International Influences

A Turkish perspective in Palms; a South Asian reorients downtown; flamenco from Spain in Redondo Beach and Hancock Park;  French A.I. ballet in Costa Mesa; contemporary choreography in Santa Monica and El Sereno; more SoCal dance this week, plus a peek at next week.

Live This Week

Flamenco with visas

This year’s LA International Flamenco Festival brings impressive dance and music visitors from Spain for two programs at two venues. The opening act at each theater is LA-based flamenco dancer Mizuho Sato with pianist Andrés Barrios. Thursday in Redondo Beach, dancer Karime Amaya is paired with Spanish guitar master Tomatito. On Saturday in Hancock Park, Madrid-based flamenco innovator José Maya joins avant garden flamenco guitarist Rycardo Moreno. Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach; Thurs., March 7, 8 pm, $35-$90. Also at Wilshire Ebell Theatre, 4401 W. 8th St., Mid-Wilshire; Sat., March 9, 8 pm, $40-$90. LA International Flamenco Festival.

a flamenco dancer in red
Mizuho Sato. Photo courtesy of the artist 

What’s with the elephant?

In the world premiere of Reorient the Orient, choreographer Lionel Popkin draws on his heritage and the archive of his 30 years of dance making to  consider the problematic portrayal of interculturalism. With his South Asian mother and Jewish father, Popkin has had a front row seat to how brown South Asian bodies appear in contemporary art and performance. Live dancers, videos, those archival materials, rugs, sculptures and a headpiece from an elephant costume are part of what is offered in the event that is part live performance and part durational installation seasoned with the choreographer’s social agitation. REDCAT at Disney Hall, 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; Sat.-Sun., March 9-10, 3 & 7:30 pm, $27, $22 students. REDCAT.

A man on a ladder with an elephant head
Lionel Popkin. Photo by Natalie Kamajian

What is real?

In the endearing 1870 comedic ballet Coppelia, Swanhilda and Franz have an fractious romance that is disrupted when Franz becomes enamored of a lovely girl sitting on a balcony who really is a mechanical doll the dollmaker hopes to bring to life. It is a plot ripe to be propelled into the present, asking an audience to consider the possibilities if the doll wasn’t mechanical, but powered by 21st century A.I. Artistic director/choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot and Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo have done just that with Coppél-i.A. The architecture of the familiar plot is there but the Delibes score has been replaced with music suited for now. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa; Thurs.-Fri., March 7-8, 7:30 pm, Sat., March 9, 2 & 7:30 pm, Sun., March 10, 1 pm, $39-$149. SCFTA.

A dancer in silver is viewed by a male dancer
Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo. Photo courtesy of the artist


Known for blending her Turkish heritage with high energy contemporary dance, artistic director Seda Aybay and her Kybele Dance Theater bring two new works and an excerpt of her SINIR/SIZ (Limit/less). The dancers include Nico Albuja, Ariel Scott, Simon Lathrop, Jade Lelievre, Monica Moe and Aybay. The Glorya Kaufman Performing Arts Center, 3200 Motor Ave., Cheviot Hills; Sat., March 9, 7:30 pm, Sun., March 10, 3 pm, $30-$45, $20 students. Kybele Dance Theater.

A group of dancers in black unitards
Kybele Dance Theater. Photo courtesy of the artists

Where the leather meets the road

In another sign of this venue’s renewed vitality, the series Highways New Shoes returns with a curated program, a trio of new works and fresh faces. Intimate antagonisms are tackled by Alex Rix and Meg Madorin in fumblerumble. Second wave feminism is the focus of Betty by Taylor Donofrio and his Donofrio Dance Co. Then Tsiambwom M Akuchu explores the intersection of gender and race in Alpha, Sigma, Alpha. Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Fri.-Sat., March 8-9, 8:30 pm, $25, $20 students/seniors. Highways Performance.

A man in arabesque
Tsiambwom M Akuchu. Photo by Chu Yuchun-Wu

To the pointe

Music from Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Jelly Roll Morton, Johnny Dodds, and Igor Stravinsky back choreography for Jazz, the latest from American Contemporary Ballet artistic director Lincoln Jones. ACB Studios, Bank of America Plaza, 333 S. Hope St., Suite C-150, downtown; Thurs.-Sat., March 7-9 & 14-16, Thurs.-Fri., March 21-22, 8 pm, $60-$140. Season XII Jazz — ACB.

Dancers in shadow lunge around a central dancer
American Contemporary Ballet. Anastasia Petukhova

A public peek

Presenting its 8th International Women’s Day Festival, MashUp Contemporary Dance Company continues the annual performance as part of its workshops, classes, and other events. The public is invited to two showcases on Saturday, featuring established and emerging choreographers who include Azuki Umeda, Gianna Burright, Jordan Pelliteri, Waeli Wang, Kaley Logan, Marcella Lewis, Hannah Millar, Tori Cone, Olivia Liberati, Madison Olandt, and Jasmine Albuquerque. A full line-up of events are at the website. The performance is at Stomping Ground, 5453 Alhambra Ave., El Sereno; Sat., March 9, 4 & 8 pm, $25. MashUP Contemporary Dance Company.

A woman kicks her leg while two men watch
MashUp Contemporary Dance Company. Photo courtesy of the artists


Presented in partnership with MoFundamental, the innovative, site specific collaborative home/LA focuses on homelessness and the foster care system at the site of an unfinished affordable housing unit. The multi-media event includes live dance choreographed by Gabriel Gutierrez and performed by Steviey Adore, Sherrie Bradford, and Billy Jones, all foster youth. Also two short films are included in the evening. The Box Gallery parking lot, 805 Traction Ave., Little Tokyo; Sat., March 9, 5 pm, free w/reservation at  home/LA.

An audience watches a dancer on a window sill
HomeLA. Photo courtesy of the artists 

Taking flight

The dance department of this university presents its annual performance Dance in Flight. Smothers Theater, Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu; Thurs.-Fri., March 14-15, 8 pm, Sat., March 16, 2 & 8 pm, $20. Pepperdine University

The ‘now’ in Nowruz

The celebration Nowruz marks the Persian new year and, at the same time, the arrival of spring. Niosha International Conservatory of the Arts explains those dualities in The Story of Nowruz in dance and music. Irvine Barclay Theater, UC Irvine, 4242 Campus Dr., Irvine, Sun., March 10, pm, $65-$250. The Irvine Barclay.

A woman in a pink dress
Niosha International Conservatory of the Arts. Photo courtesy of the arts

The foot has it

Choreographer Michelle Elkin provides the moves for the new production of Footloose the Musical at the Colony Theater, 555 N. Third St., Burbank; opens Sat., March 2, 8 pm, then Fri., 8 pm, Sat., 2 & 8 pm, Sun., 3 pm, thru Sun., March 17, $55-$75, Colony Theatre.

Dancer with white wing-like costume
Shen Yun. Photo courtesy of the artists

It’s back

The touring show showcasing a view of China culture pre-communism, Shen Yun, returns with its 2024 edition. Before it moves around to multiple SoCal venues, it opens at Claremont College, Bridges Auditorium, 450 N. College Way, Claremont; Fri., March 8, 7:30 pm, Sat., March 9, 2 & 7 pm, Sun., March 10, 1 pm, $80-$165. Shen Yun.

A Peek at Next Week

Brian Golden  DySpRaXiAc DaNcE Two Months Too Early at Highways, Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Fri.-Sat., March 15-16, 8:30 pm, $25, $20 seniors & students. Highways Performance.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at the Music Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Wed.-Sun., March 20-24, 7:30 pm, Sat.-Sun., March 23-24, 2 pm, $34-$167. Music Center.

A group of dancers in
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in “Revelations.” Photo courtesy of the artists

Nrityagram and Chitrasena Dance Companies at the Baker-Baum Concert Hall, The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center, 7600 Fay Avenue, La Jolla; Wed.-Thurs., March 20-21, 7:30 pm, $46-$81. The Conrad.

Benise – Fiesta at Cerritos Center for the Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Dr., Cerritos; Thurs., March 15, 8 pm, $49-$105. Cerritos Center for the Arts.

MJ the Musical at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa; opens Tues., March 19, 7:30 pm, then Tues.-Fri., 7:30 pm, Sat., 2 & 7:30 pm, Sun., 1 & 6:30 pm, thru Sun., March 31. $49-$159. SCFTA.

Of Note

Bridget Murnane’s oscar-nominated documentary Bella, capturing the life and work of LA’s modern dance doyen Bella Lewitzky is screening this week on KCET/KOCE PBSSoCal. KCETDT Los Angeles, CA 3/6/2024 9:00 PM KCETDT Los Angeles, Sun., March 11, 1 am & noon. Check your stream/cable service for any changes.

After 19 years celebrating and promoting hip-hop and other street dance genres, LA-based Versa-Style Dance has a new, well, enhanced, name. Announcing the change to Versa-Style Street Dance Company, founders and co-artistic directors Jackie Lopez aka Miss Funk and Leigh Foaad aka Breeze-lee explained the addition of “Street” to the title will help “the world immediately know what culture and community of artists and dancers we represent.

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