A muse launches a festival in Lincoln Heights, contemporary dance in the Arts District and Santa Monica, new ballet in El Sereno, an Arab/Israeli confrontation in West LA, visitors from Belgium in Santa Monica, and Irish dance tours the desert, a peek at next week, plus more SoCal dance this week (April 14 to 20).

Live This Week 

The Bella the ball

The opening weekend of this year’s three week Los Angeles Dance Festival 2023 is dedicated to women leaders in LA dance, with a particular spotlight on Bella Lewitzky. Muse and lead dancer for the modern dance pioneer Lester Horton, Lewitzky went on to claim her own laurels as choreographer, teacher and artistic director of her eponymous company where she mentored and launched generations of dancers and dancemakers. The biographical documentary by Bridget Murnane screens Saturday with workshops by former company dancers offered throughout the weekend. Full opening week line up and the program for Weeks 2 and 3 at the website. Brockus Project Studios, 618 B Moulton Ave., Lincoln Heights; Sat.-Sun., April 15-16, 8 pm, Fri.-Sun., April 21-23, 8 pm, and Fri.-Sat., April 28-29, 8 pm, Sun., April 30, 6:30 pm, $15. Los Angeles Dance Festival.

A dancer looks at the ground
Bella Lewitzky. Photo courtesy of the documentary film “Bella”

How green is his ballet?

Led by choreographer Chasen Greenwood, The Realm Company brings its brand of contemporary ballet to the stage in Synergetic. Preview clips at the company website The Realm Company Performance at Stomping Ground, 5453 Alhambra Ave., El Sereno; Sat., April 15, 6 pm, $50-$200 Red Riot Entertainment.

Dancers against a blue background
The Realm Company. Photo courtesy of the artists


Continuing its 20th season, Backhausdance reprises the program from its recent, highly praised Long Beach concert with works by choreographers Amanda Kay White, Ching Ching Wong, Tommie-Waheed Evans, and artistic director Jennifer Backhaus. L.A. Dance Project Studios, 2245 E. Washington Blvd., Arts District; Sat. April 15, 8 pm, $30, $20 students Backhausdance.

A group of dancers stretch their arms
Backhausdance. Photo by Shawna Sarnowski

If it’s Sunday, is it Belgium?

Two Brussels-based companies, Chaliwaté Company & Focus Company arrive on their first US tour, bringing Dimanche (Sunday), a collaborative effort focused on the neglected need for climate change. BroadStage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica; Thurs.-Sat., April 13-15, 7:30 pm, Sat.-Sun., April 15-16, 2 pm., $40-$60. BroadStage.

Dancers and polar bears
Chaliwaté Company & Focus Company. Photo courtesy of the artists

Dancing o’ the Green

With its current generation of high-energy, high-stepping dancers, the award-winning Irish dance and music spectacle Riverdance marks its 25th anniversary with a celebratory tour that includes SoCal stops. McCallum Theatre, 7300 Fred Waring Dr. Pam Desert; Fri., April 14, 8 pm, Sat., April 15, 2 & 8 pm, Sun., April 16, 2 & 7:30 pm, $55-$125. McCallum Theatre  Also at Dolby Theatre, Hollywood & Highland, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Wed.-Fri., April 19-21, 8 pm, Sat. April 22, 2 & 8pm, Sun., April 23, 1 & 6 pm, $39-$149. Dolby Theatre.

A line of Irish dancers
Riverdance. Photo courtesy of the artists

Can they just get along?

Combine dance with theater and pair an Israeli choreographer with an Arab dancer. It’s the formula for the provocatively titled We Love Arabs. The work from Israeli dancer/choreographer Hillel Kogan and Arab dancer Mourad Bouayad promises both light-hearted and serious considerations of peace and power struggles when an Israeli choreographer is required to create a duet with an Arab dancer. Théâtre Raymond Kabbaz, 10361 W. Pico Blvd., West LA; Thurs., April 20, 8 pm, $30-$40. Théâtre Raymond Kabbaz.

Two dancers on the floor
Hillel Kogan and Mourad Bouayad. Photo by Gadi Dagon

What’s your talent?

Under the banner Talent Show, Sharon Lockhart and Ariel Osterweis have gathered CalArts faculty, professional alumni, and students performing short acts covering the spectrum from dance to song to music. REDCAT, Disney Hall, 631 W. 2nd, downtown; Fri., April 14, 8:30 pm, $12, $10 students. REDCAT.

A dancer sits on the floor
Ariel Osterweis. Photo courtesy of the artist

Nobody puts granny in the corner

The latest from the contemporary ensemble Donna Sternberg & Dancers emerged from a series of workshops with seniors at Emeritus College. In Still Alive, the dancers and seniors explore elements of movement, drawing, writing, and other expressive forms to combat the marginalization of older adults. Emeritus College, 1227 2nd St, Santa Monica; Tues., April 18, 2 pm, free w/reservation at Donna Sternberg & Dancers.

A woman in a chair comforts a woman kneeling beside her
Donna Sternberg & Dancers. Photo courtesy of the artists

Trying things out

The latest installment of the quarterly Open Mic series presented by MashUp Contemporary Dance Company offers eight to ten brief works or excerpts of new choreography. The event also offers a chance to chat with the creators. MASHuP Studios, 2934 Gilroy St., Frogtown; Sat., April 15, 7 pm, free. Eventbrite.

A Peek at Next Week

Los Angeles Dance Festival 2023 Week 2 at Brockus Project Studios, 618 B Moulton Ave., Lincoln Heights; Fri.-Sun., April 21-23, 8 pm, and Fri.-Sat., April 28-29, 8 pm, Sun., April 30, 6:30 pm, $15. Los Angeles Dance Festival.

American Contemporary Ballet — Homecoming at ACB Studios, Two California Plaza, 350 S. Grand Ave., 28th Flr., downtown; Fri.-Sat., April 21-22, Thurs.-Sat., April 27-29, Sat.-Sun, May 4-5, 8 pm, $70-$110. American Contemporary Ballet.

Masters in Dance — Balinese Movement with Emiko Saraswati Susilo. Santa Monica College, 1900 Pico Blvd., CPC 304/308, Santa Monica; Wed., April 26, 10:15 am, free (limited seating, first come). SMC.

Of Note

Swing that wheelchair — Continuing its efforts to expand opportunities for disabled dancers, Marisa Hamamoto and her Infinite Flow Dance offer a free wheelchair swing dance workshop on Sat., April 22 from 12:15 to 3:15 pm at Atomic Ballroom, 17961 Sky Park Circle, Irvine. Info at Infinite Flow Dance.

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