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A Last Grasp at Summer

Portable opera dances in a shipping container, a festival of threes opens in San Pedro, salsa spices up downtown, all live!  A dance film fest continues in Hollywood, SoCal dance online at the Music Center, Brazilian dance in Grand Park, online classes, and more SoCal dance this week.

Live This Week

Birds out of the box

While not strictly dance, movement plays an important role in the new site-specific chamber opera Birds in the Moon being staged in a Santa Monica parking lot. Created by Mark Grey and Júlia Canosa i Serra, the work for mezzo-soprano, male voice, string quartet, and soundscapes, is staged in a custom-fitted shipping container that becomes a magic box where a tale is told about migration and a search for a better world. Set designer Chad Owens created the reconsidered shipping container with Elkhanah Pulitzer directing the action that unfolds there. Performances at Parking Lot 27, corner of Arizona & 5th St., Santa Monica; Wed.-Sat., Sept. 1-4, 7 p.m., $25-$75. Tickets and Santa Monica Covid protocols at The Broad Stage.

A man in striped bicycle shorts dances on top of a stage

Birds on the Moon. Photo by Ashleigh McArthur

Tri-Arts three ways

Keeping the hybrid format that remains prudent in the age of unpredictable Covid surges, the intrepid San Pedro Festival of the Arts (formerly the Tri-Arts Festival) combines live and online options in three different programs dealt out over three weekends in September. All shows are free. The festival opens with a half dozen films spotlighting mostly SoCal dance companies. Live performance takes the stage on Sept. 12 and 19 with more than two dozen troupes in two different live performances at two different venues. Both shows have an online option. Program #1 Film Division, free. Vimeo Vimeo. Program #2 at at Alvas Showroom, 1413 W. 8th St., San Pedro; Sun., Sept. 12, 4 p.m., free. Program #3 at Anderson Memorial Senior Center (on the lawn), 828 S. Mesa St., San Pedro, Sun., Sept. 19, 1 p.m., free. San Pedro Festival of the Arts channel. Previews, a complete line up of performers, Covid protocols, live performance registration, and more at Tri-Arts Festival.

Two men hold a woman in the air while holding another woman in a backbend as all four dance.

San Pedro Festival of the Arts. Photo courtesy of the artists.

They’re going Hollywood!

An east coast dance film festival makes its local debut as Dances With Films (DWF/LA) at Hollywood’s legendary Chinese Theater. The two week festival includes features, short films, and even shorter films. TCL Chinese Theater, Hollywood & Highland, 6925 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; thru Sun., Sept. 12, Details on the extensive line up of films, previews, ticket prices, Covid protocols, and more at Dances With Films.

A man holding his arms above his head dances in front of a chain link fence.

Forgotten Song, a film in Dances With Films (DWF/LA). Photo courtesy of the artists.

Downtown spicy

Saucy salsa is the dance genre for the penultimate edition of this summer’s Music Center Dance DTLA. The free dance lesson at 7 p.m. is followed by a chance to dance under summer stars. Join in or sit back and enjoy the free dance show. For the finale next week, be ready for Bollywood. Details at the website. Music Center, Jerry Moss Plaza, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri., Sept. 3, 7pm too 11pm, free. Music Center LA

A group of people dance with their hands in the air

Dance DTLA. Photo courtesy of the artists.

A Peek at Next Week

  • Alonzo King Lines Ballet at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Sat. Sept. 11. 7:30 p.m. SCFTA
  • Films.Dance Round 2 starting Mon., Sept. 13, at Films.Dance

Online This Week

In the spotlight

The four young dancer finalists in the Music Center’s 33rd annual Spotlight Grand Finale are part of the public television rebroadcast of April’s official show. Usually the high school-aged dancer, singer, and musician finalists are presented in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, but with that theater closed and in keeping with the Covid-19 protocols, ballet finalists Mia Schlosser and Natalie Steele and dance finalists Emmy Cheung and Selena Hamilton performed remotely. A full line up of finalists in the other performing arts and a link to the YouTube video of the finale are at Music Center LA. The broadcast is part of Southland Sessions on KCET, Wed., Sept. 8, 8 p.m., KCET. and on PBS SoCal, Sat., Sept. 11, 7 p.m. PBS SoCal.

A woman dances reflected in Disney Hall behind her

Music Center Spotlight finalist Selena Hamilton

Taking it outside

Downtown’s Grand Park was the setting for Poesia Feminina, Viver Brasil’s contribution to the 2019 Our LA Voices Festival and it’s the latest addition to the company’s online rebroadcast of past shows . Choreographed by Vera Passos with live music from Luiz Badaró, Clarice Cast, Avila Santo plus singers Katia Moraes and Vania Amaral, Poesia Feminina features dancers Shelby Williams-Gonzalez, Bianca Medina, and Ajah Muhammad. The troupe’s rich repertoire reflects efforts to preserve Brasil’s African culture in dance and music. Free at Viver Brasil. The ensemble also is part of KCET’s Southland Sessions streaming at KCET.

A female dancer with a bright yellow floral skirt and a large colorful bag on her head dances in front of a group of five other dancers

Viver Brasil. Photo courtesy of the artists.

L.A. dance gets a little love

The third season of the Music Center’s digital series For the Love of L.A. keeps adding new videos filled with curated dance, music, and visual arts. The season includes South Asian-American dance with Shalini Bathina and 17-year old Shreya Patel, Japanese influenced dance in a film directed and performed by Kyoko Takenaka, contemporary dance set in Leimert Park from Brianna Mims, an excursion between beach and backyard from Maya Alvarez-Coyne, Albertossy Espinoza’s LA Fusion Dance Theater, and more. Online free, at Music Center.

A dancer, Brianna Mims, straddles a tilted table. She wears bright blue high-heeled boots, tight blue jeans and a striking brown and white vest. Her face can't be seen, only the top of her head.

Brianna Mims. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Online Dance Classes

Get thee to a dance class!

On-line dance classes continue on zoom, instagram, other on-line platforms, and increasingly in person. 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 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. LA Dance Chronicle.

A large group of people in sweatpants and white tops dance together on a large stage.

Dance classes.

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