How to Come Back with a Vengeance
Three days of flamenco in Silver Lake, contemporary dance with a LatinX flair in Cahuenga Pass, and dancing with sneaker sculpture in Hollywood, all live! A vaccination dance film debuts in Watts-Willowbrook, a samba encore, and dance inspired by veterans’ letters, LA artists, and a prior pandemic, plus more SoCal dance this week.
A flock of flamenco-istas!
After a 15-month pandemic-enforced hiatus, the dancers, musicians, and singers of Forever Flamenco return, ready to make up for lost time with three days of performances launching Flamenco Under the Stars on the venue’s new outdoor stage. Since its 1990 opening, the Fountain Theatre has hosted mostly monthly, mostly Sunday flamenco events curated by a shifting roster of Who’s Who in in L.A. flamenco. For its reopening, the series goes al fresco with three nights of flamenco, each with a different line-up. Friday’s opening, directed by Lakshmi Basile “La Chimi,” is a tribute to the late cantor (singer) Jesús Montoya and boasts singers Antonio de Jerez and Reyes Barrios, guitarists José Tanaka and Kambiz Pakan, and dancers David Castellano, Laura Castellano, Cristina Moguel, and Basile. On Saturday Briseyde Zárate directs and performs with dancers Vanessa Albalos and Cristina Lucio “La Tigresa,” singer Antonio de Jerez; and guitarist José Tanaka. On Sunday, Albalos directs and dances with Zárate, Cristina Lucio, with singer Oscar Valero and guitarist Kambiz Pakandam. Details on the monthly performances scheduled into September are at the website as the artists are announced. At the Fountain Theater, 5060 Fountain Ave., East Hollywood, Fri. -Sun., July 30-Aug. 1, 8 p.m. Tickets and complete line up of performers at the Fountain Theatre.
JustUS? or JustICE?
This free, live concert is something of a homecoming for Contra Tiempo. Returning from a brief East Coast tour that included the revered Jacob’s Pillow, the troupe brings its signature blend of Salsa, hip hop, Afro-Cuban, and contemporary dance to the stage in joyUS justUS. The work captures the company’s dual commitments to social justice and energized performance. The dancers share the evening with the psychedelic soul music of The Marías and members of YOLA (Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles). At the Ford Theatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood; Fri., July 30, 8 p.m., free with reservation at The Ford.
Not just sneakers on a wire
A series of “activation performances” from dancer/choreographer Jessica Emmanuel are inspired by and incorporate parts of the Tumblehood, Nari Wood’s 2015 spherical sculpture crafted out of sneakers and shoelaces. Emmanuel began these performances in June, took a break in early July, and now resumes for the next four Saturdays. Jeffrey Deitch, 925 N Orange Dr., Hollywood; Saturdays thru Aug. 21, hourly from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., free. Jeffrey Deitch.
A Peek at Live Dance Coming Next Week
Heidi Duckler Dance The pandemic postponed premiere of The Chandelier. At the Wallis Annenberg Theater, Beverly Hills; Thurs.-Sun., Aug. 12-15. The Wallis.
LA Moves Live performance and filming of contemporary ballet Back to the Heart. Black Box Filming Studio, Van Nuys. Sat., Aug. 7. LA Moves.
Le Ballet Dembaya Live, free performance at the Ford Theater, Sun., Aug. 8. The Ford.
James MahKween curates F.E.M. (Femine Energy Magnified) Livestreamed online Aug. 7. MahKweenMethod@gmail.com<.
Addressing the jab
Among the innovative Covid-19 vaccination efforts, Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital Campus (MLK) teamed with site specific dance company Heidi Duckler Dance to create a short, public service announcement film Ages Take Action: Give the Vaccine a Shot. The film includes a score produced by the Young Producers Group comprised of LAUSD students enrolled in music production classes. The video continues HDD’s ongoing partnership with MLK and its Watts/Willowbrook neighborhood. The video will be part of community outreach efforts by hospital personnel and other health professionals to disseminate information about the vaccination effort and address the disproportionate pandemic toll on BIPOC communities. The film receives its debut public screening along with a panel discussion with medical professionals. At the Watts Labor Community Action Committee, 10950 S Central Ave, Watts-Willowbrook; Thurs., July 29, 7 p.m. free with reservation at Heidi Duckler Dance and continues online on Vimeo.
Vets’ letters from the front
One of the most powerful dance videos to emerge during the initial months of the pandemic came from Diavolo Architecture in Motion‘s Veterans Project with the stories and insights of military veterans who had become front line medical workers during the pandemic. The veterans went toe to toe in bravura movement with some of Diavolo’s astonishing athletes and signature structures. The Veterans Project most recent video is an equally mesmerizing endeavor, the product of an eight day workshop with writings by the veterans interpreted by dancers from around the world. The final product of S.O.S. Veterans Project 2021 premiered appropriately on July 4 and streams until August 4 on Diavolo’s YouTube page at YouTube.
L.A. dance gets a little love
The third season of the Music Center’s digital series For the Love of L.A. keeps adding new videos filled with curated dance, music, and visual arts. The season includes South Asian-American dance with Shalini Bathina and 17-year old Shreya Patel, Japanese influenced dance in a film directed and performed by Kyoko Takenaka, contemporary dance set in Leimert Park from Brianna Mims, an excursion between beach and backyard from Maya Alvarez-Coyne, Albertossy Espinoza’s LA Fusion Dance Theater, and more. Online free, at Music Center.
Paying tribute to a sambadeiras
This week’s addition to Viver Brasil’s weekly online rebroadcast of a past performance, Para Onde O Sambe Me Leva/Where the Samba May Take Me was associate artistic director Vera Passos joyful tribute to the memory of Moreira da Cruz Silvaone of Bahia’s most important sambadeiras. The work was part of the ensemble 20th anniversary Ford Theatre performance. The company’s rich repertoire reflects the company’s efforts to preserve Brasil’s African culture in dance and music. Free at Viver Brasil. The troupe also is part of KCET’s Southland Sessions streaming at KCET.
She does like a good book
Choreographer Rosanna Gamson has drawn some of her most compelling work from literature ranging from Scheherazade in Tales of the Arabian Nights to the Brothers Grimm’s Hansel and Gretel, and lectures by theoretical physicist Richard Feynman. Other than Albert Camus’ The Plague, what could be more appropriate pandemic source material than Boccaccio’s Decameron with tales from ten strangers sheltering from the bubonic plague? Just as the tales of the ten travelers unfold one at a time, Gamson’s The Decameron Project rolls out ten films, each made by a different artist. All ten episodes are now live and viewable for free on RGWW and on Instagram.
Dances with cars
Over three Saturdays, Suárez Dance Theater rolled out three short films under the banner Mapping Our Stories. Inspired by the histories of Black, Native and LatinX people, each film is set in a Santa Monica public space with often overlooked cultural significance (the city provided funding). Choreographer/performer Bernard Brown of bbmoves takes the audience from the landmark Phillips Chapel CME Church (the 1909 church was the first serving the African American Community) to the site of “Inkwell Beach” where Blacks and Browns were restricted in segregated California beaches. Acknowledging her Chumash and Tongva Nations heritage, poet/songwriter Jessa Calderon’s film starts overlooking the ocean from Tongva Park. The history of the Westside Classics Car Club in Santa Monica is the focus of the film from Primera Generación Dance Collective (PGDC) and its members Alfonso Cervera, Rosa Rodriguez-Frazier, Irvin Manuel Gonzalez, and Patricia “Patty” Huerta. Each film has resources for further exploration and continue to screen for free at Bernard Brown/bbmoves’s “…at leisure…,” Jessa Calderon’s “Before the Noise,” Primera Generación Dance Colletive’s “low riting”
Oh, the places we have been
With support from three theaters, The Wallis and The Soraya in SoCal and The Harris in Chicago, Jacob Jonas The Company worked with more than 150 artists all over the globe to produce short dance films for the series, Films.Dance. Just as vaccination and pandemic restrictions start to allow travel, the 15-week dance film world tour that began in January concluded earlier this month with Emma Rosenzweig-Bock in a film co-directed by Jonas and Ireland-based Kevin McGloughlin. It joins the other 14 short films still viewable at Films.Dance.
Online Dance Classes
Pandemic exhaustion? Post-pandemic fitness promises to keep? Get thee to a dance class!
On-line dance classes continue on zoom, instagram, other on-line platforms, and increasingly in person. Many classes free, low cost or suggesting a donation. One central, constantly updated source on dance classes and in-depth reporting on SoCal dance, LA Dance Chronicle lists on-line dance classes including any cost and contact info. Grab a chair or clear off a corner of the room and use this time to dance. LA Dance Chronicle.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ann Haskins has written about dance for L.A. Weekly since shortly after it began publishing. She also has written about local and national dance for Pointe Magazine, Dance Spirit Magazine, Dance Teacher Magazine, Los Angeles Magazine, L.A. View, Coast Magazine, the Daily News, and the Herald Examiner. Among her broadcast projects, Ann hosted Inside Theater on KCRW-FM and contributed dance and theater features to both KLON-FM and KUSC-FM. She has received two Horton Awards from the Los Angeles Dance Resource Center for her coverage of dance in Los Angeles.