Autumnal endeavors in Venice, Japanese gods and demons cavort in Little Tokyo, innovative dance in Temecula, Frida and Diego emerge downtown, classical South Asian dance goes solo in Irvine, a lunch time salon in El Sereno, serial dance on a classic novel in Montecito Heights, more SoCal dance this week, and a peek at next week.

Beware the maple leaf viewing party

The traditional Japanese dance and theatre art form Kagura celebrates nature in tales of gods and demons. In this visit, Japan’s Hiroshima Kagura performs two dramatic stories with live music. Yamata-no-Orochi finds a god confronting an eight-headed snake demon that’s planning to eat a beautiful maiden. In Momiji-Gari, deceptive young hostesses at a maple leaf-viewing party have hidden secrets. JACCC Aratani Theatre, 244 S. San Pedro St., Little Tokyo; Sun., Nov. 19, 2 pm, free w/reservation at JACCC.

A stage filled with Japanese costumed dancers
Hiroshima Kagura. Photo courtesy of the artists

Four on the floor

A quartet of adventurous movers take the stage in Caloriflora, the latest edition of Body Weather Laboratory’s series Flower of the Season. Drawn from New York and SoCal, the four choreographers/performers are Mia Doi Todd, Melinda Ring, Carole Kim and Cheryl Banks-Smith. Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice; Fri.-Sat., Nov. 17-18, 8 pm, Sun., Nov. 19, 3 pm, free w/reservation at Eventbrite.

Dancers in black
Melinda Ring. Photo by Ian Douglas

Episodic ballet

The Victorian houses of Heritage Square may be decades after the Civil War era homes depicted in Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel Little Women, but they are close enough to provide a historical atmosphere for choreographer Emma Andres ongoing series of site-specific ballet episodes that promise to build to a full-length Little Women Ballet. Presented in partnership with Pasadena Civic Ballet, this event includes live music with the performance moving among the Heritage Square houses, post performance folk dancing, refreshments, and photos with the cast. Heritage Square Museum, 3800 Homer St., Montecito Heights; Fri., Nov. 17, 6 pm, Sat.-Sun., Nov. 18 &19, 3 & 6 pm, $60. Tickets.

A couple dance in old fashioned room
Little Women Ballet. Photo courtesy of the artists

New dance in Old Town

The Orange County-based Backhausdance unveils three world premieres including two from innovative guest choreographers. Choreographers Alice Flock and Florian Lochner of FLOCK Works offer The Barest Echo while Peter Chu contributes Portals of Being. I am Dangerous and Blooming is a world premiere from Amanda Kay White, company associate artistic director, while artistic director Jennifer Backhaus reprises her compelling Love and Other Impossibilities from 2006. Old Town Temecula Community Theater, 42051 Main St., Temecula; Sat., Nov. 18, 8 pm, $25. Backhausdance.

A tower of dancers
Backhausdance. Photo courtesy of the artists

Let’s do lunch

The monthly series The Unseen Hours…a salon series offers a noontime glimpse at a changing line up of choreographers workshopping new dances. This month’s salon brings Spenser Theberge with insights into his process and a chance to learn more in a post performance Q&A. The series is free for venue members with limited single tickets and livestream options at the website. The Stomping Ground, 5453 Alhambra Ave., El Sereno; Nov. 17, 12:15 pm-2:30 pm, free live or livestream w/membership, limited tickets $25. Membership and ticket options at LA Contemporary Dance.

A dancer without a shirt
Spenser Theberge. Photo by Jacob Jonas

On her own

In Anubandh Connectedness, South Asian dancer Malavika Sarukkai explores the power of hope and the possibilities of India’s Bharatanatyam dance in this solo performance. Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Dr., Irvine; Sat., Nov. 18, 8 pm, $25-$75. Irvine Barclay Theatre.

dancer in orange sari
Malaviki Sarukkai. Photo courtesy of the artist

Frida returns

Mexico City-based choreographer Ruby Tagle collaborated with the creators of El último sueño de Frida y Diego (The Last Dream of Frida and Diego), a new opera that considers what would happen if Frida Kahlo returned from the dead and confronted Diego Rivera. This production brings to the LA Opera main stage composer Gabriela Lena Frank and librettist Nilo Cruz. The duo created the mesmerizing Las cinco lunas de Lorca (The Five Moons of Lorca) that debuted LA Opera’s Digital Shorts initiative during the 2020 pandemic shutdown. Music Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Sat., Nov. 18 & Dec. 9, 7:30 pm, Sun., Nov. 26 & Dec. 3, 2 pm, Thurs., Nov. 30, 7:30 pm, Wed., Dec. 6, 7:30 pm, $16-$274. LA Opera.

A skeleton and Frida Kahlo
El último sueño de Frida y Diego
(The Last Dream of Frida and Diego). Photo by Cory Weaver


After an extended, sold out run of Bobbi Jene Smith + Or Schraiber’s The Missing Mountain, the work has three more performances, as of press time, all three sold out. LA Dance Project, 2245 E. Washington Blvd., Arts District; Thurs.-Sat., Nov. 16-18, $45-$55. LA Dance Project.

A Peek at Next Week

BODYTRAFFIC at Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Brentwood; Tues., Nov. 28, $40, $20 students & seniors BODYTRAFFIC.

Maria Bermúdez: Sonidos Gitanos (Gypsy Sounds) at Disney Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Sat., Nov. 25, 8 pm, $46-$129. LA Phil.

Flamenco dancer in red shoes
Maria Bermudez. Photo courtesy of the artist

Westside Ballet: Nutcracker with Santa Monica Symphony at The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica; Sat.-Sun., Nov. 25-26, Dec. 2-3, 1 & 5 pm, $60. Westside Ballet tickets.

Anaheim Ballet: Nutcracker with Symphony Irvine at City National Grove, 2200 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim; Fri., Nov. 24, 7 pm, Sat., Nov. 25, 2 &7 pm, $27-$65. Anaheim BalletCity National Grove.

American Contemporary Ballet: Nutcracker Suite at ACB Studios, Two California Plaza, 350 S. Grand Ave., Suite 2850, downtown; Sat.-Sun., Nov. 25-26, Dec. 2-3, Dec. 16-17, 2 & 5pm, Fri. Dec. 1, 8 p.m., Thurs.-Sat., Dec. 7-9, 8 pm, Sun., Dec. 10, 2 & 5 pm, Thurs.-Fri., Dec. 14-15, Dec. 21-22, 8 pm, Sat., Dec. 23, 2 & 5 pm, Sun., Dec. 24, 1 pm,$70-$140. American Contemporary Ballet.


Another loss


A man in white pants and a cap
Rudy Perez. Photo courtesy of the artist

With the recent passing of post-modern icon Rudy Perez, the world of dance lost another legend. Those who knew Rudy, danced for him, or saw his work are invited to share their memories at a memorial page established by his friends at Rudy Perez Dance.

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