Demons vs. Angels: The Battle for Paradise

Another busy week for SoCal dance with Helios duets downtown, Not Man Apart Physical Theatre tackles Paradise Lost in West Hollywood, three choreographers share in Echo Park, Alvin Ailey visits downtown, Trisha Brown “sited” all over town, and much more.

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5.  Always a Revelation

The ever popular Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater returns with three different programs of contemporary dance during a five-day engagement. The programs include three West Coast premieres. While every performance ends with the namesake choreographer’s gospel infused Revelations, the company brings examples of its new vigor under current artistic director Robert Battle. Music Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Wed.-Sat., March 8-11, 7:30 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., March 11-12, 2 p.m., $34-$194. 212-972-0711.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Photo by Paul Kolnik
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Photo by Paul Kolnik.

4. Getting physical

An evening that promises ten romantic and physical duets plus a larger group finale is the latest from Helios Dance Theater, an L.A. based contemporary company led by Laura Gorenstein Miller. Past projects have taken on subjects ranging from Anne Frank to Homer’s The Odyssey to haunted houses. Expect highly physical movement with the duets exploring a range of contemporary relationships. More about Helios at The Theater at Ace Hotel, 933 S. Broadway, downtown; Sun.,  March 5, 7 p.m., $30-$150.

Helios Dance Theater Photo courtesy of Helios Dance Theater
Helios Dance Theater. Photo courtesy of Helios Dance Theater.

3.  A trio of “Bootleggers”

Over the past few years, the Dance Resource Center has partnered with this theatre company to showcase new choreography works, usually from a trio of L.A. based companies and often assembling troupes from different sections of the dance spectrum. This edition of HOME GROWN @ Bootleg continues that tradition. Choreographer Nicole Berger works in both the commercial and concert arenas with her Company Rhome blending contemporary dance with ballet. A product of UC Irvine’s excellent dance program, Shirine Rehmani explores modern dance idioms with her all-female Roots and Wings Dance Project. An experienced performer and flamenco teacher Katerina Tomás completes the line up with her Mojácar Flamenco. Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd., Echo Park; Thurs.-Sat., March 2-4, 7:30 p.m., $18-$20.

Nicole Berger in Home Grown @ Bootleg Photo by AMDA Los Angeles
Nicole Berger in Home Grown @ Bootleg. Photo by AMDA Los Angeles.

2.  Trisha Brown all over town

Part of the 1960’s post modern dance movement centered at New York’s Judson Church, Trisha Brown’s 50-year career defies easy categorization and explains why UCLA’s week-long Trisha Brown Retrospective Project in 2013 in venues ranging from the Getty rooftops to Royce Hall’s stage only whetted the appetite for more. Again organized by CAP UCLA, this endeavor, Trisha Brown: In Plain Site Los Angeles, boasts performances at art institutions all over L.A. which signed on to be sponsors as well as sites for Brown’s unpredictable, inventive, thoughtful and often witty choreography. The opening discussion at the Broad Museum has a panel discussing Brown’s significance. Most of the public events are free. Full details at The Broad Museum, 221 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Mon. March 6, 8 p.m. $15. Also Tues., March 7, performances throughout the day free with museum ticket, 6 & 9 p.m., $25. The Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Dr., Brentwood; Fri., March 10, 2 p.m., free. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., mid-Wilshire; Sat., March 11, 4 & 5:45 p.m., free. Hauser Wirth & Schimmel, 901 E. 3rd St., downtown; Sun., March 12, 4:30 p.m., free. 6 p.m. CAP UCLA benefit $500.,

Trisha Brown Dance Company Photo courtesy of TBDC
Trisha Brown Dance Company. Photo courtesy of TBDC.

1.  All is not lost

Led by Diavolo alum Jones (Welsh) Talmadge and Laura Covelli, Not Man Apart Physical Theater has a strong track record successfully taking on contemporary issues filtered through historical prisms often Greek mythology as in the recent Ajax in Iraq which considered parallels between U.S. military involvement in Iraq and the great warrior Ajax from the Trojan War.  For Paradise Lost: Reclaiming Destiny opening this week, NMA takes aim at John Milton’s epic poem about the battle of angels vs demons and the fall from grace of Adam and Eve.  An original score and live digital animation, video and lots of other technical goings on underscore the dance, acrobatics and onstage theatrics. More details at Greenway Court Theatre, 544 N. Fairfax Ave., West Hollywood; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m., Sun., 7 p.m. thru Sun., April 2. $20-$30, $15-20 students & military. 323-673-0544,

Not Man Apart Physical Theater in Paradise Lost: Reclaiming Destiny Photo courtesy of NMAPT
Not Man Apart Physical Theater in Paradise Lost: Reclaiming Destiny                              Photo courtesy of NMAPT

Other dance of note:

Continuing its three year relationship with this venue, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet returns with three ballets including the world premiere of Eudaemonia from choreographer Cherice Barton who has set dances on the likes of Katy Perry. Also on the program Alejandro Cerrudo’s Little mortal jump and Jiri Kylian’s Sleepless set to a Dirk Haubrich composition based on Mozart. Valley Performing Arts Center, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Fri., March 3, 8 p.m., $33-$75. 818-677-3000,

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Photo courtesy of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet
Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. Photo courtesy of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet.

The all female MashUp Contemporary Dance Company celebrates International Women’s Day with Be Bold. The day long event includes free classes and a ticketed evening performance with choreography from Sabrina Phillips, Kenzie Crosley, Kate Hutter, Ami Mattison, Denna Thomsen and Jasmine Albuquerque. Full details on the day’s events at Mash Up Studios, 2926 Gilroy St. Elysian Valley; Wed., March 8, $10.

Mash Up Contemporary Dance Photo courtesy of Mash Up Contemporary Dance
Mash Up Contemporary Dance. Photo courtesy of Mash Up Contemporary Dance.

Describing her latest, Slivers, as her fourth full-length dance horror, Alex Floyd premieres the new work with dancers Sam Boehlen, Dani Gies, Kistina Pressler, and Angela Todaro. Pieter, 4230 Lacy St., Lincoln Heights; March 4-5, 9 p.m.; $12-$15 advance purchase, $20 at door.

Distinctive black light dance theatre is Critical Mass Dance Company’s calling card in 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. Macha Theatre, 1107 N. Kings Rd., West Hollywood; Wed., March 8, 8 p.m.

In her concert dubbed Kolob, MFA candidate Jodi Porter employs contemporary dance, digital media and live music to explore a soul’s journey through life, death and beyond. CalArts, Sharon Disney Lund Theatre, 24700 McBean Pkwy., Valencia; Thurs.-Fri., March 2-3, 8 p.m., $10.

Versa-Style Dance Company Photo courtesy of Versa-Style Dance Company
Versa-Style Dance Company. Photo courtesy of Versa-Style Dance Company.

Popular L.A. hip hop troupe Versa-Style Dance Company offers a free performance as part of the Family Arts Fest. Pepperdine University, Smothers Theatre, 24255 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu; Sat., March 4,  noon, free. 310-506-4055,

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.

It’s a ways away in Riverside County, but the debut of the Palm Springs Dance Festival and its artistic director Michael Nicolson-Rossi deserve attention for drawing together a sterling line up companies with a range of dance styles plus workshops, student troupes and much more. Enjoy the desert clime and this brand new dance showcase. Complete details and venue info at Thurs.-Sat., March 2-4, March 4, 8 p.m. $50-$90.

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