Home Is Where The Dance Is

Rebooting a Greek classic in West L.A., a hello/good-bye concert in Lincoln Heights, homage to a modern dance pioneer in Pasadena, dancing about home in Santa Monica, a dance-filled musical that keeps on giving in Westwood and more SoCal dance this week.

5.  Season’s greetings

It’s “hello summer” and “good bye Will” as choreographer Deborah Brockus’ eponymous BrockusRED takes the stage with repertoire favorites from Brockus, plus new works by company members Moises Josue Michel, Charlotte Katherine Smith and Will Clayton. The event also bids farewell to Clayton who gets danced out of town as he relocates Denver, Colorado. Diavolo Space, 616 Moulton Ave., Lincoln Heights; Sat., June 16, 8 p.m., $25, $15 students. www.BrockusRED.org.

BrockusRED. Photo by Denise Leitner.
BrockusRED. Photo by Denise Leitner.

4. The last bit of Mr. B

Offering your own choreography in a program dubbed Spectacular Balanchine! and otherwise devoted to the genius of choreographer George Balanchine is audacious, but American Contemporary Ballet artistic director Lincoln Jones has never lacked for audacity. Billed as a tribute to Balanchine’s neo-classical style, Jones’ new work joins excerpts from Balanchine’s Who Cares, Stars & Stripes, Union Jack and Western Symphony. ACB Studios, 700 S. Flower St., Suite 3200, downtown; Thurs.-Sat., June 14-16, Sun., June 17, 4 p.m., $40-$500. http://acbdances.com.

American Contemporary Ballet's Victoria Hulland. Photo by Ryan Ward.
American Contemporary Ballet’s Victoria Hulland. Photo by Ryan Ward.

 3.  Past present tense

The latest 21st century exploration of classical plays involving movement mavens Not Man Apart Physical Theatre Ensemble reconsiders another Greek classic in Lysistrata Unbound. In the original 441 BC comedy, Aristophanes considered what would occur if Greek women withheld sex to protest the ongoing war with Sparta. Expect serious movement enhancing the dialogue as choreographer John Farmanesh also directs with assistance from choreographers Alina Bolshkava, Jones Welsh Talmage and the Not Man Apart company. See website for additional stray weeknight shows, special wine nights and other events. Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., W.L.A.; Fri.-Sat., 8, p.m., Sun., 2 p.m., $32-$37, $25 seniors, $22 under 30, $17 students.http://www.odysseytheatre.com.

Not Man Apart Physical Theatre Ensemble's "Lysistrata Unbound". Photo by Enci Box.
Not Man Apart Physical Theatre Ensemble’s “Lysistrata Unbound”. Photo by Enci Box.

2. Modern dance lineage

In a program of dance paying homage to the modern dance pioneer Mary Wigman, choreographer/artistic director Nancy Evans Doede and her Pasadena-based troupe Nancy Evans Dance Theatre offer Works from 2018: From the Source, The Legacy of Mary Wigman. The evening includes Everness, a work created by the late Nancy Hauser in tribute to Wigman that was previously restricted to performances by Hauser’s ensemble where Evans Doede once danced. The evening also includes a new work by Evans Doede drawing on Wigman’s movement principles, plus works by Nikolaos Doede, Katrina Amerine, Ashleigh Doede and Jenn Logan. A Q&A will follow the Saturday evening performance.  ARC Pasadena, 1158 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Sat., June 16, 8 p.m., Sun., June 17, 4 p.m., $25, $20 students & seniors.http://www.nancyevansdancetheatre.com/store/works-2018.   

Nancy Evans Dance Theatre. Photo by Shana Skelton.
Nancy Evans Dance Theatre. Photo by Shana Skelton.

1. There’s no place like…

Sometimes it’s sweet, other times not so much so, but the concept of “home” has a visceral resonance with most everyone and was the starting point for choreographer James MahKween who curated this showcase. MahKween recruited more than a dozen L.A.-based choreographers to provide works for a program on the theme of Reflect on Home. The dancemakers’ perspectives on the topic are conveyed in dance genres ranging from Korean and African to American contemporary. Participants include Juli Kim, Mychal Vandel, Victor Sanchez, Alan Perez, Shenandoah Harris, Jamie Mick Burton, LaRonica Southerland & Chateria Ray,  Rachel Turner, Issac Huerta, Joseph Lister, Latrice Postell and MahKween. Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Sun., June 17, 7:30 p.m., $15. https://www.highwaysperformance.org.

Reflect on Home. Photo courtesy of the artists.
Reflect on Home. Photo courtesy of the artists.

   Other dance of note:

Choreographers Jerome AB and Spenser Theberge unveil new dance and movement in their program dubbed New Works, part of The Queer Biennial III with its international focus on current LGBTQ art and culture. For a full line up of installation, film, live performance, and historical documentation in the festival go to http://www.queerbiennial.com. Navel, 1611 S. Hope St. downtown; Fri., June 15, 8:30 p.m., $10, but no one turned away. http://www.queerbiennial.com.

Since its founding several years ago, LA Dance Project‘s local performances had been few and far between extended touring. Benjamin Millepied and LADP have taken some chiding for being largely absent from L.A. despite benefiting from the cache of L.A. in its name, especially in its European tours. All that seems to be changing with a spate of recent local shows including just concluded extended series at its new downtown studio. Now LADP makes its Orange County debut with Millepied’s 2017 Orpheus Highway retelling the tragic tale of Orpheus and Eurydice plus his Bach Studies (Part I) set to Bach’s Partita for Violin No. 2 in D Minor. Musco Center for the Arts, Chapman University, 415 N. Glassell, Orange; Sat., June 16. 7:30 p.m., $35-$65. 844-626-8726, www.muscocenter.org.

L.A. Dance Project. Photo by Laurent-Phillipe.
L.A. Dance Project. Photo by Laurent-Phillipe.

Like a phoenix rising from its ashes, Reprise 2.0 reboots the popular showcase for classical Broadway musicals with the dance drenched Sweet Charity.  The series fell on hard financial times several years ago, but the original founder Marcia Seligson returned to the helm, announcing a new season with three shows and attracting Tony award winning choreographer-director Kathleen Marshall to stage the opener, Sweet Charity. Having staged last summer’s Mamma Mia at the Hollywood Bowl, Marshall knows how to maneuver a full onstage orchestra, professional performers, and minimal sets (don’t expect helicopters to fly in) that let the book by Neil Simon, music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Dorothy Field, and yes, the dancing choreographed by Marshall to be the focus. Next up, another dance-fill musical Victor/Victoria in September and Grand Hotel–the Musical in October. UCLA’s Freud Playhouse, Macgowan Hall, 245 Charles E. Young Drive East, Westwood; Wed., June 20, then Tues.-Fri., 8 p.m., Sat., 2 & 8 p.m., Sun., 2 & 7 p.m., thru Sun., July 1, $75-$110, $30 students. www.reprise2.org.

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