed to Sept. 26.
Musco Center’s Heartbeat of Mexico Festival, Chapman University, Orange; Sat., May 30 rescheduled for Sat. Oct. 24, More info soon at https://www.muscocenter.org/Online/default.asp. Postponed to Oct. 24.
American College Dance Association’s National College Dance Festival at Carpenter Center, Cal State University Long Beach, Long Beach; Fri.-Sun., May 29-31. Cancelled. http://www.acda.dance/. Cancelled.
Trudi Zipper Dance Institute’s Pinnacle. Grand Arts High School Concert Hall, Tues., June 2, https://www.colburnschool.edu/calendar/events/pinnacle-2/. Cancelled.
Home LA’s planned site specific event in the Venice Canals. Postponed, no announced date.
Shen Yun all SoCal venues in April and May have been postponed. https://www.shenyun.com/. Postponed, no date announced.