Hollywood Bowl Goes Up On Its Toes

Contemporary dance opens for Shakespeare at Griffith Park, a visionary’s current vision in Beverly Hills, Beauty and the Beast redux in Pasadena, ballet stars at the Bowl, and more SoCal dance this week.

4.  Dancers assembling furniture

Returning as a dance prelude for this free Shakespeare festival, Invertigo Dance Theatre performs excerpts from Interior Design. Laura Karlin and her contemporary dance troupe blend dance, theatre and furniture assembly (Ikea allen wrenches anyone?) in this opener for the Independent Shakespeare Festival’s Measure for Measure. Blankets and a picnic are good ideas.  Directions to the performance site and other information on the al fresco event including seating options at http://www.iscla.org/griffith-park-festival/. Griffith Park, Old Zoo; Fri-Sat., July 7-9 & 14-16, 6:30 p.m., Shakespeare at 7:30 p.m., free. http://www.iscla.org/griffith-park-festival/.

Invertigo Dance Theatre's Jessica Dunn and Sadie Jane Photo by George Simian Teaches
Invertigo Dance Theatre’s Jessica Dunn and Sadie Jane. Photo by George Simian Teaches.

3.  A Portuguese take on Beauty

Fresh off the boat, well, actually two boats moored at the L.A. Harbor as the venue for a dance/opera, Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre moves inland for DuoFest. Boston Court’s weeklong music fest has morphed into more complex collaborative events that bring music into play with dance and other performing arts. The re-imagined festival opens with HDDT dancer Teresa Barcelo paired with original music by noted saxophonist Joe Berry and narrator Paula Rebelo in Beauty and the Beast or The Enormous Wound. Don’t expect the Disney version, these artists draw on the A bela e a fera ou A ferida grande demais, a Portuguese story about a beauty who comes to terms with her inner beast. Info on the complete Duo Fest series at http://bostoncourt.com. Boston Court Theatre, 70 N. Mentor Ave., Pasadena; Sat., July 8, 8 p.m., Fri., July 14, 8 p.m., $30, $25 seniors, $20 students. 626-683-6883, https://ci.ovationtix.com/112/production/965614?performanceId=10123269.

Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre's Teresa Barcelo in Beauty and the Beast Photo courtesy of HDDT
Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre’s Teresa Barcelo in Beauty and the Beast. Photo courtesy of HDDT.

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2.  Universally personal

Known for his imaginative choreography for the film Across the Universe and work that ranges from the grandeur of opera to the spectacle of the Sochi Olympics opening ceremony to intimate dances for the modern troupe Momix and others, Daniel Esralow is a major player in national and international circles. Esralow and his eponymous Esralow Dance get personal in Primo Passo. Inspired by watching his child learn to walk, Esralow promises to combine a retrospective of past work and a preview of where his considerable inventiveness will go next. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, Thurs.-Fri., July 13-14, 8 p.m.; $39-$99. 310-246-3800.http://thewallis.org.

Ezralow Dance's Daniel Ezralow and his inspiration Photo courtesy of the artist
Ezralow Dance’s Daniel Ezralow and his inspiration. Photo courtesy of the artist.

1.  The Bowl on its toes

Does summer really begin before the Hollywood Bowl season opens? Well, summer definitely starts now with the Bowl’s classical season launched by a star-studded quartet of ballet luminaries and Gustavo Dudamel conducting the L.A. Phil.  With music by Tchaikovsky, Adam and Prokofiev on display, Dudamel and Stars of Ballet highlights some of the world’s most popular ballets. Two of ballet’s reigning queen bees, Misty Copeland and Natalia Osipova from American Ballet Theatre and Britain’s Royal Ballet, respectively, are joined by ABT’s Marcelo Gomes and Royal Ballet alum Sergei Polunin. Not sticking strictly to a traditional approach, Gomes is slated to tackle the feathered knickers’ White Swan solo from Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake with Copeland essaying more traditional White Swan choreography. Osipova and Polunin appear in an extended Giselle excerpt while Copeland and Gomes pair up for the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet. The Dude and the Phil contribute other selections from these ballets and Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood; Tues., July 11, 8 p.m., $1-$154. http://hollywoodbowl.com.

Other dance of note:

Come to watch, come to dance as the summer series JAM returns and expands beyond its home base at the Ford Theatre to locations in Marina del Rey, Newhall and San Fernando.  Complete listings at https://thefordtheatres.org. Geared to beginners and taught by pros, the series is fun way to learn about different dance styles and pick up some new moves. This week it’s hip hop in Burton Chace Park, 13650 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey; Sat., July 8, 6:30 p.m., free. 310-305-9545,https://thefordtheatres.org.

Join in or just enjoy the free show at Dance Downtown LA. This week come for Line Dance/Two Step, the infectious and pretty straightforward dance also known as the Texas Two Step.  Cowboy boots and hats not required. Even if the plan is just to watch, just try to resist with a beginner lesson at each event before the free dance starts.Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri., June 23, 7 p.m., free. http://musiccenter.org/dancedtla.

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