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Andrew Pearson Dances Alone…With a Friend

Dance at a parking garage in Culver City, classical Taiwanese dance in Pasadena, an almost solo show in Santa Monica, a sunset ritual performance in Lincoln Heights, opera ballet and new dance works downtown, and much more SoCal dance this week.

5.  Traveling with the Monkey King

Blending classical Taiwanese dance, martial arts, acrobatics, music and song, the Rom Shing Hakka Opera Troupe makes its U.S. debut with Journey of the Monkey King, based on one of the most revered Chinese fables. This company revived an almost lost classical Taiwanese art form. Taiwan’s Lei Dance Theatre also performs. Plus, the program is a benefit for cancer research. Pasadena Civic Auditorium, 300 E. Green St., Pasadena; Sun., Aug. 6, 7 p.m., $39-$89. https://www.spreadinglovefightingcancer.com.

Rom Shing Hakka Opera Troupe. Photo courtesy of RSHOT

Rom Shing Hakka Opera Troupe. Photo courtesy of RSHOT

4.  Why would one dance in a parking structure?

What may look to most like an ordinary parking structure, Heidi Duckler sees as a stage filled with site specific possibilities, especially when the parking garage is home to artist Jen Stark’s public art installation. In the third site specific installment of 1988 celebrating public art in Culver City. Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre offers Technicolor Drip. The title references the film coloring process as well as the city’s long connection with movie making. The 12-minute work will be continuously performed from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and filmed for screening at 8 p.m. that night. The screening will include a Q&A with Duckler, Stark and Culver City’s former Cultural Affairs Commissioner Marla Koosed. Performance at Platform, 8850 Washington Blvd., Culver City; Sun., Aug 6, 1-3 p.m., free with reservation. Screening at Helms Bakery District Courtyard, 8800 Venice Blvd., Culver City; Sun., Aug. 6, 8 p.m., free with reservation. Reservations at http://technicolordrip.eventbrite.com.

Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre's Haylee Nichele & Aaron Cooke Photo by Mae Koo

Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre’s Haylee Nichele & Aaron Cooke. Photo by Mae Koo

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3.  On his own…almost

Like many choreographers, Andrew Pearson started making dances in the living room when he was a child. The premier of Pearson’s three part solo series this is a blank page. a story, in motion draws on that innocent beginning, filtering it through years of training and practicing his dancemaking craft. A long-standing member of the respected L.A. Contemporary Dance Company, this show provides an extended look at Pearson as a choreographer as well as an admired dancer. Drawing on her background in post-modern, hip hop and African dance, dancer/choreographer Mollie Wolf also contributes a new work to the evening. Highways Performance Space, 18th St. Arts Center, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Fri.-Sat., Aug. 4-5, 8:30 p.m., $20, $15 students & seniors. 310-453-1755, http://highwaysperformance.org.

REDCAT New Original Works (NOW) Festival's Tales Between Our Legs Photo courtesy of TBOL

REDCAT New Original Works (NOW) Festival’s Tales Between Our Legs. Photo courtesy of TBOL

2.  The future NOW!

A known incubator for cutting edge dance and other performing arts, REDCAT’s New Original Works (NOW) Festival extends into the second and third of three weekends, each offering a first look at three or four artists or groups. The 2017 Festival’s Week 2 continues with Nickels Sunshine’s Take Me With You paying homage to Vaslav Nijinsky and Martha Graham with help from Jmy James Kidd, Barry Brannum, Alexx Shilling, Bernard Brown and Maya Gingery. Also performing under the banner Tales Between Our Legs (TBOL), Megan Fowler-Hurst, MacKenzey Franklin and Sarri Sanchez draw from dance theatre and sitcoms, while New York émigré Vivian Bang offers a Korean-American perspective on the L.A. riots of 1992. Week 3 opens with Luis Lara Malvacías and Jeremy Nelson continuing their commitment to structured improvisational duets that proceed through the alphabet from A to Z. Gina Young’s Butch Ballet that has no ballet, but boasts a cast of gender nonconforming and non-binary performers celebrating female masculinity. Artaud in the Black Lodge considers psychic connections between Artaud, Wiliam S. Burroughs and David Lynch. REDCAT, 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; Thurs.-Sat., Aug. 3-5, Aug. 10-12, 8:30 p.m., $20, $16 students. 213-237-2800, http://redcat.org.

Grand Performances' Micaela Taylor. Photo by Yi-Chun Wu

Grand Performances’ Micaela Taylor. Photo by Yi-Chun Wu

1.  And more new now

This rare chance to see dance at Grand Performances‘ al fresco summer series bears a weighty all caps title: NO SIDE NOW–Dance that Abandons Boundaries. Curated by Los Angeles Performance Practice, a group with deep roots in producing at CalArts, REDCAT, UCLA and Center Theater Group, the event assembles a quartet of  contemporary choreographers. Milka Djordjevich, d. Sabela grimes, Amy O’Neal and Micaela Taylor are significant figures in L.A.’s vibrant dance scene who are usually found in venues far from downtown’s spotlight. Each has an individual voice, but all four freely and frequently cross the borders between contemporary dance and hip hop, club and other street dance. Grand Performances, 350 Grand Ave., downtown; Fri., Aug. 4, 8 p.m., free. http://www.grandperformances.org. 

Other dance of note:

The world of opera ballet dominates American Contemporary Ballet’s Le Fate in Italia. Artistic director Lincoln Jones decided the fairies in the ballet Sleeping Beauty needed new music and new variations, going with music from Rossini’s opera Guillaume Tell. In a second new work, Jones turns to Leon Delibes’ opera Lakmé and blending ballet with Indian dance. The evening also offers live chamber music and singers. ACB Studios, 700 S. Flower St., Suite 3200, downtown; Thurs.-Fri., Aug. 10-11, 8 p.m., Sat., Aug. 12, 6 & 8 p.m, Sun., Aug. 13, 2 & 4 p.m., $50-$105. http://acbdances.com.

American Contemporary Ballet. Photo by Will Davidson

American Contemporary Ballet. Photo by Will Davidson

The start time shifts slightly each week since Lisa Wahlander’s The Impermanent Sky is a ritual performance geared to begin at sunset and to be performed in relation to the change in light from sunset to dusk. Composer Jeremy Zuckerman composed the score. Doors open at 7 p.m. and given the nature of the performance, there is no late seating. Pieter Performance Space, 420 W. Avenue 33, Lincoln Heights; Sun., Aug. 6, 7:28 p.m., Aug. 13, 7:21 p.m., Aug. 20, 7:13 p.m., Aug. 27, 7:04 p.m. free with non-monetary donation of food or beverage, but reservations required. https://eventbrite.com/e/the-impermanent-sky-tickets-35674971801.

Lisa Wahlander. Photo by Lisa Wahlander.

Lisa Wahlander. Photo by Lisa Wahlander.

Unlike most dance conventions that may have one culminating performance, Dancerpalooza hosts four nights of different performances. This year’s line up includes Jason Janas, RoyalFlux, and Mark Orsborn (Tues., 8/2), Martha Nicols (Wed., 8/3), Anthony Morigerato& Mike Minery, Kenny Wormald & Misha Gabriel, and Kate Harpootlian (Thurs., 8/4) and Teddy Forance (Fri., 8/5). The complete performer line-up at http://dancerpalooza.com. The Beverly O’Neill Theater, Long Beach Convention Center, 300 E. Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach; Tues.-Sat., Aug. 2-6, 8 p.m., $49.  http://dancerpalooza.com.

Jennifer Backhaus and her Backhausdance launch their 15th season with a program showcasing the contemporary company’s signature works with current company dancers joined by returning alumni. Musco Center for the Arts, 1 University Dr., Orange; Sat., Aug. 5, 6:30 p.m., $26.50-$38.50, $20 students. 844-626-8726, http://muscocenter.org.

Her background in dance, writing, film, photography, and Ifa, the West African spiritual tradition fuel Robyn Nisbet’s By the Grace of Osun. Tiffany Caldas, Tula B. Strong, Avila Santo and Nisbet perform. Pieter Performance Space, 420 W. Avenue 33, Unit #10, Lincoln Heights; Sat., Aug. 5, 7:30 p.m., free with a non-monetary contribution of snack or beverage. https://pieterpasd.com.

Timed to coincide with nearby Abbot Kinney Boulevard’s monthly First Friday activities, High Voltage offers an additional attraction to the food trucks, restaurants and stores open late. This edition showcases performers Wendy Hammers, Yiouli Archontaki, Intrepid Dance Project, Lisa Moncure, Amrita Shaliwal as “Lady Love”, and Kelly Nesbitt as “Poonstruck”. Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice; Fri., Aug. 4, 8:30 p.m., $10. http://electriclodge.org.

The cast of Dancing With the Stars Live! includes running back and season 24 winner Rashad Jennings. Long Beach Performing Arts Center, Terrace Theater, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach; Thurs., Aug. 10, 8 p.m., $52.50-$82.50. http://ticketmaster.com.

Saturday Night Fever. Courtesy of the artists.

Saturday Night Fever. Courtesy of the artists.

Dust off that white polyester suit. It’s disco week at Dance Downtown LA. There’s a beginner lesson before the free dance begins. Participate or just watch and enjoy the moves. Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri., July 21, 7 p.m., free. http://musiccenter.org/dancedtla.

Come to watch or join in as Achinta S. McDaniel and dancers from Blue 13 Dance Company unveil the mysteries of Bollywood dance in this edition the JAM series. Ford Theatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood; Mon., July 31, 7 p.m., free. http://fordtheatres.org.

Top image by by Casey Kringlen.

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