A Dance Film Festival Kicks Up by the Sea

This week’s SoCal dance events include a trio of troupes in Echo Park, dance and dance film at Santa Monica pier, a classic book gets danced in North Hollywood, the history of ballet (part 1) begins downtown, children’s dance at Exposition Park and much more.

5.  Alma who?

Premiered at Slovenia’s leading cultural center to sold out houses, Alma.Sama celebrates Alma Karlin who left a comfortable life in Europe after World War I to work for the underserved in South America, Japan, India and the South Pacific. As with other ArtBark productions, Alma.Sama draws on collaborators in California, New York and now Slovenia. The performance also includes guest artists from Hubbard Collective performing Sacred Matters. Details at http://artbark.org. ARC Pasadena, 1158 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Sat., April 29, 7:30 p.m., $10, $5 kids. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/almasama-comes-to-california-tickets-32165717527

ArtBark's Alma.Sama Photo courtesy of ArtBark
ArtBark’s Alma.Sama. Photo courtesy of ArtBark.

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4.  Faculty dances

New and repertory dances take the stage in CSULB Dance in Concertwith styles ranging from jazz, ballet, contemporary and dance theater from faculty members Rebecca Bryant, Colleen Dunagan, Sophie Monat, and Andrew Vaca and guest Colleen Thomas. Cal State University Long Beach, Martha Knoebel Dance Theatre, 6200 E. Atherton St., Long Beach; Wed.-Fri., April 26-28, 8 p.m., Sat., April 29, 2 & 8 p.m., $20, $16 seniors & students. 562-985-7000, http://csulb.edu/dancehttps://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/962477.

CSULB Dance in Concert Photo by Gregory RR Crosby
CSULB Dance in Concert. Photo by Gregory RR Crosby.

3.  Locavore dancing

Three companies share the stage for the latest installment of the admirable Homegrown series showcasing SoCal-based dance. This edition’s participants include Brigette Dunn-Korpela and her B. Dunn Movement, Sophia Kozak of Critical Mass Dance Company and Zoe Rappaport and her Rappaport Dance.  Details at http://www.danceresourcecenter.org/homegrown_performances. Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd., Echo Park; Thurs.-Sat., May 4-6, 7:30 p.m., $20 in advance, $25 at door. http://www.bootlegtheater.org/calendar.

Homegrown Photo courtesy of B. Dunn Movement
Homegrown. Photo courtesy of B. Dunn Movement.

2.  Dancing in the garden

Known for her audacious blending of pointe shoes and spike heels, choreographer Josie Walsh and her BalletRED turn to a children’s classic for their first full length ballet. Walsh mixes in aerial and video in Secret Garden, a contemporary retelling of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s beloved tale of a spunky orphan girl, her invalid cousin, her haunted uncle and the garden that restores them.  El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood; Fri.-Sat., April 28-29, 8 p.m., Sun., April 30, 4 p.m., $35-$45. https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/970854.

BalletRED's Secret Garden Photo courtesy of BalletRED
BalletRED’s Secret Garden. Photo courtesy of BalletRED.

1.  Dancing by the sea

Just in case anyone needs a reason to head to the beach to watch beautiful bodies in motion, here’s a new, live performance component to the preeminent dance film festival as L.A.-based Dance Camera West launches To the Sea: Dance Concerts on the Pier. Curated by former skateboarder, Venice Boardwalk street dancer and now local dance power player Jacob Jonas, the new series is a mix of artistic and commercial dance troupes plus some filmed dance. Announced performers include Les 7 Doights de la Main, Tony Testa, Cirio Collective, The Seaweed Sisters, Andrea Schermoly, Andrew Winghart and host Jacob Jonas The Company. West End of the Santa Monica Pier, Colorado Blvd. at Ocean Ave., Santa Monica; Sat.-Sun., April 29-30, 6 p.m., free with required reservation at http://tothe sea.eventbrite.com.

Dance at the Sea Photo by Jacob Jonas
Dance at the Sea. Photo by Jacob Jonas.

Other dance of note:

Hae Kyung Lee & Dancers is known for bringing together elements of contemporary dance with choreographer Hae Kyung Lee’s Korean heritage. This performance previews works destined for the Korea International Dance Festival this June. Info at https://www.haekyungleeanddancers.com.  Cal State University, Luckman Intimate Theatre, 5151 State University Dr., El Sereno; Sat., April 29, 5 p.m., $15, $10 seniors & students. Haelee1@mail.com

Celebrating International Children’s Dance Day, the choreographer Jamie Carbetta Hammond and the all male dance troupe Pony Box Dance Theatre invite children of all ages to dance in the garden, write down their dreams, construct a kite and release the kite at the event’s finale. Exposition Park, Rose Garden (between the Natural History Museum and the Science Center), 701 State Dr., downtown; Sat., April 29, 3 p.m., free.  http://ponyboxdance.org.

Pony Box Dance Theatre Photo courtesy of PBDT
Pony Box Dance Theatre. Photo courtesy of PBDT.

This edition of American Contemporary Ballet’s Dance + Design launches a seven-part history of ballet. The opening episode dubbed Year I: The Naked Souls of Kings and Queens promises actual dances from Italian Renaissance courts. A reception and Q&A follow. ACB Studios, 700 S. Flower St., Suite 3200, downtown; Thurs.-Sat., April 27-29, Sat., April 29, 6 p.m., Sun., April 30, 2 & 4 p.m., $40-$95. 800-838-3006, http://acbdances.com.

American Contemporary Ballet Photo by Anastasia Petukhova
American Contemporary Ballet. Photo by Anastasia Petukhova.

An extravagant retelling of Chinese culture through dance and music, the Shen Yun tour stops by. Music Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand. Ave., downtown; Fri., April 28, 7:30 p.m., Sat., April 29, 2 & 7:30 p.m., $70-$200. http://musiccenter.org.

While Pantsula 4 Lyf is not live performance, this celebration of popular dance in South Africa offers photographer Chris Saunders’ intriguing photos and videos capturing pantsula’s adaptation of hip hop and American fashion. Featuring crews of young men and women in Johannesburg, pantsula performers favor American-name brands like Converse All-Star shoes and Dickies brand work pants. UCLA Fowler Museum, 308 Charles E Young Dr. N, Westwood; Wed., noon – 8 p.m., Thurs.-Sun., noon – 5 p.m. thru Sun., May 7, free. http://fowler.ucla.edu.

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