Shakespeare’s Star-Crossed Incarcerated

A classic goes dystopian downtown, street dance moves onstage in Malibu, Mexican contemporary joins the festival in West LA, a legend marks 75 in Santa Barbara, a two-fer in the Arts District, male hula in Downey, more SoCal dance this busy week, and a peek at next week.

Live This Week

All together now

The six-week Dance at the Odyssey festival moves into week three with the México City-based Punto de Inflexión. Directed by Stephanie García, the company brings 3×3, three works tackling gender violence in Abrirse el Cuerpo, duality in the human experience in downcast, and a solo about life’s imbalances in Incandescent. Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West LA; Fri.-Sat., Jan. 26-27, 8 pm, Sun., Jan. 28, 2 pm, $25. Full festival at Odyssey Theatre.

Two dancers wrap a third in white fabric
Punto de Inflexión. Photo by Todd Collins

Romeo & Juliet go to jail

The choreographer who transformed Swan Lake into a tale of ballet men in feathered knickers arrives with his 2019 Matthew Bourne’s Romeo & Juliet. Shakespeare’s star-crossed central lovers remain, as does Prokofiev’s seductively dissonant score, but the action has been moved from Verona, Italy to a dystopian prison and Juliet’s vile cousin Tybalt is now a sexually abusive warden. Bourne does darker with the best, yet still sets a standard for drawing out the poignant moments and bits of light in his shadowy retellings. Music Center, Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; opens Sun., Jan. 28, then Tues.-Fri., 8 pm, Sat., 2 & 8 pm, Sun., 1 & 6:30 pm, thru Sun., Feb. 25, $35-$155. Center Theatre Group.

A couple stands in an amphitheater
Matthew Bourne’s Romeo & Juliet. Photo by Johan Persson 

Film fest plus

Long regarded as one of the premiere dance film festivals, Dance Camera West 2024 returns with a line-up of 40 films from 20 countries, each making its debut on the international, U.S., or Los Angeles stage. Curated from 320 submissions, the 40 screenings are the center of the festivities that include workshops, artist talks, and receptions. Full details on the films and related events at the website. Barnsdall Art Park, 4814 Hollywood Blvd., E. Hollywood; Thurs.-Sun., Jan. 25-28, various times, $15 single tickets $150 festival pass. Dance Camera West 2024.

Gymnasts doing flips among trees
Dance Camera West 2024. Photo courtesy of the artists


The latest edition of LA Dance Project’s Launch has a shared stage. Making  their official west coast debut, the ten-member Summation Dance/LA brings On our way home choreographed Taryn by Vander Hoop. A multi-generational cast explores issues of personal mental health and caring for others. Derion Loman features five dancers in considerations about clothing, the memory of the people who wore it, and the residual energy a garment holds. LA Dance Project, 2245 E. Washington Blvd., Arts District; Thurs.-Sat., Feb. 1-3, 8 pm, $25-$48 including fees. LA Dance Project tickets.

A group of dancers leap in the air
Summation Dance. Photo courtesy of the artists 

Dance with a history

Arriving with accolades that include the first Black female nominated for Tony-awards as both director and choreographer, Camile A Brown returns to her concert dance roots, bringing her eponymous Camile A Brown & Dancers. The calling card is Ink, with African American social dance, tap, jazz, modern and social dance all centered on African rhythms. Musco Center for the Arts, Chapman University 415 N. Glassell, Orange; Fri., Jan 26, 7:30 pm, $32.75 to $73. Musco Center.

Dancers surround dancer who jumps
Camille A Brown & Dancers. Photo courtesy of the artists

Men in tutus

The secret of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo is they are serious ballet dancers who happen to be men in toe shows as they offer seriously funny send-ups of classical ballets from Swan Lake to Don Quixote. They may play the classical ballets’ plots for laughs, but they can go toe to toe (pun intended) with any professional ballet company. Granada Theater, 1214 State St., Santa Barbara; Thurs., Jan. 25, 8 pm, $41-$106. UCSB. Also at at McCallum Theater, 7300 Fred Waring Dr., Palm Desert; Wed., Jan. 31, 7 pm, $40-$90. McCallum Theater. Also at Carpenter Performing Arts Center, Cal State University Long Beach, 6200 E. Atherton St., Long Beach; Sat., Feb. 3, 8 pm, $55. Carpenter Performing Arts Center.

Men in toe shoes parody Swan Lake
Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. Photo by Zoran Jelenic

Hula with testosterone

Reportedly the only all-male hula group in the world, Hālau Nā Kamalei o Līlīlehua performs in a program led by Hawaiian music composer Robert Cazimero. If a trip to the South Pacific is out of the question right now, this afternoon of music and hula might be a nice substitute. Downey Theatre, 8435 Firestone Blvd., Downey; Sun., Jan. 28, 3 pm, $55-$65. Downey Theatre.

Men dancing the hula
Hālau Nā Kamalei o Līlīlehua. Photo courtesy of the artists

Street to stage

Bringing its high-energy, unadulterated street dance to the stage, Versa-Style Dance Company pushes boundaries and the fun quotient with Freemind Freestyle. Pepperdine University, Smothers Theater, 24255 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu; Sat., Jan. 27, 8 pm, $22-$45. Pepperdine University.

A dancer extends his leg toward a group of dancers
Versa-Style Dance. Photo courtesy of the artists 

Iconic moves

Celebrating its 75th anniversary, Limón Dance Company arrives on tour with a program that includes founder José Limón’s iconic solo Chaconne, along with Danzas Mexicanas and Missa Brevis. The evening also has the 2022 Bessie winning Migrant Mother, a new contemporary commission from Mexican choreographer Raúl Tamez. Granada Theatre, 1214 State St., Santa Barbara; Sat. Jan. 27, 8 pm, $41- $106. UCSB.

A man in arabesque holds hands with a woman on the floor
Limón Dance Company. Photo by Drew Leon.

Dancers making dances

In the studio series Evenings, State Street Ballet showcases original choreography by company artists. This 20th edition offers new works by dancers Ethan Ahuero, Tanner Blee, Oscar Bravo Ly, Arianna Hartanov, Amber Hirschfield, Rachel Hutsell, Ryan Lenkey, Saori Yamashita, plus a contribution from Meredith Ventura. Gail Towbes Center for Dance, 2285 Las Positas Rd., Santa Barbara; Fri.-Sat., Jan. 26-27, 7:30 pm, $30 in advance, $35 at door. State Street Ballet.

A man lifts a woman in purple
State Street Ballet. Photo courtesy of the artists

It’s the “A” in STEAM

Continuing their efforts to demystify dance, choreographer Benita Bike and her Benita Bike’s DanceArt offer the family-friendly Science of Dance. Discovery Cube Los Angeles, 11800 Foothill Blvd., Sylmar; Sat., Jan 27, 11 am to 3 pm, free with an e-mail to

A group of dancers hold each other
Benita Bike’s DanceArt. Photo by Dean Walraff

Making an MJ move

The main draw may be the songs Michael Jackson made famous, but MJ the Musical won a Tony award for director/choreographer Christopher Wheeldon whose dance-infused staging dominates from when the curtain goes up until the finale. Just in case anyone thought Wheeldon’s talents were limited to ballet companies. Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Thurs., Jan. 25, 7:30 pm, Fri., Jan. 26, 8 pm, Sat., Jan. 27, 2 & 8 pm, Sun., Jan. 28, 1 & 6:30 pm, $39-$199. Broadway In Hollywood.

An actor moves like Michael Jackson
MJ The Musical. Photo courtesy of the artists

The feet have it

Led by artistic director Kanisha Bennett, Anointed Feet Dance Company offers contemporary dance that seeks to “propel audiences into the presence of the Holy spirit.” El Camino College, Campus Theatre, 16007 Crenshaw Blvd., Torrance; Fri.-Sat., Jan 26-27, 7 pm, $35, $10 students. Anointed Feet Dance Company.

A dancer goes into the splits
Anointed Feet Dance Company. Photo courtesy of the artists

A Peek at Next Week

Heidi Duckler Dance Truth or Consequences at the Bendix Building,1206 Maple Ave., Arts District; Sun., Feb. 4, 5 pm, $35, $20 students. Heidi Duckler Dance.

Goblin Party at Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West LA; Fri.-Sat., Feb. 2-3, 8 pm, Sun., Feb. 4, 2 pm, $25. Odyssey Theatre.

Three dancers cover their mouths
Goblin Party. Photo by George Simian

Trinity Irish Dance Company – JIG at Pepperdine University, Smothers Theater, 24255 Pacific Coast Hwy.; Tues., Feb. 6, 8 pm, $25-$55. Pepperdine.

Pina Bausch Foundation – Rite of Spring Common Ground(s) at the Music Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Thurs.-Sat., Feb. 8-10, 7:30 pm, Sun., Feb. 11, 2 pm, $35-$152. Music Center.

A man stretches his arms as a woman runs by
Pina Bausch’s “The Rite of Spring.” Photo by Stephanie Berger

High Voltage at Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice; Fri., Feb. 2, 8 pm, $10. Electric Lodge.

Max 10 at Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice; Mon., Feb. 5, 7:30 pm, $10.  Electric Lodge.

What are you looking for?