Unsinkable Resistance

A ballet encore confronts Iranian repression in Irvine, Ukrainian ballet’s west coast debut in Costa Mesa, new contemporary dance in Lincoln Heights and the Arts District, more SoCal dance this week (June 30 to July 6), plus a peek at next week.

Live This Week

Ballet’s war effort

What began by under a cloud of war as refugee Ukrainian ballet dancers sought safety and to continue their art, evolved into a nascent ballet company, the United Ukrainian Ballet. Among the outpouring of international support was internationally renowned choreographer Alexei Ratmansky who set a new version of Giselle that the company presented in London and Washington DC’s Kennedy Center, receiving strong reviews and rapturous media attention. This week the company makes its West Coast debut, giving SoCal ballet fans their first look at Ratmansky Giselle and dancers who fled the stages of Ukraine and Russia. The performance raises the company’s profile, underscores the ongoing struggle in Ukraine, and ticket proceeds benefit non-profits providing humanitarian aid to other refugees and those still in Ukraine. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 660 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa; Thurs.-Sat., June 29-July 1, 7 pm, Sun., July 2, 1 pm, $29-$119. SCFTA.

Lines of ballet dancers
United Ukrainian Ballet. Photo by Altin Kaftira

A story with legs

Originally presented to a sold-out audience this past March, The White Feather: A Persian Ballet Tale returns. Led by ballerina Tara Ghassemieh who directs, the story mixes history and resistance to consider the dismantling of Iran’s ballet company after the fall of the Shah in 1979 and the rise of the strict religious regime still in power. This performance launches the ballet’s national tour. Because of mature themes, media materials advise it is suitable for ages 12 and older. The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica; Thurs., June 29, 7:30 pm, $50 to $275. Eventbrite.

A dancer underneath a sheer red scarf
The White Feather: A Persian Ballet Tale. Photo by Bahareh Ritter

Summertime, and the dancing is easy

Some encores and some new works are part of LA Dance Project‘s Summer Dance Series. Bobbi Jene Smith + Or Schraiber bring Quartet for Five, Madeline Hollander offers 5 Live Calibrations, and Pam Tanowitz’s Everyone Keeps Me gets a revival. LA Dance Project, 2245 E. Washington Blvd., Arts District; Thurs.-Fri., June 28-29, 8 pm, $45, $35 seniors and under 35, $25 students. LA Dance Project tickets.

A dancer in orange jumps in front of others walking
Pam Tanowitz’ “Everyone Keeps Me.” Photo courtesy of the artists

Lining up

The contemporary ballet troupe Freaks with Lines brings HeGEMony, the newest from director Susan Vishmid. It is one of several new works developed as part of the Shift/West program being presented by LA Dance Festival producer Deborah Brockus. Brockus Project Studios, 618B Moulton Ave., Lincoln Heights; Thurs.-Fri., June 29-30, 8:30 pm, $14 pre-show purchase. Freaks with Lines.

A dancer in fishnets takes a bow
Freaks With Lines. Photo by Pete Black Photography

Next dance, next chance

Part participatory, part performance, the free, al fresco summer series Dance DTLA continues, this week showcasing salsa. A free (beginner or refresher) lesson at 7 pm is followed by a chance to dance or just watch and enjoy until 11 pm. Salsa not your style? The full line up of upcoming dance options is at the website. Music Center, Jerry Moss Plaza, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri., June 30, 7 pm, free. Music Center.

A couple dances at the Music Center
Dance DTLA. Photo courtesy of the Music Center

A Peek at Next Week

Viver Brasil at Grand Performances, 350 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Sat. July 8, 7 pm, free with reservation at Grand Performances


There is still time — July 15 is the deadline for submission for the innovative, democratizing dance film competition Dare to Dance in Public. Festival founder/artistic director Sarah Elgart confirmed the judge panel for this sixth edition are tap master Savion Glover, choreographer/director Karole Armitage, choreographer/director/visual artist Nina McNeely, and filmmaker Benjamin Seroussi. Screening of finalists/winners is Sept. 22. Rules and details at Dare to Dance In Public.

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