Scottish Ballet Relies on the Kindness of Strangers

This week’s dance events include tap dance in Santa Monica, flamenco in East Hollywood, early Matthew Bourne in Beverly Hills, Tennessee Williams downtown, and dance against the mountains in Glendale and so much more.

[alert type=alert-white ]Please consider making a tax-deductible donation now so we can keep publishing strong creative voices.[/alert]

5.   Some dance is Forever

This edition of the long-running, mostly monthly Forever Flamenco features dancers Fanny Ara, Reyes Barrios and Alejandro Vega, singers Antonio de Jerez and Jesus Montoya, along with guitarists: Kai Narezo and Antonio Triana. Artistic director is Reyes Barrios. Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave., East Hollywood; Sun., May 21, 8 p.m., $40-$50, $30 seniors & students. 323-663-1526,

Fanny Ara of Forever Flamenco Photo courtesy of Forever Flamenco
Fanny Ara of Forever Flamenco. Photo courtesy of Forever Flamenco.

4.   Stories to be told

Continuing their masterful melding of dance, music and storytelling, Hilary Thomas and her Lineage Dance reunite with L.A. Phil violinist Vijay Gupta and his Street Symphony for Stories that Move Us, insightfully covering four themes over two weekends of performances. On May 13, issues of homelessness and housing dominate the contemporary classical pieces commissioned by and for residents of Los Angeles’s Skid Row with choreography by Thomas. On May 14, the subject of parenthood infuses the musical and dance offerings. Next weekend, the themes are refugees, on May 20, and gender/sexuality, on May 21. Complete information at Lineage Performance Arts Center, 89 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena; Sat., May 20, 4 p.m., Sun., May 21, 7 p.m., $25 at door, $20 in advance, $15 students in advance.
Matthew Bourne's Early Works
Matthew Bourne’s Early Works.  Photo courtesy of the artist.

3. Feathered knickers came later

Before his groundbreaking Swan Lake with male swans in feathered knickers, Matthew Bourne was building a reputation (his Nutcracker set in a Charles Dickensian orphanage) and this program brings three of his early works to the stage. In September, the Bourne brings his Red Shoes to the Music Center, but here’s a chance to seldom seen early works and explore Bourne in the making. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Bram Goldsmith Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills; Thurs.-Sat., May 18-20, 8 p.m., Sat.-Sun., May 20-21, 2 p.m., $39-$99. 310-746-4000,

Invertigo Dance Theater at the Brand Library Dance Series Photo courtesy of IDT
Invertigo Dance Theater at the Brand Library Dance Series. Photo courtesy of IDT.

2.   Dancing at the mountains

Dance at the Brand is a long-running dance series that has been a local secret for fans who enjoy intimate performance in a picture perfect library nestled against the San Gabriel Mountains. Recently award-winning festival producer Jamie Nichols was recruited to oversee the series and the reboot makes its debut with inventive Invertigo Dance Theater. Over the next month the innovative Szlat and exuberant Viver Brasil also perform. Brand Library and Art Gallery, 1601 W. Mountain St., Glendale; Sat., May 20, 1:30 p.m., free.

Scottish Ballet's Streetcar Named Desire Photo courtesy of Scottish Ballet
Scottish Ballet’s Streetcar Named Desire. Photo courtesy of Scottish Ballet.

1.  Scots take on Tennessee Williams’ Desire

Expect the goings on in that New Orleans apartment to get explicitly physical as Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire receives a steamy ballet treatment by Scottish Ballet. Blanche Dubois still relies on the kindness of strangers as she sets tragedy in motion when she takes up residence with her sister and fuming hunk of a brother in law. On a minimalist set that shifts about to convey various locales, choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and director Nancy Meckler provide flashbacks to expand Blanche’s backstory, promising the addition of a female perspective to Williams’ ever-fascinating drama. The British critics called the ballet “a risk that paid off, definitely a keeper”. Music Center Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri.-Sat., May 19-20, 7:30 p.m., Sun., May 21, 2 p.m.; $34-$125.

Other dance of note:

If the Diane Davisson Dancers are an exemplar, eschew those high priced workouts and head to a tap dance class. With many of its members certified as AARP members, these dancers harken back to and keep alive the world of Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. Guest artist Miriam Nelson, at 95+, is exhibit No.1 in this free performance. Santa Monica Library, Martin Luther King Auditorium, 601 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica; Sun., May 21, 2 p.m., free.

Keith Johnson and Dancers Photo by Gregory RR Crosby
Keith Johnson and Dancers. Photo by Gregory RR Crosby.

Community, memory and the instability of order are among the cosmic topics tackled by Keith Johnson and Dancers in Inklings Across Galaxies. Dancers include Summer Brown, Haihua Chiang, Bahareh Ebrahimzadeh, F. Nicholas Factoran, Katie Itsvan, Rosalynde LeBlanc, Alvaro Nunez, Andrew W. Palomares, and Ismael Rumbo. Brockus Project Studios, 618 Moulton Ave., Lincoln Heights; Fri., May 19, 7 & 8:30 p.m., $18 in advance, $20 at door.

Nancy Evans Dance Theatre Photo by Shana Skelton
Nancy Evans Dance Theatre. Photo by Shana Skelton.

New works from company members Ashleigh Doede, Jenn Logan, and artistic director Nancy Evans Doede are presented with repertory favorites in this 8th annual concert from Nancy Evans Dance Theatre. ARC Pasadena, 1158 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Sat., May 20, 8 p.m., Sun., May 21, 4 p.m., $20-$50, $15 seniors & students.

Classical and non-classical dance is among the talented high school performers at this year’s Music Center Spotlight Program. Music Center, Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Tues., May 23, 7 p.m., $10. 213-972-0711,

GoldenWestFaculty, students and guest artists perform in the Golden West College Dance department’s spring concert. Golden West College, 15744 Goldenwest St., Huntington Beach; Sat., May 20, 8 p.m., Sun., May 21, 2 p.m., $15, $13 seniors & students. 714-895-8150,

What are you looking for?