Spring Is Sprung

A locavore festival returns to East LA, a Brazilian remix in Santa Monica, a New York visitor revelates downtown, classical South Asian dance in Westwood, signed dance in Pasadena, al fresco contemporary dance in West Hollywood, plus more SoCal dance this week and a peek at next week.

Live This Week

Time to festivate

The welcome return of the Los Angeles Dance Festival spotlights six prominent SoCal contemporary dance companies including Lula Washington Dance Theater, Sean Greene, Pennington Dance, Maura Townsend Dance, Kybele Dance Theater, and festival host BrockusRED. At that main stage concert, the late legendary choreographer/dancer/teacher Bella Lewitzky and living legend Lula Washington will be honored for their contributions to dance, especially dance here in Los Angeles. A special pre-show offers Dance & Dialogue with performance by and discussion with youth participants from ongoing Citywide workshops. The website details other festival offerings including panels, workshops and classes, as well as the fringe festival coming later in April. Note: The ticket link for 8pm says “LA Dance Festival” but has a typo showing 6pm, not the correct 8pm time. Per the producer: “ignore the typo.” Main Stage performance at Luckman Theater, 5151 State University Dr., E.LA; Sat., April 2, 8pm (professional companies), Dance & Dialogue Sat., April 2, 6pm, both shows are free with reservation at Eventbrite. Other festival events and Fringe Festival info at Brockus Project Studios, 618B Moulton Ave., Lincoln Heights; Los Angeles Dance Festival.

A group of dancers toss colorful scarves
LA Dance Festival’s BrockusRED. Photo by Denise Leitner.

A revelatory ten

With its superbly trained dancers and a repertoire that has evolved while respecting the artistic legacy of its founder, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater remains one of the most popular visiting dance companies. Current artistic director Robert Battle celebrates his tenth year with three programs that reflect his commitment to develop new repertoire, to showcase Ailey’s most beloved creations, and to mark his tenth anniversary as company artistic director, only the second artistic director since Ailey’s death. Each program ends with Revelations, Ailey’s glorious, gospel-infused signature workAt the Music Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Wed.-Sat., April 6-9, 7:30pm, Sat.-Sun., April 9-10, 2pm, $34-$138. Tickets, program details, free events, & video previews at Music Center.

A group of dancers in
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in “Revelations.” Photo courtesy of the artists

It’s a wrap!

After a preview in Culver City, SoCal’s premiere dance film fest Dance Camera West opened its multi-week 20th anniversary edition with live screenings at two venues, live performances and more. After screening films near downtown, for this final week, DCW moves to the westside at Théâtre Raymond Kabbaz, 10361 W Pico Blvd, West LA; Thurs., March 31 to Sat., April 2. Film schedule, times, tickets, other festival events, and Covid protocols at Dance Camera West.

A dancer jumps against a backgroun of water and a mountain
Dance Camera West. Photo courtesy of the artists.

She started it

Seventy years ago, Amalia Hernández founded a dance company credited with introducing the world to Mexico’s rich and varied folkoric dance traditions. She also ignited similarly named folkloric companies throughout the U.S. In time, the company’s name became Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernández to acknowledge the founder and to distinguish it from the many other ensembles following in its footsteps. The company returns with its signature blend of dances from Mexico’s many regions and some time travel from a pre-Columbian era to more modern adaptations. At Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa; Wed., March 30, 8pm, $49-$89. SCFTA.

A woman in along circular white skirt
Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernández. Photo courtesy of the artists.

It’s a remix

Brazilian composer/conductor Ehud Asherie is the music director for his brother choreographer Ephrat Asherie’s eponymous company Ephrat Asherie Dance. The collaborating brothers and the dancer arrive with their signature re-mix style that incorporates hip hop, breaking, vogue, and club dance. The calling card is Odeon with six dancers backed by a live quartet playing music from Brazilian composer Erneto Nazareth. At The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica; Fri.-Sat., April 1-2, 7:30pm, $35-$70. The Broad Stage.

Two dancers jump into the air
Ephrat Asherie Dance. Photo by Matthew Murphy

It’s a sign

While American Sign Language is part of the name, Pas d’ASL, the dance company acknowledges that ASL is not a universal sign language. This performance incorporates other countries’ sign languages to complement that country’s distinctive dance genre. Expect Spanish sign language with flamenco, Indian sign language with Bollywood, and Ethiopian sign language with African dance. The dancers include deaf, non-deaf, non-dancers, and signers fluent in the various sign languages. Ahiah Center for Spiritual Living, 150 N. El Molina Ave., Pasadena; Sat., April 2, 8pm, $15. Eventbrite.

Three women dance with a man behind them
Pas d’ASL. Photo courtesy of the artists

Lighting things up

Under the banner Return of the Light, Open Gate Live performers Will Salmon, Miller Wrenn, Dwight Trible, and Breeze Smith are joined by dancer/choreographer Roxanne Steinberg who performs Dragonfly. At Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church, 301 N. Orange Grove Blvd., Pasadena; Sun., April 3, 7pm, Open Gate Theatre.

Three dancers face in somewhat different directions
Suarez Dance Theater. Photo courtesy of the artists

Dancin’ in the park

Drawing on the pulsating rhythmic crescendo of Maurice Ravel’s Boléro, choreographer Christine Suárez and her Suárez Dance Theater premieres her RENDICíON/SURRENDER. The stellar dancer line-up includes Bernard Brown, Jay Carlon, Veronica Caudillo, Patrica Huerta, Ilaan Mazzini, Arushi Singh, Willy Souly and Tom Tsai. Running about 17-minutes, that leaves time for a picnic or walk about the park. At Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood; Sun., April 3, 2:30, 3:30, & 4:30pm, free. Suárez Dance Theater.

Two Kathak dancers
Seibi Lee’s Leela Dance Collective. Photo courtesy of the artists

Telling the tale

The respected artist, teacher and founder of the Leela Dance Collective, Seibi Lee, brings the world of classic Kathak dance from India to the stage in The Voice Within. Through this South Asian dance form, Lee explores themes of duality and paradox in two stories drawn from Japan and China. At UCLA Little Theater, MacGowen Hall, 245 Charles E Young Dr. East, Westwood; Sun., April 3, 5pm, $25-$50. Eventbrite.

A circle of female dancers link arms
Ana María Alvarez’s “CAÑA.” Photo courtesy of the artists.

Museum dancing

As part of its exhibition Poussin and the Dance, the Getty Center commissioned several notable LA choreographers to create dance films that respond to Poussin’s art. The results, Poussin Projected: Screening Contemporary Dance Films, are viewable online and the Poussin artworks are viewable in person until May 8. Exhibition at the Getty Center, Harold M Williams Auditorium, 1200 Getty Center Dr., Brentwood; to May 8. Dance films viewable at at Getty.

Studio to stage

Showcasing a line-up of LA-based artists over six weeks, this edition of REDCAT Studio includes Sara Lyons (3/29-4/3), Pastiche Queen (4/5-10), The Revolution School (4/12-17), DeLanna Studi (4/19-24), Tarrah Krajnak (4/26-5/1), and Christina Catherine Martinez (5/3-8). At REDCAT Gallery, Disney Hall, 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; thru Sun., May 8, free. REDCAT.

A Japanese drummer bends back to simultaneously play a drum in front and behind him
TAIKOPROJECT in “Arts Grown LA”. Photo courtesy of the artists

Dancers in the park, drummers in the library

LA-based dance, music, and drumming ensembles offer free performances at parks and libraries throughout LA in the Music Center’s Arts Grown LA. Performances include folkloric troupes, Taiko drummers, and more, continuing into June. A complete list of groups, venues, and performance details at Music Center.

The bugs have it

The world of insects is the topic as the incomparable Cirque du Soleil returns with OVO. Expect the signature combo of acrobats, dance, comedians and other daredeviltry at Microsoft Theater, 777 Chick Hearn Ct., downtown; thru May 1, various dates, times & prices at Microsoft Theater.

Aman on unicycle holds a woman by one hand
Cirque du Soleil. Photo courtesy of the artists

An open mic

A new quarterly showcase makes its debut under the aegis of MashUp Contemporary Dance Company. Choreography Open Mic Night offers short works or excerpts from eight choreographers. The evening includes a Q&A with the dancermakers. At Frogtown Creative Studios, 2926 Gilroy St., Atwater Village; Sat., April 2, 7 p.m., free with registration at Eventbrite.

Dancer lean and cover their faces
MashUp Contemporary Dance Company. Photo courtesy of the artists

All electric

Scheduled to coincide with First Fridays on trendy Abott Kinney Boulevard, High Voltage offers an eclectic line up of dance, music, comedy and other performances at the Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice; Fri., April 1, 8pm, $10. Info & tickets at Eventbrite.

It’s a 10! 

Dance is often among the ten performances, each ten minutes that make up the monthly series Max 10 at the Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice; Mon., April 4, 7:30pm, $10. Info & tickets at Eventbrite.


A Peek at Next Week

BlakTinx Festival 2022 at Leimert Park, 4395 Leimert Blvd, Leimert Park; Sat., April 9, 1 & 5 pm, BlakTinx Festival

Garth Fagan Dance at Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4718 W. Washington Blvd., West Adams; Fri.-Sat., April 8-9, 8pm, Sun., April 10, 3pm, $25. itsmyseat

A man crouches beside a line of dancers lifting their arms and legs
Garth Fagan Dance. Photo by Erich Camping

Ragamala Dance Company at The Soraya, Cal State Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Sat., April 9, 8pm., $36-$71 The Soraya

Complexions Contemporary Ballet at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Bram Goldsmith Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills; Thurs.-Sat., April 14-16, 7:30pm, $39-$99. The Wallis

A group of dancers lifts one dance into crossing spotlights
Complexions’ “Stardust”. Photo by Hagos Rush.

Louise Reichlin & Dancers/ Los Angeles Choreographers & Dancers in Tap Dance Widows Club at  Ruby G. Schulman Auditorium, 1775 Dove Ln., Carlsbad; Sat., April 9, 7:30pm, free. Los Angeles Choreographers & Dancers

Benita Bike’s DanceArt in Explore Dance at Mission College, AMP Theater,  13356 Eldridge Ave., Sylmar; Tues., April, 12, 7pm, free. DanceArt

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