Legacy Tour

Contemporary ballets in West Adams, San Pedro, and Thousand Oaks; a story ballet in Irvine; a 40th anniversary tour’s only California stop is Westwood, different-abled dance in Beverly Hills, Japanese dance in Torrance, whacked dance in Santa Monica; modern dance in Culver City, more So Cal dance this week, and a peek at next week.

Live This Week

Bringing past present

With an impressive 40 year history of contemporary dance rooted in and celebrating the Civil Rights movement, the power of ancestral wisdom, and the place of women in dance and the world, Urban Bush Women makes its only California stop on its current U.S. tour. With a program titled Legacy + Lineage + Liberation, artistic directors Chanon Judson and Mame Diarra Spies continue the legacy of founder/choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar. UCLA Royce Hall, 10745 Dickson Ct., Westwood; Fri., April 19, 8 pm, $39-$59. CAP UCLA.

Dancers in colorful garb
Urban Bush Women. Photo by Hayim Heron


With a cadre of impressive ballet dancers, choreographer/dancer Chasen Greenwood’s REALM Company continues to expand its claim to space in the growing ranks of LA-based chamber ballet companies. In Synergetic Pt. 1, Greenwood is joined by some impressive friends including Jock Soto, the former New York City Ballet principal dancer who has emerged as a choreographer and composer Taylor Briggs who provides an original soundtrack for the new work. Guest performer Lēya Graham from DADA Conservatory is also on the program. The dancing is followed by a champagne reception with the artists. The Rhymes Performing Arts Center, 1850 S. Manhattan Pl., West Adams; Sat., April 20, 6 pm, $50-$160. Tickets.

Dancers pose almost in sillouette
The Realm Company. Photo courtesy of the artists

Dancing in daylight

The contemporary ballet company Kenneth Walker Dance Project follows up a site specific performance at Glendale’s Brand Library with a showing of new works and repertoire favorites in this afternoon concert. Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro; Sun., April 21, 3 pm, $18. Alvas Showroom.

Dancers pose in a walkway
Kenneth Walker Dance Project. Photo courtesy of the artists

Toes on tour

Similar to a minor league baseball team that feeds into a major league team, the ABT Studio Company gives promising dancers the performance and touring experience required to move into the ranks of American Ballet Theatre. The studio company also gives audiences outside the big cities a sample of the classical and contemporary ballet the senior company in known for. Bank of America Performing Arts Center, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks; Sun., April 21, 7:00 pm, $35-$65. B of A PAC.

A dancer in black tutu does split jump
ABT Studio Company. Photo by Erin Baiano

It’s all dance

Recognized as a major example of how disability-integrated dance is just dance, AXIS Dance Company offers a program with two premieres. The Bay area-based company led by artistic director Nadia Adame brings the world premiere of Harmony of Souls by Dazaun Soleyn, the national premiere of Piel de Luna by Nadia Adame, and Desiderata by Asun Noales. Wallis Annenberg Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills; Fri.-Sat., April 19-20, 7:30 pm, $49-$79. The Wallis.

Dancer in wheelchair and another standing
Axis Dance Company. Photo courtesy of the artists

Taking a whack at it

The energized dance genre known as Whacking/Waacking has its roots in 1970s gay LA, but Tori Cristi and Whacking Los Angeles are bringing the pusating, arm intensive dance form to the stage in Liminality: A Whacking Immersive Show. Highways, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Fri.-Sat., April 19-20, 8:30 pm, $15 Highways Performance.

A dancer in purple pants bends backwards
Tori Cristi. Photo courtesy of the artist

Traveling dance

The nomadic dancers of Benita Bike’s DanceArt present a program of solos, duets and trios. The event includes a chance for the audience to chat about the dances with the artists. Culver City Senior Center, 4095 Overland Ave., Culver City; Sat., April 20, 1:30 pm, free. DanceArt.

Dancers lean to their left
Benita Bike’s DanceArt. Photo by Dean Wallraff.

Arts, crafts and dance

The 49th annual Japanese Cultural Festival Bunka-Sai, offers two days of free events including Japanese dance and music, plus demonstrations and hands-on opportunities for Japanese flower arranging, tea ceremony. Calligraphy and martial arts. The event is a major fundraisor for a student cultural exchange program. Ken Miller Recreation Center, 3341 Torrance Blvd., Torrance; Sat. & Sun., April 20 & 21, 11 am to 5 pm, free. For info, email torrancesistercityinfo@gmail.com.

A flamenco dancer in front of musicians
Soledad Barrios. Photo courtesy of the artist

Do they find him?

In Searching for Goya, Soledad Barrio and Noche Flamenca draw inspiration from the paintings of Spanish artist Francisco Goya. The dancers, musicians and singers promise to blend live flamenco dance with video projections that include Goya’s art. Irvine Barclay Theater, UC Irvine, 4242 Campus Dr., Irvine; Thurs., April 18, 8 pm, $30-$125. Irvine Barclay Theater.

A man in cap and face mask bends back across cube
Suchi Branfman’s “DATA or 7 ways to dance a dance through prison walls. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Walled in

During the pandemic, choreographer Suchi Branfman and her collaborators were unable to continue in-person sessions with incarcerated participants in Dancing Through Prison Walls. The inventive program shifted to written expressions on yellow pads rather than physical dance. The result fueled DATA or 7 ways to dance a dance through prison walls. Scripps College Dance Tent, Jacqua Quadrangle, 1030 N. Columbia Ave., Claremont; Thurs., April 25, 5 pm, free w/reservation at Eventbrite.

Dancer in purple with walker
Vanessa Hernández Cruz. Photo by Paula Kelly

Out of the gallery

The artists and performers who usually inhabit the Hollywood gallery LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions) are temporarily nomadic as the gallery undergoes renovation. Ten can be found in the Arts District this week with Abundance, a program of new work and re-stagings. Contributing performance, sound and literary artists include Frias, Jessica Carolina González, Vanessa Hernández Cruz, Alima Lee, Caleb Luna, Melba Martínez, Cody Perkins, Ghis Rodriguez, Yesika Salgadoand Dorian Wood. LA Dance Project, 2245 E. Washington Blvd., Arts District; Wed.-Fri., April 24-26, 7 pm, free with reservation at Eventbrite.

Dancers in center of a stage
LA Opera. Photo by Cory Weaver

The flowers did it

A new production of La Traviata at the Los Angeles Opera boasts gender duality costumes for choreography by John Heginbotham. At its San Francisco Opera premiere, director Shawna Lucey and her team received critical raves for a fresh approach that retained everything that makes this among the most beloved operas while subtly spotlighting the backdrop of a gay but entirely money-dominated world in which love almost transcends the transactional.  Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Music Center, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Thurs., April 18, 7:30 pm, Sat., April 21, 2:30 pm, Wed., April 24 & Sat., April 27, 7:30 pm, $39-$399. LA Opera.

A Peek at Next Week (4/26-05-02)

DrumatiX at Brand Library & Art Center, 1601 W. Mountain St., Glendale; Sat., April 27, 5 pm, free. Brand Library.

Alonzo King LINES Ballet — Deep River at the Granada Theatre, 1214 State St., Santa Barbara: Fri., April 26, 8 pm, $41-$106. UCSB.

A singer in black with dancers
Vocalist Lisa Fischer and the LINES dancers. Photo by Jamie Lyons

LA Dance Project — Spring Dances at LA Dance Project, 2245 E. Washington Blvd., Arts District; Program A- Thurs., May 2, Fri., May 8, & Sat., May 11, 8 pm, Sat., May 4, 4 pm, Sun., May 12, 1 pm. Program B-Fri.-Sat., May 3-4, 8 pm, Sun., May 5, 1 pm, Sat., May 11, 4 pm, Sun., May 12, 5 pm, $45, $30 students & seniors. Tickets.

Hollywood Ballet – Poetry in Motion at the BroadStage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica; Sat., April 27, 7 pm; $69-$89 (performance only), $350 post-performance gala). Hollywood Ballet.

Versa Style Dance Company — 2024 Festival qualifying 1vs1 Popping Dance Battle at Mihran K. Studios, 135 N. Victory Blvd., Burbank; Fri., April 26, 8:30 pm, battle or watch $15, workshop at 6:30 pm $20, both $30. Versa Style Dance Company.

EMPOWERMENT: MAXINE & BELLA at Lankershim Arts Center, 5108 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood Arts District; Fri. & Sat., April 26 & 27, 8 pm, Sun., April 28, 6 pm, $1. Brown Paper Tickets.

A dancer looks at the ground
Bella Lewitzky. Photo courtesy of the documentary film “Bella”

Hip Hop Dance From France — Sous le poids des plumes”  (Beneath the weight of feathers) at Theatre Raymond Kabbaz, 10361 W. Pico Blvd., West LA; Wed., May 1, 8 pm, $35.  Theatre Raymond Kabbaz.

Inland Pacific Ballet — Cinderella at Lewis Family Playhouse, 12505 Cultural Center Dr., Rancho Cucamonga; Sat. & Sun., April 27 & 28, 11:30 pm & 4 pm, $55-$79, $28-$33 children 12 & under. City of Rancho Cucomonga.

Leela Dance Collective — Pop Up Performances for Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage (AAPI) Month at Bruin Plaza, UCLA Campus, 308 Westwood Plaza, Westwood; Thurs. & Fri., May 2 &3, noon, free. Also along Ocean Front Walk between Venice Blvd. and Rose Ave., Venice, Beach; Sat., May 4, 10 & 11 am, free. Also at the 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica; Sat., May 4, 3 & 4 pm, free. Sun., May 5, noon, 2 & 5 pm, Culver Steps, 9300 Culver Blvd., Culver City; Also ticketed performance at Agoura Hills Performing Arts & Education Ctr., 28545 W. Driver Ave., Agoura Hills; Sat., May 11, 4:30 & 7:30 pm, $25 The PAECs; livestream $10 Imagine India.

An Indian dancer in front of musicians
Leela Dance Collective. Photo by Margo Moritz

Festival Ballet Theatre Coppélia at the Irvine Barclay Theater, 4242 Campus Dr., Irvine; Sat. April 27, 7 pm, Sun. April 28, 2 pm, $35-$60. Irvine Barclay Theater.

Jerron Herman & Molly Joyce Left and Right at the UCLA Nimoy Theater, 1262 Westwood Blvd., Westwood; Fri., May 3, 8 pm, sold out but wait-list sign up at CAP UCLA.

Cellista — Élégie at Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Sat., April 27, 8:30 pm, $15-$20. EVENTS | Highways.

High Voltage  at Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice; Fri., May 3, 8 pm, $10. Electric Lodge.

Rhythms + Visions/Expanded + Live at Meldman Family Cinematic Arts Park, USC, 900 W. 34th St., University Park, Sat., April 27, 7 pm, free w/reservations. Visions and Voices USC.


Two performances of Swan Lake scheduled for Thursday and Friday, April 19-20 by the touring company World Ballet Company have been rescheduled to September at Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Dr., Irvine; Thurs.-Fri., Sept. 19-20, 7 pm, $60-$105. Irvine Barclay Theater.

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