Clear-Eyed Nostalgia

Al fresco artists occupy downtown park; street dance and immersive dance at West LA dance fest; Latine cultures POP downtown; Afro-Brazilian considerations in Mid-City; contemporary ballet finale downtown; fringe fest finales in Hollywood; AAPINH players in Lincoln Heights; Latina perspectives in Santa Monica; more SoCal dance this week, plus a peek at next week (July 5 to 11).

Live This Week

Tidal times

In its al fresco series Ebb & Flow, Heidi Duckler Dance commissions artists from a variety of disciplines to present their movement, music and visual creations in an outdoor environment, providing the roving audience with a day of performance in a garden or park. Artists at this installment, Ebb & Flow Exposition Park, are Joey Navarrete Medina, Cody Perkins, Gurmukhi Belvi & Bernice Wang, Ashton Phillips, Jhihan Yanf, and Heidi Duckler, the latter likely to bring dancers and musicians from host HDD. Comfortable shoes, hats, sunblock, and other standard outdoor comforts are advised. Exposition Park, 700 Exposition Dr., University Park; Sat., June 29, 11:30 am, free w/reservation at Heidi Duckler Dance.

A dancer bends back
Zhihan Yang in Heidi Duckler Dance’ Ebb & Flow. Photo by Caleb Coppola

Not so nostalgic

The bracing, clear-eyed quartet of first generation Mexican-Americans who are Primera Generacion Dance Collective brings a mix of reverence, critique, and humor to their observations on the Mexican-American experience in NOStalgia POP. In this world premiere, Alfonso Cervera, Rosa Rodriguez-Frazier, Irvin Manuel Gonzalez, and Patricia “Patty” Huerta survey multiple decades of cultural representation including 80’s pop Español, the Latin explosion of the 90’s, and evolving media depictions of Latin pop culture swirled with Latine nostalgia. The Friday show includes a post-performance conversation moderated by Dr. Jose L. Reynoso. There is also a livestream option for Saturday’s show. REDCAT, Disney Hall, 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; Fri.-Sat., June 28-29, 8:30 pm, $27, livestream $20 Sat. only. REDCAT, Tickets.

Dancers pose in a storeroom
Primera Generacion Dance Collective. Photo by Steve Rosa


In its newest, Resas e Folhas (Prayers & Leaves), Viver Brasil explores the spiritual traditions of Candomblé, an Afro-Brazilian religious tradition. Brazilian born choreographer and co-artistic director Vera Passos worked with an elder of the Candomblé tradition to blend traditional movement with contemporary dance. This exploration of the Afro-Brazilian culture is presented by the Dance at the Holden series. Ebony Repertory Theatre, Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4718 W. Washington Blvd., Mid-City; Sat., June 29, 8 pm, $30. Tickets.

Dancers jump in front of musicians
Viver Brasil. Photo by Gia Trovela


The densely packed, three-week summer edition of Dance at the Odyssey festival opens with Selcouth Dance Theatre Company in Mark, choreographed by its founder, Marianna Varviani. The dancemaker draws on everyday gestures, street dance, krump, and contemporary dance in her new work. Dance at the Odyssey festival. Full festival line up at the website. Odyssey Theatre , 2955 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West LA; Sat., June 29, 8 pm, $25. Odyssey Theatre.

A group of dancers in dark clothing crouch
Selcouth Dance Theatre Company. Photo courtesy of Dance at the Odyssey

Inspired by deufert&plischke’s interactive Letters to Dance (part of this festival in 2018), Breayre TenderAnthony Hernandez bring Dear Life to this summer edition of Dance at the Odyssey. For this interactive event, the choreographers have involved Lisa Gwynn-Tender and Andante Petit-Homme to guide the audience participation. Odyssey Theatre, 2955 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West LA; Sun., June 30, 2 pm, $25, Odyssey Theatre.

A dancer in a bare room leans forward
Breayre Tender. Photo by Kleshaam Shakir


Three different visions of Latin identity take the stage in this edition of a/o/x (previously Latinx). In SHE SPRANG OUT RED, Ana Reyes Cid embodies Caribbean, cross-cultural, and often monstrous female figures. Weaving past, present and future, Las cuerdas tendinosas en el corazón is experimental contemporary dance from Vanessa Hernández Cruz. Originally from Tijuana and now pursuing a choreography masters degree at CalArts, Dulce Escobedo brings her recently established Tijuana Dance Company, performing Crónicas (Chronicles). Highways, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Fri.-Sat., July 28-29, 8:30 pm, $15-$20. Highways Performance.

A woman in leg braces on a tabletop
Vanessa Hernández Cruz. Photo by Paula Kiley

Not just playing

Concluding a two week residency, four AAPINH (Asian American Pacific Islander Native Hawaiian ) choreographers present their work. Zhihan Yang, Chorong Yang, Paul ‘Peide’ Liu, Jaryd Farcon each brought two to ten dancers to create new work and explore ways to heighten the visibility of AAPINH artists through dance. Playdate Culminating Residency Performances showcases the results. Pieter, 2701 N. Broadway, Lincoln Heights; Fri.-Sat., June 28-29, 7 pm, $10 donation. Blue13 Dance.

Dancers pose
Playdate. Photo courtesy of Angel Origg 

All genre

Expect everything from tap to ballet, contemporary to street dance as LA Unbound returns with its Spring 2024 Show. Mainstage Theatre, Glendale Community College, 1601 E Mountain St, Glendale; Sat., June 29, 4 & 7:30 pm, $23-30. Tickets.

A dance group in black and red
LA Unbound. Photo courtesy of the artists

Intensive teens

The culmination of a three week intensive, the BODYTRAFFIC teen summer showcase is a glimpse at the next gen of contemporary dancers. Loyola Marymount University, Drollinger Family Stage in Lawton Plaza, 1 LMU Dr., Westchester; Fri., June 28, 1:30 pm, free w/reservation BODYTRAFFIC.

Two ballet dancers in blue light
American Contemporary Ballet. Photo by Anastasia Petukhova

Last glitter

American Contemporary Ballet artistic director Lincoln Jones has long sought to emulate the legendary ballet choreographer George Balanchine, both by bringing in works by Balanchine and in Jones’ own choreography for the company. In his most ambitious and perhaps audacious effort, Jones latest, Sapphires, purports to provide a fourth act to Balanchine’s Jewels. Set to Schoenberg’s Suite for Strings, Sapphires can be judged alongside excerpts from La Source, an actual Balanchine ballet. Bank of America Plaza, 333 S. Hope St., C-150, downtown; Sat., June 29, 8 pm, $60-$140. SEASON XII 2023 – 2024.

A Cuban 4th

The dancers of KimBambula Cuban Dance & Music Ensemble join the djs, live music, 800 drones, and a ferris wheel announced for this year’s Gloria Molina Grand Park 4th of July Block Party. Some performance schedule details at the website. Grand Park, Backyard Stage, 200 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Thurs., July 4, 4 pm–midnight, free. Grand Park.

Dancers smile at camera
Dance DTLA Salsa Night. Photo courtesy of the Music Center

Summer dancing

Part performance, part participatory event, the free, al fresco summer series Dance DTLA continues this week with Salsa. A beginner/refresher lesson at 7 pm is followed by a chance to dance or just watch and enjoy until 11 pm. If this week is not your style, the full line up of upcoming dance options is at the website. Music Center, Jerry Moss Plaza, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri., June 28, 7 pm, free. Music Center | Dance DTLA.

Book to stage

Following up on the burlesque parody, The Empire Strips Back, Russall T Beattie riffs on his coffee table book that tracked Gotham’s caped crusaders in comic books from 1919. What originally was announced as Gotham Follies of 1939, now is billed as Batette Follies of 1939. There will be dancing with vaudeville and burlesque along with irreverent parodies of the times and comic book personalities. Montalban Theatre, 1615 Vine St., Hollywood; Thurs.-Sun., thru Fri., July 14, 8 pm, $39–$154. Montalban Theatre.

Friday finish

Promising a French flavored performance, Cabaret Versatile presents Ohlala! Nights. Cat’s Crawl, 660 Heliotrope Dr., East Hollywood; Friday, June 28,8 pm, $32–$140. Eventbrite.

Hollywood Fringe Finale

Drawing comparisons between the career and legacy of legendary ballerina Anna Pavlova and her signature solo Dying Swan, Devil’s Dice Productions brings Death of a Swan to the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Maddie Natoli is Anna, Mason Williams is Death. The show won Best Dance/Physical Movement at the 2023 Tucson Fringe Festival. Zephyr Theatre, 7456 Melrose Ave., Hollywood; Sat., June 29, 5:15 pm. Tickets.

Two men stare at woman
Death of a Swan. Photo courtesy of the artists

Employing movement and magic, Liz Toonkell appears in Magic for Animals, part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival. LGBT Center, Davidson/Valenti Theatre, 1125 N. McFadden Pl., Hollywood; Fri., June 28, 10:30 pm, Sun., June 30, 3:30 pm, $15. Tickets.

The mental health and trauma of a single individual and those around her are the subject of DRIP. The cast in this Hollywood Fringe Festival entry includes Gia Ochsenbein, Sadie Luce, Melody Tay, Romy Kim, Christopher Martin, and Ashwath Ram. Actors Company (Other Space Theater), 916 N. Formosa Ave., Hollywood; Sat., June 29, 9 pm, Sun., June 30, 5:30 pm, $15. Hollywood Fringe.

A Peek at Next Week (07-05 to 11)

Bernard Brown and Joey Navarette/Rosa Rodriguez-Frazier — Dance at the Odyssey at the Odyssey at Odyssey Theatre, 2955 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West LA; Sat. July 6, 8 pm, $25, Odyssey Theatre.

Olivia Liberati and Intrepid Dance Project Dance at the Odyssey at the Odyssey at Odyssey Theatre, 2955 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West LA; Sun., July 7, 2 pm, $25, Odyssey Theatre.

Dancers lift one dancer
Leah Zeiger. Photo by David Zeiger

Leah Zeiger – You Live in My Spine — Dance at the Odyssey at the Odyssey at Odyssey Theatre, 2955 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West LA; Thurs., July 11, 8 pm, $25, Odyssey Theatre.

Sarah Reich Tap Project Concert at Zipper Hall, Colburn School, 200 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Sat., July 6, 7:30 pm, $30. Colburn School.

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