Remembering Riots, Celebrating Friendship

Contemporary dance with a mountain view in Glendale, hip hop and contemporary dance al fresco at two downtown venues, a tribute to a quicksilver tapper in Hollywood, L.A.’s diversity onstage in Little Tokyo, taking dance into new turf in Mid-City, and more SoCal dance this busy week.

5.  All about the footwear

A full range of hip hop styles, spoken word poetry from Mark Gonzales, film interviews and a generation’s fascination with footwear are on display as Amy “Catfox” Campion and the hip hop theatre company Antics bring Sneaker Suites to the stage in this free performance. Part of Our L.A. Voices. Details on the full line up of the day’s events at Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Sat., April 28, 5 p.m. & Sun., April 29, 4:30 p.m., free.

Antics' "Sneaker Suites" Photo by Paul Antico.
Antics’ “Sneaker Suites” Photo by Paul Antico.

4.  A tap dance tribute

In conjunction with publication of her memoir, choreographer/dancer/producer Miriam Nelson is honored by the tap dance troupe Diane Davisson Dancers. The performance includes an appearance by tap historian Rusty Frank with film clips of Nelson’s lengthy career. Known for her quicksilver tap dancing, dry wit, and wide-ranging accomplishments, Nelson will be present for the post performance refreshments and book-signing. All proceeds go to the Professional Dancers Society and the venue’s restoration fund. Women’s Club of Hollywood, 1749 N. La Brea Ave., Hollywood; Sat., April 28, 2 p.m., $20 in advance, $30 at door.

Miriam Nelson. Collage courtesy of the artist.
Miriam Nelson. Collage courtesy of the artist.

3.  Kids will be kids

They will dance among the roses as Jamie Carbetta and Pony Box Dance Theatre host International Children’s Dance Day. The all-male troupe and other groups will showcase dance from around the world, plus art projects and live music. Exposition Park, East End of the Rose Garden (look for the balloons near the Discovery Science Center), 700 Exposition Park Dr., University Park; Sat., April 28, 3 p.m., free.

Pony Box Dance Theatre's "International Children's Dance Day". Photo courtesy of PBDT.
Pony Box Dance Theatre’s “International Children’s Dance Day”. Photo courtesy of PBDT.

2.  Dance against the mountains

This long-running, free series presents mostly contemporary dance troupes in a gallery backed by an idyllic view of the mountains. Curated by Jamie Nichols who has strong credentials spotting rising choreographers and companies deserving attention, the Brand Library Dance Series opens with the all-female troupe MashUp. The dancers layer jazz, hip hop, and modern dance to explore female self-exploration and gender equality in Motivation. In May, the contemporary company Deborah Rosen & Dancers draws on Frank Sinatra for Drifting…A Suite of Dreamscapes, followed by Kevin Williamson + Company creating a new site specific work for this lovely venue nestled in the hills above Glendale. Brand Library and Art Center, 1601 W. Mountain St., Glendale; Sat. April 28, 4 p.m., free.

Mash Up at Brand Library Dance Series. Photo courtesy of the artists.
Mash Up at Brand Library Dance Series. Photo courtesy of the artists.

1.  Diversity dancing

Celebrated as one of the most diverse cities in the world, L.A.’s diversity comes with frictions that 26 years ago ignited as parts of L.A. erupted in what now is generally known as the L.A. Riots. Marking the riots’ anniversary with a theme of tolerance, diversity and love, The Friendship Concert III assembles an impressive sampling of this city’s cultural spectrum with dance, music and song. Announced dance performers include Juli Kim with classical Korean and fusion dance, African fusion from James Mahkween, contemporary from Lula Washington Dance Company, and a finale with Paco & Yolanda Flamenco joining Korean Five Drum Dance and L.A. Tatai Bayashi Taiko Drum. Sponsored by community groups TAP (The Artists’ Platform) and F.A.C.E. (Faith and Community Empowerment), the concert is part of a larger effort in junior and senior high schools to reflect on the events two decades ago. Student poetry and visual art produced by the students will be on display. Aratani Theatre, 244 S. San Pedro St., Little Tokyo; Sat., April 28, 7:30 p.m., $10.

Friendship Concert III. Photo courtesy by Oshell Oh.
Friendship Concert III. Photo courtesy by Oshell Oh.

      Other Dance of Note:

Six choreographers—some emerging and others established—take the stage with the results of Terra Nova, an intensive five week residency mentored by Rosanna Gamson/WorldWide and the Dance Resource Center. Mallory Fabian, Vannia Ibarguen, Adam Kerbel, Marissa Moses, Andrew Pearson and Cody Potter are the dancemakers exploring new territory. Gamson and Ben Johnson (L.A. City Department of Cultural Affairs, Performing Arts Division Director) facilitate the post performance conversation. Mimoda Studio, 5774 W. Pico Blvd., Mid-City;  Sat. April 28, 7 p.m., $15.

Andrew Pearson. Photo by Casey Kringle.
Andrew Pearson. Photo by Casey Kringle.

They are faculty, but also respected choreographers as Rebecca Bryant, Keith Johnson, Rebecca Lemme, Julio Medina, Sophie Monat, Andrew Baca and guest artist Melecio Estrella showcase their danceworks. Cal State University Long Beach, Martha B. Knoebel Theatre, 6200 E. Atherton Blvd., Long Beach; Wed.-Fri., April 25-27, Sat., April 28, 2 & 8 p.m., $20, $16 students.

Nancy Evans Dance Theatre's Jenn Logan. Photo by PaiWei Wei.
Nancy Evans Dance Theatre’s Jenn Logan. Photo by PaiWei Wei.

Modern dance and a post-performance Q&A are offered by Nancy Evans and her Nancy Evans Dance Theatre. Titled An Evening of Solo Works Inspired by Literature, the show features contributions from the director as well as from dancers Katrina Amerine, Noel Dilworth, Ashleigh Doede, Karina Jones, Jenn Logan. La Salle High School, 3880 E. Sierra Madre Blvd., Pasadena; Sun., April 29, 4 p.m., $20, $15 students & seniors.

With her Experiment in Three Parts, choreographer Rebecca Green employs set choreography and improvisation to consider contemporary musical preferences and how people relate to those music choices. Dancers include Amy Chihara, Dina Lasso, Emily Krause, Kyle McCarthy and Green. Live Arts Los Angeles, 4210 Panamint St., Glassell Park; Fri.-Sat., April 27-28, 8:30 p.m., $17 general in advance, $20 at door; $12 students in advance, $15 at door.

Rebecca Green. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Rebecca Green. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Born in Argentina and trained by Pina Bausch in Germany, Diana Szeinblum returned home and teamed up with fellow dancers to deconstruct the machismo that dominates Argentinian dance forms.  In Adentro! (rough English translation is “inside”), the choreographer and two cohorts explore and reinvent folk traditions with a soundscore by Axel Krygier and Simón Díaz. REDCAT, 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; Thurs.-Sat., April 26-28, 8:30 p.m., $20, $16 students.

Diana Szeinblum. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Diana Szeinblum. Photo courtesy of the artist.

A cast of 24 dancers and musicians takes the stage as Tango Lovers returns with I am Tango. The Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale; Sat., April 28, 8 p.m., $39-$120.

Perhaps not technically dance, but the percussionists who perform as Stomp sure know how to move. The current iteration of the popular show returns. Hollywood Pantages Theater, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., April 27, 8 p.m., Sat., April 28, 2 p.m., Sun., April 29, 1 & 6:30 p.m., $35-$135.

Inspired by the Latin rock band Soda Stereo, Cirque du Soleil returns to astonish with a new crew of dancers, acrobats and clowns. SEP7IMO DIA – No Descansaré. The Forum, 3900 W. Manchester Blvd., Inglewood; Thurs., May 3, 8 p.m., Fri.-Sat., May 4-5, 4 & 8 p.m., Sun., May 6, 1 & 5 p.m., $55-$155.

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