Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre Gets Snowed Under

This week’s dance events in L.A. include new choreography and new “Voices” in Lincoln Heights, Benjamin Millepied’s L.A. Dance Project and a CalArts concert downtown, dancers Snowed Under in Culver City, Los Angeles Ballet’s Nutcracker goes Hollywood (and other Nutcrackers open all over).

5.  A prodigal project returns to L.A.

L.A. Dance Project offers two U.S. premieres and a world premiere to music composed and performed live by Rufus Wainwright and danced by artistic director Benjamin Millepied with guest artist Janie Taylor. For the last few years, LADP has mostly been seen touring Europe and not so much here. Now that Millepied has left the helm of Paris Opera Ballet, more of his attention seems to be turning to LADP. Notably, past performances have offered “previews” of works that were actually premiered in Europe. While two of the scheduled dances were premiered abroad, the newest work receives its premiere here. Theatre at the Ace Hotel, 933 S. Broadway, downtown; Fri.-Sat., Dec. 9-10, 8 p.m., $30-$80. 213-235-9614, https://acehotel.com/losangeles/theatre, http://ladanceproject.com.

L.A. Dance Project Photo courtesy of the company
L.A. Dance Project Photo courtesy of the company

4.  Hitting their “Marks”

Dancers Alexx Shilling and Willy Souly lead a band of fine dancers in my OH my OH my, with choreography from Victoria Marks. An established presence on the local dance scene who consistently attracts top notch dancers, Marks offers three new works and the reprise of the 2014 Tourette Floret. In addition to Shilling and Souly, dancers include Eitan Trachtenberg, Chaitan Butte, Bernard Brown, Casey Brown, Dorothy Dubrule, Alexsa Durrans, Jingqiu Guan, Carmela Hermann Dietrich, Sarah Jacobs, Maya Kell-Abrams, Fangfei Miao, Carol McDowell, Myrrhia Rodriguez, Darrian O’Reilly, Arushi Singh, and Kevin Williamson. Pieter Space, 420 West Avenue 33
Unit #10, Lincoln Heights; Dec. 10, 8:30 p.m., admission (required): a non-monetary food or other donation to the free bar or the free boutique. http://pieterpasd.com.

Victoria Marks' my OH my OH my Photo by Jingqiu Guan
Victoria Marks’ my OH my OH my Photo by Jingqiu Guan

3.  Another kind of fest

Less formal than the annual Los Angeles Dance Festival she organizes, the Voices series launched by Deborah Brockus is emerging as a compelling vehicle for local choreographers and dancers to showcase work that often comments on the larger cultural and political world. For the post-election, pre-holiday edition, 12 choreographers will assemble for both nights including Andrew Pearson, Rosanna Tavarez, Micaela Talyor (TC Collective), Sean Greene, (ShieldWall Dance), Seda Abay (Kyble Dance Company), Hazel Clark (Karios Dance), Ken Morris (Ken Morris Project), Tracy Kofford (BDCC Dance Company), and Carisa Carroll (Carisa Carroll & Dancers). Brockus and her BrockusRED participate only on Saturday and Kelly Alvarez is only on Sunday. BPStudios, 618 B Moulton Ave., Lincoln Heights; Sat. Dec. 10, 8 p.m., Sun., Dec. 11, 6 p.m., $16. http://brockusproject.org.

Brockus Red at Voices Photo by Denise Leitner
BrockusRED at Voices Photo by Denise Leitner

2.  Los Angeles Ballet gets Nutcracking

A brand-new, full length production of The Nutcracker set in Los Angeles circa 1912 was the audacious calling card when Los Angeles Ballet made its debut 11 years ago. Over the intervening years, the production has been polished to a lustrous patina and the dancing talent deepened as LAB’s Nutcracker has become an eagerly anticipated local holiday tradition. After this weekend’s opening, LAB can be found touring greater L.A. throughout December. With the onslaught of shopping frenzy, traffic congestion and uncertainties about the new year, a brief respite in a world of toy soldiers, dancing dolls, sugarplum fairies and brave nutcrackers provide a much needed source of comfort and joy. Tickets $31-$99, $24.50-$79 seniors, students & children 12 and under at 310-998-7782, http://LosAngelesBallet.org. Dolby Theatre, Hollywood & Highland, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., Dec. 10, 1 & 5 p.m., Sun., Dec. 11, 1 p.m.; 323-308-6300, http://dolbythreatre.com., Also at UCLA Royce Hall, 340 Royce Dr., Westwood; Fri., Dec. 16, 7:30, Sat.-Sun., Dec. 17-18, 1 & 5 p.m., http://cap.ucla.edu. Also at Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach; Thurs.-Fri., Dec. 22-23, 7:30 p.m., Sat., Dec. 24, 11 a.m. & 3 p.m., http://rbpac.com.

(For some of the other top Nutcrackers, see below)

Los Angeles Ballet's The Nutcracker Photo by Reed Hutchinson
Los Angeles Ballet’s The Nutcracker Photo by Reed Hutchinson

1.  Let it snow!

Especially on January 1, the snowbound parts of this country enviously eye the Rose Parade and SoCal’s sunny beneficence, yet throughout December artificial snow and ice rinks spring up as seasonally as Christmas trees and Nutcracker ballets. Recognizing this sun-drenched area’s fascination with the snow, L.A. lacks, Heidi Duckler, L.A.’s mistress of the site specific performance and her band of dancers, singers, musicians and other performer tackle the idea and object of snow in SoCal. Join Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre as it exploits Culver City’s temporary snowpack in Snowed Under. Only one show. It has to be quick before it melts! Helms Bakery, 8685 Washington Blvd., Culver City; Sat., December 10, 7 p.m.. Tickets available at bit.ly/hddtsnowedunder, $25-$50, $15 students. bit.ly/hddtsnowedunder.

Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre in Snowed Under Photo courtesy of the company
Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre in Snowed Under Photo courtesy of the company

Other dance of note:

CalArts’ faculty member Julie Bour and guest choreographers Juel D. Lane and Douglas Nielsen provide new choreography plus a restaging of Elisa Monte’s Pigs and Fishes highlight the annual CalArts Dance Department Winter Concert. REDCAT, Disney Hall, 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; Fri.-Sat., Dec. 9-10, 8:30 p.m., $20, $16 students. 213-237-2800, http://redcat.org.

Paying homage to its Mexican heritage, Danza Floricanto/USA presents its annual Navidad en Whittier with dance, music and song. Whittier College, Ruth B. Shannon Center, 6760 Painter Ave., Whittier; Sat., Dec. 10, 7:30 p.m., $25, $20 seniors & children. 562-907-4203, http://floricantousa.com, http://shannoncenter.org/NavidadenWhittier.html.

Floricanto/USA Photo by Frank Sandoval
Floricanto/USA Photo by Frank Sandoval

Santa Monica College’s world dance company Global Motion performs choreography drawn from around the world. The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica; Sat., Dec. 10, 4 & 7:30 p.m., Sun., Dec. 11, 7:30 p.m., $18 in advance, $20 at door. 310-434-3467, http://smc.edu/eventsinfo.

Originally performed at NYC’s The Kitchen with significant protest elements, Simon Leung’s ACTIONS! is reprised along with Leung’s ADJUNCTS!, described as a “dance/collective poem”. Part of the ongoing In Real Life Performance series. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sat.-Sun., Dec. 10-11, 2-5 p.m., free. 310-443-7000. https://hammer.ucla.edu/programs.

Can there be too many Nutcrackers?

American Ballet Theatre brings Alex Ratmansky’s The Nutcracker. For a full list of principal casting go to http://scfta.org. Fri.-Sat., Dec. 9-10 & 16-17, Thurs., Dec. 15, 7 p.m., Sat., Dec. 10 & 17, 2 p.m., Sun., Dec. 11 & 18, 12:30 & 5: 30 p.m.; $20-$259. 714-556-2787, http://scfta.org.

American Ballet Theatre Photo courtesy of the company
American Ballet Theatre Photo courtesy of the company

Long Beach Ballet takes the stage with a flying horse and other special effects for its Nutcracker. Long Beach Terrace Theater, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach; Sat., Dec. 10 & 17, 2 & 7:30 p.m., Sun., Dec. 11 & 18, 2 p.m., $27.20-$115. http://ticketmaster.com.

Long Beach Ballet Photo by Katie Bing
Long Beach Ballet Photo by Katie Bing

Inland Pacific Ballet’s Nutcracker with choreography by Victoria Koenig at two more venues. Fox Performing Arts Center, 3801 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside; Sat., Dec. 10, 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m., Sun., Dec. 11, 2 p.m. Also at Bridges Auditorium, Pomona College, 450 North College Way, Claremont; Sat., Dec.  17, 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m., Sun., Dec. 18, 2 p.m., $21-$56. http://ipballet.org.

Inland Pacific Ballet Photo courtesy of the company
Inland Pacific Ballet Photo courtesy of the company

Marat Daukayev’s ballet school offers its Nutcracker with Daukayev as the mysterious Drosselmeyer. Luckman Theatre, Cal State University Los Angeles, 5151 State University Dr., East L.A.; Sat. Dec. 10, 2 & 7 p.m., Sun., Dec. 11, 11:30 a.m. & 4:30 p.m., $42-$67. 800-838-3006, http://brownpapertickets.com/event/2704944.


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