Los Angeles Ballet’s Swan Lake Takes Flight

Dance from India in Brentwood, dance festivals in Palm Springs and West L.A., Swan Lake launches in Glendale, flamenco in Irvine and Pasadena, and more SoCal dance this week.

5. Desert dancing

Yes it’s a bit of drive, but well worth it as the Palm Springs Dance Festival returns. Artistic director Michael Nickerson-Rossi has attracted a bumper crop of choreographers, companies and styles for the Saturday night gala including Jackie Lopez and her hip hop troupe Versa-Style, contemporary from Laura Karlin and her Invertigo Dance Theatre, Manuel Vignoulle and his M/motions from New York, modern choreographer Jamie Nichols and the host company Nickerson-Rossi Dance. Festival events include workshops and a free outdoor performance on Thursday. Full details at https://www.palmspringsdancefest.com. Annenberg Theater, Palm Springs Art Museum, 101 N. Museum Dr., Palm Springs; Sat., March 3, 8 p.m., $55-$72, $99 (includes pre-show reception). https://www.palmspringsdancefest.com.

Palm Springs Dance Festival's Versa-Style. Photo courtesy of Versa-Style.
Palm Springs Dance Festival’s Versa-Style. Photo courtesy of Versa-Style.

4.  Resilient story-telling
Led by Ananya Chatterjea, her eponymous Ananya Dance Theatre arrives with Shymali, based on local women’s story circles. The title means dark green in Bengali and evokes the resilience of grass to spring back when stepped on.  Trained in Odissi, a classical dance of India, Chatterjea blends contemporary movement with classical Indian dance for her primarily female company. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Brentwood; Fri., March 2, 8 p.m., $15, $8 full time students.  https://www.skirball.org/programs/dance/ananya-dance-theatre-shyamali.

Ananya Dance Theatre. Photo courtesy of the artists.
Ananya Dance Theatre. Photo courtesy of the artists.

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3.  Butoh near the beach
Butoh as a dance form has left the realm of exotic Asian movement experiment and settled in to an accepted place in the world of dance, especially in L.A. where Oguri and his Body Weather Laboratory regularly present their Flower of the Season series.  This episode the theme is “..like foaming water”.  Oguri choreographed. The dancers include Michelle Lai, Cat Westwood, Liv Mai, Destefano Deluise, Tony Testa and Roxanne Steinberg. Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice; Thurs.-Sat., Mar. 8-10, 8 p.m., Sun., March 11, 4 p.m., $18 presale, $23 at door, $18 students & seniors. 310-823-0710, https://www.eventbrite.com.

Body Weather Laboratory's Oguri. Photo by Moses Hacmon.
Body Weather Laboratory’s Oguri. Photo by Moses Hacmon.

2.  Celebrating those dancing women

It’s spring and time for choreographer/impresario Deborah Brockus to gather some of the best local contemporary dance companies for the annual Los Angeles Dance Festival. Timed this year to coincide with Women’s History Month, this year’s fest dubbed The Rise of the Woman spotlights top-notch women-led troupes. The companies are mixed and matched with five presented in each of three shows. Opening night includes Kybele Dance Theatre, TL Collective, Szalt, and Brockus RED. Friday welcomes  Acts of Matter, L.A. Contemporary Dance Company, The TL Collective, Whyteburg, and host company Brockus RED. Saturday’s line up includes Sarah Elgart/Arrogant Elbow, Kybele, and Szalt. Along with the performances, the festival offers classes with the companies and in mid-March a second performance series showcasing high school and college performers.  The festival distinguishes itself by presenting both the best of the current generation in local dance and a preview of the next. Full details at http://LADanceFest.org. Théâtre Raymond Kabbaz, 10361 W. Pico Blvd., W.L.A.; Thurs.-Sat., March 1-3, 8 p.m., $25. www.theatreraymondkabbaz.com.

L.A. Dance Festival's BrockusRED. Photo by Denise Leitner.
L.A. Dance Festival’s BrockusRED. Photo by Denise Leitner.

1.  Watch out for the feathers

L.A.’s own professional ballet company, the Los Angeles Ballet, closes its 12th season with a luscious, romantic full-length production of Swan Lake. Boasting some of Peter Tchaikovsky’s most delicious music, this is deservedly one of the most popular classical ballets, and one of the most technically demanding, not just for the leads, but also for the corps de ballet who are tested to move like a single mirror image. Reviewers’ high praise when LAB last presented Swan Lake is one indication of how well LAB rises to those challenges. The dual role of the White Swan Odette and the Black Swan Odile will alternate between principal dancers Bianca Bulle and Petra Conti. Principal Kenta Shimizu and soloist Tigran Sargsyan share the role of Prince Siegfried. In keeping its promise to bring great ballet to greater L.A., LAB opens Swan Lake this weekend in Glendale, then travels to the South Bay and Westwood. Details and tickets at https://LosAngelesBallet.org. Alex Theater, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale; Sat., March 3, 7:30 p.m. Also at Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach; Sat., March 10, 7:30 p.m. Also at UCLA Royce Hall, 340 Royce Dr., Westwood.; Thurs.-Sat., March 15-17, 7:30 p.m., $29.50-$104. 310-998-7782. https://LosAngelesBallet.org.

Los Angeles Ballet's "Swan Lake". Photo by Reid Hutchinson.
Los Angeles Ballet’s “Swan Lake”. Photo by Reid Hutchinson.

          Other dance of note:

Danceworks from Cat Congliandro, Maryann Chavez, Erica Klein, Renee Baldwin and host company MashUp Contemporary Dance are among the performers who conclude a day of free dance classes celebrating International Women’s Day under the banner Press for Progress. Complete details and tickets at https://www.MashUpDance.com. MashUp Studios, 2926 Gilroy St., Elysian Valley; Thurs., March 8, 7 p.m., $10.  https://www.MashUpDance.com.

MashUP Contemporary Dance. Photo courtesy of the artists.
MashUP Contemporary Dance. Photo courtesy of the artists.

The interactive, user-friendly Explore Dance series from Benita Bike’s DanceArt offers a program of modern dance and discussion. La Crescenta Library, 2809 Foothill Blvd., La Crescenta; Sat., March 3, 2 p.m., free. http://www.danceart.org.

Mojácar Flamenco's
Mojácar Flamenco’s “Cantan Los Fuegos”. Photo courtesy of the artists.

Blending flamenco, jazz and ballet, choreographer Katerina Tomás and her Mojácar Flamenco update Manuel de Falla’s stirring El Amor Brujo, bringing it to the stage as Cantan Los Fuegos. ARC Pasadena, 1158 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Sat., March 3, 8 p.m., Sun., March 4, 2 & 7 p.m., $30, $20 students & seniors. https://www.mojacarflamenco.com/cantan-los-fuegos.

More fiery flamenco arrives with the popular Eva Yerbabuena returning to the scene of prior sold out shows.  This time the show is titled iAY!  Irvine Barclay Theater, 4242 Campus Dr., Irvine, Sat., March 3, 8 p.m., Sun., March 4, 4 p.m., $50-$100. http://thebarclay.org.

Corina Kinnear's "Naked". Photo courtesy of the artist.
Corina Kinnear’s “Naked”. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Following her recent stint as part of the Odyssey Dance Festival, choreographer Corina Kinnear and her collaborators reprise Naked. Part fully nude dance performance, part art installation, part musical performance, the project sets up for a four week run, mostly Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, but check the schedule at http://www.picounionproject.org.  The Pico Union Project, 1153 Valencia St., Pico Union; Thurs.-Sun., March 1-25, 8 p.m., $30. http://www.picounionproject.org.

Chagall’s vibrant paintings combine with Jewish American dance and live music in The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk charting the love and life of Marc and Bella Chagall who flee from a Russia of pogroms and revolution before finding fame in France. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills; Tues.-Fri., 7:30 p.m., Sat.-Sun., 2 & 7:30 p.m. thru Sun., March 11, $35-$125. http://www.thewallis.org.

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