JazzAntiqua Celebrates Live Jazz and Dance

This week’s SoCal dance events include Bernard J. Brown considering a lifesaving box in Westwood, live jazz and six dance troupes in West Adams, South Asian dance in Pasadena, and cutting edge dance at REDCAT Studio downtown,

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5. What becomes a legend most?

Actress/dancer Christina Carlisi evokes the spirit of the late modern dance legend Martha Graham in  MARTHA  by Ellen Melaver. Whitefire theater, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks; Sun., 7:30 p.m. thru April 16, $25. http://brownpapertickets.com/event/2816838.

Martha Graham
Martha Graham

4.  What’s Inside the Box?

In his solo Box, choreographer Bernard J. Brown draws inspiration from Henry “Box” Brown, the Virginia slave who gained his moniker and his freedom in 1849 after he had himself mailed in a wooden crate to abolitionists in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The work is part of Brown’s program Touch, the latest edition of Upstarts. UCLA Kaufman Hall, 120 Westwood Plaza, Westwood; Fri.-Sat., April 7-8, 8 p.m., $15. 310-825-3951. http://tickets.ucla.edu.

Bernard J. Brown Photo courtesy of the artist
Bernard J. Brown. Photo courtesy of the artist.

3.  The art moves him

Originally performed by female temple dancers, the Indian dance form Odissi has been embraced by male dancers including Rahul Archarya who appears in Moving the Divine, set in and inspired by the Norton Simon Museum’ collection of  art from South Asia. Norton Simon Museum, 411 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Sat., April 8, 6 p.m., free with museum admission $12, $9 seniors, free students and children aged 18 & under. https://www.nortonsimon.org/events/2017/spring-2017/moving-the-divine/date/2017-04-08

Rahul Archarya Photo courtesy of the artist
Rahul Archarya. Photo courtesy of the artist.

2.  Dance to the music

April is Jazz Appreciation Month and Pat Taylor’s JazzAntiqua Dance and Music Ensemble are the just the folks to organize a day long celebration of dance and music, especially when the music is jazz. Taylor and her contemporary troupe are known for their commitment to performing with live music, most often jazz. Master classes, community workshops and panel discussions begin at 10 a.m. and culminate with a 4 p.m. performance titled Through a Jazz Prism. Announced performers include Frit and Frat Fuller’s KIN Dance Company, Ken Morris Project, Erin Landry’s Passion, Grace & Fire Dance Ensemble, Keisha Clark-Boothe’s Cabrillo Dance Company, Sheron Wray’s Jazz Exchange, and the host company. Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4718 W. Washington Blvd., West Adams; Sat., April 8, 4 p.m., $10 for the show, additional $10 for classes & workshops. Full details, schedule and tickets at http://www.jazzantiqua.org/movementmusic.html.

Meg Worlfe & Myrrhia Rodriguez Photo courtesy of the artists
Meg Worlfe & Myrrhia Rodriguez Photo courtesy of the artists

1.  What’s new downtown?

The Spring edition of REDCAT Studio, the quarterly showcase of new and in progress dance and performance, arrives with six offerings curated by dancer Wilfried Souly and visual artist Christine Marie. Look for the always inventive choreographer Meg Wolfe in a duet with dancer Myrrhia Rodriguez, a solo from choreographer Abagail Fritz inspired by photographer Edward Burtynsky and scientist Masaru Emoto, Sebastien Hernandez blends voguing and social commentary, and LA-based Mihwa Koo and Ohio-based Ani Javian reconsider the “duet” with one dancing live and the other on a screen. Funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, REDCAT Studio has an enviable track record giving artists a place to launch new work and illustrates how tax dollars through the NEA provides important wind beneath their wings so artists’ ideas can take flight.  REDCAT, 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; Sun.-Mon., April 9-10, 8:30 p.m., $15, $12 student. 213-237-2800, http://REDCAT.org.

Sebasien Hernandez Photo by Alex Godinez
Sebasien Hernandez. Photo by Alex Godinez.

Other dance of note:

The OC-based contemporary troupe The Assembly begins their sixth season with a lecture/performance previewing the latest from choreographer Lara Wilson. Great Park, Palm Court Art Complex, San Canyon Ave., Irvine; Sun., April 9, 1 p.m., free. http://theassemblydance.co.

The Assembly Photo courtesy of the artist
The Assembly. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Hawaiian dance, music and culture are celebrated in World Café: Island Soul. A free outdoor festival starting at 1 p.m. that includes performances precedes the ticketed evening concert featuring dancers from Na Lei Hulu I Ka WeKiu and other Hawaiian performers. Musco Center for the Arts, Chapman University, One University Dr., Orange; Sat., April 8, 7:30 p.m., $25-$65. http://muscocenter.org/event/na-lei-hulu-i-ka-wekiu-and-the-masters-of-hawaiian-slack-key-guitar/

While Pantsula 4 Lyf is not live performance, this celebration of popular dance in South Africa offers photographer Chris Saunders’ intriguing photos and videos capturing pantsula’s adaptation of hip hop and American fashion. Featuring crews of young men and women in Johannesburg, pantsula performers favor American-name brands like Converse All-Star shoes and Dickies brand work pants. UCLA Fowler Museum, 308 Charles E Young Dr. N, Westwood; Wed., noon – 8 p.m., Thurs.-Sun., noon – 5 p.m. thru Sun., May 7, free. http://fowler.ucla.edu.

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