Hybrid Hedging Against the Rollercoaster Surge 

A festival of threes opens in San Pedro, collaborative dance and film in Long Beach, flamenco in Silverlake, Filipino dance and hip hop in Hollywood, and Motown fuels the dance downtown, all live!  A dance film fest opens in Hollywood, Brazilian dance after dark, online encores, and more SoCal dance this week.

Live This Week

Tri-Arts three ways

Keeping the hybrid format that remains prudent in the age of unpredictable Covid variants, the intrepid San Pedro Festival of the Arts (formerly the Tri-Arts Festival) combines live and online options in three different programs over three weekends in September. All shows are free. The festival gets a mid-week launch with a half dozen films spotlighting mostly SoCal dance companies. On Sept. 12 and 19, more than two dozen troupes take the stage in two different live performances, both with a Venmo option. Program #1 Film Division 1, Free. Louise Reichlin’s Vimeo here and here. Program #2 at at Alvas Showroom, 1413 W. 8th St., San Pedro; Wed., Sept.; Sun., Sept. 12, 4 p.m., free. Program #3 at Anderson Memorial Senior Center (on the lawn), 828 S. Mesa St., San Pedro, Sun., Sept. 19, 1 p.m., free. San Pedro Festival of the Arts channel. Previews, a complete line up of performers, Covid protocols, live performance registration, and more at Tri-Arts Festival.

Two men hold a woman in the air while holding another woman in a backbend
San Pedro Festival of the Arts. Photo courtesy of the artists.

The men have it

After a 15-month pandemic-enforced hiatus, the flamenco artists of Forever Flamenco returned earlier this month to a new outdoor stage, launching Flamenco Under the Stars. The dancers, musicians, and singers have been making up for lost time with a new format replacing the former mostly monthly, mostly Sunday programming with multiple weekend shows, each show with a different line up. This weekend, the men dominate the spotlight. On Saturday, Reyes Barrios assumes the artistic director role with Timo Nuñez as featured dancer. Barrios also dances along with Lakshmi Basile. The guitarists are John Moore and Kambiz Pakan. The singer is Antonio de Jerez. On Sunday, artistic director Ethan “Emaginario” Margolis oversees the program featuring dancer Manuel Gutierrez. Details on the performances now scheduled into September are at the website with information added as the artists are confirmed. At the Fountain Theater, 5060 Fountain Ave., East Hollywood, Fri. -Sun., July 30-Aug. 1, 8 p.m., $45-$65, $40 seniors & students. Tickets and complete line up of performers at Fountain Theatre

A male flamenco dancer twirls a cape
Timo Nuñez in “Flamenco Under the Stars.” Photo courtesy of the artist

And just what is a “Pinoy”?

Dancer Jasmine Rafael and hip-hop dance crews are part of A Night of “Pinoy”tainment celebrating the talents of Filipino American performers in comedy, singing, and dance. The Ford, The Ford Theater, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood; Sun., Aug. 29, $7:30 p.m., $45. The Ford.

A female dancer with a long braid poses in bright raspberry shorts and jacket
Jasmine Rafael in “A Night of ‘Pinoy’tainment”. Photo courtesy of the artist

Birds out of the box

While not strictly dance, movement plays an important role in the new site-specific chamber opera Birds in the Moon being staged in a Santa Monica parking lot. Created by Mark Grey and Júlia Canosa i Serra, the work for mezzo-soprano, male voice, string quartet, and soundscapes, is staged in a custom-fitted shipping container that becomes a magic box where a tale is told about migration and a search for a better world. Set designer Chad Owens created the reconsidered shipping container with Elkhanah Pulitzer directing the action that unfolds there. Performances at Parking Lot 27, corner of Arizona & 5th St., Santa Monica; Wed.-Sat., Sept. 1-4, 7 p.m., $25-$75. Tickets and Santa Monica Covid protocols at The Broad Stage.

A man in striped bicycle shorts stands on top of a stage
Birds on the Moon. Photo by Ashleigh McArthur

Live and on film

In his latest film Untitled, choreographer Chris Emile partners with Gxrlschool for personal storytelling by four performers with a blend of performance, narrative, and video. This live one hour event includes the premiere of the film preceded by a demonstration of Emile’s creative process with a live performance by dancer and collaborator Chenhui Mao. Following the film, stay for a conversation with the dancer and artists involved in the film. compoundlb.com, 1395 Coronado Ave., Long Beach; Sat., Aug. 28, 5 p.m., free with reservation at Compound.

A woman extends her leg into the air
Chris Emile’s “Untitled.” Photo courtesy of the artist

They’re going Hollywood!

An east coast dance film festival makes its local debut as Dances With Films (DWF/LA) at Hollywood’s legendary Chinese Theater. The two week festival includes features, short films, and even shorter films. TCL Chinese Theater, Hollywood & Highland, 6925 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Thurs., Aug. 26- Sun., Sept. 12, Details on the extensive line up of films, previews, ticket prices, Covid protocols, and more at Dances With Films.

A man holding his arms above his head stands in front of a chain link fence.
Forgotten Song, a film in Dances With Films (DWF/LA). Photo courtesy of the artists.

Motown moves

Straight from Detroit, the celebrated sounds of the Motor City take center stage with Motown as this week’s edition of Music Center Dance DTLA. The free dance lesson at 7 p.m. is followed by a chance to dance under summer stars. Join in or sit back and enjoy the free dance show. In the remaining two weeks it’s salsa and then Bollywood. Details at the website. Music Center, Jerry Moss Plaza, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri., Aug. 27, 7pm to 11pm, free. Music Center LA

A large group of people dance together at night.
Dance DTLA. Photo by Javier Guillen.

Online This Week

Looking for divine help

This week’s encore of past Viver Brasil performances is Revealed. Performed outdoors as part of the Music Center’s Moves After Dark series, the site-specific work by Shelby Williams-Gonzalez celebrates mother/activists confronting the violence and senseless killing of black and brown youth. The video captures dancer Laila Abdullah in the central role as Oxum. This is the newest addition to the company’s weekly online rebroadcast of past shows. The troupe’s rich repertoire reflects efforts to preserve Brasil’s African culture in dance and music. Free at Viver Brasil. The ensemble also is part of KCET’s Southland Sessions streaming at KCET.

Summer “summons”

Current artistic director Jamila Glass directed and former artistic director Genevieve Carson choreographed Summon: a dance film. The preview suggests the new film puts LA Contemporary Dance Company’s strong, elegant females center stage. Dancers include Hyosun Choi, Angel Tyson, Drea Sobke, Kate Coleman, Nicole Hagen, Tiffany Sweat, Carissa Songhorian, Gigi Todisco, Kenzie McClure, and Shauna Davis. Info on LACDC and prior filmsat LA Contemporary Dance Company. The new release is available for $5 for a 48-hour rental at Vimeo.

A female dancer in a blue spotlight stands on one leg and extends the other in the air
LA Contemporary Dance Company. Photo by Taso Papadakis.

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 video has become 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. Free online at Vimeo.

Heidi Duckler Dance
Heidi Duckler Dance. Photo courtesy of the artists.

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.

A dancer, Brianna Mims, straddles a tilted table. She wears bright blue high-heeled boots, tight blue jeans and a striking brown and white vest. Her face can't be seen, only the top of her head.
Brianna Mims. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Online Dance Classes

Pandemic exhaustion? 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.

A large group of people in sweatpants and white tops dance together on a large stage.
Dance classes.

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