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Trocks Tackle Terpsichore in Toe Shoes

Flamenco with Jewish and Persian connections in Northridge, Diavolo considers veterans in Irvine, the Trocks debunk ballet in Long Beach, twisty Pilobolus in Malibu, last week for Pacific Standard Time performance events, plus dance festivals in Lincoln Heights and West L.A. in this busy dance week.

5. Sephardic and Persian flamenco

Last seen last fall headlining Forever Flamenco, for this visit Leilah Broukhim’s ferocious brand of flamenco is the métier for her personal Jewish and Persian history in Dejando Huellas (Traces). Premiered in 2011, the show toured Europe and now makes its L.A. debut. The Soraya (Valley Performing Arts Center), 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Sun., Jan. 21, 7:30 p.m., $33-$78. 818-677-3000, http://valleyperformingartscenter.org.

Leilah Broukim. Photo by Paco Manza.

Leilah Broukim. Photo by Paco Manza.

4. First they meet and then they dance

After a week of workshops and classes, the Awakenings & Beginnings International Dance Festival hosts 16 troupes for a final performance. In addition to host company Rubans Rouges look for DeDa Dance Theatre, Djanbazian Dance Academy, Freaks With Lines, Jess Harper & Dancers, Kairos Dance Company, Los Angeles FUSION Dance Theater, Megill & Company, San Pedro City Ballet, SUBDance, Tropicaleiza, Troupe Vertigo, plus choreographers Dolly Sfeir and Santiago Rivera. Full details at http://RubansRougesDance.com. DIAVOLO Space, 616 Moulton Ave., Lincoln Heights; Sat., Jan. 20, 8 p.m., $30 in advance, $35 at door. http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3182672.

Awakenings & Beginnings International Dance Festival. Photo by Paul Antico.

Awakenings & Beginnings International Dance Festival. Photo by Paul Antico.

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3. How would Raymond Chandler dance this?

Like a latter day Black Dahlia, the 2013 death of a young woman in the rooftop watertank of a downtown hotel remains an L.A. mystery. Unlike the 1940s Black Dahlia, in 2013 there was elevator surveillance footage of the mystery woman’s final hours which went viral after the police released the video in an effort to i.d. the woman. In Movement from Poem of Elisa Lam, Maya Gurantz employs movement and video in an approach she describes as “somatic detective”. Pieter, 420 W. Avenue 33, Unit #10, Lincoln Heights; Sat., Jan. 20, 8:30 p.m. Admission is a non-monetary contribution to the free bar or free boutique. https://pieterpasd.com.

Maya Gurantz. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Maya Gurantz. Photo courtesy of the artist.

2.  The Trocks keep on Trockin’

From its beginnings in the 1970s as a handful of gay dancers in New York City taken with the idea of men in drag dancing ballet in pointe shoes, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo has become a national and international favorite combining comedic send ups amid serious takes on classic ballets. The Trocks, as they are affectionately known, stop off for two shows. Starting with sly stage names (which should be said aloud for full effect) Mikhail Mypansarov, Nina Enimenimynimova, Helen Highwaters, Colette Adae and Tatiana Youbetyabootskya, the audience is on notice that fun will be had. The choreographed prat falls and other hysterical mishaps work in large part because the Trocks are really good ballet dancers.  With iconic excerpts from familiar classics like Swan Lake and Don Quixote and even a bit of Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco, the troupe consistently demonstrates they are serious dancers who also just happened to be seriously funny. Cal State University Long Beach, Carpenter Performing Arts Center, Sat., Jan. 20, 8 p.m., Sun., Jan. 21, 2 p.m., $50. http://CarpenterArts.org.

The Trocks in the 1970s. Photo courtesy of Icarus Films

The Trocks in the 1970s. Photo courtesy of Icarus Films

1. A dance odyssey

L.A. boasts a number of dance festivals, most with lots of troupes offering brief samples from their repertoire.  Several years ago, the Odyssey Theater launched a festival that is more of a planned meal than a smorgasbord, giving an entire weekend (sometimes two) to a few noteworthy local troupes. Dance at the Odyssey 2018 opens this week with Micaela Taylor + TL Collective in Rosewood, capturing the troupe’s blending of hip hop with contemporary dance. Next weekend, the stage belongs to L.A. Contemporary Dance Company, known for work by its artistic directors as well as its ability to attract other L.A. choreographers ready to create on LACDC’s splendid dancers. LACDC brings a triptych program with contributions from current director Genevieve Carson, Capezio award-winning dancemaker Nathan Makolandra, and Stephanie Zaletel who heads her own local all-female troupe Szalt. The final weekend belongs to choreographer Corina Kinnear who closes the festival with her provocatively titled Naked. Long known as one of L.A.’s most respected theater companies, the Odyssey producers Barbara Mueller-Wittmann and Beth Hogan admirably have extended their reach to showcase L.A. dance. Complete festival details at http://odysseytheatre.com. Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West L.A.; Micaela Taylor + TL Collective Sat., Jan. 20, 8 p.m., Sun., Jan. 21, 2 p.m., $15-$25. L.A. Contemporary Dance Company Fri.-Sat., Jan. 26-27 & Feb. 2-3, 8 p.m., Sun., Feb. 4, 2 p.m., $15-$25. Corina Kinnear Thurs.-Fri., Feb. 8-9, 8 p.m., $15-$25. http://odysseytheatre.com.

 

Micaela Taylor and the TL Collective. Photo by Yi Chun Wu

Micaela Taylor and the TL Collective. Photo by Yi Chun Wu

Other dance of note:

That band of dancers, gymnasts, acrobats and all around daredevils who comprise Diavolo bring two works under the banner L.O.S.T. (Losing One’s Self Temporarily). One part is Passengers with the company bringing its fierce brand of movement to the concept of being driven by outside forces while traveling through life. Part two is devoted to The Veterans Project, Phase 2, a Long Journey Home, Diavolo artistic director Jacques Heim’s latest in the company’s ongoing commitment to work with and explore issues facing veterans. After their successful stint on t.v.’s America’s Got Talent, it’s good to see Diavolo live and onstage. Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Dr., Irvine; Fri., Jan. 19, 8 p.m., http://thebarclay.

Diavolo. Photo by George Simian.

Diavolo. Photo by George Simian.

At a time when modern dance was Martha Graham serious, Pilobolus’ introduction of gymnastics, weight sharing and humor into the modern dance idiom was radical, if not heretical. Those signature elements are now common parts of contemporary dance, although Pilobolus continues to incorporate those elements better than most. The current members dancers are now several generations on from the original pioneers, yet perform more recent works as well as a few of the company’s earlier works with the aplomb that has always distinguished this ensemble. Smothers Theatre, Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu; Thurs., Jan. 25, 8 p.m., $25-$50. 310-506-4522, http://arts.pepperdine.edu.

A bit of dance, a bit of circus acrobatics, and even a bit of opera are part of Australia’s Circa Contemporary Circus. This visit the subject is the Greek hero Ulysses’ epic journey home in Il Ritorno. Musco Center for the Arts, Chapman University, One University Dr., Orange; Tues., Jan. 23, 8 p.m., $25-$58. http://muscocenter.org.

Circa Contemporary Circus. Photo by Sarah Walker.

Circa Contemporary Circus. Photo by Sarah Walker.

Now in its second year, the L.A. Dance Film Festival offers 16 short dance films. The international selections come from Switzerland, France, Germany, South Africa and the United Kingdom. A panel with most of the filmmakers and a reception are part of the evening. Los Feliz 3 Theater, 1822 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Thurs., Jan. 25, 7:30 p.m. $20. http://ladancefilmfest.org.

Now in its second and final week Pacific Standard Time: Live Art LA/LA continues with live movement and dance performance (plus workshops, lectures, installations and family events) as the Getty, REDCAT and other collaborators. This live performance component of the ongoing festival offers single events and some running over several days. Almost all free and ticketed events are $15 or less.  Here are five mostly dance events. More details and other events at  http://REDCAT.org and http://www.pacificstandardtime.org/en/events.

Concluding nine-days of video taping, a quintet from Mexico’s Colectivo AM continue to staff a mobile kiosk at LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions) and other neighborhood venues for a participatory dance performance that solicits L.A. residents to contribute dance steps and moves to be videotaped. The videos will become part of the group’s Banco Universal de Pasos (Universal Bank of Steps). In addition, excerpts can be viewed at LACE’s storefront and, for the finale, as part of a large, al fresco participatory dance and music event, La Pista de Baille (The Dance Floor) on Saturday, Jan. 20.The main kiosk is at LACE, 6522 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Thurs.-Fri., Jan. 18-19, 6-10 p.m., free. Outdoor finale at Hollywood Blvd. & N. Hudson Ave., Hollywood; Sat., Jan. 20 at 6 p.m., free. 323-957-1777. http://welcometoLACE.org.

Rio de Janeiro art collective OPAVIVARÁ! will activate locations in downtown and East L.A. with OPAVIVARÁ!: TRANSNÔMADES, interactive events exploring issues about the use of urban space. The website info was incomplete at press time referencing only “various venues”, but no address or link. Somewhere in L.A.; thru Sun., Jan 21, noon, free.  http://redcat.org.

Finishing up its second Sunday, artist Raul Baltazar’s Mi Sereno invites the public to join in a participatory ritual procession, folk dances, picnic, music and dialogue. Ascot Hills Park, 4371 Multnomah Street, East L.A.; Sun., Jan., 21, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., free. http://redcat.org.

Peruvian American artist Mariel Carranza organized local and international guests for Encounters #43 and #44. The first was last weekend indoors and the second this weekend is outdoors at an as yet secret location. Announced participants include John Burtle, Mariel Carranza, Rochelle Fabb, Douglas Green, Rebeca Hernandez, Benjamin Jarrett (USA/Hungary), Carol McDowell, Fausto Mendez Luna (Mexico), Lala Nomada (Mexico/Austria), Paul Outlaw, Graciela Ovejero Postigo (Argentina), Crystal Sepúlveda (Puerto Rico/USA), Cecilia Stelini (Brazil), Rossen Ventislavov, and Allison Wyper. Audiences are invited to come and go as they wish. Secret location; Sat., Jan. 20, 3-6 p.m., free with non-monetary contribution to the post performance meal. To RSVP for either encounter, contact http://rhizomaticarts.com.

In a three-part performance, Rafa Esparza’s cumbre: look as far as you can see in every direction—north and south, east and west considers bridges and bodies of waters as sites of connection and healing, as well as spaces of division and risk. He draws on familial histories of immigration into the United States and downtown Los Angeles’ complex history. Esparza collaborates with Sebastian Hernandez in the final segment of the performance. Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, 152 N. Central Ave., downtown; Sun., Jan. 21, 3 p.m., free. http://moca.org.

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