A Flourish of Brazilian Dance

A flashmob at Venice Beach, Brazilian dance in Hollywood, hip hop in Santa Monica, a classic ballet film goes live action downtown, Icarus’ sister takes a fall in Echo Park and more So Cal dance this busy week.

5. Mind meets body

Now an annual event, SOMAfest assembles dancers and other movement artists committed to concepts loosely described as mind/body or mindful movement. The workshops and classes exploring the interconnectivity between mind, movement and the larger world culminate with a performance capturing the elements that characterize this contemporary art. Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Fri., Sept. 22, 8 p.m., $20-$25. 310-315-1459, http://highwaysperformance.org.

SOMAfest. Photo courtesy of the artists.
SOMAfest. Photo courtesy of the artists.

4. Flying to a fall

The label choreographer has always been a bit of an understatement in describing Rosanna Gamson who has drawn on literature in many of her works and incorporated text, lighting and other visual elements in a distinctive hybrid of dance and theatre that reaches levels beyond most dancemakers. This round, Gamson takes the titles creative producer and dramaturge as she collaborates with author Carol Katz, two dancers and three actors in the dance play Daedalus’ Daughter. Struggles with madness and suicide in her own family fueled Katz’ starting point, the idea that beyond the overly ambitious, ill-fated son Icarus, Daedalus had a daughter who also tried to fly, fell into the sea and what happened after she survived. Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd., Echo Park; Thurs.-Sat., Sept. 21-30, 7:30 p.m., $20. 213-389-3856, http://bootlegtheater.org.

Lavinia Findikoglu in "Daedalus' Daughter". Photo by Marc Gabor
Lavinia Findikoglu in “Daedalus’ Daughter”. Photo by Marc Gabor

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3. In the red zone

From its start as a Hans Christian Andersen fairytale to its life as a legendary ballet film, The Red Shoes’ tale of a ballerina torn between her passion for ballet and her love for a composer remains an unmatched tale of the attraction and costs of the art form. The Red Shoes pirouettes into a new retelling in the hands of choreographer Matthew Bourne. As the man who populated Swan Lake with male swans in feathered knickers and revealed that Sleeping Beauty was actually a vampire story, expect Bourne and his company New Adventures to bring a similar fever dream vision to the stage, the first endeavor in a new partnership between Bourne and Center Theatre Group. The announced cast includes Ashley Shaw and Cordelia Braithwaite as the ballerina, Dominic North and American Ballet Theater star Marcello Gomes as her love interest, with Sam Archer and Jack Jones as the Diaghilev-like impresario. Music Center, Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown;  Tues.-Fri., 8 p.m., Sat., 2 & 8 p.m., Sun., 1 & 6:30 p.m. thru Sun., Oct. 1, $30 – $130. 213-972-4400, http://CenterTheatreGroup.org.
Ashley Shaw in Matthew Bourne’s “The Red Shoes.” Photo by Johan Persson.
Ashley Shaw in Matthew Bourne’s “The Red Shoes.” Photo by Johan Persson.

2.  Boxed in

The hip hop dancers of Versa-Style Dance Company take the stage like a force of nature, taking a range of street dance styles off the street and into the concert hall with Box of Hope. The L.A. based troupe manages to be an audience pleaser while at the same time garnering critical praise. Within the L.A. dance community, the troupe and its directors also have been honored for encouraging its dancers to academic as well as performing excellence which has led all its young members to college admission. The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica; Sat., Sept. 23, 7:30 p.m. $35-$65310-434-3200, http://TheBroadStage.org.

Versa-Style Dance Company in "Box of Hope". Photo courtesy of the artists.
Versa-Style Dance Company in “Box of Hope”. Photo courtesy of the artists.

1.   Spirits Rising

Brazil’s culture, especially its dance, extends far beyond the scantily clad samba dancers of Rio de Janeiro’s Carnivale. For two decades Viver Brasil has brought the larger landscape of Brazilian dance to the stage led by dancer and dance ethnologist Linda Yudin and Luiz Badaró, a native Bahian master dancer, choreographer and percussionist. For its 20th anniversary bash expect the exuberant and sensual dance that is this troupe’s hallmark as Viver Brasil unveils Agô Ayo/Spirit Rising. Ford Theatres, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood; Fri., Sept. 22, 8:30 p.m., $25-$55. 323-461-3673, http://FordTheatres.org.

Viver Brasil in "Agô Ayo/Spirit Rising". Photo by Susan Goines.
Viver Brasil in “Agô Ayo/Spirit Rising”. Photo by Susan Goines.

Other dance of note:  

After premiering Sur les traces de Dinozord (In Search of Dinozord) in New York, Congolese choreographer and writer Faustin Linyekula/Studio Kabako arrives for three performances of the dance theater exploration of the legacy of conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and specifically the murdered political prisoner Antoine Vumilia Muhindo. Jean Kumbonyeki Deba, Papy Ebotani, Yves Mwamba Bakadiasa, and Linyekula are the dancers, Serge Kakudji sings, and Papy Maurice Mbwiti, Antoine Vumilia Muhindo are the actors. REDCAT, Disney Hall, 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; Thurs.-Sat., Sept. 28-30, 8:30 p.m., $25-$30, $20-$24 students. 213-237-2800, http://redcat.org.

Mixing elements of a charismatic ballet star and the world of Andy Warhol, Freddy marks a new dance theater venture for The Fountain Theatre and its producer Deborah Lawlor. In addition to the sterling reputation for the venue’s productions, Lawlor also is the producer behind the long-running, mostly monthly Sunday flamenco series Forever Flamenco that has gone on, essentially forever. Now Lawlor takes on playwright duties as the Fountain Theatre partners with LACC’s Theatre Academy to explore new dance and theater possibilities. Carminito Theatre, L.A. City College, 855 N. Vermont Ave., E. Hollywood; opens Wed., Sept. 27, then Wed. & Fri., 8 p.m., Thurs. & Sat., 3 & 8 p.m., through Oct. 14. $25. 323-633-1525, http://FountainTheatre.com.

Diavolo Architecture in Motion. Photo courtesy of DAIM
Diavolo Architecture in Motion. Photo courtesy of DAIM

Fresh from their appearances on America’s Got Talent, the dancers, gymnasts and assorted daredevils of Diavolo Architecture in Motion perform Trajectoire reinforced by students from the Dance Conservatory of Pasadena and Arcadia High School’s Orchesis Dance Company. Arcadia Performing Arts Center, 188 Campus Dr., Arcadia, Sat., Sept. 23, 7:30 p.m., $15-$70, 626-821-1781, http://arcadiapaf.org.

Diarist, amour of novelist Henry Miller, and noted member of the café society of 1930s, Anaïs Nin is the center of Anaïs, a Dance Opera. Janet Roston directed and choreographed, Cindy Shapiro provided the music and lyrics for this exploration of Nin, her lovers and her world. Musco Center, Chapman University, One University Dr., Orange; Thurs., Sept. 28, 7:30 p.m., 844-626-8726, http://muscocenter.org.

Anais The Opera. Photo courtesy of the artists.
Anais The Opera. Photo courtesy of the artists.

It promises to be Some Enchanted Evening filled with Broadway song and dance at this Inland Pacific Ballet event. Inland Pacific Ballet, 9061 Central Ave., Montclair; Sat., Sept. 23, 7 p.m., $95. 909-482-1590, http://IPBallet.org.

The inclusive Infinite Flow Dance launches a flashmob midday at Venice Beach. Expect the Venice Boardwalk to be filled with dancers in and out of wheelchairs. Details on how to participate in this free event at http://infiniteflowdance.org/beinfinite. Participants must register, but to watch show up around Rose Avenue. Venice Beach, Ocean Front Walk at Rose Ave., Venice; Sun., Sept. 24, 4 p.m. free. http://infiniteflowdance.org/beinfinite.

This showing with dancer Jmy James Kidd dubbed Air concludes Melanie Maar’s week long residency. Pieter Performance Space, 420 W. Avenue 33, Lincoln Heights; Thurs., Sept. 28, 8:30 p.m., non-monetary donation. 747-888-2728, https://pieterpasd.com.

It’s dancing at the library as Ballet Folkorico de Los Angeles offers the final free performances of Los Angeles Public Library’s summer series LA Made. Granada Hills Branch Library, 10640 Petit Ave., Granada Hills; Sat., Sept. 23, 4 p.m., free. 818-368-5687; Lincoln Heights Branch Library, 2530 Workman St., Lincoln Heights; Sat., Sept. 30, 3:30 p.m., free. 323-226-1692; Arroyo Seco Regional Library, 6145 N. Figueroa Street, Highland Park, Sat., Oct. 14, 3 p.m., free. 323-255-0537.

Classical Japanese dance is offered by NihonBuyo Kai of California. Nishi Hongwanji Buddhist Temple Kaikan, 315 E. 1st St., downtown; Sat., Sept. 23, 1 p.m., $15 donation. http://nihonbuyokai.us.

Folk dance and music from Mexico are performed by Nuestra Raices. El Camino College Marsee Auditorium, 16007 Crenshaw Blvd., Torrance; Sat., Sept. 23, 8 p.m., $25-$35. 800-832-2787.

The stage will be filled with more than 100 performers as the Martial Artists and Acrobats of Tianjin, People’s Republic of China offer circus acts, illusions, aerial, juggling and feats of balance. Pepperdine Center for the Arts, Smothers Theatre, 24255 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu, Thurs., Sept. 28, 7:30 p.m., $20-$45, $17 17 years & under. http://arts.pepperdine.edu.

Come to watch or join in as Oxygen Tango unlocks the secrets of the forbidden dance in this closing edition of the JAM series. Ford Theatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood; Mon., Sept, 25, 7 p.m., free. http://fordtheatres.org.

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