A Live Audience! The Elixir Returns.

Live dance before live audiences downtown and in Hollywood, online celebrations of an alumni reunion, a site specific solo, L.A.-based dance sampler, a roaring 20s classic, a family festival plus recent online encores, where to take online dance classes, and more SoCal dance, live and online, this week.

Live This Week

Before they leave the parking lot!

As the pandemic settled in last summer, the parking lot of LA Dance Project’s arts district studio offered dance performances for audiences, first vehicle-contained and later on socially-distanced, as well as online. Now there is an official outdoor stage. After five weeks hosting Dances in the Open, this weekend is the final shows. Last chance to see the new work from former New York City Ballet principal dancer and current LADP company member Janie Taylor along with the reprise of Solo at Dusk choreographed by Bobbi Jene Smith with Or Schraiber that was part of earlier parking lot presentations. LA Dance Project studios, 2245 E. Washington Blvd., Arts District; Wed.-Sat., thru Fri., June 25, 8 p.m., $50 & $175, $25 & $100 students w/i.d. More info and seating detail at OvationTix.

Dancers with LA Dance Project
LA Dance Project. Photo courtesy of LADP.

They’re back and pent up

The youthful energy of the Carnival Choreographer’s Ball belies its two decade history of a monthly showcase for mostly commercial choreographers and their dancers. After an 18 month Covid–19 enforced hiatus, the event returns, live, with an extensive line up of 20 dancemakers and a lot of folks waiting to dance for a real audience. Full details and anticipated choreographers at the website. Event at Academy L.A. Nightclub, 6021 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood; Wed., June 30, 9 a.m., $25 (event is 21+). Carnival Choreographer’s Ball.

Carnival Choreographers Ball
Carnival Choreographers Ball. Photo courtesy of the artists.

Online This Week

Feting the summer solstice

The lush gardens surrounding the museum provide the stage for Backhaus Dance members Katie Natwick and Ellen Akashi performing as part of the Bowers Museum Virtual Summer Solstice Goddess Family Festival. The one hour event includes other music and theater performances, art making and recipes, all online. Sun., June 27, 11 a.m. on Facebook and YouTube.

Backhaus Dance
Backhaus Dance. Photo courtesy of the artists.

Gatsby gets a new chapter

In summer 2018, choreographer Janet Roston and her Mixed eMotion Theatrix gave a sampling of Roston’s Gatsby Redeux, a dance encapsulation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby as part of the Music Center’s Moves After Dark series. The full production scheduled for spring 2020 was postponed by the pandemic to September, then postponed again, but now gets two incarnations—one live, one virtual. Last weekend was a live, site specific performance at Fullerton’s former Muckenthaler mansion, built in the same era as the book. This weekend, Gatsby goes online as part of the dance series at another mansion, now the home of the Brand Library and where the work was originally scheduled in spring 2020 before those pesky postponements. Info on the work and company at Mixed eMotion Theatrix. Online from the Brand Library and Art Center, Sat.-Sun., June 26–27, starting at 8 a.m. YouTube.

Mixed eMotion Theatrix
Mixed eMotion Theatrix. Photo by Erin Herzog.

Outside online

The first dance offering of the revived, free Grand Performance series is a site specific work by Sarah Elgart set at the Skirball Cultural Center. Described as a “cinematic music experience”, the online presentation reflects Elgart’s deep involvement with filmed dance including the Cultural Daily series Dare to Dance in Public, now in its fourth edition. Thurs., June 24, 8 p.m., free. Grand Performances.

Sarah Elgart
Sarah Elgart. Photo courtesy of the artist.

When Little Tokyo Was Bronzeville

Filmed in the surrounding Little Tokyo streets and at the JACCC plaza, Marissa Osato choreographed and dances in the film premiere of to peer through veils. The work focuses on how the area’s identity as Little Tokyo shifted to being known as Bronzeville during World War II as African Americans moved into the area after the Japanese American inhabitants were involuntarily shipped to internment camps. Osato considers that history, the continuing anti-Asian animus, and the fear it continues to instill. The film screens on demand thru June 30, $2 (yes, two dollars), Vimeo. 

Maria Osato
Marissa Osato’s “peering through veils.” Photo courtesy of the artist.

Together again

For The BlakTinx Alumni Virtual Concert, Los Angeles, Latina Dance Project director Licia Perea and the Bootleg Theater recruited ten alumni of prior BlakTinx programs for SMASH CUT dances for camera. Participants include Melesio Anthony Aceves, Rosa Rodriguez Frazier, Michelle Funderburk, Keilah Glover, Nancy Rivera Gomez, Irishia Hubbard, Primera Generacion, Joshua Estrada Romero, Stacey Strickland Jr. and Rosanna Tavarez. Their work is online starting Thurs., June 24, 7 p.m. thru Tues., June 29, 10 p.m., suggested donation $10. Registration.

Hubbard Collective
BlakTinx 2021. Photo courtesy of the artists.

She does like a good book

Choreographer Rosanna Gamson has drawn some of her most compelling work from literature ranging from Scheherazade in Tales of the Arabian Nights to the Brothers Grimm’s Hansel and Gretel, and lectures by theoretical physicist Richard Feynman. Other than Albert Camus’ The Plague, what could be more appropriate pandemic source material than Boccaccio’s Decameron with tales from ten strangers sheltering from the bubonic plague? Just as the tales of the ten travelers unfold one at a time, Gamson’s The Decameron Project rolls out ten films, each made by a different artist. All ten episodes are now live and viewable for free on RGWW and on Instagram.

Rosanna Gamson Decameron
Rosanna Gamson/WorldWide. Photo courtesy of the artists.

Adding to the trove

For its 15th anniversary at the Ford Theatre, Viver Brasil honored the Carnaval procession of Recife, Pernambuco with Maracatu choreography and original music and lyrics by Ze Ricardo Santos. The event included special guest Dona Marivalda from the Brasilian ensemble Maracatu Estrela Brilhante and is the newest addition to Viver Brasil’s weekly online rebroadcast of a past performance. The company’s rich repertoire reflects the company’s efforts to preserve Brasil’s African culture in dance and music. Free at Viver Brasil. The troupe also is part of KCET’s Southland Sessions streaming at KCET.

Viver Brasil
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. opens with two months of Tuesdays filled with curated dance, music, and visual arts. The season opens with curator Achinta S McDaniel (artistic director of Blue13 Dance Company) exploring South Asian-American artists opening with dancer Shalini Bathina embodying two characters inspired by Ardhanareeswara, the composite of Hindu deities Shiva (male) and Parvati (female) and 17-year old Shreya Patel, a high school senior who blends training in Western and South Asian dance forms. Online free, at Music Center.

Shalini Bathina
Shalini Bathina. Photo courtesy of the Music Center

Do they dare?

All this week, the Dare to Dance in Public Film Festival: Round 4 streams on demand under the banner Pandemania! and hosted by Zebulon LA. The dance films, selected by a panel that includes Cultural Daily’s own Sarah Elgart, are divided into programs A and B, viewable together or individually from Thurs.-Thurs., June 24-July 1, $14.76 at Dice.

Dare to Dance
Dare to Dance Festival: Round 4. Photo courtesy of the artists.

Recent Online Encores

Pulitzer dances

Dance continues to be part of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s digital series CLOSE QUARTERS. Choreographer Rebecca Steinberg along with dancers Layne Paradis Willis and Joe Davis collaborated with stage director George Miller in two scheduled works, Ellen Reid’s Lumee’s Aria from the Pulitzer-winning opera p r i s m and Benjamin Britten’s musical setting of Rimbaud poems, Illuminations. The program also includes the premiere of Peter S. Shin’s Hyo. Free (donations are welcome) at the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s YouTube channel.

LA Chamber Orchestra
Joe Davis. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Dances with cars

Over three Saturdays, Suárez Dance Theater rolled out three short films under the banner Mapping Our Stories. Inspired by the histories of Black, Native and LatinX people, each film is set in a Santa Monica public space with often overlooked cultural significance (the city provided funding). Choreographer/performer Bernard Brown of bbmoves takes the audience from the landmark Phillips Chapel CME Church (the 1909 church was the first serving the African American Community) to the site of “Inkwell Beach” where Blacks and Browns were restricted in segregated California beaches. Acknowledging her Chumash and Tongva Nations heritage, poet/songwriter Jessa Calderon’s film starts overlooking the ocean from Tongva Park. The history of the Westside Classics Car Club in Santa Monica is the focus of the film from Primera Generación Dance Collective (PGDC) and its members Alfonso Cervera, Rosa Rodriguez-Frazier, Irvin Manuel Gonzalez, and Patricia “Patty” Huerta. Each film has resources for further exploration and continue to screen for free at Bernard Brown/bbmoves’s “…at leisure…,” Jessa Calderon’s “Before the Noise,” Primera Generación Dance Colletive’s “low riting”

Suárez Dance Theater. PhoPrimera Generación Dance Collective (PGDC).
Suárez Dance Theater. Photo courtesy of Primera Generación Dance Collective (PGDC).

Oh, the places we have been 

With support from three theaters, The Wallis and The Soraya in SoCal and The Harris in Chicago, Jacob Jonas The Company worked with more than 150 artists all over the globe to produce short dance films for the series, Films.Dance. Just as vaccination and pandemic restrictions start to allow travel, the 15-week dance film world tour that began in January concluded earlier this month with Emma Rosenzweig-Bock in a film co-directed by Jonas and Ireland-based Kevin McGloughlin. It joins the other 14 short films still viewable at Films.Dance.

Films.Dance. Photo courtesy of the artists.

Online Dance Classes

Pandemic exhaustion? Post-pandemic fitness promise? Get thee to a dance class!

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 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.

Dance classes
Dance classes.


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