Sabotaging the Strictures

A Chorus Line for 2024 in the Arts District; a British literary rebel captured in Costa Mesa; Goya-infused flamenco in Irvine and intimate flamenco in Westwood; romantic ballet in Hancock Park; gala season arrives, more So Cal dance this week, and a peek at next week.

Live This Week

When dancers talk

Described as a “counter-tribute,” Andrew Pearson and a clutch of dancers employed a similar process that led to the musical A Chorus Line, drawing on dancers’ real life experiences. This time the process for Our Dancer’s Project also involved critical and mindful consideration of bodies in the performing arts, an ongoing hot topic for dance and dancers. The writers/dancers include Cristina Flores, Darby Epperson, Celine Kiner, Tiffany Sweat, Daurin Tavares, Rachel Whiting, and Sadie Yarrington. Pearson also has writing credit and directs. LA Dance Project, 2235 E. Washington Blvd., Arts District; Fri.-Sat., April 12-13, 7 pm, $35-$45, $25 students & seniors. Our Dancer’s Project.

A group of dancers in casual clothes
Bodies in Play. Photo courtesy of the artists

Not quite alone

In the U.S., Virginia Woolf is most widely associated with the title of the 1966 Liz Taylor/Richard Burton film based on Edward Albee’s play. In England, Virginia Woolf the writer, is widely known for her visionary approach that shattered accepted Victorian era ideas about and constraints on writing, and particularly sabotaged strictures, sexual and otherwise, on women in Victorian times. In quite a coup, American Ballet Theatre brings the North American premiere of Wayne McGregor’s highly praised Woolf Works to SoCal for five performance.  Created for Britain’s Royal Balletthe choreographer abstracts and weaves together three of Woolf’s works, the time and gender shifting Orlando, Mrs. Dalloway confronting a war-shocked soldier, and a consideration of Woolf’s suicide in Waves. After the London premiere, Britain’s Guardian newspaper described the work as “a complex meditation on time, memory and death in ways as fragmentary and haunting as Woolf’s own writing.” Not a mention of Liz or Richard. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa; Thurs.-Fri., April 11-12, 7:30 pm, Sat., April 13, 2 & 7:30 pm, Sun., April 14, 1 pm, $49-$149. SCFTA.

A male dancer carries a female dancer
Wayne McGregor’s “Woolf Works”. Photo courtesy of the Royal Opera House

Taking to the tablao

Enjoy the improvisational interplay of live musicians and flamenco dancers as Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana brings Tablao Flamenco to this intimate venue. UCLA, The Nimoy, 1262 Westwood Blvd., Westwood; Thur., April 11, 8 pm, $32. CAP UCLA.

A flamenco dancer in shadow
Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana. Photo courtesy of the artists

Do they find him?

In Searching for Goya, Soledad Barrio and Noche Flamenca draw inspiration from the paintings of Spanish artist Francisco Goya. The dancers, musicians and singers promise to blend live flamenco dance with video projections that include Goya’s art. Irvine Barclay Theatre, UC Irvine, 4242 Campus Dr., Irvine; Thurs., April 18, 8 pm, $30-$125. Irvine Barclay Theatre.

A flamenco dancer in front of musicians
Soledad Barrios. Photo courtesy of the artist

Vengeful ballet ghosts

Former Los Angeles Ballet principal dancers Petra Conti and Eris Nezha have been busy.  Not only have they been building a new company as artistic directors of Hollywood Ballet, they also have been guesting with Grand Kyiv Ballet, currently on tour with its production of Giselle. The romantic ballet with its wronged maiden and vengeful ghosts stops off for one LA performance. The Wilshire Ebell, 4401 W. 8th St., Hancock Park;  Sun., April 14, 7 pm, $45-$89. Eventbrite.

A ballerina in arabesque
Grand Kyiv Ballet “Giselle.” Photo by Rudy Amisano.

The flowers did it

A new production of La Traviata at the Los Angeles Opera boasts gender duality costumes for choreography by John Heginbotham. At its San Francisco Opera premiere, director Shawna Lucey and her team received critical raves for a fresh approach that retained everything that makes this among the most beloved operas while subtly spotlighting the backdrop of a gay but entirely money-dominated world in which love almost transcends the transactional.  Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Music Center, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Sat., April 14 & 21, Thurs., April 18, Wed., April 24, Sat., April 27, $39-$399. LA Opera.

A party around a lady in blue
Los Angeles Opera in “La Traviata.” Photo courtesy of LA Opera.

Gala #1

Dancers from Los Angeles Ballet perform as part of this year’s LAB gala, hosted by Donna Mills. Beverly Wilshire Hotel, 9500 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills; Thurs., April 18, 6 pm, $1,000 & up. Los Angeles Ballet.

A dancer in black jumps in the air
Los Angeles Ballet. Photo courtesy of the artists

Gala #2

Known for its accomplished youth dance program, The Wooden Floor‘s overarching purpose is often overlooked with dance as just one of the ways to help kids stay in school. On April 18, the admirable program celebrates its annual 12th Step Beyond Annual Breakfast feting the class of 2024, 100% of whom are preparing to graduate high school and are moving on to higher education. Hilton Hotel/Orange County, 3050 Bristol St., Costa Mesa; Thurs., April 18, 7:30 am. $100. The Wooden Floor.

A Peek at Next Week (4/19 to 4/25)

Urban Bush Women — Legacy + Lineage + Liberation at UCLA Royce Hall, 10745 Dickson Ct., Westwood; Fri., April 19, 8 pm, $39-$59. CAP UCLA.

REALM Company — Synergetic Pt. 1 at the Rhimes Performing Arts Center, 1850 S. Manhattan Pl., West Adams; Sat., April 20, 6 pm, $50-$160. Tickets.

Dancers against a blue background
The Realm Company. Photo courtesy of the artists

World Ballet Company — Swan Lake at Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Dr., Irvine; Thurs.-Fri., April 19-20, 7 pm, $60-$105. Irvine Barclay Theatre.

Tori Cristi/Whacking Los Angeles — Liminality at Highways, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Fri.-Sat., April 19-20, 8:30 pm, $15. Highways Performance.

AXIS Dance Company at Wallis Annenberg Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills; Fri.-Sat., April 19-20, 7:30 pm, $49-$79. Wallis Annenberg Theater.

A dancer jumps by a dancer in a wheelchair
AXIS Dance Company. Photo by David DeSilva

ABT Studio Company at Bank of America Performing Arts Center, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks; Sun., April 21, 7:00 pm, $35-$65. BAPAC.

Benita Bike’s DanceArt at Culver City Senior Center, 4095 Overland Ave., Culver City; Sat., April 20, 1:30 pm, free. DanceArt.

Dancers lean to their left
Benita Bike’s DanceArt. Photo by Dean Wallraff.

Japanese dance — 49th Annual Bunka-Sai at Ken Miller Recreation Center, 3341 Torrance Blvd., Torrance; Sat. & Sun., April 20 & 21, 11 am to 5 pm, free. Info at

LACE — ABUNDANCE at LA Dance Project, 2245 E. Washington Blvd., Arts District; Wed.-Fri., April 24-26, 7 pm, free with reservation at Eventbrite.

What are you looking for?