Keeping Body and Soul Together

Brain and body coordination considered in Santa Monica; frequent New York visitors get new status downtown; a 30th dance reunion in Malibu; a South Asian debut in La Jolla; jazz ballet continues downtown; musicals dance in Hollywood, Costa Mesa, and Burbank; more SoCal dance this week, plus a peek at next week.

Live This Week

Vibrant not vintage

This year, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater turns a venerable 65. An ongoing infusion of new generations of dancers trained in the company’s signature blend of modern dance and ballet as well as careful stewardship by its directors, help explain why the company doesn’t look its age or dance like a museum. The company continues to bring a distinctive, contemporary African American perspective with a mix of new choreography alongside works by the late founder Alvin Ailey. Two different programs this visit, each closing with the company’s gospel infused signature, Ailey’s Revelations. Program A on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday matinee, and Sunday evening includes Kyle Abraham’s Are You in Your Feeling? and Jamar Robert’s Ode. Program B on Friday, Saturday evening, and Sunday matinee offers Amy Hall Garner’s CENTURY and Ronald K. Brown’s Dancing Spirit. SoCal is almost always on the company’s national tour. With this visit, the company starts a more formalized relationship with a four-year residency at the Music Center. Details on the repertoire and the residency at the website. 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

Can early be on time?

Some choreographers involve their therapists in their performance, Choreographer/performer Brian Golden enlists his neurologist and audiologist as he traverses the worlds of art and science in DySpRaXiAc DaNcETwo Months Too Early. Golden recounts growing up and overcoming two conditions, hearing dyspraxia and auditory processing disorder, where his brain and body have difficulty coordinating signals for movement. Dance may not be a cure, or is it? Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Fri.-Sat., March 15-16, 8:30 pm, $25, $20 seniors & students. Highways Performance.

A man sits on a checkered floor
Brian Golden. Photo courtesy of the artist

South Asian duo debut

Presented by the La Jolla Music Society, two South Asian dance companies from India and Sri Lanka make their SoCal debut. Nrityagram Dance Ensemble and Chitrasena Dance Company join together for Āhuti. Baker-Baum Concert Hall, Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center, 7600 Fay Avenue, La Jolla; Wed.-Thurs., March 20-21, 7:30 pm, $46-$81. Conrad Prebys PAC.

Two dancers in South Asian pose
Nrityagram Dance Ensemble and Chitrasena Dance Company. Photo courtesy of the artists

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 14-16, Thurs.-Fri., March 21-22, 8 pm, $60-$140. Season XII Jazz — ACB.

Taking flight

Over the past three decades, more than 500 dancers have been part of the student-run Dance in Flight performances. Many of those alums are returning to join the audience for these 30th anniversary performances. 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.

Dancers in black lift their arms
Dance in Flight. Photo courtesy of the artists

Dances with guitars

He’s best known for his showmanship and as the “prince of the Spanish guitar.” Still, Benise‘s rock concert-styled performances always include a strong cadre of flamenco dancers. This time the show is dubbed Fiesta! Cerritos Center for the Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Dr., Cerritos; Thurs., March 15, 8 pm, $49-$105. Cerritos Center for the Arts.

A guitarist and a flamenco dancer
Benise and dancer. Photo courtesy of the artists

Making an MJ move

The main draw may be the songs Michael Jackson made famous, but MJ the Musical won a Tony award for director/choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, whose dance-infused staging dominates from when the curtain goes up until the finale. Just in case anyone thought Wheeldon’s talents were limited to ballet companies. 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.

An actor moves like Michael Jackson
MJ The Musical. Photo courtesy of the artists

Windy City

Those bad girls, Velma and Roxy, are in fine fettle as the National Tour of Chicago stops off. It’s no longer strictly Bob Fosse’s choreography, this iteration has Gregory Butler setting the dance moves on what one reviewer considers the slickest set of movers one can ask for. Pantages Theater, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Tues.-Thurs., 7:30 pm, Fri., 8 pm, Sat., 2 & 8 pm, Sun., 1 & 6:30 pm, thru Sun., March 24, $49-$225. Broadway In Hollywood.

Two women with canes
Chicago, National Tour. Photo by Jeremy Daniels

The last foot

Choreographer Michelle Elkin provides the moves for the new production of Footloose the Musical at the Colony Theater, 555 N. Third St., Burbank; Fri March 15, 8 pm, Sat., March 16, 2 & 8 pm, Sun., March 17, 3 pm, $55-$75, Colony Theatre.

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

They’re back

The touring show showcasing a view of China culture pre-communism, Shen Yun, returns with its 2024 edition. This week it’s Costa Mesa’s Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Details on this and upcoming SoCal performances at Shen Yun.

A Peek at Next Week

Los Angeles Ballet — Next Steps at The BroadStage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica, Fri.-Sat., March 22-23, 7:30 pm, Sat.-Sun., March 23-24, 2 pm, $76-$137. Los Angeles Ballet.

Backhausdance at The Barclay, UC Irvine, 4242 Campus Dr., Irvine; Wed., March 27, 8 pm, $25-$95. The Barclay.

A group of dancers stretch their arms
Backhausdance. Photo by Shawna Sarnowski

State Street Ballet — Cinderella at Lobero Theatre, 33 E. Canon Perdido St., Santa Barbara; Sat., March 23, 7:30 pm, Sun., March 24, 3 pm, $38-$58, $26 children. Lobero Theatre.

Ballet Folklórico de Los Ángeles — ¡Viva Mexico! ¡Viva America! at Carpenter Center, Cal State University Long Beach, 6200 Atherton St., Long Beach; Sat., March 23, 8 pm, $40. Carpenter Center.

Folklorico dancers onstage
Ballet Folklórico de Los Ángeles. Photo by Luis Luque

HomeLA — In Their Own Image at MAK Center for Art & Architecture, Schindler House, 835 Kings Rd., W. Hollywood; Sat., March 23, 1-4:30 pm, $20, MAK Center for Art & Architecture.

Warriors For Peace Theatre — Romeo and Juliet. Westside Ballet Community Blackbox Theatre, 1709 Stewart St., Santa Monica; Sun., March 24, 6:30 pm, $25-$35. Eventbrite.

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