Taking on the Mysteries of Cyphers, Deserts and E-Space

Ballet, hip hop and Leonard Bernstein meet up in San Marino, dancing amid terrazzo and fountains in Brentwood, contemporary ballet in Santa Monica, a Greek classic moves in West L.A., veterans’ memories under consideration in Hollywood, and more SoCal dance this week. 

5.  A reprise for Reprise

Like a phoenix rising from its ashes, Reprise 2.0 reboots the popular showcase for classic Broadway musicals with the dance drenched Sweet Charity. After more than a decade, the original founder Marcia Seligson left and the series closed several years later in hard financial times after. After two years laying groundwork and developing a board, Seligson returned to helm this reboot, announcing a new season with three shows and attracting Tony-award winning choreographer-director Kathleen Marshall to stage Sweet Charity as the opener. Having staged last summer’s Mamma Mia at the Hollywood Bowl, Marshall knows how to maneuver a full onstage orchestra, professional performers, and minimal sets (don’t expect helicopters to fly in) that let the book by Neil Simon, music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Dorothy Field, and yes, the dancing choreographed by Marshall to be the focus. Next up, another dance-filled musical Victor/Victoria in September, with Grand Hotel–the Musical in October. UCLA’s Freud Playhouse, Macgowan Hall, 245 Charles E. Young Drive East, Westwood; Tues.-Fri., 8 p.m., Sat., 2 & 8 p.m., Sun., 2 & 7 p.m., thru Sun., July 1, $75-$110, $30 students. www.reprise2.org. 

Reprise 2.0's "Sweet Charity". Photo by Michael Lamont.
Reprise 2.0’s “Sweet Charity”. Photo by Michael Lamont.

4.  Dances in the fountains

The Getty Center’s fountains are seductive year round, but especially in the summer. Performers Bianca Medina, Chris Emile and Sasha Rivero from No)one.Art House succumb to the temptation and splash in those fountains as part of Sky Echo, a site specific performance choreographed by Samantha Blake Goodman for the summer series Friday Flights. Getty Museum, 1200 Getty Center Dr., Brentwood; Fri., June 29, 6 p.m., free.  http://www.getty.edu.

No)One.Art House. Photo courtesy of the artists.
No)One.Art House. Photo courtesy of the artists.

3.  Dances On the Waterfront

Choreographer Kitty McNamee blends hip hop and ballet to Leonard Bernstein’s score from the film On the Waterfront, part of the al fresco summer music series Muse/ique’s opening concert. The orchestra also performs selections from West Side Story, John Lennon, Sam Cooke, and Toto. Grounds open at 6 p.m. for mingling and dining. Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, 1151 Oxford Rd., San Marino; Sat., June 30, 8 p.m., $30-$130. http://muse-ique.com.  

Kitty MacNamee's "On the Waterfront". Photo by Ben Gibbs.
Kitty MacNamee’s “On the Waterfront”. Photo by Ben Gibbs.

2.  Remember not to forget

For almost three years, choreographer Arianne MacBean and her troupe The Big Show conducted more than a dozen workshops with U.S. veterans exploring veterans’ memories and issues of remembrance and forgetting as a starting point to develop what has become the scripts for Collective Memory Project. Employing her signature use of dance, theater, text, music and visual imagery, MacBean promises an intimate event and in an effort to bridge the space between civilians and the military, the audience is seated onstage with the performers. Working with the L.A.-based non-profit Veterans in Media and Entertainment, MacBean’s efforts with veterans already have been evident in another set of powerful performances earlier this year involving vets and locally-based Diavolo Architecture in Motion. Ford Theatre, 2850 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood; Thurs.-Fri., June 28-29, 8:30 p.m., $25. 323-461-3673. https://fordtheatres.org

Arianne MacBean's "Collective Memory Project". Photo courtesy of the artists.
Arianne MacBean’s “Collective Memory Project”. Photo courtesy of the artists.

1.  De-Cypher dance  

Choreographer Melissa Barak brings her Barak Ballet to the stage with two new contemporary ballets and the reprise of her previously well-received E/SPACE. Barak’s new work Cypher set to music by Molly Joyce is joined by the premiere of Nicolas Blanc’ Desert Transport. This is the fourth time Barak and her small ensemble have performed at this venue with strong reviews, but this time the venue is presenting the company. The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica; Fri.-Sat., June 29-30, 7:30 p.m. $75-$120. http://www.thebroadstage.org.   

Barak Ballet. Photo courtesy of the artists.
Barak Ballet. Photo courtesy of the artists.

          Other dance of note:

Brooklyn-based Nico Brown performs his solo work Lover considering queerness filtered through his background feeling isolated growing up in the Midwest. Pieter, 420 W. Avenue 33, Unit 10, Lincoln Heights; Sat., June 30, 8:30 p.m., free with donation to free bar or boutique. https://pieterpasd.com.

Nico Brown. Photo by Scott Shaw.
Nico Brown. Photo by Scott Shaw.

The latest 21st century exploration of classical plays involving movement mavens Not Man Apart Physical Theatre Ensemble considers another Greek classic in Lysistrata Unbound. Considered a comedy, Aristophanes’ original considers what would occur if Greek women withheld sex to protest the ongoing war with Sparta. Choreographer John Farmanesh is also directing with assistant choreographers Alina Bolshakova, Jones Welsh Talmage and the Not Man Apart company. See website for additional stray performances, special wine nights and other events. Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., W.L.A.; Fri.-Sat., 8, p.m., Sun., 2 p.m., thru Sat., Aug. 4, $32-$37, $25 seniors, $22 under 30, $17 students. http://www.odysseytheatre.com.

Not Man Apart Physical Theatre Ensemble in "Lysistrata Unbound". Photo by Enci Box.
Not Man Apart Physical Theatre Ensemble in “Lysistrata Unbound”. Photo by Enci Box.

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