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How a Spanish Red Partners With Southern Blues

A formidable female returns to the Adams District, flamenco in Silverlake, Burbank and La Cañada-Flintridge, WW2 internment camps considered downtown, traditional and contemporary Kazakhstani ballet in Beverly Hills, dance from around the world in Santa Monica, and more SoCal dance this week.

5.  A capital company

Until March of this year, when it was renamed Nur-Sultan, the capital of Kazakhstan was Astana and the name source of that country’s Astana Ballet Theater. The roughly ten year old company makes its local debut, part of a U.S. tour, with a program of traditional Central Asian dance and contemporary works. Reviewers at the company’s London performances this past September had praise for the highly trained dancers, especially in the traditional ballets, but less so for the contemporary choreography. Saban Theatre, 8440 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills; Fri., Nov. 22, 7:30 p.m., $30-$150. https://www.ticketmaster.com/discover/dance-KnvZfZ7v7nI/los-angeles.

Astana Ballet Theater. Photo courtesy of the artists.

Astana Ballet Theater. Photo courtesy of the artists.

4.  When they had to be spectacular

The government-sanctioned internment of Japanese-Americans during World War 2 is the starting point for L.A.-based Entity Contemporary Dance’s The Spectacular Society. It’s just the latest issue of political and social justice tackled by this ten-year old contemporary ensemble that draws on modern, jazz, and urban dance techniques. Choreographer/co-artistic director Marissa Osato combined historical research and the personal internment experience of her grandmother in the creative process. Dancers include Karen Chuang, Emily Crouch, Shiori Kamijo, Jason Martin, Grayson McGuire, Vickie Roan, and Derek Tabada. Navel, 1611 S. Hope St., downtown; Fri.-Sat., Nov. 22-23, 8 p.m., $20-$30. https://withfriends.co/event/2842069.

Entity Contemporary Dance. Photo courtesy of the artists.

Entity Contemporary Dance. Photo courtesy of the artists.

3.   Four who take to the floor (with a guest)

A guest choreographer and a quartet of respected dancemakers who also are faculty bring new works and a revival to CSULB Dance in Concert. Rebecca Lemme draws on a Janis Joplin song for Tell Me Why Not; Keith Johnson explores themes of intimacy, memory and prophecy; Andrew Vaca turns to electronic dance music selections for his new ensemble piece; and Sarah Swenson remounts two movements from Fimmine (women) set to music by Philip Glass. Guest choreographer Marjani Forté contributes a new work exploring race, community and individuality. California State University Long Beach, Martha B. Knoebel Theater, 6200 Atherton Dr., Long Beach, Thurs.-Fri., Nov. 20-22, 8 p.m., Sat., Nov. 23, 2 & 8 p.m., $22, $16 students & seniors.  www.csulb.edu/dance/csulb-dance-events, https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/dept/1174/1572580800000.

CSULB Dance in Concert. Photo by Gregory R.R. Crosby.

CSULB Dance in Concert. Photo by Gregory R.R. Crosby.

2.  Return of a polymath

This past March, Heidi Duckler Dance debuted the first installment of a work considering a formidable female who was way ahead of her time in the Catholic church. Site specific HDD set up shop in a cathedral to consider Hildegard von Bingen, a German Benedictine abbess, writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, visionary, polymath and considered to be the founder of scientific natural history. At a time when women rarely had a voice, von Bingen’s work spanned the theological, artistic, and scientific fields. How and why she was able to avoid the pervasive muzzling of women was pondered in The Hour of Hildegard. As promised, that was an introduction. HDD returns to the same cathedral and its courtyard garden with Hildegard Herself, the next site specific episode exploring the abbess’ innovations in healing, music, language and justice. Dancers include Tess Hewlett, Haylee Nichele, Dominique McDougal, William Jay Ylvisaker, Rafael Quintas and Himerria Wortham. The abbess’ original compositions will be sung by the Ensemble Vocatrix directed by Dr. Christopher Gravis. A wine & cheese reception follows each performance. St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral, 514 W Adams Blvd, Adams District; Fri.-Sat., Nov. 22-23, 7 p.m., $50, $35 seniors & students.  https://hildegardherself.eventbrite.com.

Heidi Duckler Dance's "Hildegard Herself". Photo by Sean Deckert.

Heidi Duckler Dance’s “Hildegard Herself”. Photo by Sean Deckert.

1.  Taking the blues to Spain

The long-running, mostly monthly Forever Flamenco occasionally breaks out of the traditional Spanish flamenco trinity of dancer-guitarist-singer, and this is one of those times as Spain meets up with two distinctively American musical genres. In Sonikete Blues: Woodshedding, dancer Cihtli “La Gallardi” Ocampo displays her traditional chops plus flamenco’s compatibility with both jazz and Mississippi delta blues. Providing musical help are Ramón Porrina on cajon, vocalist Emi Secrest, and the Ethan Sultry Group (vox/guitarist Ethan Sultry, upright bassist Ben Shepherd, and keyboardist Mitch Forman). Ocampo is a major presence in the SoCal flamenco scene. This intriguing effort displays a willingness to explore the compatible elements inherent in two American musical genres with the soulful nature of flamenco. The Fountain Theater, 5060 Fountain Ave., Silver Lake; Sun., Nov. 24, 8 p.m. $40-$50, $30 students & seniors. http://www.fountaintheatre.com/.  

Ethan Sultry and Cihtli "La Gallardi" Ocampo. Photo by Sari Makki.

Ethan Sultry and Cihtli “La Gallardi” Ocampo. Photo by Sari Makki.

        Other dance of note:

After a several week hiatus, the LA Dance Project resumes and wraps up the roughly six week festival, LA Dances. The third segment Program C, includes two works from LADP director Benjamin Millepied, reprise of the highly praised revival of Bella Lewitzky’s Kinaesonata which was part of Program B, plus offerings from dancemakers Tino Sehgal and Madeline Hollander. The company announced some of the festival will be reprised in February 2020.  LA Dance Project, 2245 E. Washington Blvd., downtown; Thurs.-Sun., Nov. 21-24, 8 p.m., $45. http://ladanceproject.org/18-19-season.

LA Dance Project's "LA Dances." Photo by Josh Rose.

LA Dance Project’s “LA Dances.” Photo by Josh Rose.

CalArts’ dance department’s 2019 Winter Dancer Concert offers contemporary choreography from several nationally and internationally renowned choreographers including Wayne McGregor, Danielle Agami, Salia Sanou and Yvonne Rainer. Performances are set at the Valencia campus and CalArts’ REDCAT downtown, plus a shorter family version at LA Dance Project. CalArts, 24700 McBean Pkwy., Valencia; Thurs.-Fri., Nov. 21-22, 8 p.m., $2-$10. https://calarts.edu/about/news-and-events/events-calendar/event-details/winter-dance.  Also at REDCAT, Disney Hall, 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; Fri.-Sat., Dec. 6-7, 8:30 p.m., $22, $18 students. https://www.redcat.org/event/calarts-winter-dance-repertory-right-now. Also at LA Dance Project, 2245 E. Washington Blvd., downtown; Sun., Dec. 8, 2 p.m. http://ladanceproject.org/.

2019 Winter Dance Concert choreographer Salia Sanou. Photo courtesy of CalArts.

2019 Winter Dance Concert choreographer Salia Sanou. Photo courtesy of CalArts.

From Asia to Mexico, West Africa to Spain, Santa Monica College’s Global Motion World Dance Company brings dance from around the world. Contributing faculty choreographers include Laura Canellias (Salsa), Keali’i Ceballos (Jive/Swing), Jennifer Jesswein (Bellydance), Angela Jordan (West African), Raquel Ramirez (Mexican Folklorico), and Sri Susilowati (Malay Zapin).  Guest choreographers Peter de Guzman (Filipino Pangasinan Folkdance), Bando Hideshizumi (Japanese Nihon Buyo), and DaEun Jung (Korean Folk Dance) also contribute works, plus student choreographers Liam Gifkins, Amira Murphy, and Jackie Riedel. The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica; Sat., Nov. 23, 4 & 7:30 p.m., Sun., Nov. 24, 7:30 p.m., $20 in advance, $23 at door. 310-434-3467, http://www.smc.edu/dance.

Global Motion World Dance Company. Photo courtesy of the artists.

Global Motion World Dance Company. Photo courtesy of the artists.

Yolanda is the dancer. Paco is the guitarist. Together they are Paco and Yolanda Arroyo and their Flamenco Flamenco takes the stage for the second of three weekends. The pair are joined by some of their promising students. LA Connection Theater, 3435 Magnolia Blvd., Burbank; Sun., Nov. 23 &  30, noon, $25. 818-974-3208 or 818-507-4426, flamencoarroyo@gmail.com.

Yolanda Arroyo. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Yolanda Arroyo. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Notable flamenco teacher and performer Roberto Amaral has assembled other L.A. flamenco notables including Misuda Cohen and guitarists Antonio Triana and Ben Woods for PASIÓN ESPAÑOLA. Amaral will take a turn onstage and the performance also includes flamenco students from the Amaral Studio. Lanterman Auditorium, 4491 Cornishon Ave., La Cañada-Flintridge; Sat., Nov. 23, 8 p.m., $25-$35. https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4365804.

Roberto Amaral and friends in "PASIÓN ESPAÑOLA." Photo courtesy of the artists.

Roberto Amaral and friends in “PASIÓN ESPAÑOLA.” Photo courtesy of the artists.

Promising “fairy tales with a bite,” Redondo Ballet brings Through the Pages for a free performance. Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach; Fri., Nov. 22, 7 p.m., free with advance tickets. 310-292-4572, http://www.redondoballet.com. 

Redondo Ballet. Photo courtesy of the artists.

Redondo Ballet. Photo courtesy of the artists.

Smush Dance and Divulge Dancers’ Film Festival join forces for Inspire—Thru—Dance Show. Part dance show, part dance film competition and more. Details at http://www.smushdance.com/. Barnsdall Theatre, 4814 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., Nov. 23, 10 a.m. on, Sun., Nov. 24, 8 p.m., free with ticket at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/get-your-early-bird-promo-free-tickets-to-smush-dance-and-df2-tickets-75715560279.

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