A Paroxysm of Bows

Folkloric Día de los Muertos in East LA, contemporary debut in Beverly Hills, dance-drenched fest in Culver City, new dance in Boyle Heights, Samba in Northridge, dance theater in Irvine, opera dances at the Music Center, all live! Plus new dance films, dance classes, and more SoCal dance this week.

1990’s whimsy

Whether choreographing on other contemporary companies like BODYTRAFFIC or her own The TL Collective, Micaela Taylor has emerged as one of LA’s choreographers of the moment. For her company’s debut at this venue, Taylor arrives with a world premiere and two well-regarded examples of her signature blend of contemporary and street dance. The premiere, Time, is a duet for Taylor and Matt Luck, set to music by various artists including Taylor. Taylor also provided music for Drift, a work exploring self-growth and finding equilibrium in a constantly changing world. The final work, ’90Sugar sets a lighter, even whimsical tone, drawing on the 1990s when the choreographer and most of the dancers were born. In addition to Taylor and Luck, the dancers include Jennifer Lacy, Keilan Stafford Jessie Lee Thorne, Giana Todisco, and Austin Tyson. At the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills; Fri.-Sat., Oct. 29-30, 7:30 pm, $29-$79. Info, tickets & Covid protocols at The Wallis.

Woman jumps above outstretched hands
The TL Collective. Photo courtesy of the artists

A radiant woman

Known as founder and artistic director of Clairobscur Dance, choreographer Laurie Sefton has emerged from the pandemic shutdown with an expanded palette of activities. For her first live event, Sefton joins with the Transversal Theater Company in an evening about Madam Marie Curie who, with her husband Pierre, were early researchers and victims of radiation poisoning. Sefton choreographed and directs Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things with visual projections by Shaoyu Su and original music by Bryan Curt Kostors, played live. Transversal Theater Company contributes Curie, Curie, written and directed by UCI faculty member Bryan Reynolds with choreography by Kayla Emerson. UC Irvine, Experimental Media Building (xMPL), 101 Mesa Arts Bldg., Irvine; Fri., Oct. 29, 7 pm, Sat.-Sun., Oct. 30-31, 2 & 7 pm, $10. Info, Covid protocols and tickets at Eventbrite.

A young woman lies covered with dark pink flowers
Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things. Photo by Laurie Sefton

Terpsichore goes tech

Dance and performance are contributions by Vitche-Boule in recognition technology, a collaboration led by musician and visual artist Moor Mother (aka Moor Mother Goddess or MMGz). The hybrid live and livestream event also involves vocalist justmadnice and Afrofuturist Rasheedah Phillips. Live at REDCAT, Disney Hall, 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; Sat., Oct. 30, 8:30 pm, $25, $20 students. Livestream – $15, $12 students. Info, Covid protocols and tickets at REDCAT.

’Tis the season

The long-running, family friendly Fiesta del Día de los Muertos~Day of the Dead Celebration hosted by Danza Floricanto/USA returns as a live performance. At Casa Del Mexicano, Floricanto Center for the Performing Arts, 2900 Calle Pedro Infante, East LA; Sat., Nov. 6, 8 pm, Sun., Nov. 7, 6 pm, $20 at door, $15 pre-sale; $10 seniors & $5 children under 10 at door only. Tickets and Covid protocols at Danza Floricanto.

Día de Los Muertos dancers
Danza Floricanto/USA’s “Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead)”. Photo by Frank Sandoval.

Free fun fest

Lots of dance including BrockusRED and Louise Reichlin & Dancers, takes the stage over the two days of Fiesta La Ballona. In addition to dance, look for music and song performers along with art and craft activities. At Veterans Memorial Park, 4117 Overland Ave., Culver City; Sat.-Sun., Oct. 30-31, performances at different times, free, Complete line up of troupes, times & Covid protocols at Fiesta La Ballona.

A group of dancers toss multi-colored scarves
BrockusRED. Photo by Denise Leitner.

LAX not at LAX

The Live Arts Exchange (LAX) festival opens this week with dance artists among the announced performers. Dancer/choreographers include for DaEun Jung in Byoul Part 1: 246 at 40 11/6, Olivia Mia Orozco in The Messenger set in Alexa Eisner’s installation Atom Cycle (11/12)and Amy O’Neal’s The Hybrid Lab:Conversations in Merging Dance Cultures (11/14). More info, a full listing of performers, Covid protocols, and tickets at the website. At the Warehouse space dubbed “Frankie,” 300 Mission Rd., Boyle Heights; Thurs.-Sat., Nov. 4-6, 8 pm, Sun., Nov. 7, 6 pm, Tues.-Sat., Nov. 9-13, 8 pm, Sun., Nov. 14, 7:30 pm; $8-$20. More info, a full listing of performers, Covid protocols, and tickets at their website.

A woman with a fan sits in a colorful art installation
Olivia Mia Orozco. Photo courtesy of the artist

What home means

The nomadic artists of Home/LA offer performance and a panel discussion with dancer/choreographers Jay Carlon and Bernard Brown along with Cubano Percussion and LA Poverty Department. The event is part of the group’s efforts for National Homelessness Awareness Month. At the Box parking lot, 822 E. 3rd St., Arts District; Thurs., Nov. 4, 6-9 pm, free. Info on this and other activities under the banner Embodying Empathy and Covid protocols at Home/LA.

A man in a white top and shorts extends his leg and arms
HomeLA’s Bernard Brown. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Seasonal samba

Celebrate the holiday with a Samba Halloween presented by Brazilian Nites. At Rancho Cordillera Del Norte, 9015 Wilbur Ave., Northridge; Fri., Oct. 29, 5 pm, $35-$70. Info, tickets and Covid protocols at Eventbrite.

A Samba dancer with feathers
Brazilian Nites’ Samba dancer. Photo courtesy of the artist.

A mini-Seuss

Offering limited live and unlimited livestream performance, Inland Pacific Ballet Academy presents the family-friendly Seussical Jr.  Live at Inland Pacific Ballet Academy Studio Theater 7, 9061 Central Ave., Montclair; Fri.-Sat., Oct. 29-30, 7 pm, Sun., Oct. 31 & Nov. 7, 2 pm, Thurs. & Sat., Nov. 4 & 6, 7 pm, $25, $15 children under 12; digital livestream $35 per device. Program info & Covid protocols and tickets at Inland Pacific Ballet.

Two girls as Dr. Seuss characters
Inland Pacific Ballet Academy. Photo courtesy of the artists

Before he repents

Originally, Richard Wagner’s opera Tannhäuser did not have a ballet. One was added for the opera’s Paris premiere, because a ballet was expected, perhaps required, by Paris, usually somewhere in the second act. Wagner added a ballet in the first act, a bacchanalian excursion after which the hero starts on a road to repentance. Among its several new elements for its current production, LA Opera recruited in-demand Canadian choreographer Aszure Barton to create a new ballet for that scene. The result is on view live, with one more show also offered livestream. Details, tickets and Covid protocols at LA Opera, At the Music Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Sun., Oct. 31, 2 p.m., Wed., Oct. 27 & Nov. 3, 7:30 pm, Sat., Nov 6, 7:30 pm, $23-$292. LA Opera Livestream on Wed., Oct. 27, 7:30 pm, $30. LA Opera Tickets.

Tannhauser in blue and red lighting
Tannhäuser. Photo by Cory Weaver

Post-modern rituals

Continuing its acquisition and exhibition of the work of post modern choreographers, the Getty Research Institute unveiled the first-ever retrospective of the work of choreographer and video artist Blonde Cummings: Dance as Moving Pictures. Known for translating everyday activities into dance movements, Cummings’ work often focused on food, family, major life events, and daily life rituals, especially Black life. Initiated as part of the GRI’s African American Art History Initiative, the exhibit includes videos, interviews, and photographs. On view at Art+Practice, 3401 W. 43rd Pl., Leimert Park; Wed.-Sat., noon-6 pm, to Feb. 19, 2022, free. Research guide at Getty Research Institute, Exhibition at Art+Practice.

A woman in a black dress dances
Photo by Blondell Cummings.

Museum moves

Performance and dance are the metier of several artists in both of the Hammer Museum’s big fall exhibits opening this week. Presented jointly with the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (ICA LA), Witch Hunt surveys 16 artists focused on feminist, queer, and decolonial approaches to consider current and historical events. Among the artists who are movers look for Okwui Okpokwasili, Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz, and Beverly Semmes. The second opening, No Humans Involved, includes the performance duo Las Nietas de Nono. The exhibit’s title draws on ideas of cultural theorist Sylvia Wynter whose panegyric writings advocated non-Western knowledge and spiritual practices. Exhibit info, tickets and Covid protocols at the website. UCLA Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Tues.-Sun., 11 am-6 pm to Jan. 22, 2022, free no reservation required. Hammer Museum.

Woman in yellow dress sitting with round globe on her head
Hammer Museum’s “No Humans Involved.” Photo courtesy of the artists.

A Peek at Next Week

  • Ballet Hispánico at Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Dr., Irvine; Thurs., Nov. 11, 8 pm, $30-$100. Irvine Barclay Theatre.
  • Sunday Family Funday at The Wallis, Sun., Nov. 7, 10 am to 2 pm, free. The Wallis.
  • Head over Heels at Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino, Pasadena. opens Tues., Nov. 9. Pasadena Playhouse.

Dance Films in Theaters and Online 

But just who is watching?

The ballet troupe Freaks with Lines offers specially priced tickets for its new ballet film Nilus Cogus. Described as a “commentary on the age of surveillance,” the film showcases dancers AJ Abrams, Michelle Lebowski, Breanne Wilson,Sofia Rochin, Ottavio Taddei, and Jacqueline Valmont. The company’s creative director Susan Vishmid also acted as executive director. Through Nov. 8 tickets to view are $14, then $20. Freaks with Lines.

a dancer leaps across floor of flowers
Freaks With Lines. Photo by M. Chalifour

Broken, more beautiful in repair

As a practical technique, the Japanese mending method kintsugi involves reattaching pieces of broken pottery or porcelain then visibly coating the fracture with gold, often creating a gold veining effect on the repaired exterior. The “golden repair” as kintsugi is often translated, is also an artistic philosophy which the Japan America Cultural and Community Center commissioned five artists to explore in videos. JACCC has now posted the results of The Kintsugi Spirit online including choreographer Jennifer Leung Johnson’s film capturing dancers Katy Dahl and Marina Hutchinson artistically finding the beauty in the broken and how to fill the spaces between. Free, online at JACCC.

A women in glasses looks out through gold veining
The Kintsugi Spirit. Photo courtesy of JACCC

A myth resonates

Drawing a contemporary perspective on ancient Persian mythology, The Scarlet Stone (Moher-ye Sorkh) combines traditional and contemporary Persian dance, music and animation to find parallels between the myth and the 1979 Iranian Revolution along with its aftermath. The 80-minute film in Persian with English subtitles concludes its month-long run. Fri.-Sun., thru Oct. 31, online at Tirgan.

A woman offers a scarf to a seated man
The Scarlet Stone. Photo by James Carmody

Back with more

When theaters shuttered with the pandemic, dance and its audiences went online and began expanding the possibilities of dance on film. LA choreographer Jacob Jonas and his Jacob Jonas/The Company gathered artists from around the world to produce 15 original short dance films under the banner Films.Dance. In January 2021 the films started rolling out over four months, one each Monday, all free. The project earned boasting rights as many of those films went on to win awards at other film festivals. Now comes Films.Dance Round Two, again with dance, dancers, and filmmakers from around the world. The original films, a preview, and e-mail sign up for free weekly film delivery at Films.Dance.

Three dancers lunge toward the camers
“Films.Dance Round 2.” 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

Not quite ready for class in person?

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.

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