All That Glitters
Contemporary Canadian visitors in West L.A., Halloween-themed dance in Pasadena, Walnut and downtown, Flamenco in East L.A. and Silverlake, dance briefs in Hollywood, Russian visitors downtown, and more SoCal dance this week.
5. A working reunion
Three choreographers originally showcased at a BlakTinx Festival return for the inaugural BlakTinx Alumni Dance Concert. Under the title Ingredients, Joshua Estrada-Romero, Andrea Ordaz and Alan Perez each unveil a new work, mentored by BlakTinx artistic director Licia Perea. Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Dr., Echo Park; Fri., Oct., 25, 7:30 p.m., Sat., Oct., 26, 2 & 7:30 p.m. $25, $20 students & seniors. https://www.bootlegtheater.org.
4. Evocative footwork
The long-running, mostly monthly flamenco showcase Forever Flamenco continues with Evocar (Evoke). Dancers Vanessa Albalos, Melisa Cruz and Manuel Gutierrez are joined by singer Jose Cortes, guitarist Andres Vadin, and percussionist Diego Alvarez. Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave., Silverlake; Sun., Oct. 27, 8 p.m., $40-$50, $30 seniors & students. 323-663-1525, https://www.fountaintheatre.com.
3. Who is the lady?
Andrew Pearson’s solo from last year’s Dearly Beloved, takes on new life as his troupe Bodies in Play perform The Ballad of Lady M. The video teaser at the company’s website includes projected “M” words like “murder” and “MacBeth.” Perhaps clues to the Lady’s identity? More evidence may be present at the 7:30 p.m. pre-show cocktail hour and the post-performance reception included in the ticket price. Details at https://www.bodiesinplay.com. The Ruby Street, 6408 Ruby St., Highland Park; Thurs.-Sat., Oct. 24-26, 8:30 p.m., $45, $25 artists & students. https://www.artful.ly/bodiesinplay/store/events/18762.
2. Her hair has it
A statuesque figure with signature long, flowing hair, Montreal-based Margie Gillis is a renowned presence in Canadian modern dance, but she is not so well known here despite periodic U.S. performances over her 40-year career. Her credentials include choreography and guest artist appearances with MOMIX, Paul Taylor Dance Company, National Ballet of Canada, and the late opera star Jessye Norman’s Sacred Ellington tour. Primarily known as a solo performer, in recent years Gillis’ attention has focused on instilling her distinctive dance form in the next generation through what has been named the Legacy Project. One product of those efforts is on display in this visit as Gillis and eight dancers perform Evolutions. Théâtre Raymond Kabbaz, 10361 Pico Blvd. West L.A.; Fri., Oct. 25, 7:30 p.m., $35, $20 students. http://www. theatreraymondkabbaz.com, http://tinyurl.com/ofmdyxh.
1. By any other name
The Mariinsky Ballet and the Bolshoi are Russia’s two major ballet companies. Reflecting Soviet ambitions, the Moscow-based Bolshoi’s name means big and it is grandiose and boisterous. In contrast, the Mariinsky, based in St. Petersburg, dates back to when it was the Tsars’ Imperial Russian Ballet and in different political climes underwent name changes from Soviet Ballet to the Kirov Ballet and now Mariinsky, taking the name of its famous home theater. Rising above any identity crisis, the company has maintained its reputation as the repository of classical Russian ballet, though in recent decades it also has incorporated western choreography particularly George Balanchine. Last week, the Mariinsky brought the Marius Petipa classic La Bayadere to Orange County. This week the company moves to L.A. for the George Balanchine’s only three act non-narrative ballet, the masterwork Jewels. LA has seen performances of the middle Rubies section, but this may be the first time all three jewels have been seen here together. Each section is a separate ballet set to a different composer and reflects a different ballet tradition. Emeralds, with music by Gabriel Faure embodies the romantic European style, Rubies with music by Igor Stravinsky has a contemporary American jazz sensibility, while Peter Tchaikovsky’s grand symphonies showcase the Russian Imperial grandeur of Diamonds. A rare opportunity that should not be missed. Casting at https://www.musiccenter.org. Music Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Thurs.-Sat., Oct. 24-26, 7:30 p.m., Sat.-Sun., Oct. 26-27, 2 p.m., $34-$138. https://www.musiccenter.org.
Other dance of note:
In its newest endeavor, LA Dance Project hosts LA Dances, promising an intermittent festival spread over six weeks with ten LA premieres and six world premieres, divided into three programs labeled A, B & C. Each installment has works from four or five choreographers, most from New York, a few based here, plus a revival of a work by the late Bella Lewitzky. The opening Program A (Oct. 24) includes dances from two former New York City Ballet now LADP dancers Janie Taylor and Gianna Reisen, plus contributions from Emily Mast & Zack Winokur, and NY-based Kyle Abraham who is currently a UCLA artist in residence. Program B (Oct. 25) brings Lewitzky’s Kinaesonata, and works from Charm La’Donna, Shannon Gillen, and Mast & Winokur. Program C (Nov. 14-17 & 21-24) presents two dances from LA Dance Project director Benjamin Millepied, Lewitzky’s Kinaesonata, plus dancemakers Tino Sehgal and Madeline Hollander. LA Dance Project, 2245 E. Washington Blvd., downtown; Program A: Thurs., Oct. 24, 8 p.m.; Program B: Fri.. Oct. 25, $45. Complete schedule at http://ladanceproject.org/19-20-season.
Artistic director/choreographer Lincoln Jones’ take on Dante’s Inferno and the world of Burlesque both premiered in 2018. The double bill returns as American Contemporary Ballet opens its season at a new, temporary space. Ticket price includes a post performance reception with the dancers. Whether a caution or enticement, the company notes that there is nudity. On Halloween, the show is followed by ACB’s annual benefit party with food, cocktails, live music and a performance by burlesque artist Dita von Teese. ACB, The Metropolis, 877 S. Francisco St., Suite C-6, downtown; Fri., Oct. 26, 8 p.m., Sat., Oct. 27, 7:30 & 10 p.m., Tues.-Wed., Oct. 29-30, 8 p.m., Thurs. Oct., 31, 7:30 p.m., Fri-Sat., Nov. 1-2, 7:30 p.m., $45-$500. https://www.acbdances.com.
The parent Short+Sweet festival began in 2002 presenting short works for stage, film and dance, since then expanding to a global brand including a local version. Launched in 2016, the Short+Sweet Hollywood Dance Festival returns with a new line up of dance ranging from contemporary to classical Korean, flamenco to comedy and hip hop. Participating SoCal choreographers include James MahKween, Juli Kim, Sonia Ochoa, Beth Megill and Amy Michelle Allen. Complete details, participating artists and tickets at the website. Marilyn Monroe Theatre, Lee Strasberg Creative Center, 7936 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood; Sat., Oct. 26, 2 p.m., $20. https://ci.ovationtix.com/35239/production/1017614?performanceId=10457235.
Described as a body and bass “solo duet” completing an “always cycle,” choreographer/dancer Jmy James Kidd and composer/bassist Tara Jane O’Neil perform sometimes the spirits take this piece. Pieter, 420 W. Avenue 30, Glassell Park; Sat., Oct. 26, 8:30 p.m., free with donation to free bar or boutique. https://pieterpasd.com/events/sometimes-the-spirits/.
Flamenco dancer Farru provides the footwork for the The Paco de Lucia Project, led by 10-time Latin Grammy winner Javier Limón. A long-time collaborator and producer for legendary guitarist Paco de Lucia, Limón reassembled the original band that toured during the last decade of de Lucia’s career. Luckman Fine Arts Complex, 5151 State University Dr., East LA; Sun., Oct. 27, 7 p.m., $30-$50. https://www1.ticketmaster.com/the-paco-de-lucia-project/event/0B005717D7371C91.
A measure of dance, a lot of gymnastics and some admitted distraction are hallmarks of the Australian cirque troupe Gravity and Other Myths. The company arrives with the LA premiere of Backbone, a work that won for Outstanding Achievement at the Australian Dance Awards. The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica; Fri., Oct. 25, 7:30 p.m., Sat., Oct. 26, 2 & 7:30 p.m., $59-$89. http://www.thebroadstage.org/.
The dancers of Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company join celebrated singer Lila Downs for Dia De Muertos: Al Chile. The performers get help from the Mariachi Femenil Flores Mexicana and LORE Media & Arts. Last week’s Ford Theatre performance of this show sold out. Here’s another chance at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa; Sun., Oct. 27, 7 p.m., $59-$99. https://www.scfta.org/events/2019/lila-downs.
The series See the Music, Hear the Dance takes its title from a quote by New York City Ballet founder George Balanchine. Appropriately, this edition features two dancers from that company, Lauren Lovette and Craig Hall in Afternoon of the Faun, choreographed by the late NYCB co-artistic director Jerome Robbins. Jenifer Ringer, another NYCB alum now Dean of the Trudi Zipper Dance Institute, hosts a talk back session. Colburn School, Zipper Hall, 200 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Sat., Oct. 26, 7 p.m., $25. https://checkout.colburnschool.edu/13/14.
A dance performance and Halloween Carnival celebrate the season as Inland Pacific Ballet Company performs excerpts from Dracula, new works by choreographers Jonathan Sharp and the team of Zalin and Joss Cano, plus variations from the repertoire under the banner Halloween Bash. The students of IPB Academy and Junior Broadway Skills Program also perform. Details at http://www.ipballet.org/HalloweenBash. Sophia B. Clarke Theater, Mt. San Antonio College, 1100 N. Grand Ave., Walnut; Wed., Oct. 30, 5 p.m., $35. https://tickets.mtsac.edu.
Vampires may get the blood, but brain-eating zombies take the stage as Leigh Purtill Ballet Company offers Sweet Sorrow A Zombie Ballet. Details at http://www.leighpurtillballet.com/company/. Manoukian Performing Arts Center, 2495 E. Mountain St., Pasadena; Sat., Oct. 26, 7 p.m., Sun., Oct. 27, 4 p.m., $20-$25. https://www.showclix.com/events/26034.
The respected Dance Camera West has its main festival in January, but brings a special program, Merce Cunningham Centennial Screening Series, showcasing the modern dance legend’s ventures into film and video. The screenings have multiple co-sponsors & locations, including CalArts, CAP UCLA, USC and Grand Arts All Access at MOCA. The films screen for free with a reservation. USC Kaufman Dance Center, 849 W. 34th Street, Room: KDC 235, Jefferson Park; Thurs., Oct. 24, 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m., free with reservation. Also at MOCA Grand Avenue, 250 S. Grand, downtown; Sat., Nov. 2, multiple showings from 11am-4pm free with reservation. Also at UCLA Kaufman Hall, Studio 200, 120 Westwood Plaza, Westwood; Mon., Nov. 4, 4:30 p.m.-6 p.m., free with reservation; Also at CalArts Sharon Disney Lund Dance Theater, 24700 McBean Pkwy, Valencia. Tues., Nov. 5, 1:30 p.m.-3 p.m., free with reservation. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/dance-camera-west-presents-merce-cunningham-centennial-film-series-tickets-76825901339.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ann Haskins has written about dance for L.A. Weekly since shortly after it began publishing. She also has written about local and national dance for Pointe Magazine, Dance Spirit Magazine, Dance Teacher Magazine, Los Angeles Magazine, L.A. View, Coast Magazine, the Daily News, and the Herald Examiner. Among her broadcast projects, Ann hosted Inside Theater on KCRW-FM and contributed dance and theater features to both KLON-FM and KUSC-FM. She has received two Horton Awards from the Los Angeles Dance Resource Center for her coverage of dance in Los Angeles.