Dancing All Over the Kitchen

This week’s dance events include Jessica Lang at the Music Center, Lionel Popkin with inflatable furniture in Brentwood, Arianne MacBean and military veterans in Hollywood, and audience participation in Venice.

5.  Group observations

Don’t expect to be a passive observer at Person’s Body, the latest participatory exploration from Oguri, Roxanne Steinberg and Morleigh Steinberg. The performers invite the audience to express real time observations while experiencing the shared nature of viewing as part of an audience, not just a solitary individual. Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice; Fri.-Sat., Feb. 17-18, 8 p.m., Sun., Feb. 19, 4 p.m., $20. https://eventbrite.com.

Oguri in Person's Body Photo by Moses Hacmon
Oguri in Person’s Body. Photo by Moses Hacmon.

4.  Indefatigable flamenco

The long-running Forever Flamenco brings the passion of that percussive dance with dancers Mizuho Sato and Briseyda Zarate, guitarist Gabriel Osuna, singer Antonio de Jerez, pianist Mateo Amper and percussionist/guitarist Gerardo Morales. Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave., East Hollywood; Sun., Feb. 19, 8 p.m., $40-$50, $30 seniors & students. 323-663-1525, http://FountainTheatre.com.

Mizuho Sato in Forever Flamenco Photo courtesy of Forever Flamenco
Mizuho Sato in Forever Flamenco. Photo courtesy of Forever Flamenco.

3.  French-Canadian fingers

Founded by alums of Cirque du Soleil, 7 Fingers (Les 7 Doigts de la Main in its Quebec, Canada homebase) has evolved into its own distinctive and entertaining blend of dance, circus, and spoken word. This visit adds a functional onstage kitchen as the performers take on competitive cooking shows, in Cuisine & Confessions. Two years ago, this Canadian ensemble was presented as a special event in the Music Center’s dance season and in a separate event helped hundreds of L.A. school children enter the Guinness Book of Records with the largest ribbon dance in history. Ribbons then, now they’re into food and cooking competitions. The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica; Fri., Feb. 17, 7:30 p.m., Sat., Feb. 18, 2 & 7:30 p.m. $50-$95. 310-434-3200, http://thebroadstage.com.

Lionel Popkin's Inflatable Trio Photo by Cari Ann Shim Sham
Lionel Popkin’s Inflatable Trio Photo by Cari Ann Shim Sham

2.  Inflatable domesticity

Lionel Popkin likes inflatables. Recently Popkin created an inflatable installation with dance at Santa Monica’s Tongva Park. This time he heads into the Santa Monica mountains with Inflatable Trio, a shifting domestic drama played out on a stage packed with inflatable furniture. He gets help from performers Carolyn Hall, Samantha Mohr, and Tom Lopez who contributes the original score. Skirball Cultural C enter, 2701 Sepulveda Blvd., Brentwood; Thurs.-Sat., Feb. 23-25, 8 p.m., $15, $10 students. 310-440-4500, http://skirball.org.

 Jessica Lang Dance Co. Photo by Todd Rosenberg Photography
Jessica Lang Dance Co. Photo by Todd Rosenberg Photography.

1.  Time and four dimensional cubes

Choreographer Jessica Lang’s Tesseracts of Time launches nine dancers amid a set designed by architect Steven Holl (it was Commissioned by the Chicago Architecture Biennial) with music ranging from Morton Feldman to John Cage to Arvo Pärt. And that is just one of five works scheduled for this visit with music ranging from Beethoven and Grieg to Trio Mediaeval  to Jakub Ciupinski. Since its founding six years ago, choreographer Lang has enjoyed commissions from major companies and her Jessica Lang Dance has become a presence at major dance festivals. Music Center, Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri.-Sat., Feb. 17-18, 7:30 p.m., Sun., Feb. 19, 2 p.m., $38-$125. (213) 972-0711, http://musiccenter.org.

Other dance of note:

As part of an ongoing 3-year endeavor, choreographer Arianne MacBean and her troupe The Big Show Company have been working with veterans organizations to use performing arts to bridge military to civilian life for U.S. military veterans. A series of free previews of the performance result The Collective Memory Project finds veterans alongside the company dancers. This preview is aptly staged at the historic Hollywood American Legion Post #43, 2035 Highland Ave., Hollywood; Sun., Feb. 19, 4 p.m., free. http://thebigshowco.com.

Arianne MacBean's The Big Show Photo courtesy of The Big Show
Arianne MacBean’s The Big Show. Photo courtesy of The Big Show.

Six new danceworks by CSULB undergraduate choreographers Ashley Allen, Alice Amano, Kathryn Giometti, Nathaniel Gonzaga, Tanner Miranda, Haley Richartz, and Jack Taylor highlight the 2017 Contemporary Dance Concert. CSULB Martha B. Knoebel Dance Theater, Thurs.-Fri., Feb. 16 -17, 8 p.m., Sat., Feb. 18, 2 & 8 p.m., $20, $16 seniors & students. 562-985-7000, http://csulb.edu/dance.

A ballet by George Balanchine plus new contemporary works from faculty members Donald McKayle and Lar Lubovitch highlight Dance Visions 2017, a performance by the UC Irvine Dance Department with the UCI Symphony Orchestra conducted by Stephen Tucker. Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Dr., Irvine; Thurs.-Fri., Feb. 23-24, 8 p.m.; Sat., Feb. 25, 2 & 8 p.m., $22, $12 students. 949-854-4646, http://thebarclay.org.

Critical Mass Dance Company brings its distinctive black light dance theater to three local venues with Arco Iris: The Rainbow Bridge. The story follows women who cross a rainbow bridge to visit their grandmothers only to be barred by forces on their return. Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Sat., Feb. 18, 8 p.m., $25, $20 students & seniors. Also at Antioch University, 400 Corporate Point, Culver City; Fri., Feb. 24, 7 p.m. http://antiochuniversity.edu/los-angeles. Also at Macha Theatre, 1107 N. Kings Rd., West Hollywood; Wed., March 8, 8 p.m. http://machatheatre.org. http://criticalmassdancecompany.org.

Despite its defensive and sometimes deadly purpose, martial arts have a beauty of movement that is performance, exemplified by the popular Shaolin Warriors and their program of kung fu. Their latest Shaolin Warriors the Legend Continues arrives at two local venues. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Dr., Cerritos; Sat., Feb. 18, 8 p.m., $45-$65. 562-467-8818, or http://cerritoscenter.com.  Also at Valley Performing Arts Center, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Sun., Feb. 19, 3 p.m., $38-$63. 818- 677-3000, http://ValleyPerformingArtsCenter.org.

Shaolin Warriors Photo courtesy of Shaolin Warriors
Shaolin Warriors. Photo courtesy of Shaolin Warriors.

While Pantsula 4 Lyf is not live performance, this celebration of popular dance in South Africa offers photographer Chris Saunders’ intriguing photos and videos capturing pantsula’s adaptation of hip hop and American fashion. Featuring crews of young men and women in Johannesburg, pantsula performers favor American-name brands like Converse All-Star shoes and Dickies brand work pants. Special related events include a screening of Mapantsula, a 1988 film that captures the pastula’s signature fashions (Wed., Feb. 1, 7 p.m.) and the photographer Chris Saunders discussing the exhibit, the dancing and the fashion (Thurs., Feb. 23, noon). UCLA Fowler Museum, 308 Charles E Young Dr. N, Westwood; Wed., noon – 8 p.m., Thurs.-Sun., noon – 5 p.m. thru Sun., May 7, free. http://fowler.ucla.edu.

Anyone who missed the recent performance by Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company, the home of choreographer Ohad Naharin can still get a glimpse of Naharin’s innovative movement approach known as “Gaga” in the documentary Mr. Gaga. screening at several Laemmle theaters.  https://laemmle.com.

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