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Bending Back to Bach

Distorting classical music in West L.A., dancing Edgar Allan Poe in Long Beach, Korean dance in Mid-City, on the brink in Lincoln Heights, reviving a forgotten Russian ballet in Costa Mesa, and more SoCal dance this week.

5.  Going on “The Road”

Originally The Road was planned with guest artist Chelsea Cheha Keum joining dancer/choreographer Juli Kim for performance of traditional and contemporary Korean dance. Plans changed when the guest had to return to Korea. Undeterred, Kim has kept the focus on Korean dance while expanding the role for the dance guests hip hop troupe 626 G-Squad with Unlock the Swag and live music from soprano Sunjoo Yeo, pianist Connie Kim-Sheng, cellist Ben Fried and composer Michael Kim-Sheng. Mimoda Studio, 5774 Pico Blvd., Mid-City; Sat., Jan. 19, 8 p.m., $15. 617-902-8293.

Juli Kim. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Juli Kim. Photo courtesy of the artist.

4.  Reviving Petipa

Inspired by archival notes by legendary 19th century Russian choreographer Marius Petipa, a living Russian choreographer, Alexei Ratmansky, recreates Petipa’s comic ballet Harlequinade for American Ballet TheatreRatmansky is no stranger to resuscitating abandoned Russian ballets, having made his rep in the Western ballet world when the Bolshoi Ballet toured Ratmansky’s 2003 comic restaging of a Soviet era “tractor” ballet The Bright Stream. Announced casting at the website. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 town Center Dr., Costa Mesa; Thurs.-Fri., Jan. 17-18, 7:30 p.m., Sat., Jan. 19, 2 & 7:30 p.m., Sun., Jan. 20, 1 p.m., $29-$189.  https://scfta.org/events/2019/harlequinade-–-abt.

American Ballet Theatre's Harlequinade. Photo by Erin Baiano.

American Ballet Theatre’s Harlequinade. Photo by Erin Baiano.

3.  But who’s counting?

Two decades of contemporary dance is marked in this anniversary celebration for Keith Johnson/Dancers. The celebratory performance includes Johnson’s latest explorations of abstract storytelling, atmosphere and a study of partnership/pairing. Participating dancers include Summer Brown, Haihua Chiang, Colleen Hendricks, Spencer Jensen, Ismael Miranda-Rumbo, Alvaro Nuñez, Courtney Ozovek, and Andrew W. Palomares. The shows also include conversation and a pre-show gallery tracing the company’s history. Martha B Knoebel Dance Theatre, 6200 E. Atherton St., Long Beach; Thurs.-Fri., Jan. 17-18, 8 p.m., $20, $15 students. https://kjdanniversary.brownpapertickets.com.

Keith Johnson/Dancers. Photo by Lost Hearts Productions.

Keith Johnson/Dancers. Photo by Lost Hearts Productions.

2.  The Odyssey continues

After more than forty years as one of L.A.’s most vibrant live theaters, the Odyssey Theatre began opening its stage to dance and three years ago launched its own dance festival. Over six weeks, Dance at the Odyssey 2019 offers a splendid curated sampling of contemporary dance from L.A.-based artists, most having their own evening. The third week hosts LA Contemporary Dance Company’s premiere of artistic director Genevieve Carson’s The Only Constant. Developed over two years, Carson drew on Bach, Mozart, Handel and Chopin for The Only Constant with the music distorted and enhanced by L.A. composer Robert Amjarv. Complete festival info at www.OdysseyTheatre.com. Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., W.L.A.; Thurs.-Sat., Jan. 17-19, 8 p.m., Sun., Jan. 20, 2 p.m., $25. 310-477-2055, www.OdysseyTheatre.com.

L.A. Contemporary Dance Company. Photo courtesy of LACDC.

L.A. Contemporary Dance Company. Photo courtesy of LACDC.

1.  Bending Bach

For the new year, Benjamin Millepied and his L.A. Dance Project offer something new that reworks something old and presents portions in the round with live music. The program is devoted to the premiere of the full-length I fall, I flow, I melt that draws movements from Millepied’s earlier work, Bach Studies (Part 1), adding new  compositions from David Lang that explore elements of counterpoint, fugue, and canon integral to Bach’s oeuvre. Info at http://ladanceproject.org. L.A. Dance Project Studios, 2245 E. Washington Blvd., downtown; Tues., Jan. 15-Sun., Jan. 20, 8 p.m., $40.  https://www.artful.ly/store/events/16760.

            Other dance of note

Named for the part of a rose that holds nectar, Sebastian Hernandez’ Hypanthium launches a trio of performers in a consideration of queer femme moving bodies in L.A. An earlier incarnation was part of REDCAT’s NOW Festival and went on to a viral life that led to this new version that includes contributions by artists Rafa Esparza and Maria Meae. REDCAT, Disney Hall, 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; Thur.-Sat., Jan. 24-26, 8:30 p.m., $18-$20, $14-$16 students, https://www.redcat.org.

Sebastian Hernandez' "Hypanthium". Photo by Vanessa Crocini.

Sebastian Hernandez’ “Hypanthium”. Photo by Vanessa Crocini.

The debut concert from this new Long Beach-based contemporary dance company reflects the founders’ stated commitment to developing a home and a performance platform for dancers of color. Chatiera “Cookie”Ray and LaRonica “Ronnie” Southerland launch C-Ray Project with a full-length production Looking Upon Venus/Black Phoenix. Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach; Fri.-Sat., Jan. 18-19, 8 p.m., $15. http://www.lbplayhouse.org.

C-Ray Project. Photo by James Mahkween.

C-Ray Project. Photo by James Mahkween.

Now in its fourth year of residency at this venue, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet returns with a program of new, contemporary ballets. The chamber company brings Tuplet from Alexander Ekman, Dream Play from Fernando Melo with Shumpei Nemoto, and 1st Flash from Jorma Elo. Younes & Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts, Cal State University Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Sat., Jan. 19, 8 p.m., $37-$48. https://www.thesoraya.org.

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. Photo by Sharen Bradford.

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. Photo by Sharen Bradford.

Once a tap and jazz troupe, over the last decades Hubbard Street Dance Chicago has emerged as a major non-New York force in contemporary dance. The company has built a reputation cultivating choreographers, mostly from Europe and Canada, who move on to other major U.S. dance companies. After opening last weekend in Beverly Hills, the tour heads to OC with a different program with choreography by Nacho Duato, William Forsythe, Crystal Pite, and Alejandro Cerrudo. Musco Center for the Arts, Chapman University, 415 N. Glassell, Orange; Thurs., Jan. 24, 7:30 p.m., $35-$65. http://muscocenter.org.

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Photo by Todd Rosenberg Photography.

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Photo by Todd Rosenberg Photography.

Postponed by November’s ravaging wildfire damage that included a two week closure of the Getty Villa, Four Larks’ Katabasis finally arrives to take over the museum halls and grounds with a distinctive blend of immersive theatre, dance, music, song and ritual. An exploration of the afterlife, Katabasis translates from the Greek as “descent into the underworld” and is presented in conjunction with an important current exhibition of Greek and Italian funerary depictions. Led by Four Larks co-founders Mat Sweeney (creator/composer) and Sebastien Peters-Lazarol (designer/choreographer), Katabasis promises a participatory ritual procession with the dancers, singers and musicians expanding ancient musical elements and mythic themes into their world folk and art pop music. With no seating, comfortable shoes for walking are advised. Getty Villa, 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades; Thurs.-Sat., Jan. 24-26, 7:30 p.m., $30.   http://www.getty.edu/museum/programs/performances/villa_premiere_presentation.html. 

Four Larks' "Katabasis". Photo courtesy of the Getty Villa.

Four Larks’ “Katabasis”. Photo courtesy of the Getty Villa.

Nomadic Survival Disorder or a Game of Boundaries is the unwieldy title of choreographer Paola Escobar’s multidisciplinary new work. Escobar and her collaborators set out on a multicultural exploration of border crossings including the emotional, psychological and physical. In addition to Escobar, participants include performers Chenhui Mao, Kevin Zambrano, Gabriel E. Jimenez, and Martin Velez. The work shares the evening with Martin Zelev’s + ZEN-BORG, an experiment in audio-visual biofeedback. The Mortuary, Lincoln Heights, address provided with reservation; Fri., Jan. 18, 8 p.m., $15. https://www.themortuaryla.com.

Nick + James. Photo by Whitney Browne.

Nick + James. Photo by Whitney Browne.

This venue opens its 2019 performance events with Brink, a new work by Nick + James (Nickels Sunshine and Jmy James Kidd) plus Jessie Young’s smoke, not fog. Pieter, 420 West Avenue 33, Unit 10, Lincoln Heights; Sat., Jan. 19, 8:30 p.m., non-monetary contribution to refreshments or boutique.  https://pieterpasd.com.

Long Beach Opera's "The Black Cat". Photo courtesy of LBO.

Long Beach Opera’s “The Black Cat”. Photo courtesy of LBO.

With its multi-disciplinary approach, the Long Beach Opera incorporates dancers Jean-Guillaume Weis and Sylvia Camarda (who also choreographed) in its movement-filled, cinematic approach to the opera The Black Cat, based on the Edgar Allan Poe story. Musica Angelica provides live music conducted by Martin Hasselböck. Catch a video preview at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_HLwFL4Hrk. Beverly O’Neill Theater, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach; Sat., Jan. 19, 7:30 p.m., Sun., Jan. 20, 2:30 p.m., $49-$150. https://www.longbeachopera.org.

Rubans Rouges. Photo courtesy of the artists.

Rubans Rouges. Photo courtesy of the artists.

The 7th Annual Awakenings & Beginning International Dance Festival concludes with a performance that includes host company Rubans Rouges Dance. Diavolo Space, 616 Moulton Ave., Lincoln Heights; Sat., Jan 19, 8 p.m., $30 advance, $35 at door, $25 in advance, $30 at door students & seniors. https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4025205.

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