Spoiler Alert: He Looks Back
Macedonian immigration writ large in Torrance, a favorite New York visitor’s dances his farewell downtown, part two of a moving triptych in Long Beach, site-specific Greek tragedy danced under an Arts District bridge, human puppets mesmerize in East L.A. and more So Cal dance this week.
5. Still sharing
Charlotte Gibbons and Sam Wentz team up for a shared evening of performance under the banner still the sensational. Gibbons contributes her solo Sensing Making Sense and Wentz offers still like a river performed by Julie Bour, Levi Gonzalez, Samantha Mohr and Kensaku Shinohara. Pieter, 420 W. Avenue 30, Glassell Park; Sat., March 14, 8:30 p.m., non-monetary contribution to free bar or boutique. https://pieterpasd.com/.
4. Getting “pomped”
Choreographer Shenandoah Harris and her Pyschopomp Dance Theater return with their mix of modern and contemporary dance, acrobatics and capoeira moves. The program includes Relics: Return to Clay (2019) considering the culture-spanning myth of The Great Flood and a new work YLEM, the title refering to the fundamental matter in all things. Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Fri.-Sat., March 13-14, 8:30 p.m. $20, $15 students & seniors. https://highwaysperformance.org.
3. Still a revelation
The ever popular, always exciting Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater returns with a program of new works, a program reprising last year’s hip hop hit from Rennie Harris, and a family friendly program, with each of the three programs crowned by the company’s gospel-filled signature Revelations. Director Robert Battle has included dance from some of the hottest contemporary choreographers—Aszure Barton, Jamar Roberts, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Jessica Lang, and Rennie Davis who is revered as the father of hip hop. The weekend matinees and Saturday evening show also mark the last chance to see powerful company performer and L.A. native Matthew Rushing take his last star turn as a dancer before he becomes the company’s associate artistic director. Rushing also hosts the 6:30 p.m. pre-show talk on March 19 and March 22. Program and pre-show details plus video clips at the website. Music Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Wed.-Fri., March 18-20, 7:30 p.m., Sat.-Sun., March 21, 2 & 7:30 p.m., $34-$138. https://www.musiccenter.org/.
2. When there’s no place that’s home
Drawing from her parents’ odyssey from Macedonia to the U.S. a half century ago, choreographer Regina Klenjoski’s new seven-part work Far From Home tackles personal, universal and sadly, still pressing issues of migration, assimilation, severed roots, and questions about what is home. This South Bay-based troupe now has a second home in Kansas. The company certainly is not alone in fielding works concerned with immigration, the situation at the Southern border, and the current political debate, but Klenjoski has a track record of thoughtfully bringing a different perspective to a debate. James Armstrong Theatre, Torrance Cultural Arts Foundation, 3330 Civic Center Dr., Torrance; Sat., March 14, 8 p.m., $20-$30. https://torrancearts.org/.
1. Eurydice dances (and Orpheus, too)
After parking, the audience will troop to the underside of an historic bridge where choreographer Heidi Duckler and her troupe offer Underway at 7th Street Bridge. The winged god Hermes will guide the audience as Orpheus journeys to the underworld to reclaim his beloved wife Eurydice. The underside of this historic bridge has been transformed into a public art space and theatrical version of Hades for this retelling. This dance/opera is the only dance event in the entire county-wide Eurydice Festival reconsidering Eurydice, the object of Orpheus’ journey to the underworld. Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem Orpheus is the source, but Duckler promises a feminist perspective. The dancers/singers/actors/musicians get help from a score by Leaha Maria Villareal. A Heidi Duckler Dance performance always delivers the chance to discover a new corner of the metropolis and this time, it’s also a tour of a Greek myth. Comfortable shoes and appropriate outdoor garb suggested. 7th Street Bridge, entrance and parking at 700 Mesquit St., Arts District; Sat.-Sun., March 14-15, 7:30 p.m., $45-$100, https://www.eventbrite.com/e/heidi-duckler-dance-presents-underway-tickets-65280299132.
Other dance of note:
A combination of professional dancers and promising youth gather as James MahKween presents the latest in his Reflect series, this time dubbed Reflect: On Youth. MahKween’s intent is to let youth know they matter and to give them space to be heard. Studio A, 2306 Hyperion Ave., Silverlake; Sat. March 14, 7:30 p.m., $15 at door or Venmo@jamesmahkween.
In April Micaela Taylor and her TL Collective will premiere the full version of ‘90Sugar. This preview offers a stripped down version in a studio setting. USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, 849 W. 34th St., University Park; Fri., March 13, 8 p.m., free until limited seating is full. https://www.thetlcollective.com/up-next.
On a stage populated with long-corded microphones, dancer/choreographer Bret Easterling traverses the stage in Brecht with a score created in real time by collaborator Maxwell Transue. L.A. Dance Project, 2245 E. Washington Blvd., Arts District; Fri.-Sun., March 13-15, 8 p.m., $25. https://www.artful.ly/store/events/20097.
This is the second installment of choreographer/director Erin Reynolds’ MFA endeavor The Quaking Place being presented over three non-sequential days at three different public spaces. The choreographer’s dancers move in publicly inhabited spaces where the choreographer finds live experience too often is filtered through cell phones and technology. Several faculty members collaborated with Reynolds in this ambitious project. The Farmers Market, 5000 E. Spring St., Long Beach; Sun., March 15, 11:30 a.m., free. Also at SteelCraft, 3768 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach, Thurs., March 19, free. http://www.csulb.edu/dance.
From their 1976 debut on the Muppet Show, the human puppets that cavort about the stage as Mummenschanz continue to amuse and charm with their distinctive blend of masks, choreography, props, and lighting. Luckman Performing Arts Center, Cal State University L.A., 5151 State University Dr., E.L.A.; Thurs., March 14, 8 p.m., $30-$50., http://www.luckmanarts.org/events/.
In Volta, its 41st and latest endeavor, Cirque Du Soleil spotlights bicycle street sports and acrobatics associated with the world of BMX including a full-blown BMX park for what is billed as a “breath-taking finale of non-stop acrobatics on wheels.” The L.A. action ended last week and the signature Big Top is up in Orange County. Orange County Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa; Wed., March 18 to Sun., April 19, various dates, times & ticket prices at https://cirk.me/VOLTA.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ann Haskins has written about dance for L.A. Weekly since shortly after it began publishing. She also has written about local and national dance for Pointe Magazine, Dance Spirit Magazine, Dance Teacher Magazine, Los Angeles Magazine, L.A. View, Coast Magazine, the Daily News, and the Herald Examiner. Among her broadcast projects, Ann hosted Inside Theater on KCRW-FM and contributed dance and theater features to both KLON-FM and KUSC-FM. She has received two Horton Awards from the Los Angeles Dance Resource Center for her coverage of dance in Los Angeles.