Los Angeles Ballet Bringing Balanchine Back to Hollywood

Another busy week for SoCal dance as Not Man Apart Physical Theatre tackles Paradise Lost in West Hollywood, Alvin Ailey visits downtown,  Trisha Brown is sited all over town and Los Angeles Ballet unveils a trio of George Balanchine masterpieces.

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5.  Whipped cream ballet

Based on a story about a child who overindulges in a pastry shop, Alexei Ratmansky’s newest for American Ballet TheatreWhipped Cream, promises a frothy, family friendly ballet. This is the world premiere, so SoCal gets it before New York! Complete casting at http://scfta.org. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa; Wed.-Thurs., March 15-16, 7:30 p.m., Sat., March 18, 2 & 7:30 p.m., Sun., March 19, 1 & 6:30 p.m., $39-$159. 714-556-2787, http://scfta.org.

American Ballet Theatre's Whipped Cream Photo by Ruven Afanador
American Ballet Theatre’s Whipped Cream. Photo by Ruven Afanador.

4.  Always a Revelation

The ever popular Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater returns with three different programs of contemporary dance during a five-day engagement. The programs include three West Coast premieres and while every performance ends with the namesake choreographer’s gospel infused Revelations, the company has shown new energy under current artistic director Robert Battle. Music Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Wed.-Sat., March 8-11, 7:30 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., March 11-12, 2 p.m., $34-$194. 212-972-0711. http://musiccenter.org.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre Photo by Paul Kolnick
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. Photo by Paul Kolnick.

3.  All is not lost

Led by Diavolo alum Jones (Welsh) Talmadge and Laura Covelli, Not Man Apart Physical Theater has a strong track record successfully taking on contemporary issues filtered through historical prisms often Greek mythology as in the recent Ajax in Iraq which considered parallels between U.S. military involvement in Iraq and the great warrior Ajax from the Trojan War. For Paradise Lost: Reclaiming Destiny opening this week, NMA takes aim at John Milton’s epic poem about the battle of angels vs demons and the fall from grace of Adam and Eve. An original score and live digital animation, video and lots of other technical goings on underscore the dance, acrobatics and onstage theatrics. More details at http://NotManApart.com. Greenway Court Theatre, 544 N. Fairfax Ave., West Hollywood; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m., Sun., 7 p.m. thru Sun., April 2. $20-$30, $15-20 students & military. 323-673-0544, http://GreenwayCourtTheatre.org/paradiselost.

Not Man Apart Physical Theater Photo courtesy of NMAPT
Not Man Apart Physical Theater Photo courtesy of NMAPT

2.  Trisha Brown all over Town

Part of the 1960’s post modern dance movement centered at New York’s Judson Church, Trisha Brown’s 50-year career defies easy categorization and explains why UCLA’s week-long Trisha Brown Retrospective Project in 2013 in venues ranging from the Getty rooftops to Royce Hall’s stage only whetted the appetite for more. Again organized by CAP UCLA, this endeavor, Trisha Brown: In Plain Site Los Angeles, boasts performances at art institutions all over L.A. which signed on to be sponsors as well as sites for Brown’s unpredictable, inventive, thoughtful and often witty choreography. As opening panel discussion at the Broad Museum on Monday launched a week of free public events plus some tickets performances and a final big ticket gala. Full details at http://cap.ucla.edu. The Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Dr., Brentwood; Fri., March 10, 2 p.m., free. http://getty.edu. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., mid-Wilshire; Sat., March 11, 4 & 5:45 p.m., free. http://lacma.org. Hauser Wirth & Schimmel, 901 E. 3rd St., downtown; Sun., March 12, 4:30 p.m., free. 6 p.m. CAP UCLA benefit $500. http://hauserwirth.com, http://cap.ucla.edu.

Trisha Brown Dance Company Photo courtesy of TBDC
Trisha Brown Dance Company. Photo courtesy of TBDC.

1.  Three faces of Balanchine

Only a select few companies receive permission from the Balanchine Trust to present a George Balanchine ballet, let alone three ballets in the same program, but Los Angeles Ballet’s artistic directors Colleen Neary and Thordal Christensen have deep roots with Balanchine. Neary was personally selected by Balanchine to set his ballets on companies all over the world (recently at the Paris Opera Ballet). Three different faces of Balanchine’s genius take the stage as LAB’s’s 11th season continues. Mr. B’s classical inclinations are illustrated in Divertimento No. 15, an LAB premiere set to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  The dramatic Prodigal Son dates from Balanchine’s time with Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo, the only time Balanchine worked with composer Sergei Prokofiev. This Prodigal Son was set on LAB by Colleen Neary’s sister Patricia Neary regarded as one of the foremost interpreters of the sexy, avaricious Siren who leads the Prodigal to his ruin. The joyfully jazzy finale Who Cares?, set to some of George Gershwin’s most beguiling tunes, harkens back to Balanchine’s time choreographing for Hollywood movies in the 1930’s. The Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Ave., Glendale; Sat., March 11, 7:30 p.m; Also at Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach; Sat., March 18, 7:30 p.m.; Also at UCLA Royce Hall, 340 Royce Dr., Westwood; Sun., March 26, 2 p.m.; $31-$99, 20% discount for students, seniors & military. 310-998-7782, http://losangelesballet.org.

Los Angeles Ballet's Prodigal Son Photo by Reed Hutchinson
Los Angeles Ballet’s Prodigal Son Photo by Reed Hutchinson

Other dance of note:

Dance from northern Brazil visits with Balé Folclórico da Bahia. Carpenter Performing Arts Center 6200 E Atherton St., Long Beach; Sat., March 11, 8 p.m., $50. 562-985-7000, http://carpenterarts.org.

After shows last weekend in Northridge, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet heads south for another show with three contemporary ballets from choreographers Alejandro Cerrudo, Cayetano Soto and Jorma Elo. Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Dr., Irvine; Fri., March 9, 8 p.m., $20-$100., 949-854-4646 ext.1, http://thebarclay.org.


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. Special related events include a screening of Mapantsula, a 1988 film that captures the pastula’s signature fashions (Wed., Feb. 1, 7 p.m.) and the photographer Chris Saunders discussing the exhibit, the dancing and the fashion (Thurs., Feb. 23, noon). 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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