Dancing a Grim Fairy Tale

Eclectic dance in Venice, French visitors in Palos Verdes, Mexican folklorico in Hollywood, contemporary dance in Fullerton, ballet in Huntington Beach and more SoCal dance this week.

5.  Mariachi dance

Under the banner ¡Viva La Tradición! – Viva LA Mujer, San Fernando Valley-based Ballet Folklorico Ollín brings a dance component to this celebration of all female mariachi ensembles. Ford Theatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. E., Hollywood; Sat., Sept. 7, 8 p.m., $50-$125, $40-$70 students & children. https://secure.ticketsage.net/websales.aspx?u=fordtheatres&pid=329522.

Ballet Folklorico Ollín. Photo courtesy of the artists.
Ballet Folklorico Ollín. Photo courtesy of the artists.

4.  First Friday dance

Scheduled to coincide with the extended hours of First Friday along trendy Abbot Kinney Blvd., High Voltage provides a respite of sorts to the food trucks, open galleries and people-watching with an eclectic assortment of dance, music and other performance arts. This month’s participants include dance from Leanna Lomuljo Bremond and Jade Charon. Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice; Fri., Sept. 6, 9 p.m., $10. https://www.eventbrite.com.  

High Voltage.  Photo by E. Moncada.
High Voltage. Photo by E. Moncada.

3.  Dance in the “Muck”

The five year old contemporary dance company The Assembly has a penchant for non-traditional performing spaces. The troupe concludes its 2019 residency at this venue with an evening of dance theater. Muckenthaler Cultural Center, 1201 W. Malvern Ave., Fullerton; Thurs., Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m., $30, $20 students & seniors. https://themuck.org. 

The Assembly. Photo courtesy of the artists.
The Assembly. Photo courtesy of the artists.

2.  Chance in French dance

The French multidisciplinary ensemble known as CHENDANCE arrives for several performances and a workshop. Based in Bordeaux, France, the multi-disciplinary members span worlds of dance, circus, sculpture, video and installation. The workshop will employ Merce Cunningham’s chance operations which also will likely be displayed in the free performances. People’s Place, 365 W. 6th St., San Pedro; Thurs., Sept. 5, 7 p.m. Also at Penninsula Community Church, 5640 Crestridge Rd., Rancho Palos Verdes, Fri., Sept. 6, 6:30 p.m.. Also at Penninsula School of the Performing Arts, 2325 Palos Verdes Dr., Palos Verdes Estates; Sun., Sept. 9, 5:30 p.m. Also at Marc Selwyn Gallery, 9953 Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills; Tues., Sept. 10, 6 p.m. Workshop info at 310-699-0924.

CHENDANCE. Photo courtesy of the artists.
CHENDANCE. Photo courtesy of the artists.

1.  Telling a tale

REDCAT, CalArts’ cutting edge presence downtown, opens its 2019-2020 performance season with choreographer Ligia LewisWater Will (in Melody). This third section of a trilogy opens with pastoral sounds as Lewis leads viewers into a deconstructed grim fairy tale about a misbehaving or maybe just lonely child. Dominican Republic-born Lewis grew up in Florida and now divides her time between New York and Berlin, picking up a New York Bessie award along the way. With performers (including Lewis) garbed in sharply contrasting white and black, the work incorporates voice and gesture along with the movement to tell the tale. REDCAT, 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; Thurs.-Sat., Sept. 12-14, 8:30 p.m., Sun., Sept 15, 3 p.m., $27-$32, $22-$26. https://www.redcat.org/. 

      Other dance of note:

The latest program in the Masters of Dance series offers a chance to take or just watch a master class conducted by an admirable line up of dance pros.  This installment brings Invertigo Dance Theatre’s founder/artistic director Laura Karlin with a class covering contemporary technique, improvisation, group work and partnering. Participants are requested to wear black on black dancewear. Those coming to watch can wear what they want. Santa Monica College Core Performance Center (CPC), 1900 Pico Blvd., Rooms 304 and 308, Santa Monica; Mon., Sept. 9, 10:15 a.m., free but first come until full. http://www.smc.edu/AcademicPrograms/Dance/Pages/default.aspx.  

Invertigo Dance Theatre's Laura Karlin. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Invertigo Dance Theatre’s Laura Karlin. Photo courtesy of the artist.

The fall repertoire program from the pre-professional company Ballet Repertory Theatre includes contemporary works and selections from ballet classics. Christopher Sellars from Utah’s Ballet West guests. Golden West College Mainstage Theater, 15751 Gothard St., Huntington Beach; Sat., Sept. 7, 7 p.m., Sun., Sept. 8, 2 p.m. $20, $16 seniors & students. 714-895-8150, www.gwctheater.com.

Choreographer Beth Megill promises a fun, family-friendly show as her Megill & Company perform In the Bag. Namba Performing Arts Space, 47 S. Oak St., Ventura; Sat., Sept. 7, 8 p.m., Sun., Sept. 8, 2 p.m., $20. https://www.nambaarts.com. 

Bauhaus Beginnings. Photo by A.Haskins.
Bauhaus Beginnings. Photo by A.Haskins.

Born in 1919 amid the human and physical debris of World War I, Bauhaus is widely hailed as an influential school of architecture and design, but an often overlooked facet is the part dance played in its curriculum and later on, its role in Bauhaus’ survival when under siege by the Nazis. The Getty’s Research Institute’s two-part deep dive into the world of Bauhaus includes a physical exhibition Bauhaus Beginnings (to October 13) along with an on-line exhibition Bauhaus Building the New Artist that offers a chance to participate in three Bauhaus-style endeavors including selecting movement, costume and music to choreograph a dance. At the physical exhibition, dance fans should seek out the darkened alcove with photos, programs, and other memorabilia. Videos of recreated Bauhaus dance performances reveal how the integration of craft and fine art were captured in movement. Mostly created in the 1920’s, the movement admittedly is dated, but for its time was considered experimental. Some costumes are reminiscent of Pablo Picasso’s creations for the 1917 Ballet Russes ballet Parade and even today could appear as part of the popular Swiss human puppet troupe Mummenschanz. While ultimately the school closed and Bauhaus figures were among the Nazi victims, ironically instead of Bauhaus’ destruction the Nazi persecution inadvertently propelled its influence. The exhibit includes a section on the Bauhaus diaspora which has a dance element in North Carolina’s Black Mountain College where major Bauhaus figures were faculty and whose students included Merce Cunningham and John Cage. The college closed in 1957, but a book in the museum store recounts its history and how the founders’ ideas on progressive education fused with the Bauhaus philosophy.  Bauhaus Beginnings  Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Dr., Brentwood; thru October 13, 2019, Tues.-Fri., Sun., 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Sat., 10 a.m. -10 p.m., free, parking price varies. http://www.getty.edu/. Bauhaus Building the New Artist- online exhibition www.getty.edu/bauhaus.

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