Now for Spring

South Asian dance pop ups at Venice Beach and the Westside; new contemporary dance blooms in the Arts District, Brentwood, El Sereno, downtown, and Santa Ana; immersive dance in the Glendale hills; mid-life dancing in Pasadena and Santa Monica; more So Cal dance this week, and a peek at next week (May 10 to 16).

Live This Week

From A to B

Two different programs, each with a work by Janie Taylor and two from artistic director Benjamin Millepied are part of LA Dance Project’s Spring Dances. Both programs include Me, You, We, They, Millepied’s newest set to music by his frequent collaborator Nico Muhly. Both programs also include the premiere of Taylor’s Sleepwalker’s Encyclopedia with a set designed by artist Ben Styer. Millepied’s Moving Parts completes Program A, alternating with Triade in Program B. 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. LA Dance Project tickets.

A dancer on floor bends back
Los Angeles Dance Project. Photo courtesy of the artists

Popping up

In what may prove a pleasant surprise to unsuspecting beachgoers and others, Leela Dance Collective brings India’s Kathak dance to Venice Beach, UCLA, Santa Monica Promenade, and the Culver Steps in four days of free pop up performances, plus a concluding ticketed concert performance in Agoura Hills. It’s part of Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage (AAPI) Month. 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 between Colorado and Wilshire Blvds., Santa Monica; Sat., May 4, 3 & 4 pm, free. Also at the Culver Steps, 9300 Culver Blvd., Culver City; Sun., May 5, noon, 2 & 5 pm, free. 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

No place like it

Since 2016, when Boróka Nagy began Re:born Dance Interactive, the contemporary dance company has explored ways to bridge conventional audience/dancer relationships and continues that quest with this late afternoon performance nestled in the Glendale foothills. The ten member company draws on dance, video projection, music, and audience reaction in HOME, an immersive show that invites audience participation. Brand Library & Art Center, 1601 W. Mountain St., Glendale; Sat., May 4, 5 pm, free. Brand Library.

Dancers on top of table
Re:borN Dance Interactive. Photo courtesy of the artists

What was the 2nd act?

The backgrounds of the Bay area dancers who perform as David Popalisky’s 3rd Act Dancers split equally between modern dance and ballet. Popalisky’s extensive modern dance credentials now combine work as an independent choreographer with his duties as associate professor at Santa Clara College. Initially, he teamed up with former San Francisco Ballet dancer Michael Hazinski for highly praised performances last year at New York’s SoloDuo Festival. After that NYC success, the duo became a quartet, joined by former Alonzo King LINES Ballet dancer Kim Gardner and Deborah Marcus whose resume includes her own contemporary troupe Marcus Dance Theater. While all had moved on from professional careers as dancers, the reception at the New York Festival confirmed they have still a lot of artistry left to share. The ensemble makes its SoCal debut co-presented by Lineage Dance. At Lineage Performing Arts Center, 920 E. Mountain St., Pasadena; Sat., May 4, 7 pm, Sun., May 5, 2 pm, $20. Eventbrite.

Four dancers pose
David Popalisky’s 3rd Act Dancers. Photo courtesy of the artists

Dubious bequests

In her latest excursion into the borderlands of dance and science, choreographer Donna Sternberg drew on community workshops exploring inherited trauma to explore how trauma passes down through generations. The effort involved two collaborating scientists, epigeneticist Kathy Sanders-Phillips and immunologist Devavani Chatterjea. The result, Ancestors Voices, is performed by the contemporary company, Donna Sternberg & Dancers, as a work in progress with a post-performance discussion to elicit audience input. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Brentwood; Tues.-Wed., May 7-8, 8 pm, $20, $15 students. Skirball Cultural Center.

One dancer cradles a second dancer
Donna Sternberg & Dancers. Photo courtesy of the artists

A matter of taste

Applying wine tasting concepts to dance theater, in midLife dance project-Varietals, Blends and Flashbacks Gregory Beirne and Patrick Damon Rago look at the perks and perils of aging dancers. The instigators get help from Diana Dee Delcambre, Laura Ann Smith, Jude Clark Warnisher, Amy Nelson Frelinger, Lisa Gillespie, and Nicholas Heitzberg. Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Fri.-Sat., May 3-4, 8:30 pm, $20-$25, $20 students. Highways Performance.

Two dancers in blue suits leap in the air
OC Dance Festival’s AkomiDance. Photo by Vytas Barauskas

Going for 8

Hosted by AkomiDance, the 8th OC Dance Festival offers a sampling of Orange County-based dance. Pre-professional companies kick things off at 6 pm, followed by a 7 pm reception before the professional companies take the stage at 8 pm. Rose Center Theater, 14140 All American Way, Westminster; Sat., May 4, 6 pm pre-professionals, 8 pm professionals, $40-$50. Rose Center Theater.

A woman sits in a chair with wrists tied
Jamila Glass. Photo courtesy of the artist

An early look

Aptly titled First Look, this informal performance series periodically offers an early glimpse at choreography being created by dancemakers in residence with LA Contemporary Dance Company. This session belongs to LA Contemporary Dance Company artistic director/choreographer Jamila Glass. Stomping Ground, 5453 Alhambra Ave., El Sereno; Fri., May 3, 2 pm, $5. LA Contemporary Dance.

Two dancers in a garden
Backhausdance. Photo by Kira Bartoli

Museum peek

In a few weeks, Backhausdance will offer this year’s premiere performance of a new work developed in the environs of this museum and its lush gardens. In the meantime, with museum admission on Tuesday mornings, visitors can view how the work, Glow/Brillo, is progressing during open rehearsals. Bowers Museum, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana; Tuesdays from 10am to 1pm, May 7 to June 4, included in museum admission.  Backhausdance.

A cluster of dancers against a shadowy curtain
CalArts Dance Concert. Photo courtesy of the artists


For CalArts Spring Dance performance LAUNCH, the graduating class performs works by choreographers Alejandro Cerrudo, Micaela Taylor, and Mike Tyus & Luca Renzi. Cheryl Mann Del Cuore restaged a solo and a duet by Cerrudo. A commission by Tyus and Renzi has been remounted, and Taylor provides the premiere of her newest. Three new works by graduating students promise a preview of things to come. REDCAT, Disney Hall, 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; Wed.-Thurs., May 7-8, 8:30 pm, $20. REDCAT tickets.

All electric

Timed to coincide with First Friday events on nearby Abott Kinney Boulevard, High Voltage offers an eclectic, ever-changing line-up of performers, often including dance and movement performers. Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice; Fri., May 3, 8 pm, $10. Electric Lodge.

Big blue balls
Max 10. Photo courtesy of the artists

Ten for ten

The mostly monthly program Max 10 gives ten performers ten minutes each onstage. Hosted by venue director Joel Shapiro and curated by the staff, dance is a mainstay in the line up of performances. A post-show reception gives a chance to chat with the artists. Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice; Mon., May 6, 7:30 pm, $10. Electric Lodge.

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.

A Peek at Next Week (05-10 to 16)

Ballets Jazz Montréal — Dance Me With Music by Leonard Cohen at Wallis Annenberg Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills; Fri., May 10, 7:30 pm, Sat., May 11, 2 & 7:30 p.m., $49-$79. The Wallis. Also at San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave., San Diego; Wed., May 15, 7:30 pm, $20-$105. San Diego Civic Theatre. Also at the Irvine Barclay, UC Irvine, 4242 Campus Dr., Irvine; Fri., May 17, 8 pm, $30-$120. Irvine Barclay.

Zoe Rappaport — Late Night: Wild Things Are Happening at Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Brentwood; Fri., May 10, 6:30 pm, main performance 8 pm, $10, $7 seniors, students. Skirball Cultural Center.

Los Angeles Ballet — Firebird & Serenade at Pasadena Civic Auditorium, 300 E. Green St., Pasadena; Sat., May 11, 2 & 7:30 pm, Also at Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Redondo Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach; Sat., May 25, 2 & 7:30 pm, Also at UCLA Royce Hall, 10745 Dickson Ct., Westwood; Sat., June 1, 2 & 7:30 pm, $76 to $137. Los Angeles Ballet.

A dancer in arabesque
Los Angeles Ballet. Photo by Reed Hutchinson

Bodies at Play – Our Dancers Project at Brand Library & Art Center, 1601 W. Mountain St., Glendale; Sat., May 11, 5 pm, free. Brand Library.

MOMentum Place at the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga Canyon; Sun., May 12, 2 pm, $40,$15 students, $10 children (optional noon brunch $40). Theatricum Botanicum.

A man on a trapeze
MOMentum Place. Photo courtesy of the artist

State Street Ballet – New Voices at Lobero Theatre, 33 E. Canon Perdido St., Santa Barbara; Fri.-Sat., May 10-11, 7:30 pm, $38-$58, $26 children. Lobero Theatre.

Derek Hough – Symphony of Dance at YouTube Theater, 1011 Stadium Dr., Inglewood; Fri., May 10, 8 pm, $20-$149. Fox Performing Arts Center, 3801 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside; Fri., May 17, 7pm, $49-$125. Also at the Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, 222 Marina Park Way, San Diego; Sun., May 19, 7:30 pm, $42-$62. Derek Hough.


The BODYTRAFFIC performance, In Pursuit of Joy, originally announced for May 16, is now scheduled for Wed., May 29. at Avalon Hollywood, 1735 N. Vine St., Hollywood; Thurs., May 29, 7:30 pm, $50. BODYTRAFFIC.

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