Dancing Untold Stories and Distorted Music

A new flamenco series in Echo Park, considering life itself in Westwood, a live Russian resurrects a dead one’s ballet in Costa Mesa, bringing historic architecture “home” in Los Feliz, exploring Bach’s musical elements downtown, a festival continues in West L.A., and more SoCal dance this week

5.  Windy City visitor

Once a tap and jazz troupe, over the last decades Hubbard Street Dance Chicago has emerged as a major non-New York force in contemporary dance. The company has built a reputation cultivating choreographers, mostly from Europe and Canada, who move on to other major U.S. dance companies. Launching a four-month tour, the dance company brings excerpts from its collaboration with Chicago’s Grammy-award winning Third Coast Percussion with the score performed live, plus repertoire works by Israel’s Ohad Naharin, Spain’s Alejandro Cerrudo and Canda’s Crystal Pite.  Later in January, the tour heads to OC’s Musco Center for the Arts with a different program with choreography by Nacho Duato, William Forsythe, Pite, and Cerrudo. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Bram Goldsmith Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills; Thurs.-Sat., Jan. 10-12, 7:30 p.m., $35-$105. Also at Musco Center for the Arts, Chapman University, 415 N. Glassell, Orange; Thurs., Jan. 24, 7:30 p.m., $35-$65. http://muscocenter.org.

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Photo by Todd Rosenberg Photography
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Photo by Todd Rosenberg Photography

4.  Reviving Petipa

Inspired by archival notes by legendary 19th century Russian choreographer Marius Petipa, a living Russian choreographer, Alexei Ratmansky, recreates Petipa’s comic ballet Harlequinade for American Ballet TheatreRatmansky is no stranger to resuscitating abandoned Russian ballets having made his rep in the Western ballet world when the Bolshoi Ballet toured Ratmansky’s 2003 comic restaging of a Soviet era “tractor” ballet The Bright Stream.  Announced casting at the website. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 town Center Dr., Costa Mesa; Thurs.-Fri., Jan. 17-18, 7:30 p.m., Sat., Jan. 19, 2 & 7:30 p.m., Sun., Jan. 20, 1 p.m., $29-$189. https://scfta.org/events/2019/harlequinade-–-abt.

American Ballet Theatre's "Harlequinade". Photo by Erin Baiano.
American Ballet Theatre’s “Harlequinade”. Photo by Erin Baiano.

3.  Exploring Bach

For the new year, Benjamin Millepied and his L.A. Dance Project offer something new that reworks something old and presents portions in the round with live music. The program is devoted to the premiere of the full-length I fall, I flow, I melt that draws movements from Millepied’s earlier work, Bach Studies (Part 1), adding new  compositions from David Lang that explore elements of counterpoint, fugue, and canon integral to Bach’s oeuvre. Info at http://ladanceproject.org.  L.A. Dance Project Studios, 2245 E. Washington Blvd., downtown; Sat.-Sun., Jan. 12-13, Tues., Jan. 15-Sun., Jan. 20, 8 p.m., $40. https://www.artful.ly/store/events/16760.

LA Dance Project. Photo by Laurent-Philippe.
LA Dance Project. Photo by Laurent-Philippe.

2.  Bringing it home

Known for invigorating dance performances that bring audiences into architecturally significant private residences, Home/LA kicks off 2019 in a restored Mayan-themed home built in 1926 by Lloyd Wright (Frank Lloyd Wright’s son). Demonstrating their commitment to hosting philanthropic arts event, the current owners of Sowden House opened the storied home to Home/LA founder Rebecca Bruno who collaborated with Delaram Pourábdi for a dance film set throughout the house. This event titled PASSAGES at the Sowden House also includes live choreography from Crystal Sepúlveda, Cheng-Chieh Yu, Zaquia Mahler Salinas, and Kenzie McClure, sculptor Mak Kern, plus contributions from culinary artist Emily Marchand, experimental vocalist Odeya Nini, performance artist Tyler Matthew Oyer, and live music from Low Leaf with vōx (Saturday) and with Theresa Wayman of Warpaint (Sunday)Info on the event and participating artists at https://www.homela.org. Private residence in Los Feliz, address provided with reservation; Sat.-Sun., Jan. 12-13, $35. https://passagesatsowden.brownpapertickets.com.

Home/LA's "Passages". Photo by Delaram Pourabdi.
Home/LA’s “Passages”. Photo by Delaram Pourabdi.

1.  Festival Week 2 & 3

After more than forty years as one of L.A.’s most vibrant live theaters, the Odyssey Theatre began opening its stage to dance and three years ago launched its own dance festival. Over six weeks, Dance at the Odyssey 2019 offers a splendid curated sampling of contemporary dance from L.A.-based artists, most having their own evening. The festival’s second entry Be Seen spotlights choreography from Rebecca Lemme and her troupe Acts of Matter with a focus on stories often left untold. In an excerpt from the duet I/D, a woman confronts her younger self, while the solo Listen explores a performer and viewer learning to listen and accept others. Set to love songs from the 1950s to the present, Love Letter gives attention to the lonely and the alone, and the program’s premiere, Emergence offers a physically demanding trio about discovery, rejection, and acceptance of oneself. The third week hosts LA Contemporary Dance Company’s premiere of artistic director Genevieve Carson’s The Only Constant. Developed over two years, Carson drew on Bach, Mozart, Handel and Chopin for The Only Constant with the music distorted and enhanced by L.A. composer Robert Amjarv. Complete festival info at www.OdysseyTheatre.com. Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., W.L.A.; Rebecca Lemme: Fri.-Sat., Jan. 11-12, 8 p.m., Sun., Jan. 13, 2 p.m., $25, $20 students. LACDC: Thurs.-Sat., Jan. 17-19, 8 p.m., Sun., Jan. 20, 2 p.m., $25. 310-477-2055, www.OdysseyTheatre.com.

L.A. Contemporary Dance Company's "The Only Constant". Photo courtesy of LACDC.
L.A. Contemporary Dance Company’s “The Only Constant”. Photo courtesy of LACDC.

            Other dance of note:

Briseyda Zárate. Photo by Bruce Bisenz.

Known best for music performances, this venue has a growing rep for its dance offerings curated by Licia Perea including Black and LatinX choreographers in the BlakTina Festival and hip hop in Shut Up and Dance!. The venue expands into the world of flamenco co-produced with respected dancer Briseyda Zárate. Under the title Flamenco Tablao (loosely translated as a venue or the platform where flamenco is performed), the monthly series opens with Zárate and her company. Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd. Echo Park; Sun., Jan. 13, 6:30 p.m., $25. https://www.bootlegtheater.org/event/1801110-noche-de-tablao-flamenco-los-angeles.

Lineage Follies. Photo courtesy of Lineage Dance Company.
Lineage Follies. Photo courtesy of Lineage Dance Company.

Dance, theatre, song and neurology are all part of The Lineage Follies. The performance portion showcases Lineage Dance Company plus performers with Parkinson’s, stroke aneurysm and TBI participating in Lineage Dance’s program Dance for Joy. The Lineage Performing Arts Center, 500 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Sat., Jan. 12, 7 p.m., $9. http://www.lineagepac.org/events.

Dimitris Papaioannou's "The Great Tamer". Photo courtesy of CAPUCLA.
Dimitris Papaioannou’s “The Great Tamer”. Photo courtesy of CAPUCLA.

Employing choreography and optical illusion to evoke scuptures and paintings by the masters, Dimitris Papaioannou’s The Great Tamer receives its U.S. premiere. Trained as a painter and known for his open-air spectacles including the Athens Olympics’ opening and closing ceremonies, some critics quibbled that The Great Tamer with its series of tableaus is more mime theatre than dance, but even those critics admitted the work drew them into its consideration of no less than life itself. Press material notes the work includes nudity. UCLA Royce Hall, 10745 Dickson Court, Westwood; Fri., Jan. 11, 8 p.m., $29-$79. 310-825-2101. https://cap.ucla.edu/get_tickets.

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