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Halloween Gets a Dead Take Over

A flamenco sensation in Costa Mesa and Northridge, cirque from Down Under in Beverly Hills, dancemakers paired with composers in Pasadena, new choreography in Santa Monica and Santa Barbara, and more SoCal dance this week.

5.   Donald McKayle remembered

The Santa Monica College dance department spans a wide swath of the dance spectrum, but here the college’s dance troupe Synapse Dance Theater puts the emphasis on the contemporary. Faculty contributors include Seda Aybay, Angela Jordan, Cihtli Ocampo, Sophie Monat and co-artistic directors Jae Lee and Mark Tomasic. Student choreographers include Liam Gifkins, Amira Murphy, Jackie Riedel, Julisa Figueroa, Aya Nakaguchi and Ariel Scott. The evening includes two sections from the late Donald McKayle’s Songs of the Disinherited. The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica; Sat., Nov. 2, 4 & 7:30 p.m., Sun., Nov. 3, 7:30 p.m., $20-$23. http://smc.edu/eventsinfo.

Synapse Dance Theater. Photo courtesy of the artists.

Synapse Dance Theater. Photo courtesy of the artists.

4.   All in the family

The grandson of fabled Spanish flamenco dancer El Farruco, he’s officially named Juan Manuel Fernandez Montoya, but is best known as Farruquito and widely recognized as the deserving heir to the family legacy. Absent from the U.S. for more than a decade due to personal issues, at his 2016 return, the dancer stunned the New York Times critic who wrote, “I’ve never seen any flamenco dancer with such dynamic variety. The most casual flourish of a heel is also part of a long complex phrase; the slightest turn of a wrist becomes part of a complex linear meeting of arcs that work from head to toe.” He takes the stage at two local venues. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa; Wed., Nov. 6, 8 p.m. $39-$99. https://www.scfta.org. Also at the Soraya, Cal State University Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Sat., Nov. 9, 8 p.m., $43-$52. https://www.thesoraya.org.

Farruquito. Photo by Jame Massieu.

Farruquito. Photo by Jame Massieu.

3.    A quintet of pairs

Dance meets song in Breath + Body with five premieres each pairing a choreographer from Iris Company with a composer from the new music collective Contemporary Choral Collective of Los Angeles a.k.a. C3LA. The quintessential quintets are Marcus Carline and Casey Gonzalez, Saunder Choi and Carissa Soghorian, Drew Corey and Sophia Stoller-Gould, Lucy McKnight and Bryanna Brock, plus Jaco Wong and Joan Holly Padeo. Mimoda Studio, 5774 W. Pico Blvd., Pico/Fairfax; Sat.-Sun., Nov. 2-3, 8 p.m., $25 in advance, $30 at door. https://www.c3la.org.

Iris Company. Photo courtesy of the artists.

Iris Company. Photo courtesy of the artists.

2.    Merce-y Merce-y Merce-y

The respected Dance Camera West has its main festival in January, but brings a special program, “Merce Cunningham Centennial Screening Series,” showcasing the modern dance legend’s ventures into film and video. The screenings have multiple co-sponsors & locations, including CalArts, CAP UCLA, USC and Grand Arts All Access at MOCA. The films screen for free with a reservation. MOCA Grand Avenue, 250 S. Grand, downtown; Sat., Nov. 2, multiple showings from 11am-4pm free with reservation. Also at UCLA Kaufman Hall, Studio 200, 120 Westwood Plaza, Westwood; Mon., Nov. 4, 4:30 p.m.-6 p.m., free with reservation; Also at CalArts Sharon Disney Lund Dance Theater, 24700 McBean Pkwy, Valencia.  Tues., Nov. 5, 1:30 p.m.-3 p.m., free with reservation. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/dance-camera-west-presents-merce-cunningham-centennial-film-series-tickets-76825901339.

Merce Cunningham. Photo by Jack Mitchell courtesy of Getty Images.

Merce Cunningham. Photo by Jack Mitchell courtesy of Getty Images.

1.   Dead celebration

Halloween is over. Now it’s time for Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations this weekend and next. Here are some events that include dance performances:

The street outside the venue will be closed off for this community celebration of Día de los Muertos with dance from Los Chinelos  and the Aztec dance troupe Huitzilopochtli along with musical groups, processions, altar building, face painting and food concessions. 24th Street Theatre, 117 W. 24th St., University Park; Sat., Nov. 2, 5:45 p.m.-10 p.m., free. https://www.24thstreet.org.    

Hundreds of Aztec ritual dancers are part of the musical performers, costume contests, craft and food concessions at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., Nov. 2, noon – midnight, $25, free for 8 & younger and 65 & older until 4 p.m. https://www.ladayofthedead.com.

Dance and music performances plus art exhibits, artist-led workshops on sugar skills, and food concessions are part of the family-friendly event at Muckenthaler Cultural Center, 1201 W. Malvern Ave., Fullerton; Sun., Nov. 3, noon – 4 p.m., free. https://themuck.org/programing/2019/11/3/dia-de-los-muertos-fiesta.

One of the most dance intensive events is Fiesta Día de Los Muertos from Gema Sandoval and her Danza Floricanto USA. Now in its 18th year, the ensemble knows how to provide entertaining transport through elements of the Day of the Dead celebration. ARC Pasadena, 1158 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Sat., Nov. 9, 8 p.m., $20 in advance, $25 at door. http://www.danzafloricantousa.org/store.php.

Dia de Los Muertos. Photo by Rebecca Borgen Ballesteros.

Dia de Los Muertos. Photo by Rebecca Borgen Ballesteros.

 Other dance of note:

The Australian contemporary circus company Circa Contemporary Circus comes to town with Humans. Led by Yaron Lifschitz, the ensemble blends movement, dance, theatre and circus. No wild animals, just talented performers doing wild things to entertain. The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills; Sat., Nov. 2, 7:30 p.m., $29-$79. https://thewallis.org/Circa.

Circa Contemporary Circus. Photo by Sarah Walker.

Circa Contemporary Circus. Photo by Sarah Walker.

Dancers from State Street Ballet choreographed seven new works for Evenings. The dancers turned dancemakers include Tanner Blee, Anna Carnes, James Folsom, Amara Galloway, Courtney Hanaway, Arianna Hartanov, Ahna Lipchik. Gail Towbes Center for Dance, 2285 Las Positas Rd., Santa Barbara; Fri.-Sat., Nov. 1-2, 7:30 p.m., $25. https://www.statestreetballet.com.

State Street Ballet. Photo courtesy of the artists.

State Street Ballet. Photo courtesy of the artists.

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