Stepping Into a New Season

Creek dancing in Culver City, mothers’ perspectives in East LA, late summer dance in San Pedro, gender considerations in the Arts District, classical ballet in Glendale, dance and art in Santa Monica, benefit events to keep dancers dancing, a peek at next week (Sept. 29 to Oct. 4), and more SoCal dance as the new dance season gains steam.

Live This Week

Tale tellers

Gender is the topic as the storytellers at Invertigo Dance Theatre weave choreography, spoken word, media, and their ample contemporary dance skills to tell tales of trans, nonbinary, gender-nonconforming, and intersex communities from around the world in Walk the Walk. LA Dance Project, 2245 E. Washington Blvd., Downtown Arts District; Fri.-Sat., Sept. 22-23, 8 pm, $15-$50, Donate for tickets.

Aman in pink bicycle shorts and a man in a blue shirt
Invertigo Dance Theatre. Photo courtesy of the artists

The view from her

As it nears a half century under the leadership of artistic director/founder Gema Sandoval, Danza Floricanto/USA is recognized as one of the premiere local folkloric ensembles. In addition to its seasonal traditions around the Day of the Dead and the Christmas Posada, recent years marked the opening of the company’s cultural and performance center in Boyle Heights. Sometimes overlooked is the company’s explorations of other dance genres and the cultural diaspora. In its latest, Mujer: Ayer, Hoy Y Siempre-Woman: Yesterday, Today and Always, the 12-member company employs indigenous African and contemporary dance along with Mexican folkloric to consider women’s perspectives on the home, the world and their place in society across three generations of Chicanas. Floricanto Center For The Performing Arts, 2900 Calle Pedro Infante, Boyle Heights; Sat., Sept. 23, 7:30 pm, $45. Danza Floricanto/USA.

A woman in a red skirt
Danza Floricanto/USA. Photo by Frank Sandoval

So long summer

Somehow, the annual San Pedro ♥ Festival of the Arts always seems to mark the end of the summer outdoor festivals. Like the final display at a fireworks show, producer Louise Reichlin has assembled an impressive 20 dance companies to send off the summer with a broad sampling of SoCal dance. This year’s line up includes Jazz Spectrum Dance Company, Vanessa Kanamoto, Alice Lousen & Co., Jose Costas Contempo Ballet, Katrina Ji, Katie Marshall, Re:borN Dance Interactive, Degas Dance Studio, Megill & Company, Kairos Dance Company, Arpana Dance Company, Santa Barbara Community College, Maya Kell Abrams, Vidushi. Sumangala Vijaykumar Varun, Southern California Dance Theatre, Passion Flamenca Los Angeles, AkomiDance, Sahlala Dancers, and host company Louise Reichlin & Dancers. Peck Park, 560 N. Western Ave., San Pedro; Sat., Sept. 23, 1-4 pm, free. San Pedro ♥ Festival of the Arts.

Dancers in South Asian costumes
San Pedro ♥ Festival of the Arts. Photo courtesy of the artists

Rain check

Earlier this month, an atypical summer rain forced the postponement of Viver Brasil’s family friendly performance Celebrating Samba. The rescheduled performance is this weekend promising Afro-Brazilian dance and live music. As one of the only dance events at this venue this summer, the company deserves this additional chance to show its splendid dancers. The Ford Theatre, 2850 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood; Sun., Sept. 24, 10:30 am, $10, children free with adult ticket. The Ford Theatre.

Dancers jump in front of musicians
Viver Brasil. Photo by Gia Trovela

Classical samples

Opening its 2023-2024 season, Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre’s A Ballet Spectacular brings a program drawn from a half dozen beloved ballets including extended excerpts from Don Quixote. The Russian pianist Mikhail Korzhev provides live music for two dances including the high-flying Spring Waters. Armenian composer Aram Katchaturian’s Masquerade Waltz showcases choreography by artistic director Natasha Middleton and Katchaturian’s music returns for the spirited Saber Dance and Lezghinka from the ballet Gayane. The Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale, Sun., Sept. 24, 5 pm, $55-$100. Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre or Alex Theatre.

A dancer in red with a tambourine
Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre. Photo courtesy of the artists

It’s a picnic

Blending performance art and dance, Kearian and Abriel offer their duet Peony Picnic. Kearian Giertz brings a background as a choreographer, singer, and dancer, while Abriel Gardner emphasizes sound, sculpture, writing, and drawing. Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Fri.-Sat., Sept. 22-23, 8:30 pm, $15. Highways Performance Space.

Two dancers toussled together
Kearian and Abriel. Photo courtesy of the artists

Dancing the circle

Taking its title from the Ukrainian word for “circle”, the KOLO Dance Show: The Spirit of Modern Ukraine brings ballroom dancers, animation, and digital art from Ukraine. All set to an original soundtrack. Ballroom dancers include Latin dancers Mykhailo Bilopukhov and Anastasiia Shchypilina, Smooth dancers Tykhon Zhyvkov and Yana Zhyvkov, and Serhiy Averkov and Olena Barna. The Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale, Sat., Sept. 23, 5 pm, $55-$165. Alex Theatre.

A group of dancers surround a dancer in red
Kolo Dance Show. Photo courtesy of the artists

Dancing on a clean creek

The latest from those ever-inventive, site-specific folks at Heidi Duckler Dance  is Ebb & Flow@The Creek. This collaborative event on Heal the Bay’s Coastal Clean-Up Day, combines a clean-up effort along a Culver City portion of Ballona Creek led by Ballona Creek Renaissance followed by HDD dancing along the creek for the clean up volunteers. A chance to clean the creek before the trash flows into the Ocean and doing good comes with a site-specific performance chaser. Details at the website. Ballona Creek at the base of the Julian Dixon Library, 4975 Overland Ave., Culver City; Sat., Sept. 23, 9:30 am (clean-up with Heal the Bay Coastal Clean Up Day), performances at 10 & 11 am, free with reservation at Heidi Duckler Dance.

A dancer amid greenery
Heidi Duckler Dance. Photo courtesy of the artists

Folks with words

Paying tribute to the life of the hip-hop emcee/lyricist, 7NMS / Marjani Forté-Saunders and Everett Saunders bring their latest, Prophet: The Order of the Lyricist. Forté-Saunders is the choreographer/performer and Saunders is the composer/sound designer. Developed over four years of research, the project also produced a film version commissioned by Jacob’s Pillow that involved D. Sabela Grimes as movement composer/sound archivist, Meena Murugesan as filmmaker/media designer, and photographer Marc Winston. Friday’s performance includes a post-performance talk with the 7NMS creative team moderated by hip-hop musicologist Rahaman “Kil” Kilpatrick. REDCAT at Disney Hall, 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; Thurs.-Fri., Sept. 21-22, 8:30 pm, Sat., Sept. 23, 1 pm, $30, $24 students. REDCAT.

A standing man holds the feet of a man stretched along a chair
7NMS / Marjani Forté-Saunders and Everett Saunders. Photo by Whitney Browne

In residence

The visceral choreography of Bobbi Jene Smith + Or Schreiber reflects their background with Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company, extensive international choreography credits, and a productive, ongoing relationship with LA Dance Project. With their latest, the evening-length Missing Mountain, they continue their choreographic residence with LADP and its dancers. Catch a preview at LA Dance Project. The dancing is at LA Dance Project, 2245 E. Washington Blvd., Arts District; Thurs-Sat., Sept. 28-30, $45, $35 seniors & under 35, $25 students. LA Dance Project tickets.

A female dancer bends back in front of a man on a sofa
Bobbi Jene Smith + Or Schreiber. Photo by Josh Rose

Mozart meets Don Juan

Choreographer Signe Fabricius provided the dance moves as LA Opera opens its 2023-2024 season with Mozart’s Don Giovanni (aka Don Juan). In addition to the six live performances, the opening night will be livestreamed to the Santa Monica Pier and the La Mirada Community Regional Park. Livestream details at LA Opera Livestream. Live performance at the Music Center Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Sat., Sept. 23, 6 pm, Sun., Oct. 1 & 15, 2 pm, Wed., Oct. 4, Sat., Oct. 7, & Thurs., Oct. 12, 7:30 pm, $24-$349 LA Opera.

A woman dances against a red backdrop
Colleen Hendricks. Photo courtesy of the artist

Al fresco dance

The al fresco contemporary music concert The Horizons of Time features dance by Colleen Hendricks who has danced with SoCal companies including LA Contemporary Dance Company and Invertigo. Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga Canyon; Fri., Sept. 22, 7:30 pm, $25. Theatricum Botanical.

four dancers in a web of blue and green scarves
Lineage Dance. Photo courtesy of the artists

Benefit #1

Performances by Lineage Dance Company, as well as students from the Dance for Joy program and the John Muir High School Mystics dance team are part of this Gala Party benefiting Lineage performances and its dance outreach programs. At private residence, address provided with reservation; Sat., Sept. 23, $150+. Information & ticket options at Lineage Performing Arts.

Benefit #2

For its Fall Dance Fest, Inland Pacific Ballet offers performances by IPB’s second company and apprentices along with a sit-down dinner with proceeds supporting upcoming performances. Inland Pacific Ballet Academy, 9061 Central Avenue, Montclair; Fri.-Sat., Sept. 22-23, 6 pm, $110. Inland Pacific Ballet.

A dancer in brown is partnered
Inland Pacific Ballet. Photo by Hannah Cox

Benefit #3

Dance by the students of The Wooden Floor is part of the 17th annual Keep the Promise wine tasting and auction benefiting this admirable youth development program. Details at the website. Event at Big Canyon Country Club, One Big Canyon Dr., Newport Beach; Thurs., Sept. 28, 6 pm, $350 & up. The Wooden Floor.

A Peek at Next Week

Martha Graham Dance CompanyGraham 100 at the Soraya, Cal State Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Sat., Sept. 30, 8 pm, $49-$129. The Soraya. Also at the Granada Theatre, 1214 State St., Santa Barbara, Wed., Oct. 4, 8 pm, $51-$106. UCSB.

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago at the Music Center, Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri.-Sat., Sept. 29-30, 7:30 pm, Sun., Oct. 1, 2 pm, $34-$138. Music Center.

Two dancers on the phone
A.I.M. by Kyle Abraham. Photo courtesy of the artists

A.I.M by Kyle Abraham at Carpenter Performing Arts Center, Cal State Long Beach, 6200 Atherton St., Long Beach; Sat., Sept. 30, 8 pm $40. Carpenter Performing Arts Center.

Ethiocolor at UCLA Nimoy Theater, 1262 Westwood Blvd., Westwood; Fri., Sept. 29, 8 pm, $32 CAP UCLA.

Matsutoyo Kai 58th Anniversary at James R. Armstrong Theatre, 3330 Civic Center Dr., Torrance; Sun., Oct. 1, 1 pm, $23. Matsutoyo Kai.

Conrad Tao and Caleb Teicher at UCLA Nimoy Theater, 1262 Westwood Blvd., Westwood; Sat., Sept. 30, 8 p.m., $32. CAP UCLA.

A tap dancer and a pianist
Conrad Tao + Caleb Teicher. Photo by EM Watson

LA Performance Practice — All Stop Now at REDCAT, Disney Hall, 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; Fri.-Sat., Sep. 29-30, 8:30 pm, $25, $20 students. REDCAT.

Hip Hop 50 at USC and various locales, Sat.-Wed., Sept. 30-Oct. 4, times, tickets, and other details at Visions and Voices.

Max 10 Electric Lodge, Scott Kelman Theater, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice; Mon., Oct. 2, 7:30 pm, $10. Electric Lodge.

SoCal Dance Notes

Deadline: October 1 is the deadline for submitting dance films for Dance Camera West. Details at Dance Camera West.

On tour, out of town: Headed to Philadelphia? This week the adventurous Philly Fringe Festival hosts Rosanna Gamson/WorldWide in Gamson’s Sugar Houses, a powerful retelling of the factual, dark backstory of Hansel and Gretel. Details at Philly Fringe Festival.

What are you looking for?