Rebecca Lemme and Her Dancers Bring On Acts of Matter

This week’s SoCal dance events include BalletBoyz on tour, a Seattle folk troupe mashes with Los Angeles Ballet dancers in West L.A., Benita Bike’s DanceArt decodes dance in La Crescenta, L.A. Contemporary Dance Company closes a new dance fest, Rebecca Lemme gathers old friends, and Gene Kelly’s widow shares her remembrances.

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5.  A library with more than books

Decoding dance continues to fuel Benita Bike’s DanceArt with free performances in mostly untraditional venues. The contemporary troupe performs then involves the audience in a discussion and a Q&A, often with the dance reprised for a second viewing. This show offers For Rose, On Beat 3 and Old Postcards from Europe. La Crescenta Library, 2809 Foothill Blvd., La Crescenta; Sat., Jan. 28, 2 p.m., free.

Benita Bank's DanceArt Photo courtesy of DanceArt
Benita Bank’s DanceArt.  Photo courtesy of DanceArt

4.  Boys will be Boyz

Founded by Michael Nunn and Billy Trevitt, BalletBoyz is just that, an all male troupe, classically trained but ready to go into contemporary realms. This tour includes new commissions by Pontus Lidberg and Javier de Frutos. Cal State University Long Beach, Carpenter Performing Arts Center, 6200 E. Atherton St., Long Beach; Sat., Jan. 28, 8 p.m., $50. 562-985-7000, Also at McCallum Theatre, 73000 Fred Waring Dr., Palm Desert; Mon.-Tues., Jan. 30-31, 8 p.m., $27-$57. 866-889-2787,

Ballet Boyz Photo by Hugo Glendinning
BalletBoyz.  Photo by Hugo Glendinning

3.  Crossing dance cultures

Guest artists from Seattle Washington’s Radost Folk Ensemble join Los Angeles Ballet dancers with live music from the Varimezov Family Band. Since 1976, Radost has toured the northwest presenting the dance, music and song from Eastern Europe including Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Croatia, Macedonia and Bosnia. For the past week Ivan and Tzvetanka Varimezov have been in residence at LAB. Don’t look for pointe shoes as the LAB dancers join in performing eastern European dances for this party. “Radost” translates to “joy” in Slavic languages. Joy may be the goal, but fun is certainly on the menu. Los Angeles Ballet Center, 11755 Exposition Blvd., West Los Angeles; Fri., Jan. 27, 7 p.m., $15 at door.,

Radost Folk Ensemble Photo courtesy of Radost Folk Ensemble
Radost Folk Ensemble. Photo courtesy of Radost Folk Ensemble

2.  Doing reps

Live original scores by ISTANBUL and River Song Quintet back Rebecca Lemme and her modern troupe Acts of Matter in three of four works that comprise rep•er•toire. Retrouvaille (2011), as may be felt (2015), and The Fragments (2016) reflect musical relationships dating back to shared time at CalArts. For the newest, Love Letter, Lemme draws on hits from the 1950s and 1960s. Dancers include Laura Berg, Katie Istvan, Charissa Kroeger, Megan McCarthy, Jobel Medina, Joey Navarrete, Joan Holly Padeo, Montay Romero, Gracie Whyte and Taylor Worden. Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Fri.-Sat., Jan. 27-28, 8:30 p.m., $25, $20 students & seniors.

L.A. Contemporary Dance Company in Force Majeure Photo by Taso Papadakis
L.A. Contemporary Dance Company in Force Majeure. Photo by Taso Papadakis

1.  A festive finish

L.A.’s newest dance festival took up residence at a venue known as a respected theater, and now emerging as a welcoming dance venue. While most local festivals offer brief pieces from many companies, Dance at the Odyssey gave four companies each their own evenings. The festival concludes this weekend with L.A. Contemporary Dance Company in Force Majeure, a quartet of works with choreography from company director Genevieve Carson, Gregory Dolbashian, Michaela Taylor and Christian Denice. Force Majeure enjoyed an extended sold out several week run in late 2016 in Atwater Village. Here’s a chance for Westsiders (and others) to catch up. Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West L.A.; Fri.-Sat., Jan. 27-28, 8 p.m.; $25, $15 students. 310 477-2055 ext. 2,

Other dance of note:

In Gene Kelly: The Legacy his widow Patricia Ward Kelly employs film and anecdote to pay homage to the legend. Chapman University’s Musco Center for the Arts, One University Dr., Orange; Sat., Jan. 28, 8 p.m., $20-$50. 844-626-8726,

Gene Kelly Photo courtesy of Gene Kelly Estate
Gene Kelly Photo courtesy of Gene Kelly Estate

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