Matthew Bourne’s Take on The Red Shoes

Khachaturian ballets in Glendale, flamenco in East Hollywood, a ballet film goes live action downtown, dancers with actors in Echo Park, a festival by the sea in San Pedro, Black and Latina/Latino dancemakers in Echo Park, and more SoCal dance this week.

5.  Flamenco newbie joins a master

For this installment of the mostly monthly Forever Flamenco series, artistic director/dancer Lakshmi “La Chimi” Basile is joined by dancer Erika López in her Fountain Theatre debut. The dancers get musical encouragement from guitarist Andres Vadin, singers José Cortez, Pilar Morena, and singer/percussionist Bruno Serrano. The Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave., East Hollywood; Sun., Sept. 17, 8 p.m., $40-$50, $30 seniors & students. 323-663-1525,

Forever Flamenco's Lakshmi Basile. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Forever Flamenco’s Lakshmi Basile. Photo courtesy of the artist.

4.  Catch some Khachaturian

The ballet music of Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian is celebrated by the Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre with excerpts from some of Khachaturian’s most famous ballets including Spartacus, Masquerade and the Saber Dance from the seldom-performed ballet Gayane. PBDT artistic director Natasha Middleton and choreographer Ruben Tonoyan also premiere Remember, set to selections from the composer’s Cello Concerto in E Minor in memory of the Armenian genocide. Alex Theatre, 216 North Brand Blvd., Glendale; Sun. Sept. 17, 5 p.m., $25-$125. 818-243-2539 or 818-265-0506, or

Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre's Eduard Sargysan and Inga Demetryan in Spartacus. Photo courtesy of PBDT.
Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre’s Eduard Sargysan and Inga Demetryan in Spartacus. Photo courtesy of PBDT.

3.  Not just a choreographer anymore

The label choreographer has always been a bit of an understatement in describing Rosanna Gamson who has drawn on literature in much of her works and incorporated text, lighting and other visual elements in a distinctive hybrid of dance and theatre that reaches levels beyond most dancemakers. This round, Gamson takes the titles creative producer and dramaturge as she collaborates with author Carol Katz, two dancers and three actors in the dance play Daedalus’ Daughter. Struggles with madness and suicide in her own family fueled Katz’ starting point, the idea that beyond the overly ambitious, ill-fated son Icarus, Daedalus had a daughter who also tried to fly, fell into the sea and what happened after she survived. Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd., Echo Park; Thurs.-Sat., Sept. 21-30, 7:30 p.m., $20. 213-389-3856,

Lavinia Findikoglu in Daedalus’ Daughter. Photo by Marc Gabor.
Lavinia Findikoglu in Daedalus’ Daughter. Photo by Marc Gabor.

2.  Dance from their perspective

Now in its 5th year, the BlakTina Dance Festival continues to spotlight established and emerging Black and Latina/Latino choreographers. This edition includes seven local, mostly contemporary choreographers plus two from Phoenix where the festival expanded this year. SoCal participants include Anthony Aceves/Akomi, Sofia Carreras/Intersect Dance Theatre, Mallory Fabian/Fabe, Regina Fergerson & Luis Vazquez, Irishia Hubbard/Hubbard Collective, Bridgette Dunn Korpela, Alvin Rangel. Phoenix-based Ashley Baker along with the duo Taimy Miranda & Joan Rodriguez represent BlakTina Phoenix AZ which debuted with a mix of L.A. and Arizona companies, realizing festival founder/director Licia Perea’s vision to expand the festival into a regional representation of the vibrant Black and Latin dance scene. Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd., Echo Park; Thurs.-Sat., Sept. 14-16, 7:30 p.m., $20. 213-389-3856, 

BlakTina Festival's Regina Fergerson & Luis Vazquez. Photo courtesy of the artists.
BlakTina Festival’s Regina Fergerson & Luis Vazquez. Photo courtesy of the artists.

1.  What becomes a legend most?

From its start as a Hans Christian Andersen fairytale to its life as a legendary ballet film, The Red Shoes’ tale of a ballerina torn between her passion for ballet and her love for a composer remains an unmatched tale of the attraction and costs of the art form. The Red Shoes pirouettes into a new retelling in the hands of choreographer Matthew Bourne.  As the man who populated Swan Lake with male swans in feathered knickers and revealed that Sleeping Beauty was actually a vampire story, expect Bourne and his company New Adventures to bring a similar fever dream vision to the stage, the first endeavor in a new partnership between Bourne and Center Theatre Group. The announced cast includes Ashley Shaw and Cordelia Braithwaite as the ballerina, Dominic North and American Ballet Theater star Marcello Gomes as her love interest, with Sam Archer and Jack Jones as the Diaghilev-like impresario. Music Center, Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; opens Fri. Sept. 15, then Sat., 2 & 8 p.m., Sun., 1 & 6:30 p.m., Tues.-Fri., 8 p.m., thru Sun., Oct. 1, $30 – $130. 213-972-4400,

Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes. Photo by Johan Persson.
Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes. Photo by Johan Persson.

Other dance of note:

San Pedro Arts Festival's Maha and Company. Photo courtesy of the artists.
San Pedro Arts Festival’s Maha and Company. Photo courtesy of the artists.

Set on a stage next to the sea, the San Pedro Festival of the Arts always provides an array of dance and music in an unmatched venue for a September afternoon and all for free. This year’s festival hosts a baker’s dozen professional dance troupes including The PGK Project, Jazz Spectrum Janell Burgess, Lamonte Goode CYBERYOGA, Maha and Company, People’s Place Pacers, 7th St. Ballet, Pyschopomp Dance Theater, RE:borN Dance Interactive, Freaks With Lines, James MahKween’s Eternity Dance Theatre, Grupo Folklorico Tzintzuni, Authentic: Grooves, and host company Louise Reichlin & Dancers/Los Angeles Choreographers & Dancers. Five pre-professional troupes also perform. At 4:15 p.m. the dancers yield the stage to the musical groups. Port of Los Angeles, 112 E. 22nd St., San Pedro; Sun., Sept. 17, 1 p.m. free.

San Pedro Arts Festival's PGK Dance Project. Photo by Jim Carmody.
San Pedro Arts Festival’s PGK Dance Project. Photo by Jim Carmody.

The drive is worth it when iconic modern dance company Paul Taylor Dance Company is the centerpiece of this year’s Laguna Dance Festival and the legendary choreographer is scheduled for a pre-performance talk. The other festival offering is Vancouver Canada’s BC Ballet. Check the festival website for other events including the pre-performance conversations with the artistic directors. Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Rd., Laguna Beach;  Paul Taylor Dance Company: Thurs.& Sat., Sept. 14 & 16, 7:30 p.m.; $65-$75, $35-$40 students. Ballet BC: Fri., Sept. 15, 7:30 p.m., Sun., Sept. 17, 2 p.m., $65, $35 students.

Paul Taylor Dance Company. Photo by PaulBGoode
Paul Taylor Dance Company. Photo by PaulBGood.

The title of Kayamanan Ng Lahi Philippine Folk Arts concert Tao Po! translates to We Are Here!, an apt title for this celebration of Filipino culture. Not only will the dancers and musicians of this ensemble be here, but also singer/songwriter Anthony Federov, the Glendale College Concert Singers and the singing group, Mama Barewhich includes Miss Saigon alums Deedee Mano Hall and Jennifer Paz. Expect folk-based dance, music and song, but also contemporary dance and musical stylings. Ford Theatres, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood; Fri., Sept. 15, 8 p.m. $40-$55, $30-$45 students & children.

Modern dance legend Martha Graham is brought to life by performer Christina Carlisi in her one woman show Martha. Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks; Wed., Sept. 20, 8 p.m., $25.

It’s dancing at the library as Ballet Folkorico de Los Angeles offers free performances at five locations as the Los Angeles Public Library’s summer series LA Made winds down. Eagle Rock Branch Library, 5027 Caspar Ave., Eagle Rock; Sat., Sept. 16, 1 p.m., free. 323-258-8078; Sylmar Branch Library, 14561 Polk St., Sylmar; Tues., Sept. 19, 4 p.m., free. 818-367-6102; Granada Hills Branch Library, 10640 Petit Ave., Granada Hills; Sat., Sept. 23, 4 p.m., free. 818-368-5687; Lincoln Heights Branch Library, 2530 Workman St., Lincoln Heights; Sat., Sept. 30, 3:30 p.m., free. 323-226-1692; Arroyo Seco Regional Library, 6145 N. Figueroa Street, Highland Park, Oct. 14, 3 p.m., free. 323-255-0537.

Come to watch or join in as LA Steppers Connection unlocks the secrets of Chicago Style Stepping in this edition the JAM series. Ford Theatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood; Mon., Sept, 18, 7 p.m., free.

The Assembly. Photo courtesy of the artists.
The Assembly. Photo courtesy of the artists.

The Orange County-based improvisational troupe The Assembly offer Recess: An improvisational structure for sound and movement. The evening-length work draws on two choreographers, five additional dancers and two musicians given set tasks and sections, but not given specific dance steps or musical notes. The audience can also improvise with the work viewable from either level of the two story venue. Westside Museum, 729 Farad St., Costa Mesa; Thurs., Sept. 21, 8 p.m.; $15 in advance, $18 at door.

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