A Certain Invitation to an Uncertain Season

Folkloric Christmas celebration in East LA, five local dance ensembles share the stage downtown, snowglobe dances in Santa Monica, Nutcracker ballets explode across the city, more live SoCal dance to the year’s end, and a peek at what’s coming next year.

Live This Week

Holiday hosting in a new home

Celebrating its first Christmas in its new home, Danza Floricanto/USA pays tribute to Mexican holiday traditions with Navidad en el Barrio. This is the 17th year for the company’s seasonal performance, the first at Casa del Mexicano, 2900 Calle Pedro Infante, E.LA; Sat., Dec. 18, 7 pm, $10, $15 at door. Danza Floricanto or 213-466-2611.

Mexican folkloric dancers with large hats perform
Danza Floricanto/USA. Photo by Frank Sandoval

LA dances at the Music Center

Five SoCal dance ensembles are among the 20 musical groups performing live in this year’s three-hour Music Center Holiday Celebration. Dembrebrah West African Drum and Dance, contributes Koredjuga, from the border of Mali and Guinea. Directed by Riverdance alum Maeve Croke, the Celtic Irish Dance Academy brings quick stepping Irish dance and Jung Im Lee Korean Dance Academy returns with Geom-mu, a Korean sword dance. Kathak dance from North India is the offered by Leela Youth Dance Company while Pacifico Dance Company brings folkloric dance and music that reflects the Peruvian influences evident in the Mexican state of Guerrero. At the Music Center, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri., Dec. 24, 3-6 pm, free (and free parking!). Details and Covid protocols at PBS and KCET.

Korean dancers with drums
Jung Im Lee Korean Dance Academy. Photo by Gennia Cui

Globe dancing

Shoppers can enjoy some seasonal dance with the high-kicking ladies of The Beach Belles & a Ballerina in a Snow Globe, both performing at Santa Monica Place, 395 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica; daily, Fri., Dec. 17 to Fri., Dec. 24, 3 to 7:30 pm, free. Details and Covid protocols at Santa Monica Place.

3 dancers in fur-trimmed blue costumes
The Beach Belles. Photo by Mathew Tucciarone

A touch of Irish for the season

Irish dance is part of the music and song-filled Celtic Angels Christmas. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Dr., Cerritos; Wed., Dec. 22, 8 pm, $40-$60. Details, tickets & Covid protocols at Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts.

Last to roll out

In January 2021, LA choreographer Jacob Jonas and his Jacob Jonas/The Company began a weekly roll out of 15 short dance films with artists from around the world under the banner Films.Dance. The project earned boasting rights with many of the films later winning film festival awards. This past September, a second edition Films.Dance Round Two began, again with dance, dancers, and filmmakers from around the world rolled out one week at a time. The last of original films premiere on Dec., 20, but the entire roster continues to be available for viewing at Films.Dance.

A woman watches a man carrying a woman near a large spherical structure
“Films.Dance Round 2.” Photo courtesy of the artists

Post-modern rituals

The first-ever retrospective of the work of choreographer and video artist Blondell Cummings: Dance as Moving Pictures includes videos, interviews, and photographs continue at Art+Practice, 3401 W. 43rd Pl., Leimert Park; Wed.-Sat., noon-6 pm, to Feb. 19, 2022, free. Research guide at Getty Research Institute, exhibition at Art+Practice.

A woman in a black dress dances
Photo by Blondell Cummings.

Museum moves

Performance and dance are the metier of several artists in both of this museum’s big fall exhibits, Witch Hunt and No Humans Involved at UCLA Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Tues.-Sun., 11 am-6 pm to Jan. 22, 2022, free no reservation required. Details and Covid protocols at Hammer Museum.

This Week’s Major Nutcrackers

(See “The ‘Nuts’ Are Back” for full list of 2021 Nutcrackers) 

  • Los Angeles Ballet at UCLA Royce Hall, 10745 Dickson Ct., Westwood; Fri., Dec. 17, 8 p.m., Sat.-Sun., Dec. 18-19, noon & 5 p.m. Also at Dolby Theater, Hollywood & Highland, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Thurs., Dec. 23, 8 pm, Fri., Dec. 24, noon, Sun., Dec. 26, 11 am & 4 pm. Details, tickets and Covid protocols at Los Angeles Ballet
    A large group dances at a Christmas party
    Los Angeles Ballet’s “Nutcracker”. Photo by Reed Hutchinson


  • American Ballet Theatre at Segerstrom Center for the Performing Arts, 600 Town Center Dr.,Costa Mesa; Wed.-Fri., Dec. 15-17, 7 pm, Sat., Dec. 18, 2 pm & 7 pm, Sun., Dec 12 & 19, 12:30 & 5:30 pm, Wed.-Thurs., Dec. 15-16, 7 pm. Details, tickets and Covid protocols at SCFTA

    The flowers dance with men dressed as bees
    American Ballet Theatre’s “Nutcracker”. Photo by Gene Schiavone

A Peek at Next Year

Dance Camera West at Theatre Raymond Kabbaz, W.LA; Thurs.-Sat., Jan.6-8 Dance Camera West

a woman dances in front of large white doors
Shade Théret. Photo courtesy of the Odyssey Theater.

Shade Théret opens Dance at the Odyssey at Odyssey Theatre, W.LA, Sat., Jan. 8. Odyssey Theatre

Shen Yun at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa; Sat., Jan. 1, 1 & 6 pm. Shen Yun

two couples in ballgowns dance before an orchestra
Salute to Vienna. Photo courtesy of the artists

Salute to Vienna at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa; Sat., Jan. 1, 7 pm. Also at Disney Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Sun., Jan. 2, 2:30 pm. Salute to Vienna

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