Flight Delayed

Street dance takes center stage in Long Beach. flamenco from Spain stomps into Hollywood, French influences in West LA, Irish dance in Northridge, salon dualities downtown, lots of Nutcrackers, more SoCal dance and a peek at next week.

Delayed arrival

Always fraught with logistical, production, and visa issues, international touring poses particular risks for large ensembles. Such was the situation with the scheduled U.S. tour by internationally renowned Spanish dancer Joaquín Cortés and his company of 30 dancers, musicians, and singers. Originally slated to perform this past October, the U.S. tour and the LA performance of Cortés’ Esencia finally is back on track. The flamenco star leads a survey of genres considered the ‘essence’ of flamenco, including soleá, bulería, alegría, and farruca. Dolby Theatre, Hollywood & Highland, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., Dec. 9, 8 pm, $65-$105. Dolby Theatre.

Flamenco dancers fill the stage
Joaquín Cortés & Company. Photo courtesy of the artists


Drawing inspiration from poetry, sculpture in the Louvre Museum, and Jean-François Millet’s painting The Gleaners, choreographer Deborah Brockus brings her contemporary company with a program dubbed Extractions. The concert offers Westside audiences a chance to view the work of this Lincoln Heights-based artist and her excellent dancers. Theatre Raymond Kabbaz, 10361 W. Pico Blvd., West LA; Thurs., Dec. 7, 8 pm, $25, $15 students/seniors. Theatre Raymond Kabbaz.

A man on his knees and woman in red standing
BrockusRED. Photo courtesy of the artists

Salon at sunset

This edition of the salon series Truth or Consequences from Heidi Duckler Dance is dubbed Belonging in the World. These events offer a shifting line-up of dance, visual and music artists. This time, the artistic contributors include HDD associate director/dancer Raymond Ejiofor, dance artists Adrian Hoffman, Mawusi/Sarah, Alejandro Perez, and Zhihan Yang, plus musician RaJiryis Murkus Ballan and architect/designer Tong Guan. Bendix Building, 1206 Maple Ave, Ste. 1100B, downtown; Sun., Dec., 10, 6 pm, $35, $20 students & seniors. Heidi Duckler.

A dancer takes flight
Raymond Ejiofor

Street to stage

Known for its masterful and entertaining street dance, the hip hop troupe Versa-Style Dance Company is also known for tackling contemporary social and cultural frictions in its concerts. This time, the troupe and it exciting dancers offer a free concert at a venue designed to present dance. Carpenter Performing Arts Center, Cal State University Long Beach, 6200 Atherton St., Long Beach; Fri., Dec. 8, 8 pm, free with reservation at Carpenter PAC Tickets.

Three dancers strike different poses
Versa-Style Dance Company. Photo courtesy of the artists

Bring your own lunch

The monthly series The Unseen Hours…a salon series offers an informal noontime glimpse at a changing line up of choreographers workshopping new dances. This month’s salon brings Madrid-based Mario Glez, whose residency is in partnership with Acción Cultural Española (AC/E) and the Spain-USA Foundation. The lunchtime event offers a preview of his current work, his choreographic process, and a chance to learn more in a post performance Q&A. The series is free for members, with limited tickets and livestream options at the website. The Stomping Ground, 5453 Alhambra Ave., El Sereno; Dec. 8, 12:15 pm-2:30 pm, free w/membership, limited tickets and livestream options at LA Contemporary Dance FAQ.

A dancer bends backwards
Mario Glez. Photo courtesy of the artist

Border crossings

The salon-styled Volume IX Congress returns with eight artists who cross dance and other performance genres. Sponored by LA Dance Project and curated by Zak Ryan Schlegel and Denna Thomsen, the line up includes The Seaweed Sisters, Ryan Spencer, Ztato, Motus the Company, Heavy Boots, Rhapsody James, Robert Green, and Jeremiah “Supaman” Hanes. Check-in/no-host bar & tacos start at 6:30 pm. LA Dance Project, 2245 E. Washington Blvd., downtown; Fri.-Sat., Dec. 8-10, 8 pm, $45-$75. LA Dance Project.

A group dance
CONGRESS Vol. IX. Photo courtesy of the artists

Decades ago

Tap dancer/comedian/actress Lynne Jassem’s latest solo show, Being Richard Green, draws on her tapping skills to conjure up six decades starting in 1949 and focused on a girl obsessed with having a penis. Zephyr Theatre, 669 N Vista St, W. Hollywood; Fri., Dec. 8, 8pm, $15-$25, Eventbrite.

 A tap dancer in a hat
Lynne Jassem. Photo courtesy of the artist

Santa’s acrobats

The folks who brought us Vampire Circus return with another holiday-themed tale, again with acrobats, clowns, and other cirque performers, and this time with the bearded fellow himself in Santa’s Circus. The family-friendly show includes a chance for kids to give Mrs. Claus a letter to be hand-deliver to Santa. The Montalbán Theatre, 1615 Vine St., Hollywood; Fri., Dec. 8 & 15, 7:30 pm, Sat., 9 & 16, 2, 5 & 8 pm, Sun., Dec. 10 & 17, 2 & 5 pm, Thurs., Dec. 21, 7 pm, Fri., 22, 2 & 5 pm, Sat., Dec. 23, 2, 5 & 8 pm, $39-$119. Fever Up.

Two acrobats in red
Santa’s Circus. Photo courtesy of the artists

Watching their step

Known for its high-flying, high-energy Irish dance, Mark Howard’s Trinity Irish Dance Company brings A Very Irish Christmas to town. Steeped in the genre’s traditions, the Chicago-based company also takes a progressive approach to Irish dance, what it calls “traditions with a twist.” After the show, the audience can greet the dancers in the lobby. The Soraya, Cal State University Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Sat., Dec. 9, 3 pm, $39-$99. The Soraya.

Five Irish dancer jump
Trinity Irish Dance Company. Photo courtesy of the artists

Notable “Nuts”

Making the most of its second home

Enjoying its stature as the official ballet company of this venue, American Ballet Theatre opens a dozen performances of celebrated choreographer Alexei Ratmansky’s interpretation of the Nutcracker. Casting for the leads includes Devon Teuscher, Joo Won Ahn, Hee Seo, Daniel Camargo, Catherine Hurlin, Aran Bell, Skylar Brandt, Herman Cornejo, Christine Shevchenko, Thomas Forster, Isabella Boylston, James Whiteside, Cassandra Trenary, Calvin Royal III, SunMi Park, Cory Stearns. Casting for specific performances are at the website, but can change. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa; Fri., Dec. 8, Wed.-Fri., Dec. 13-15, 7 pm, Sat. Dec. 9 & 16, 2 & 7 pm, Sun., Dec. 10 & 17, 12:30 & 5:30 pm, $29-179. SCFTA.

Finale in the Nutcracker
American Ballet Theatre. Photo by Doug Gifford

Tried and true

The artistic directorship has transitioned from founders Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary to current director Melissa Barak, but the Los Angeles Ballet’s Nutcracker set in 1912 Los Angeles remains the Christensen/Neary version that has drawn praise and happy audiences since its debut in 2006. After last week’s Pasadena opening, LAB moves to the second of four venues, continuing to bring professional ballet to audiences throughout SoCal. Info and tickets at Los Angeles Ballet. UCLA Royce Hall, 10745 Dickson Ct., Westwood; Fri., Dec. 8, 8 pm, Sat., Dec. 9, noon & 5 pm, $38-$131. Also at Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Redondo Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach; Fri., Dec. 15, 8 pm, Sat., Dec. 16, noon & 5 pm, Sun., Dec. 17, 2 pm, $38-131. Also at the Dolby Theatre (with the Los Angeles Ballet Orchestra), Hollywood & Highland, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Thurs. Dec. 21, 7:30 pm, Fri.-Sat, Dec. 22-23, 2 & 7:30 pm, Sun., Dec. 24 & Tues., Dec. 26, 2 pm $45-$138. The Nutcracker.

The Nutcracker with girls watching him
Los Angeles Ballet. Photo by Cheryl Mann

A bit of a nut and more

Under the title Joy of the Season, artistic director/choreographer Natasha Richardson and the dancers of Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre pair excerpts from the seasonal favorite Nutcracker with a retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Match Girl. Glendale Performing Arts Center, 1440 E. Broadway, Glendale; Sat., Dec. 9, 7:30 pm, Sun., Dec. 10, 3 pm, $35-$56.38. Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre.

And 19 more noteworthy, including Debbie Allen’s Hot Chocolate NutcrackerRedondo Beach; Inland Pacific Ballet, Rancho Cucamonga; American Contemporary BalletWorld Ballet SeriesSan Diego; Westside Ballet, Santa Monica; Palos Verdes BalletRolling Hills Estates; Dance! To Your Hearts Delight, Inc, Downey; Ballet Etudes, Huntington Beach; Evolution Dance Center, Escondido; Lake Arrowhead Classical Ballet Company, San Bernardino..

(Details on these Nutcrackers this week and the rest of the season)

A Peek at Next Week

Ballet Folklórico de Los Ángeles – Nochebuena at Chapman University, Musco Center for the Arts, 415 N. Glassell, Orange; Wed.-Thurs., Dec. 20-21, 7:30 pm, $25-$78. Musco Center Also at the Soraya, Cal State University Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff St., Nordhoff; Sat., Dec. 16, 3 & 8 pm, Sun., Dec. 17, 3 pm, $69-$119. The Soraya.

Folklorico dancers onstage
Ballet Folklórico de Los Ángeles. Photo courtesy of the artists

Jillian Meyers – The Unseen Hours…a salon series at The Stomping Ground, 5453 Alhambra Ave., El Sereno; Dec. 15, 12:15 pm-2:30 pm, free live or livestream w/membership, limited tickets $25. Membership and ticket options at LA Contemporary Dance (and halfway through this season of Nutcrackers!).

What are you looking for?