Something Old, Something New, Something Timeless

Dancing about home in Westwood, a video game comes to life in Hollywood, new choreography in Santa Monica, Martha Graham duets in Beverly Hills, contemporary ballet in Irvine, and more SoCal dance this week.

Just Dance Live. Photo courtesy of JDL.
Just Dance Live. Photo courtesy of JDL.

5.  Coming to life

The music video game JUST DANCE becomes a live performance in JUST DANCE LIVE with the game’s characters, costumes, moves and music onstage. Plus audience involvement promises to be a distinctive feature. Hollywood Palladium, 6215 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Thurs., March 29, 7 p.m., $20, Fri.-Sat., March 30-31, 2 & 7 p.m., $31.85-$99.

New Shoes 17. Photo courtesy of Highways Performance Space.
New Shoes 17. Photo courtesy of Highways Performance Space.

4.  Five “New Shoes”

The audacious, recurring showcase for new choreography, NEW SHOES 17, brings a quintet of emerging choreographers to the stage. The line-up includes Shenandoah Harris/Psychopomp Dance Theater, Livya Howard-Yashar, Dina Lasso, Joan Holly Padeo (in collaboration with Carissa Songhorian), and Elaine Thap. Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Sat., March 31, 8:30 p.m., Sun., April 1, 7 p.m., $25, $20 students & seniors.

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, photo by Sharen Bradford.
Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, photo by Sharen Bradford.

3.  Residing in Irvine and Northridge

Dividing its time between Colorado and New Mexico, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet also has established a recurring presence in Southern California that last year led to the troupe being named the resident dance company at the Valley Performing Arts Center. The troupe opens mid-week in Orange County before the show moves to VPAC.  For this visit the dancers team up with pianist Joyce Wang providing live music of Schumann for a world premiere from choreographer Jorma Elo. The program also includes Nicolo Fonte’s Where We Left Off and Jiri Kylian’s haunting masterpiece Return to a Strange Land. Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Dr., Irvine; Thurs., April 5, 8 p.m., $48-$100. Also at The Soroya, Valley Performing Arts Center, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Sat., April 7, 8 p.m., $33-$73. 818-677-3000,

Kyle Abraham/Art in Motion. Photo by Carrie Schneider.
Kyle Abraham/Art in Motion. Photo by Carrie Schneider.

2.  What dance teaches

A member of the UCLA faculty since last fall, multiple award-winning choreographer Kyle Abraham leaves the classroom to bring a performance/demonstration to the stage. In Dearest Home, Abraham brings his signature blending of hip-hop and classical dance, plus perhaps something new that has emerged from his faculty sojourn with the next generation of dancers and dancemakers. UCLA Ralph Freud Playhouse, 225 Charles E Young Dr. East, Westwood; Thurs.-Fri., April 5-6, 8 p.m., Sat., April 7, 3 & 8 p.m., $59.

LA Dance Project "Graham Duets", photo by James Welling.
LA Dance Project
“Graham Duets”, photo by James Welling.

1.  Residing in Beverly Hills

Led by Benjamin Millepied, the contemporary company L.A. Dance Project returns to its new home theater with a quartet of works that boasts three L.A. premieres and duets gleaned from modern dance legend Martha Graham. Celebrated Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin contributes Yag, while American choreographer of the moment Justin Peck offers Helix set to a score by Esa-Pekka Salonen. Millepied participates with Sarabande for four male dancers while Martha Graham’s Duets draws duets from the legendary choreographer’s Diversion of Angels and Canticle for Innocent Comedians. These shows mark LADP’s return from performances in Texas and precede the troupe’s departure for France. The designation of LADP as this venue’s resident company and the troupe’s downtown studios are encouraging signs that the name reflects the troupe setting down roots and not just branding for tours. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Arts, 9390 Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills; Thurs.-Sat., April 5-7, 7:30 p.m. $45-$125.

Other dance of note:

Movement from choreographer Kai Hazelwood plays a role in theatre dybbuk’s new original work lost tribes which continues a city-wide tour of art galleries and synagogues. The cast of actors, dancers, musicians and scholars explore tales of the lost tribes of Israel. Full details of other venues at Armory Center for the Arts, 145 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena; Thurs., March 29, 8 p.m., $12. Also at Temple Israel of Hollywood, 7300 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., April 7, 8 p.m., Sun., April 8, 7 p.m., $12.

theatre dybbuk"s "lost tribes", photo by Taso Papadakis.
theatre dybbuk”s “lost tribes”, photo by Taso Papadakis.

Despite its title as the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival, this annual event (silver anniversary this year) invariably includes some performances that easily fall into the realm of dance.  A complete line-up of performances is at as well as details on the opening gala and reception honoring seven co-founders of the festival including dancer/choreographers Nina Kaufman, Phylise Smith, and Joyce Guy who performs. Opening gala at Barnsdall Gallery Theatre, Barnsdall Park, 4800 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Thurs., March 29, 6:p.m.; $50, $90 for two. Festival performances at Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice; Fri.-Sat., March 30-31, 8 p.m., Sat.-Sun., March 31-April 1, 3 p.m., $25 in advance, $30 at door, $20 students & seniors.

Julie Kim. Photo courtesy of LA Women's Theatre Festival.
Julie Kim. Photo courtesy of LA Women’s Theatre Festival.

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

What are you looking for?