Dancing Dozens Descend on Downtown

A SoCal/France collaboration launches dancing hordes downtown, Mexico’s eclectic heritage explored in Hollywood, a cutting edge dance festival returns to downtown, bellydance goes 21st Century in Hollywood and more SoCal dance this week.

4.  Bellydance tells tales

With a promise to reimagine Middle Eastern dance for the 21st century, choreographer Jillina Carlano and her Bellydance Evolution consider Scheherazade’s tales specifically the voyages of Sinbad in their latest Evolution of Dreams. Info at http://fordtheatres.org. Ford Theatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood; Fri., July 21, 8:30 p.m., $25-$45, $17-$33 children 12 & under. 323-461-3673, https://secure.ticketsage.net/websales.aspx?u=fordtheatres.

Bellydance Evolution, Photo courtesy of the artist
Bellydance Evolution, Photo courtesy of the artist

3.  Exploring Mexico’s influences

Contrasting cultures and traditions from Mexico, Africa and Europe are explored by Grandeza Mexicana Folk Company in this edition of the family friendly. Crafts and other pre-show activities begin at 9 a.m. Big World Fun. Ford Theatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood; Sat., July 22, 10 a.m., free, reservations recommended. http://fordtheatres.org.

Grandeza Mexicana Folk Company, Photo courtesy of GMFC
Grandeza Mexicana Folk Company, Photo courtesy of GMFC

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2.  The future is NOW

A recognized incubator for cutting edge dance and other performing arts, REDCAT’s New Original Works (NOW) Festival extends over three weekends with three different programs, each offering a first look at three or four artists or groups. The 2017 Festival’s opening weekend includes Jessica Emmanuel’s movement driven consideration of senseless black deaths symbolized by crime scene chalk outlines. Bessie award winning Stacy Dawson Stearns employs video as her five member movement theater explores Marcel Duchamp territory. Nancy Keystone and her Critical Mass Performance Group conclude the evening with explore sanity and madness in the current political landscape. REDCAT, 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; Thurs.-Sat., July 27-29 (week one), Aug. 3-5, (week two), Aug. 10-12 (week three), 8:30 p.m., $20, $16 students, $40 festival pass for all three programs. 213-237-2800, http://redcat.org.

REDCAT NOW Festivaql's Jessica Emmanuel, Photo courtesy of the artist.
REDCAT NOW Festival’s Jessica Emmanuel, photo courtesy of the artist.

1.  A SoCal/French dance fusion

The performers may be mistaken as a protest march as SoCal choreographer Oguri and composer Paul Chavez collaborate with French video and performing artist Lola Gonzàlez in The Distance is Beautiful: La Distance la plus Courte Entre Deux Points N’est Pas une Ligne Droite. The title loosely translates as “the distance between two points is not a straight line”. That should prove true as sixty performers, some professional some not, set off from different downtown locations taking different routes to converge at Grand Park for a large scale performance. The public is invited to watch and have the opportunity to join in. Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Sat., July 22, 6 p.m.-9 p.m., free. http://grandparkla.org.

REDCAT NOW Festival's Stacy Dawson Stearns, photo courtesy of the artist
REDCAT NOW Festival’s Stacy Dawson Stearns, photo courtesy of the artist

Other dance of note:

Come to watch the free show or join in (there’s a beginner lesson at each event before the free dance begins) at Dance Downtown LA. This week it’s Bollywood. Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri., July 21, 7 p.m., free. http://musiccenter.org/dancedtla.

Dance Downtown, Photo courtesy of the Music Center
Dance Downtown, photo courtesy of the Music Center.

The young dancers of The Wooden Floor join the contemporary Seán Curran Company in a program that includes one world premiere, two repertoire works and three dance films. The Wooden Floor Studio Theatre, 1810 N. Main St., Santa Ana; Thurs.-Sat., July 20-22, 8 p.m., $20, $10 students. http://thewoodenfloor.org/lab.

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