Dancers Duel With A Set That Won’t Hold Still

Daredevil dancers tackle giant constructs downtown, L.A.’s classical ballet company struts contemporary moves in Westwood, family friendly samba in Hollywood, majorettes and music in Santa Monica, a dance festival scattered over downtown, and more SoCal dance this busy week.

5.  The Dude meets Romeo and Juliet

Gustavo Dudamel conducts the L.A. Philharmonic in the lush Sergei Prokofiev ballet Romeo and Juliet with segments danced by members of the L.A. Dance Project. LADP artistic director Benjamin Millepied choreographs. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Thurs.-Sat., Oct. 18-20, 8 p.m., Sun., Oct. 21, 2 p.m., $73-$222. 323-850-2000.

L.A. Dance Project. Photo courtesy of LADP.
L.A. Dance Project. Photo courtesy of LADP.

4.  Devil in the de-tail?

 A bit of the devil and a bit of a tease as American Contemporary Ballet offers two works from artistic director Lincoln Jones to compositions by Charles Wuorinen. Dante’s Divine Comedy inspired Inferno, with the world of Gypsy Rose Lee the source for Burlesque. ACB Studios, The Bloc, 700 S. Flower St., Suite 3200, downtown; Fri.-Sat., Oct. 12-13, 8 p.m., Fri., Oct. 19, 26 & Tues., Oct. 30, 8 p.m., Sat., Oct. 20, 7:30 p.m., Sat., Oct. 27 & Wed., Oct. 31, 7:30 & 10 p.m., $45-$90, $200-$500 (10/12 only). 213-878-9020,

American Contemporary Ballet's "Inferno". Photo by Asilda Photography.
American Contemporary Ballet’s “Inferno”. Photo by Asilda Photography.

3.  Ballet in the “no tutu” zone

Not a tutu in sight, well not until dancers show up with cowboy hats as Los Angeles Ballet launches its 2018-2109 season flexing its contemporary ballet chops. The program features works from two rising choreographers Alejandro Cerrudo (recent resident choreographer at Hubbard Street Dance) and Aszure Barton (recently announced as a resident artist at USC). Later in the season, Los Angeles Ballet reprises its popular Nutcracker and in the spring brings a double bill of two classics, La Sylphide and George Balanchine’s Serenade, but the opening burst is Cerrudo’s Lickety Split to songs by Devendra Banhart and Barton’s Les Chambres de Jacques. And the cowboy hats? They arrive in Balanchine’s exuberant Western Symphony that closes the program. UCLA Royce Hall, 10745 Dickson Court, Westwood; Sat., Oct. 13, 7:30 p.m.  Also at Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Redondo Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach; Sat., Oct. 20, 7:30 p.m., $36-$104. 310-998-7782,

Los Angeles Ballet in Alejandro Cerrudo's "Lickety Split". Photo by Reed Hutchinson.
Los Angeles Ballet in Alejandro Cerrudo’s “Lickety Split”. Photo by Reed Hutchinson.

2.  A scattered festival

The folks at L.A. Performance Practice return with this year’s LAX Festival. For ten days dance, theater and performance will dot the downtown landscape at several different venues. Here’s a round up of some dance-centric events. Full festival info at

        A quartet of dancers including Alison D’Amato, Jordan Saenz and Flora Weigmann join with choreographer Rebecca Bruno in Procession Relic. Artist/composer Yann Novak collaborated with Bruno in developing an atmosphere of sound and light described as undulating for the work inspired by the earth’s soil. Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Dr., Echo Park; Thurs.-Fri., Oct. 11-12. 7 p.m., Sun., Oct. 14, 7 p.m., $20.

         A solo that evolved into a quintet and now returns as a solo, The undergird from choreographer Meg Foley considers loss and grief. Think Tank Gallery, 939 Maple Ave., downtown; Thurs-Fri., Oct. 18-19, 8 p.m., $20.

        A bit of dance, a bit of theater, plus imagined backdrops are grist for Cowboy from Dorothy Dubrule & Brian Getnick. Think Tank Gallery, 939 Maple Ave., downtown; Fri.-Sat., Oct. 12-13, 8 p.m., Mon., Oct. 15, 8 p.m., $20.

        The “call and response” facet of J-Sette performance that originated with Black southern university drill teams inspires jumantatu m. poe and Jermone “Donte” Beacham ‘s Let ‘im Move You: Intervention. This latest installment of the duo’s seven year collaborative inquiry appears to be free, but with considerable mystery on location and time which are disclosed sometime after registering to attend. Location to be revealed, Fri., Oct. 12, time disclosed after registering at

    Something of a love story, a rumination on human isolation and consideration of the American West, Pandaemonium features Nichole Canuso, Lars Jan and Geoff Sobelle. L.A. Theater Center, 514 S. Spring St., downtown; Fri.-Sat., Oct. 19-20, 8:30 p.m., Sun., Oct. 21, 4 p.m., $20.

LAX Festival's jumantatu m. poe. Photo by Chris Cameron.
LAX Festival’s jumantatu m. poe. Photo by Chris Cameron.

1.  Dancers vs. transformers

Major players on the local, national and international dance scene, L.A.-based choreographer Jacques Heim and his Diavolo Architecture in Motion finally are being presented as a mainstage production by the Music Center. Heim brings his signature oversized constructs that open and close and rock and roll, performing as much as the dancers, gymnasts, and acrobats who cavort like daredevil kids on what could be a giant playground structure or a ship or a futuristic space vehicle. After gaining broad attention from their appearances on America’s Got Talent, this offers a chance to see the ensemble in their newest, Voyage, and a reprise of the thrilling Trajectoire. Ahmanson Theatre, Music Center, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri.-Sat., Oct. 12-13, 7:30 p.m., Sun., Oct. 14, 2 p.m., $15-$78. 213-972-0711.

Diavolo Architecture in Motion. Photo courtesy of DAIM.
Diavolo Architecture in Motion. Photo courtesy of DAIM.

            Other dance of note:

Choreography from Kevin Williamson, Keith Johnson and graduating students Sarah Culotta, Catalina Eddy, Allie Miks and Nancy Fernanda Rivera Gomez highlights Variance: 2018 Fall Dance Concert.  Directed by Rebecca Lemme, the concert presents a mix of faculty and guest choreographers plus dance works from the Bachelor of Fine Arts candidates. Martha B. Knoebel, Cal State University Long Beach, 6200 Atherton, Long Beach; Thurs.-Fri., Oct. 11-12, 8 p.m., Sat., Oct. 13, 2 & 8 p.m., $20. 562-985-7000,

Since its start in 2002, this festival of brief dance, film, and stage works has spread to 30 cities in nine countries and now here as the Short + Sweet Hollywood Dance Festival. Program A on Thursday and Friday offers choreographers Ironstone, Ashley Menestrina, Corinne Shearer, Zoe Rappaport, Shendoah Harris, and Sofia Nappi. Program B on Saturday and Sunday includes live performance from Kacei Womack, Elicia Kraus, Juli Kim, Ramya Harishankar, Monica Sarin, Emmy Queliz, Benita Bunger, Aida Landeros, plus more choreographers on film. Marilyn Monroe Theatre, Lee Strasberg Creative Center, 7936 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood; Thurs.-Sun., Oct. 11-14, 7:30 p.m., $15.

Short & Sweet Hollywood Dance Festival's Kannamuchi. Photo by John Merrell.
Short & Sweet Hollywood Dance Festival’s Kannamuchi. Photo by John Merrell.

In the shared concert Overnight, choreographers Barry Brannum and Casey Brown offer two different perspectives on the relationship between dance and music. Brannum’s  Blood Blood Blood considers the days after disco while Brown’s UP.BEAT.DOWN considers metronomic movement with help from three majorettes. Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Fri., Oct. 12, 8:30 p.m., $20, $15 students & seniors. 310-453-1755.

Overnight. Photo courtesy of Highways Performance, Barry Brannum & Casey Brown.
Overnight. Photo courtesy of Highways Performance, Barry Brannum & Casey Brown.

Butoh dancer/choreographer Oguri joins composer/trumperter Wadada Leo Smith, video artist Jesse Gilbert, vocalist Carmina Escobar and an assemblage of musicians to celebrate a Civil Rights icon in Smith’s Rosa Parks Oratorio. Part of the Angel City Jazz Festival. REDCAT at Walt Disney Hall, 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; Sun., Oct. 14, 8 p.m., $45, $25 student. 213-237-2800,

The respected training company Festival Ballet goes contemporary in Ovation with the finely trained student dancers essaying Josie Walsh’ Texture of Time set to mysic by Jealous Angel with special effects by Academy Award winner Jim Doyle, plus Viktor Plotnikov’s Oops!, a comic rendition of Ponichielli’s Dance of the Hours, and Andrea Schermoly’s bird-themed Plume to music by Max Richter. Barclay Theater, 4242 Campus Dr., Irvine; Sat., Oct. 13, 7 p.m., Sun., Oct. 14, 2 p.m., $39-$45. 949-854-4646 ext. 1,

Festival Ballet. Photo courtesy of the artists.
Festival Ballet. Photo courtesy of the artists.

The Samba Soul Dance Company joins Obie-award winning The Secret City and the Secret City Singers in a program dubbed Passion that includes vocalist Patrice Quinn, Cirque du Soleil clown Daniel Passer and actors John C. Reilly and Saidah Arrika Ekulon plus a live band. Some onstage seating affords a chance to get up close and personal with the performers. Ford Theatres, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood; Sun., Oct. 14, noon, $10.

JazzAntiqua Dance and Music. Photo by Joe Lambie.
JazzAntiqua Dance and Music. Photo by Joe Lambie.

A brief performance by host company JazzAntiqua Dance Company is part of The Community Salon: Home, a hosted conversation on the concept of “home”. More info on the free event at Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4718 W. Washington Blvd., Pico-Robertson; Thurs., Oct. 13, 10:30 a.m., free with reservation.

Continuing their mission to take the mystery out of dance, Benita Bike’s DanceArt provides a free performance at Lake View Terrace Library, 12002 Osborne St., Sylmar; Sat., 2 p.m., free.

Benita Bike's DanceArt. Photo courtesy of BBDA.
Benita Bike’s DanceArt. Photo courtesy of BBDA.

The art of the one-ring circus is celebrated by Cirque Mechanics in 42 FT – Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels. Carpenter Performing Arts Center, Cal State University Long Beach, 6200 Atherton St., Long Beach; Sat., Oct. 13, 8 p.m. $40. 562-985-7000, Also at Pepperdine University Smothers Theater, 24255 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu; Tues., Oct. 16, 7:30 p.m., $20-$45, $20 17 years & under.

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