HAIR (the dance, not the musical)

Immersive dance in Westlake and downtown, cumbia dance launches renovated Music Center plaza, French visitors in Venice and Palos Verdes, hula in Long Beach, “hair” dances in Hollywood, and more SoCal dance this week.

5.   Taking to the loft

Artists from Minnesota, New York and L.A. participate as Live Laugh Loft’s Monstera inaugurates this loft space. Announced participants in this immersive performance party include Eleanor Epstein, Charlotte Acevedo, Melani De Guzman, Emma Fitzsimmons, Mariusz Kujawski, Kayla Cloonan and Megan Curet. Live Laugh Loft, 2349 S. Santa Fe Ave., downtown; Fri., Aug. 30, 9 p.m., $17.

Melani de Guzman of Live Laugh Loft's "Monstera." Photo courtesy of the artist.
Melani de Guzman of Live Laugh Loft’s “Monstera.” Photo courtesy of the artist.

4.   First chance, last dance

Part of the official opening festivities for the renovated Music Center Plaza also is the finale of this summer’s Dance DTLA series. Cumbia is the dance style in this last chance to dance under the stars. A free beginner dance lesson at 7 p.m. is followed by a chance to dance or to just watch and enjoy until 11 p.m. Music Center Plaza, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri., Aug. 30, 7 p.m., free.

DanceDTLA. Photo by Javier Guillen.
DanceDTLA. Photo by Javier Guillen.

3.  In great company

Presented by The Great Company and described as a dance-based ritual, Creature marks the inaugural collaboration of choreographer Haylee Nichele and director Justin Denton. The event promises the audience a participatory workshop performance incorporating the four elements and four points of the compass. Performers include Camila Arana, Samantha Jane Grey, Jessica Emmanuel, and James Cowan. The Great Company, 1655 Beverly Blvd., Westlake; Sat., Aug. 31, 7:30, 8:15, 9 & 9:45 p.m. $23.

The Great Co.'s "Creature." Photo courtesy of the artists.
The Great Co.’s “Creature.” Photo courtesy of the artists.

2.    Body and mind reunion

The workshops and discussions that are the heart of the annual SOMAfest conclude as leaders, teachers, facilitators and participants take the stage in emBODYment Performance: Dancing the Cosmic Body. The event marks the end of the 13th annual assemblage exploring and sharing the mind-body explorations that characterize Somatic practice as applied to dance. Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Sun., Sept. 1, 4 p.m., $25, $20 students & seniors.

SOMAfest's emBODYment Performance: Dancing the Cosmic Body. Photo courtesy of the artists.
SOMAfest’s emBODYment Performance: Dancing the Cosmic Body. Photo courtesy of the artists.

1.  A hank of hair

Passionate and provocative, for more than three decades Urban Bush Women have focused on issues of concern to African American women, but issues that reach far beyond that demographic to universal concerns of respect for self and others. The subject this visit is Hair & Other Stories which promises to combine energized dance theatre with conversations likely to challenge generally accepted perceptions and speak to the value of plurality. The choreography by Associate Artistic Directors Chanon Judson and Samantha Speis is set to original compositions by The Illustrious Blacks, i.e. Manchildblack and Monstah Black. Ford Theatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood; Fri. Aug. 30, 8 p.m., $25-$50.

Urban Bush Women in "Hair." Photo by Hayim-Heron.
Urban Bush Women in “Hair.” Photo by Hayim-Heron.

         Other dance of note:

Hula and chant performances highlight this three-day Hula Festival. Competitions and showcased groups are detailed at the website. Lei workshops and island food are among the other attractions. Long Beach Convention Center, Terrace Theater, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach; Fri.-Sun., Aug. 30-Sept. 1, 8 a.m., $25-$60.

Hula Festival. Photo courtesy of Ehulamau.
Hula Festival. Photo courtesy of Ehulamau.

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. Steinberg/Oguri House, 636 Milwood, Venice; Thurs., Aug. 29, 6 p.m. Also at 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.

Max 10. Photo courtesy of the artists.
Max 10. Photo courtesy of the artists.

The monthly, uncurated Max 10 offers an evening that may include dance, music, film, spoken-word, slideshow, visual art and/or performance art, each no longer than ten minutes. This edition includes dance from Vanessa Van Wormer and Therese Correy. Coordinated by Michelle Clay and hosted by Joel Shapiro, the long-running Monday night series is always full of surprises. Electric Lodge, Scott Kelman Theatre, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice; Mon., Sept. 2, 7:30 p.m., $10.

The main Laguna Dance Festival starts later this month, but under the festival’s umbrella student dancers and choreographers from USC’s Kaufman School of Dance offer two free performances as part of the First Thursdays Art Walk. Laguna Art Museum, 307 Cliff Dr., Laguna Beach; Thurs., Sept. 5, 6:30 & 7 p.m., free.

Broad Fest's Viver Brasil. Photo courtesy of Viver Brasil.
Broad Fest’s Viver Brasil. Photo courtesy of Viver Brasil.

Brazilian dance from Viver Brasil, ballroom and social dance from Arthur Murray Dance Center, and Family Dance Jam are among the dance, music and song, plus art projects offered at the five hour, family-friendly Broad Fest launching the venue’s 2019-2020 season. The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica; Sun., Sept. 1, 2 p.m., free but RSVP suggested.

Getty Institute's "Bauhaus Beginnings". Photo by A.Haskins.
Getty Institute’s “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. Bauhaus Building the New Artist- online exhibition

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