Lionel Popkin and Friends With Inflatable Dance

Another busy week of SoCal dance includes festivals in Palm Springs and Pasadena, folkloric dance in San Pedro, a diverse trio in Echo Park, six global troupes in Northridge, dance in an inflatable set in the Santa Monica mountains, and contemporary dance by the fire in Santa Monica.

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  1. Diversity dancing around the world

Dance troupes are among the local ensembles celebrating global culture in the Global Currents festival. Look for Ballet Folklorico do Brasil (Brazil), Futa Toro West African Drummers & Dancers (West Africa), Halau Keali’i O Nalani (Hawaii), Las Colibri (Mexico), On Ensemble (Japan), and Yuval Ron Ensemble (Middle East). Valley Performing Arts Center, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Sat., Feb. 25, 1 – 6 p.m., free. 818-677-3000,


  1. Dancing by a fireside

This edition of Fireside at the Miles showcases thoughtful and provocative works from choreographers/dancers Suchi Branfman, Bernard Brown, Shruti Bala Purkayastha and Tom Tsai. Enjoy the fireplace, organic beverages and performances. There’s even free parking nearby. Reservations are strongly recommended at and held only until 7:55 p.m.(!) Miles Memorial Playhouse, 1130 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica; Fri.-Sat., Feb. 24-25, 8 p.m., $10, $5 seniors, students and youth 18 & under.

Grandeza Mexicana Photo courtesy of Grandeza Mexicana
Grandeza Mexicana. Photo courtesy of Grandeza Mexicana.
  1. Seldom seen dance from Mexico

The pre-colonial and Moorish traditions brought by the Spanish to the Morelos region in south central Mexico are celebrated by Grandeza Mexicana in Carnaval de Morelos, part of Un Tributo A Mexico (A Tribute to Mexico). The 40 member troupe also performs dances from Mexican states of Michoacan, Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Guerrero, Sinaloa, Tabasco and Jalisco. Info at Warner Grand Theater, 478 W. 6th St., San Pedro; Sat., Feb. 25, 7:30 p.m., $30, free to L.A. City Council district 15 residents (zip codes 90012, 90731, 90002, 90247, 90744, and 90044).

Katarina Tomas at HomeGrown @ Bootleg Photo by Christian Fabris
Katarina Tomas at HomeGrown @ Bootleg. Photo by Christian Fabris.
  1. Bootlegged dance

Over the past few years, the Dance Resource Center has partnered with this theatre company to showcase new choreography works, usually from a trio of L.A. based companies and often assembling troupes from different sections of the dance spectrum. This edition of HOME GROWN @ Bootleg continues that tradition. Choreographer Nicole Berger works in both the commercial and concert arenas with her Company Rhome blending contemporary dance with ballet. A product of UC Irvine’s excellent dance program, Shirine Rehmani explores modern dance idioms with her all-female Roots and Wings Dance Project. An experienced performer and flamenco teacher Katerina Tomás completes the line up with her Mojácar Flamenco. Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd., Echo Park; Thurs.-Sat., March 2-4, 7:30 p.m., $18-$20.

Nicole Berger in Homegrown @ Bootleg Photo by AMDA Los Angeles
Nicole Berger in Homegrown @ Bootleg. Photo by AMDA Los Angeles.
  1. Inflatable domesticity

Lionel Popkin likes inflatables. Recently Popkin created an inflatable installation with dance at Santa Monica’s Tongva Park. This time he heads into the Santa Monica mountains with Inflatable Trio, a shifting domestic drama played out on a stage packed with inflatable furniture. He gets help from performers Carolyn Hall, Samantha Mohr, and Tom Lopez who contributes the original score. Skirball Cultural C enter, 2701 Sepulveda Blvd., Brentwood; Thurs.-Sat., Feb. 23-25, 8 p.m., $15, $10 students. 310-440-4500,

Other dance of note:

When Mardi Gras rolls around, Rio de Janeiro knows how to party and for 17 years Brazilian Nites has replicated Rio’s festivities with samba dancers, DJs, Brazilian food and drinks to purchase, and a simulcast of the real thing from Rio. Info at Teragram Ballroom, 1234 W. 7th St., downtown; Fri., Feb. 24, 8 p.m., $35, $45 at door if available. 818-566-1111,

17th Annual Brazilian Carnaval Photo courtesy of Brazilian Nites
17th Annual Brazilian Carnaval. Photo courtesy of Brazilian Nites.

A ballet by George Balanchine plus new contemporary works from faculty members Donald McKayle and Lar Lubovitch highlight Dance Visions 2017, a performance by the UC Irvine Dance Department with the UCI Symphony Orchestra conducted by Stephen Tucker. Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Dr., Irvine; Thurs.-Fri., Feb. 23-24, 8 p.m.; Sat., Feb. 25, 2 & 8 p.m., $22, $12 students. 949-854-4646,

The newest event series from American Contemporary Ballet is dubbed Dancing School. In this episode, five dancers each perform the same solo set to music from Delibes’ opera Lakme. The event is followed by conversation, wine and live jazz. Three more editions of Dancing School are scheduled. Info and dates at ACB Studios, 700 S. Flower St., downtown; Sat., Feb. 25, 2 p.m., $100, $300 for all four events. 800-838-3006,

American Contemporary Ballet Photo courtesy of American Contemporary Ballet
American Contemporary Ballet. Photo courtesy of American Contemporary Ballet.

Critical Mass Dance Company brings its distinctive black light dance theater to the second of three local venues with Arco Iris: The Rainbow Bridge. The story follows women who cross a rainbow bridge to visit their grandmothers only to be barred by forces on their return. Info at Antioch University, 400 Corporate Point, Culver City; Fri., Feb. 24, 7 p.m. Also at Macha Theatre, 1107 N. Kings Rd., West Hollywood; Wed., March 8, 8 p.m.

Excerpts from Winterreise with ballet and aerial set to the Schubert score, plus a champagne luncheon are included in this performance from Luminario Ballet. Beverly Hills Women’s Club, Sun., Feb. 26, 11:30 a.m., $50.

Luminaraio Ballet Photo courtesy of Luminario Ballet
Luminaraio Ballet. Photo courtesy of Luminario Ballet.

The album Ordinary Average Guy from Joe Walsh is brought to the stage by choreographer Angela Todaro in Up All Night. Prospect Theatre, 6356 Hollywood Blvd., E. Hollywood; Tues.-Wed., Feb. 28-March 1, 8 p.m., $20 + 2 item minimum. 323-469-0040,

Lots of workshops and performances throughout the day in this year’s Pasadena Dance Festival led by hosts Lineage Dance Company. Come to watch or to dance, or both. Complete info on events and times at Pasadena Polytechnic School, 1028 Cornell Rd., Pasadena; Sat. Feb. 25, all day, $20 observer, $65 festival pass.

Lineage Dance at Pasadena Dance Festival Photo courtesy of Lineage Dance
Lineage Dance at Pasadena Dance Festival. Photo courtesy of Lineage Dance.

The perfomance event Ivo Dimchev//P Project often includes audience participants who dance a bit. Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd., Echo Park; Thurs., Feb. 23, 8 p.m., $35.

It’s a ways away in Riverside County, but the debut of the Palm Springs Dance Festival and its artistic director Michael Nicolson-Rossi deserve attention for drawing together a sterling line up of companies with a range of dance styles plus workshops, student troupes and much more leading up to the Saturday performance. Enjoy the desert clime and this brand new dance showcase. Complete details and venue info at Thurs.-Sat., March 2-4, March 4, 8 p.m. $50-$90.

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