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Dancing into 2018

The Great Migration considered in Exposition Park, a display of diversity downtown, a Mexican Christmas celebration in Whittier, L.A.’s own Nutcracker in Westwood, Hollywood and Redondo Beach, plus a flurry of Nutcrackers all over So Cal to close out 2017. More when Cultural Weekly returns in two weeks. Happy Holidays! Keep dancers dancing!!!

5.  One night only

Seven local dance companies join music and choral groups in this season’s line up for the free three-hour Music Center Holiday Celebration. Not only is the concert free, parking is free too. Sponsored by the County Board of Supervisors, the dance groups showcase the area’s diversity with dance from Hawaii, China, Korea, West Africa, Mexico and a Nutcracker that draws on Duke Ellington’s swing version of the Tchaikovsky score. The dance troupes include Daniel Ho & Halau Keali’i o NalaniJC Culture Foundation, Jung Im Lee Korean Dance Academy, Korean American Youth Performing Artists (KAYPA), Le Ballet Dembaya, Pacifico Dance Company, and City Ballet of Los Angeles . The program will also be televised on KOCE-PBS SoCal. Music Center Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Sat., Dec. 24, 3-6 p.m., free. http://musiccenter.org.

Jung Im Lee Korean Dance Academy. Photo by Gennia Cui.

Jung Im Lee Korean Dance Academy. Photo by Gennia Cui.

4.  Masculine/feminine

Male bodies finding commonality with the feminine is a theme of Bouquet, four new contemporary dance works from choreographer Sophia Stoller and Iris Company. The audience can move around the performance, viewing dancers Bryanna Brock, Cody Brunelle-Potter, and Hyosun Choi from different angles. Basic Flowers, 242 S. Broadway, downtown; Sat., Dec. 16, 6 & 9 p.m., $25, $20 students. www.sophiastoller.com/upcoming-shows

Iris Company. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Iris Company. Photo courtesy of the artist.

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3. A flash-mob opening

They will be dancing in the streets, well almost, as 70 dancers from CalArts take over the Grand Avenue sidewalk and the steps of Disney Hall for a free performance preceding the more formal dance concert with choreography by CalArts’ respected faculty.  Choreographed by Dimitri Chamblas, the incoming dance department dean, the flash mob promises to be a preview of his likely direction for this major incubator for local dance. After the flash mob, the actual concert also includes Chamblis’ choreography along with works by faculty members Laurence Blake, Nina Flagg and Julie Bour as well as guest artist Rauf ‘RubberLegz’ Yasit. REDCAT, 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; Fri.-Sat., Dec. 15-16, 8:30 p.m., $20, $12 students. http://REDCAT.org.

No)one.ArtHouse. Photo by Steve Gunther

No)one.ArtHouse. Photo by Steve Gunther

2.  Moving about moving on

Christopher Bordenave and Amie Cota collaborated with No)one.Art House for Any Place But Here considering the Great Migration, the 60-year period during which nearly 6 million African Americans left the South, moving to cities in the North and West. The site specific work employs Gary Simmons’ giant mural Fade to Black and the dancers’ move to songs with lyrics adapted from 20th century African American poetry. California African American Museum, 600 State Dr., Exposition Park, downtown; Tues., Dec. 19, 7 p.m., free with reservation. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/animate-space-performance-by-noone-art-house-tickets-37897474366.

Los Angeles Ballet's "Nutcracker". Photo by Reed Hutchinson.

Los Angeles Ballet’s “Nutcracker”. Photo by Reed Hutchinson.

1.  L.A.s own Nutcracker

Set in 1912, the Los Angeles Ballet’s Nutcracker is an L.A. original, choreographed by company co-artistic directors Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary, with set design by L.A. artist Catherine Kanner. Now in its 12th season, L.A.’s own professional classical ballet company continues to demonstrate how well it understands this city. With home theaters in Glendale, Westwood, Redondo Beach, and Hollywood with a live orchestra, LAB brings ballet to the audience rather than expecting folks to overcome hours of gridlocked traffic. The superb company dancers have proven themselves a home team to root for. In full disclosure, your scribe volunteered to watch the goings on from a chimney. UCLA Royce Hall, Westwood.; Fri., Dec. 15, 7:30 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., Dec. 16 & 17, 1 p.m. & 5 p.m.; $36-$104, $24-$76 seniors, students & children under 13. Also at Dolby Theatre, Hollywood & Highland, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., Dec. 23, 1 & 5 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 24, 11 a.m. & 3 p.m.; $72-$124. Also at Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach; Fri., Dec. 29, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 30, 1 p.m. & 5 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 31, 1 p.m.; $36-$104, $24-$76 seniors, students & children under 13. 310-998-7782, http://www.LosAngelesBallet.org 

Other Dance of Note:

 Salute to Vienna celebrates Austria’s famous Neujahrskonzert (New Year’s Concert), a nationally televised event somewhat akin to the New Year’s eve crystal-ball countdown in New York City. In Austria, dancers perform in one of Vienna’s elaborate palaces to live music, offering a peek back at an era when Austria ruled an empire and benefiting from a live national broadcast. This touring show has become a New Year’s fixture, this year stopping at two local venues with a program brimming with waltzes, polka, ballet, singing and lots of music from the Strauss Symphony of America. Definitely mit schlag, but a fun way to stretch the New Year’s celebrating with a post concert glass of champagne before committing to those pesky resolutions. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa; Fri. Dec. 29, 8 p.m., $49-$129. http://www.scfta.org. Also at Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Mon., Jan. 1, 2:30 p.m., $35-$135. https://www.salutetovienna.com/los-angeles

Now in its 13th year, Danza Floricanto/USA returns with its family friendly Navidad en Whittier. Ruth B Shannon Center, Whittier College, 6760 Painter Ave., Whittier; Sat., Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m., $25, $20 seniors, students & children. 562-907-4203 or http://shannoncenter.org.

Danza Floricanto/USA. Photo by Frank Sandoval.

Danza Floricanto/USA. Photo by Frank Sandoval.

The aerial ballet ensemble Luminario Ballet celebrates its winter gala with a Viennese theme including cocktails, dinner, wine and the premiere of Winterreise set to the Franz Schubert music. Dancers include former Los Angeles Ballet principal dancer Allynne Noelle and Thomas Garrett Brown. The California Club, 538 S. Flower St., downtown; Fri., Dec. 15, 6 p.m., $300-$500. http://www.luminarioballet.org.

More Nutcrackers:

Russian choreographer Alexei Ratmansky’s interpretation of  the classic for American Ballet Theatre brings ABT’s splendid dancers to SoCal. The announced casting includes many of ABT’s top stars (current casting for leads at http://scfta.org.), further cementing ABT’s expanding presence in Orange County.  Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa; Wed.-Fri., Dec. 13-15, 7 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 16, 2 & 7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 17, 12:30 & 5:30 p.m.; $39-$269. 714-556-2787, http://scfta.org.

The professional dancers of State Street Ballet are joined by students from the affiliated ballet school in this version from artistic director Rodney Gustafson. Granada Theater, 1214 State St., Santa Barbara; Sat., Dec. 16, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 17, 2 p.m.; $24-56. 805-899-2222, http://www.StateStreetBallet.com.

Over the years, artistic director David Wilcox’ version of The Nutcracker for Long Beach Ballet has acquired an array of special effects from three Disney designers, Flying by Foy, pyrotechnician John Bordeaux, magician Franz Harari and even a white Arabian horse. This year’s production includes a live orchestra and professional guest artists joined by students from the affiliated ballet school.  A pre-show luncheon with special photo ops and VIP seating is available for Sun. Dec. 17 (additional charge). Terrace Theatre, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach; Long Beach Ballet – Long Beach Terrace Theater, 300 E. Ocean Blvd.; Sat., Dec. 16 & 23, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 17, 2 p.m.; Fri. Dec. 22, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 23, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 24, 1 p.m.; $34-$115. 877-852-3177, http://www.LongBeachNutcracker.com.

Choreographer Laurence Blake and artistic director Victoria Koenig created Inland Pacific Ballet’s version of The Nutcracker that has become a local tradition. IPB’s professional dancers are joined by students from IPB’s respected ballet academy. The opening night in Claremont includes a gala and that weekend’s performances have live music from the Pomona College Orchestra.  Lewis Family Playhouse, 12505 Cultural Center Dr., Rancho Cucamonga; Fri., Dec. 15, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 16, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 17, 2 p.m.; $49-$59. Fox Performing Arts Center, 3801 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside; Fri. Dec. 22, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 23, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; 951-779-9800, http://www.IPBallet.org.

For two decades, Moscow Ballet has toured its elaborate Great Russian Nutcracker to approximately 50 cities during November and December. This Russian company stops off at three SoCal venues. The cast of 40 includes international ballet competition winners. The Wiltern, 3790 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles; Fri., Dec. 15, 7 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 16, 1 & 5 p.m.; $43-$241. Also at Jacobs Music Center, Copley Symphony Hall, 750 B St., San Diego; Thurs., Dec. 21,  4 & 8 p.m.; $28-$89. http://www.nutcracker.com/buy-tickets.

Another Russian touring company, Russian Grand Ballet arrives for two shows. Wilshire Ebell Theatre, 4401 W. 8th St., Hancock Park; Sat., Dec. 16, 8 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 17, 3 p.m.; $40-$80. http://ebellla.org/theatre.

Promising a one hour, immersive, three-dimensional  experience, American Contemporary Ballet debuts its Nutcracker Suite. ACB Studios, 700 S. Flower St., 3200, downtown; Fri., Dec. 15 & 22, 7:30 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., Dec. 16-17, 2 & 5 p.m.; & Sat., Dec. 23, 2 p.m.; $40-$105. http://acbdances.com.

South Bay Ballet – Marsee Auditorium. El Camino College Center for the Performing Arts, 16007 Crenshaw Blvd, Torrance; Sat. & Sun., Dec. 16 & 17, 2 p.m.; $34, $24 children under 13. 310-329-5345, http://www.SouthBayBallet.org, http://elcaminotickets.universitytickets.com/user_pages/event_listings.asp

Palos Verdes Ballet – Norris Theatre, 27570 Norris Center Dr., Rolling Hills Estates; Sat., Dec. 16, 7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 17, 1 & 5 p.m.; $35, $20 under 13. 310-377-6663, https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?ticketing=pvpa.

Southern California Dance Theater – Downey Civic Theater, 8435 Firestone Blvd.; Sat., Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 17, 2:30 p.m.; $28-$32. 562-861-8211, http://DowneyTheatre.org 

California Dance Ensemble – Agoura Hills Performing Arts Education Center, 28545 W. Driver Ave., Agoura Hills; Sat., Dec. 16, 2 & 7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 17, 1 & 5:30 p.m.; $22-$32. 818-889-8058, http://CaliforniaDanceAcademy.com.  http://PerformingArts.lvusd.org.

Santa Clarita Ballet – College of the Canyons, 26455 Rockwell Canyon Rd., Santa Clarita; Sat., Dec. 16, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 17, 2 & 7 p.m.; $28-$32. 661-251-6844, http://santaclaritaballet.net.  

Maple Youth Ballet – Northwood Performing Arts Theater, 4415 Portola Parkway, Irvine; Fri., Dec. 15, 7 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 16, 2 & 7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 17, 3 p.m.; $24-$30. http://myb.tix.com/Event.aspx?EventCode=1013352.

Anaheim Ballet’s artistic director Sarma Lapenieks Rosenberg provided the choreography danced by students from the affiliated ballet school.  Symphony Irvine contributes live music. City National Grove, 2200 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim; Sat., Dec. 16, 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.;  $25-$50. 714-520-0904, https://www.AnaheimBallet.org, http://www.CityNationalGroveofAnaheim.com.

Academy of International Dance – Valley High School Auditorium, 1801 S. Greenville, Santa Ana; Sun., Dec. 17, 3 p.m.; $10-$16. 714-550-9285. http://www.aidancecrew.org.

Ballet Repertory Theatre – Golden West College Mainstage Theater, 15751 Gotherd St., Huntington Beach; Sat., Dec. 9, 16 & 23, 2 & 7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 10 & 17, 1 & 5 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 15 & Thurs., Dec. 21, 7 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 22, 2 & 7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 24, 1 p.m.; $19, $15 seniors & under 12 years. 714-895-8150 x1, http://www.gwctheater.com.   

Coast City Ballet – Huntington Beach Historic Theater, 1905 Main St., Huntington Beach; Fri., Dec. 22, 7 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 23, 2 p.m.; $25-$27, $23-$25 children & seniors. 714-963-9771, http://www.coastcityballet.com

Laguna Ballet – McKinney Theatre, Saddleback College, 28000 Marguerite Parkway, Mission Viejo; Thurs.-Fri., Dec. 14-15, 7 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 16, 2 & 7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 17, 1 & 6 p.m.; $22-$26.  949-582-4656, http://www.lagunadancetheatre.com/nutcracker.

Ciara Dance Alliance – Calabasas High School, 22855 W. Mulholland Dr., Calabasas; Sat., Dec. 16, 5 p.m.; $22-$25. http://PerformingArts.lvusd.org.

More than 100 students from Southland Ballet Academy perform with its training company, Festival Ballet Theatre. Announced guest stars include from San Francisco Ballet Victor Luiz on Dec. 16-17 with Frances Chung on Dec. 16 and Maria Kochetkova on Dec. 17, former American Ballet Theatre principals Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Beloserkovsky on Dec. 20-22, and New York City Ballet’s Tiler Peck and Gonzalo Garcia on Dec. 23-24. Irvine Barclay Theater, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine; Sat., Dec.16 & 23, 2 & 7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 17, 1 & 6 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 15 & 22, 7 p.m.; Thurs., Dec. 21, 6 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 24, 11 a.m.; $42-$55. 949-854-4646. http://www.theBarclay.org.

The students of Pacific Festival Ballet Company, the resident ballet company of the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza are joined by New York City Ballet principal dancers Tiler Peck and Gonzalo Garcia. Among the guest artists look for the high flying Kalinin Russian Dance Troupe. Civic Arts Plaza, Fred Kavli Theater, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks; Sat.-Sun., Dec. 16-17, 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.; $28-$44. http://www.pacfestballet.org/. https://www.civicartsplaza.com.

Moorpark Civic Ballet -Janet and Ray Scherr Forum Theatre Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks; Sat. Dec. 16, 1:30 & 6:30 p.m.; $35. http://www.MoorparkBallet.comhttp://www.ticketmaster.com.

West Coast Ballet Theatre – California Center for the Arts, 340 N. Escondido Blvd., Escondido; Sat.-Sun., Dec. 16-17, 2 p.m.; $18.50-$42. 800-988-4253, http://www.SanDiegoNutcracker.com.

City Ballet – Spreckels Theater, 121 Broadway, San Diego; Fri., Dec. 8, 15 & 22, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 9, 15, & 22, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 10 & 17, 2 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 24, 1 p.m.; $25-$85. 858-272-8663, https://www.cityballet.org.

San Diego Ballet – Mandeville Auditorium, 9500 Gilman Dr., La Jolla; Thurs.-Fri., Dec. 21-22, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 23, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; $25-$55. 619-294-7311, https://sandiegoballet.tix.com.

California Ballet – San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 3rd. Ave., San Diego; Sat., Dec. 9 & 16, 2:30 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 10, 2:30 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 15, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 17 & Sat., Dec. 23, 1 & 5:30 p.m.; Wed.-Thurs., Dec. 20-21, 7 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 22, 2:30 & 7:30 p.m; $22-$103  858-560-5676, http://www.sandiegotheatres.org/the-nutcracker.

Cynthia Young choreographed Pasadena Dance Theatre’s version of The Nutcracker for the students of her well-regarded ballet academy. The Dec. 16 & 17 shows offer refreshments and a chance to meet the heroine Clara at a Nutcracker Party before the performance (additional charge). San Gabriel Civic Auditorium, 320 Mission Dr., San Gabriel; Sat.-Sun., Dec. 16-17, 2 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., Dec. 22-23, 1 p.m., $20-$65. http://www.PasadenaDance.org.

Ballet Repertory Theatre – Golden West College Mainstage Theater, 15751 Gotherd St., Huntington Beach; Sat., Dec. 16 & 23, 2 & 7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 17, 1 & 5 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 15 & Thurs., Dec. 21, 7 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 22, 2 & 7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 24, 1 p.m.; $19, $15 seniors & under 12 years. 714-895-8150 x1, http://www.gwctheater.com.   

Laguna Ballet – McKinney Theatre, Saddleback College, 28000 Marguerite Parkway, Mission Viejo; Thurs.-Fri., Dec. 14-15, 7 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 16, 2 & 7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 17, 1 & 6 p.m.; $22-$26.  949-582-4656, http://www.lagunadancetheatre.com/nutcracker.

City Ballet – Spreckels Theater, 121 Broadway, San Diego; Fri., Dec. 15 & 22, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 15, & 22, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 17, 2 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 24, 1 p.m.; $25-$85. 858-272-8663, https://www.cityballet.org.

California Ballet – San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 3rd. Ave., San Diego; Fri., Dec. 15, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 16, 2:30 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 17 & Sat., Dec. 23, 1 & 5:30 p.m.; Wed.-Thurs., Dec. 20-21, 7 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 22, 2:30 & 7:30 p.m; $22-$103  858-560-5676, http://www.sandiegotheatres.org/the-nutcracker.

LA Youth Ballet – Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale; Fri., Dec. 22, 7 p.m., Sat., Dec. 23, 2 & 7 p.m., $25-$55, http://www.alextheatre.org.

 

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