Varying the Invariables

British literary rebel captured in Costa Mesa; intimate flamenco in Westwood; choreographer meets pianist downtown; new contemporary choreography in El Sereno; a post modern tribute in Venice; library dancing in Lakeview Terrace; more So Cal dance this week, and a peek at next week.

Live This Week

Not quite alone

In the U.S., Virginia Woolf is most widely associated with the title of the 1966 Liz Taylor/Richard Burton film based on the Edward Albee play. In England, Virginia Woolf the writer, is widely known for her visionary approach that shattered accepted Victorian era ideas about and constraints on writing , and particularly sabotaged strictures, sexual and otherwise, on women in Victorian times. In quite a coup, American Ballet Theatre brings the North American premiere of Wayne McGregor’s highly praised Woolf Works to SoCal for five performance. Created for Britain’s Royal Ballet, the choreographer abstracts and weaves together three of Woolf’s works, the time and gender shifting Orlando, Mrs. Dalloway confronting a war-shocked soldier, and a consideration of Woolf’s suicide in Waves. After the London premiere, Britain’s Guardian newspaper described the work as “a complex meditation on time, memory and death in ways as fragmentary and haunting as Woolf’s own writing.” Not a mention of Liz or Richard. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa; Thurs.-Fri., April 11-12, 7:30 pm, Sat., April 13, 2 & 7:30 pm, Sun., April 14, 1 pm, $49-$149. SCFTA.

A male dancer carries a female dancer
American Ballet Theatre in Woolf Works. Photo by Andrej Uspenski

An official designation

Stepping away from his duties as founder, director, and choreographer at LA Dance Project, Benjamin Millepied shows his chops as choreographer and dancer in An Unstill Life. For this Colburn Celebrity Concert, the former New York City Ballet principal dancer is joined by pianist Alexandre Tharaud, playing music by Bach, Beethoven, and Rameau. Interestingly, Millepied returns to the venue where his LA Dance Project made its LA debut and his Romeo and Juliet was first seen. Walt Disney Concert Hall, address, Tues., April 9, 8 pm, $40-$129.LA Phil.

Taking to the tablao

Enjoy the improvisational interplay of live musicians and flamenco dancers as Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana brings Tablao Flamenco to this intimate venue. UCLA, The Nimoy, 1262 Westwood Blvd., Westwood; Thur., April 11, 8 pm, $32. CAP UCLA.

A flamenco dancer in shadow
Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana. Photo courtesy of the artists

Feet on New Ground

The intermittent series Terra Nova (New Ground) presented by Rosanna Gamson World/Wide returns with new works from three choreographers, Brian Golden, Alejandro Perez, and Jordan Saenz. The trio developed their program with mentoring by Samson and other dance leaders who also will facilitate a post performance conversation with the three dancemakers. Stomping Ground, 5453 Alhambra Ave., El Sereno; Sat., April 6, 7:30 pm, $20. Eventbrite.

A man sits on a checkered floor
Brian Golden. Photo courtesy of the artist

What becomes a legend most

Among the performers at this month’s High Voltage, look for the Rudy Perez Performance Ensemble in Tribute, paying a eulogistic homage to the late choreographer Rudy Perez. The noted post modern pioneer was part of what became known as New York’s Judson Church movement. Sensibly, Perez relocated to LA where he taught and his ensemble enriched the SoCal dance landscape for many decades. Also on the program, Straight Up Abilities, Jennifer Jonnassen, and Anet-Margot (Ris-Kelman). The monthly event is timed to coincide with the food truck/open studio First Friday event on nearby Abbot Kinney Blvd. Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice; Fri., April 5, 8 pm, $15. Eventbrite.

A man in white pants and a cap
Rudy Perez. Photo courtesy of the artist

Book steps

Continuing to bring modern dance to untraditional venues, Benita Bike’s DanceArt offers a free performance. A discussion accompanies the dancing. Lake View Terrace Library, 12002 Osborne St., Lakeview Terrace; Sat., April 6, 2 pm, free. DanceArt.

A group of dancers hold each other
Benita Bike’s DanceArt. Photo by Dean Walraff

He likes to share

Live performance plus a film documenting the career arc of innovative French choreographer Jérôme Bel are part of the aptly self-titled Jérôme Bel. One of Bel’s principles is to always have his work be reinterpreted by local performers in the language of the country where it is shown. This time, excerpts of his pioneering contemporary dance works feature Ariel Osterweis and a group of LA-based dancers. REDCAT, Disney Hall, 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; Thurs. & Sat., April 4 & 6, 8:30 pm, $27. REDCAT.

A dancer lifts her leg
Jérôme Bel. Photo by Herman Sorgeloos

Off the street

The dancers of Hollywood Ballet continue their efforts to being ballet to non-traditional venues with a performance titled For Skid Row. The show is open to clients of the Midnight Mission, the larger community, and friends of the company. The afternoon performance is free with a reservation. Midnight Mission, 601 San Pedro St., downtown; Thurs., April 4, 2:30 pm, free. Hollywood Ballet.

A man holds a woman in white
Hollywood Ballet principal dancers Petra Conti and Tigran Sarksyan. Photo by Reed Hutchinson

They’re back

The touring show showcasing a view of China culture pre-communism, Shen Yun, arrives at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre. Details on this and upcoming SoCal performances at Shen Yun.

Dancer with white wing-like costume
Shen Yun. Photo courtesy of the artists

A Peek at Next Week (4/12-18)

Bodies at Play A Dancer’s Project at LA Dance Project, 2235 E. Washington Blvd., Arts District; Fri.-Sat., April 12-13, 7 pm, $35-$45, $25 students & seniors. Flipcause.

A group of dancers in casual clothes
Bodies in Play. Photo courtesy of the artists

Grand Kyiv Ballet – Giselle at the Wilshire Ebell, 4401 W. 8th St., Hancock Park;  Sun., April 14, 7 pm, $45-$89. Eventbrite.

Soledad Barrio & Noche Flamenca Searching for Goya at the Irvine Barclay Theater, UC Irvine, 4242 Campus Dr., Irvine; Thurs., April 18, 8 pm, $30-$125. Irvine Barclay Theater.

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