What becomes a legend most?

A contemporary dance troupe’s new Beverly Hills residency, paying tribute to a dance legend in West Adams, boundary bumping ballet in Redondo Beach, entrancing Aussies in Westwood, multi-media dance in Santa Monica, Dante’s inferno downtown and more So Cal dance this week.

5.  En”trance”ing

Two Australian modern dance troupes, Dancenorth led by Gideon Obarzanek and Lucy Guerin’s Lucy Guerin, Inc. join forces with Indonesian music duo Senyawa for a distinctive dance ritual dubbed Attractor, reinterpreting a Javanese tradition of entering a trance state through music and dance. UCLA Royce Hall, 340 Royce Dr., Westwood; Thu.-Fri., Nov. 2-3, 8 p.m., $29-$59. http://cap.ucla.edu.

Kim Thompson & Jimi Cabeza de Vaca's "High Fantasy". Photo courtesy of the artists.
Kim Thompson & Jimi Cabeza de Vaca’s “High Fantasy”. Photo courtesy of the artists.

4.  Multi-media dance

Taking inspiration from the season and accompanied by a modern chamber orchestra, Kim Thompson and Jimi Cabeza de Vaca inhabit a stage surrounded by installation, visual projection and theatre in High Fantasy.  Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Fri., Oct. 27, 8:30 p.m., $15-$20. 310-453-1755. http://highwaysperformance.org.

L.A. Dance Project. Photo by Erin Baiano
L.A. Dance Project. Photo by Erin Baiano

3.  Taking up residence

Three works by company director Benjamin Millepied–all west coast or company premieres–and the revival of Merce Cunningham’s MinEvent comprise the program for L.A. Dance Project’s initial performance as this venue’s resident company. While much of the company’s time has been out of town on tour, this new resident company relationship, the opening of a new downtown studio, and Millepied’s return after his stint at the Paris Opera Ballet augurs well for an increased local presence. Bram Goldsmith Theater, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills; Thurs.-Sat., Nov. 2-4, 7:30 p.m., $45-$125. http://thewallis.org.

Los Angeles Ballet's Tigran Sargsyan, Bianca Bulle & Kenta Shimizu. Photo by Reed Hutchinson.
Los Angeles Ballet’s Tigran Sargsyan, Bianca Bulle & Kenta Shimizu. Photo by Reed Hutchinson.

2.  Boundary Bumping  Ballet

Last chance to catch a world premiere from Chinese choreographer Menghan Lou, two L.A. premieres from Alejandro Cerrudo, and the timeless George Balanchine classic Four Temperaments, the highly praised opening salvo in Los Angeles Ballet’s 12th season. Later in 2017-2018 LAB goes classical with The Nutcracker and Swan Lake, but starts the season with a more contemporary flair under the banner Pushing Dance Boundaries. Keeping its promise to bring great professional ballet to all of this metropolis, the company concludes its fall tour among home theaters throughout L.A. Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center; 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach; Sat., Oct. 28, 7:30 p.m., $29.50-$104. http://losangelesballet.org.

Garth Fagan Dance. Photo by Erich Camping.
Garth Fagan Dance. Photo by Erich Camping.

1.  Paying tribute to a legend

Best known to the public for his Tony-award winning choreography for Broadways’ The Lion King,  Garth Fagan’s always passionate choreography is captured by his own troupe Garth Fagan Dance in a west coast premiere and an acclaimed tribute to another artist who also strode across the worlds of dance and Broadway. Fagan’s Geoffrey Holder Life Fete… Bacchanal, celebrates the dancer, choreographer, director, designer, actor and painter, perhaps best known for filling most of those roles in Broadway’s The Wiz. The Fagan premiere is In Conflict, set to music by Arvo Part and the program includes another west coast premiere from choreographer Norwood Pennewell, A Moderate Cease set to William Walton’s Cello Concerto. Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4718 W. Washington Blvd., West Adams; Fri., Oct. 27, 8 p.m., Sat., Oct. 28, 2 & 8 p.m., Sun., Oct. 29, 3 p.m., $25-$35, $20 students. 323-964-9766, http://ebonyrep.org.

Other dance of note:

Just ahead of Halloween, American Contemporary Ballet takes a page from Dante with Inferno, choreography by artistic director Lincoln Jones set to composer Charles Wuorinen’s piece for two pianos. The new work opens ACB’s seventh season. ACB Studios, 700 S. Flower St., Suite 3200, downtown; Thurs.-Sat., Oct. 26-28, 8 p.m., $40-$80. http://acbdances.com.

American Contemporary Ballet's "Inferno". Photo by Asilda Photography
American Contemporary Ballet’s “Inferno”. Photo by Asilda Photography

Downey’s Dia de los Muertos Art Festival includes an impressive line-up of folkloric dance troupes drawn from all over the Southland including Grupo Folklórico Mexcaltitán, Tradición Dance Company, Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company, Resurrección Mexican Folk (formerly known as Ballet Folkórico Resurrección), Ballet Folklorico Paso de Oro, Ballet Coco de Esteban Coronado, Ballet Folklorico Mixteco, and Ballet Fiesta. Complete details and times at http://downeytheatre.org. Downey Theatre, 8435 Firestone Blvd., Downey; Sun., Oct. 29, 11 a.m.-8 p.m., free. 562-861-8211, http://downeytheatre.org.

Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company. Photo by Gennia Cui.
Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company.
Photo by Gennia Cui.

The new series Heart of Dance offers studio performances by major dance companies, this week with Pam Tanowitz Dance.  Upcoming installments include Martha Graham Dance Company (Nov. 11) and Mark Morris Dance Group (Nov. 18). The new venture is a collaboration among the UC Irvine dance department, New York University, and the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. Claire Trevor Theatre, UC Irvine, 4000 Mesa Rd., Irvine; Sat., Oct. 28, 11 a.m., Free, but reservations required. http://heartofdance.brownpapertickets.com/?campaignID=240530&patronID=664709000&linkNum=2&memberID=1f09e2abdaeed2e9e02114d13742f886.

Parked outside the campus art gallery, Alex Ward’s stunning architectural sculpture at the center of FishEyes has been drawing attention, but now takes its rightful place onstage for Heidi Duckler Dance Theater’s site specific work of the same name. The performance includes a collaboration developed with dance students during a HDDT workshop along with a new fish duet for HDDT members Danny Dolan and Mollie Wolf.  A post performance discussion will focus on art as a vehicle to improve the environment. San Bernardino Valley College, Clara & Allen Gresham Art Gallery, 701 S. Mount Vernon Ave., San Bernardino; Fri., Oct. 27, 6 p.m., free with reservation. https://www.eventbrite.com.


There will be dance, not just music when the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s new principal guest conductor Susanna Mälkki conducts Felix Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with choreographic contributions from Kitty McNamee. The music will be interspersed with scenes from the Shakespeare play. Disney Hall, 151 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Thurs.-Sat., Nov. 2-4, 8 p.m., Sun., Nov. 5, 2 p.m., $60-$194. http://laphil.com.

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