A Time Traveling Romeo & Juliet and Other Star-Crossed Lovers

Flamenco in Hancock Park, ballet and aerial in North Hollywood, multi-media choreography in Long Beach, swans flock to Redondo Beach, butoh in Venice, and star-crossed lovers downtown, plus more SoCal dance this week.

5.  A triptych of new dance

Under the banner Beyond the Pale, three emerging choreographers unveil works that take inspiration from varied sources. In Thesis of Blood, Nate Hodges considers what happens when performers satirizing Hollywood slasher movies attract a sinister visitor. Soul-deep yearning evoked by the Welsh word Hiraeth is explored by Courtney Ozovek with mixed media and an original score by Brian Wood. A Romanian legend about a pregnant woman enclosed in the walls of a monastery is the starting point for Francesca Jandasek’s The Immured Woman, incorporating visual art, text and film projections. Cal State University Long Beach, Martha B Knoebel Dance Theater, 6200 E. Atherton St., Long Beach; Thurs.-Fri., March 15-16, 8 p.m., Sat., March 17, 2 & 8 p.m., $20, $16 seniors & students. 562-985-7000, http://www.csulb.edu/dance.

Beyond the Pale. Photo by Gregory Crosby.
Beyond the Pale. Photo by Gregory Crosby.

4.  Dancing on air

Artistic director Judith “Flex” Heller and the high-flying dancers and acrobats of Luminario Ballet take to the stage and the air in Breathless. The program includes the popular The Last Supper, subtitled “when Jesus Judas and Mary went to Coachella 2017,” with music by Radiohead, Nirvana and Weezer. Three other works explore love, the California environment and the battle of the sexes. With aerial choreography credits from pop stars including PINK, Cher, Madonna and Michael Jackson, special guest Dreya Weber’s work-in-progress gives a nod to her European ancestors. El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood; Sun., March 11, 3 p.m., $25-45 advance purchase, $30-$50 at door. http://www.luminarioballet.org, https://ci.ovationtix.com/371/production/979752?mc_cid=49ba613183&mc_eid=5db51dac40.

Luminaro Ballet. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Luminaro Ballet. Photo courtesy of the artist.

[alert type=alert-white ]Please consider making a tax-deductible donation now so we can keep publishing strong creative voices.[/alert]

3.  ‘Tis the season

Butoh as a dance form long ago left the realm of exotic Asian movement experiment and settled in to an accepted place in the world of dance, especially in L.A. where Oguri and his Body Weather Laboratory regularly present the Flower of the Season series. This episode, the theme is “..like foaming water”. Oguri choreographed and the dancers include Michelle Lai, Cat Westwood, Liv Mai, Destefano Deluise, Tony Testa and Roxanne Steinberg. Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice; Thurs.-Sat., Mar. 8-10, 8 p.m., Sun., March 11, 4 p.m., $18 presale, at door $23, $18 students & seniors. 310-823-0710, https://www.eventbrite.com.

Body Weather Laboratory's Oguri. Photo by Moses Hacmon.
Body Weather Laboratory’s Oguri. Photo by Moses Hacmon.

2.  Watch out for the feathers

L.A.’s own professional ballet company, the Los Angeles Ballet, closes its 12th season with a luscious, romantic, full-length production of Swan Lake. Boasting some of Peter Tchaikovsky’s most delicious music, this is deservedly one of the most popular classical ballets, and one of the most technically demanding, not just for the leads, but also for the corps de ballet who are tested to move like a single mirror image. Reviewers’ high praise when LAB last presented Swan Lake is one indication of how well LAB rises to those challenges. The dual role of the White Swan Odette and the Black Swan Odile will alternate between principal dancers Bianca Bulle and Petra Conti. Principal Kenta Shimizu and soloist Tigran Sargsyan share the role of Prince Siegfried. In keeping its promise to bring great ballet to greater L.A., after opening last weekend in Glendale, Swan Lake travels to the South Bay this week and then on to Westwood. Details and tickets at https://LosAngelesBallet.org. Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach; Sat., March 10, 7:30 p.m. Also at UCLA Royce Hall, 340 Royce Dr., Westwood.; Thurs.-Sat., March 15-17, 7:30 p.m., $29.50-$104. 310-998-7782. https://LosAngelesBallet.org.

Los Angeles Ballet's "Swan Lake". Photo by Reed Hutchinson.
Los Angeles Ballet’s “Swan Lake”. Photo by Reed Hutchinson.

1.  Star-crossed lovers

The popular Joffrey Ballet arrives with Polish choreographer Krzysztof Pastor’s contemporized Romeo and Juliet. Serge Prokofiev’s score still puts the star-crossed lovers in Italy, but Pastor injects time capsule shifts over the three acts. Opening with Mussolini’s fascists in the 1930’s, the action moves to the Red Brigade and political kidnappings in the 1970’s, concluding with Silvia Berlesconi’s social upheaval in the 1990’s. Along the way, there’s even a ball that gives a nod to West Side Story, perhaps the original contemporary version of the doomed lovers. Originally set on the Scottish Ballet in 2008, Pastor’s version joined the Joffrey repertoire in 2014. The spread out performances reflect the Joffrey doing double duty, alternating with another tale of other star-crossed lovers dancing John Neumeier’s choreography for the Los Angeles Opera’s performances of Orpheus and Eurydice. For extra insight into Orpheus and Eurydice, a free event features L.A. Opera’s music director James Conlon to discuss the collaboration between Chicago and L.A. to bring director/choreographer John Neumeier’s distinctive blending of opera and dance to the stage. Complete details on both productions at http://www.musiccenter.org. Music Center Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri. March 9 & Sat., March 17, 7:30 p.m., Sun., March 11 & Sat., March 17, 2:30 p.m., $34-125. http://www.musiccenter.org/joffrey. Orpheus & Eurydice: Sat., March 10, Thurs., March 15, Wed., March 21, Sat., March 24, 7:30 p.m., Sun., March 18 & 25, 2 p.m., $29-$289. http://laopera.org. James Conlon at Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Thurs., March 8, 7:30 p.m., free. http://www.hammer.ucla.edu.

The Joffrey Ballet's "Romeo & Juliet". Photo by Cheryl Mann.
The Joffrey Ballet’s “Romeo & Juliet”. Photo by Cheryl Mann.

Other dance of note:

This year’s Los Angeles International Flamenco Festival opens with top billing going to the singers, Carmen Linares, Arcángel and Marina Heredia in Tempo de Luz (Tempo of Light), but includes flamenco dancer Ana Morales, former principal dancer of Ballet Flamenco de Andalucia. For the second night and second venue, dance takes center stage with dancers: Rosario Montoya “La Farruca” and Natalia Delmar “La Serrata” with singers Juanilloro de Jerez and El Quint in Del Fuego y la Memoría. Details at http://laflamencofestival.com. Wilshire Ebell Theatre, 4401 W. 8th St., Hancock Park; Thurs., March 15, 8 p.m., $25-$75. Also at El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood; Fri., March 16, 8 p.m., $39-$49. 800-595-4849, https://kalakoa.tix.com.

Los Angeles International Flamenco Festival. Photo by Alfred Mauve.
Los Angeles International Flamenco Festival. Photo by Alfred Mauve.

Under the banner title UNITY, A Stage of Our Own showcases short works celebrating Philippine and Pacific Island culture. Curated by Toni Pasion, the evening includes contributions from Leolani Gallardo, Mariquita “Micki” Davis, Vero Mercado, Leilani Banday, Noelle Marie Falcis, Kawai Lele, Paru Frances, Ernesto Mañacop, Leah Ramos, Abe Lagrimas Jr., and Jonathan Godoy. Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Fri-Sat., 8:30 p.m., $25, $20 students & seniors. http://astageofourown.wordpress.com, http://www.highwaysperformance.org.

Following her recent show as part of the Odyssey Dance Festival, choreographer Corina Kinnear and her collaborators reprise Naked. Part fully nude dance performance, part art installation, part musical performance, the project sets up for a four week run, mostly Thurs., Saturday and Sunday, but check the schedule at http://www.picounionproject.org. The Pico Union Project, 1153 Valencia St., Pico Union; Thurs.-Sun., thru March 25, 8 p.m., $30.

Corina Kinnear's "Naked". Photo courtesy of the artist.
Corina Kinnear’s “Naked”. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Chagall’s vibrant paintings combine with Jewish American dance and live music in The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk charting the love and life of Marc and Bella Chagall who flee from a Russia of pogroms and revolution before finding fame in France. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills; Tues.-Fri., 7:30 p.m., Sat.-Sun., 2 & 7:30 p.m. thru Sun., March 11, $35-$125. http://www.thewallis.org.

What are you looking for?