And Still She Persists!

A festival mixes it up in Santa Monica, responding to a silent film classic downtown, family-friendly tap dance in Brentwood; women’s suffrage meets female choreographers in Hollywood, ballet by ones and twos in Costa Mesa, and more SoCal dance this week.

5.  Summer guests

Every summer, the respected pre-professional training company Festival Ballet presents some of its promising students along with a glittering collection of stars from major ballet companies performing pas de deux and solos. For this 12th anniversary gala, the showcased guests include Alica Mariani, Marcelo Gomes, Svetlana Lunkina, Evan McKie, Yuan Yuan Tan, Vitor Luiz, Beckanne Sisk, Chase O’Connell and Julian MacKay, plus Festival Ballet’s Tara Ghassemieh plus selections with its current young dancers.  Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa; Fri., Aug. 16, 7 p.m., $75-$95, related VIP events $200-$300. https://www.scfta.org.

Marcelo Gomes and Alice Armiani guesting at Festival Ballet. Photo courtesy of the artists.
Marcelo Gomes and Alice Armiani guesting at Festival Ballet. Photo courtesy of the artists.

4.  Burning emotions

The classic silent film The Passion of Joan of Arc provided the trigger for this collaboration of Rachel Jendrzejewski and Zoe Aja Moore. Working from a choreographic score developed in reaction to each closeup in the film, their new performance work Passion considers the interaction of that emotion and feminism from Joan’s time to today. Performers include Dorothy Dubrule, Jessica Emmanuel, Brigid Gallagher, Mireya Lucio, and Gabriella Rhodeen with a score by Julia Holter performed live. Appropriately, the venue is a restored ornate movie palace from that silent film era. Theatre at the Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, downtown; Sun., Aug. 18, 7 p.m., $20. https://theatre.acehotel.com.

Blind Summit Theatre's "Peter and the Wolf". Photo courtesy of the artists.
Blind Summit Theatre’s Peter and the Wolf. Photo courtesy of the artists.

3.  Prokofiev and puppets

Masked dancers join a puppet Peter as London’s Blind Summit Theatre brings puppet life to a John C. Reilly narrated version of Sergei Prokofiev’s beloved Peter and the Wolf, just part of this LA Phil program conducted by Bramwell Tovey. The orchestra and Tovey go it alone on Alexander Borodin’s In the Steppes of Central Asia and Peter Tchaikovsky’s Orchestral Suite No. 4 “Mozartiana.” Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood; Tues., Aug. 20, 8 p.m., $1-$162. https://www.hollywoodbowl.com.

MixMatch Dance Festival. Photo by VictorVicPhoto.
MixMatch Dance Festival. Photo by VictorVicPhoto.

2.  A baker’s dozen

Among SoCal’s numerous dance festivals, the annual MixMatch Dance Festival makes good on the name, presenting festival participants from a diverse array of dance styles. For the 13th annual festival, host company Hart Pulse Dance and producer Amanda Hart recruited 13 companies and choreographers spanning a large swath of the dance spectrum. Look for contemporary, belly, street, Korean flamenco and South Asian Indian dance from participants that include Contemporary Ballet Collective/LA, Phoenix Cole, White Crane Dance Theatre, Katerina Tomas, Shalini Bathina & Shivani Thakkar, Re:born Dance Interactive, james morrow/THE MOVEMENT, Authentic: Grooves, EvaCrystal+Halie Donabedian, Sonia Ochoa Dance Co., Juli Kim, Maha and Company, and Stephanie Cheung & Haihua Chiang. Miles Memorial Playhouse, 1130 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica; Sat., Aug. 17, 7:30 p.m., Sun., Aug. 18, 2 p.m., $20. https://www.hartpulsedance.com.

Luminario Ballet at Women Rising: Choreography from a Female Perspective. Photo by Chee.
Luminario Ballet at Women Rising: Choreography from a Female Perspective. Photo by Chee.

1.  First they voted and then they…

After her vibrant expansion of the Los Angele Dance Festival, choreographer and BrockusRED artistic director Deborah Brockus’ latest venture, Women Rising: Choreography From a Female Perspective, unites ten L.A.-based dance companies directed by female choreographers to mark the centennial of the the 19th amendment confirming U.S. women’s right to vote. In recent years, the dearth of female choreographers and artistic directors has been decried, but Brockus realized that wasn’t so true here. From Bella Lewitzky starting in the 1940s to the sampling gathered here, women-led companies are an LA fixture, not an exception. Each of the ten assembled choreographers can command a whole evening of her own, making this special event an unmatched tasting menu of some of L.A.’s best dance troupes that just happen to be led by women. The companies include Achinta S. McDaniel‘s Blue13, Sarah Elgart‘s Arrogant Elbow, Genevieve Carson‘s L.A. Contemporary Dance Company, Kitty McNamee, Pat Taylor‘s JazzAntiqua, Seda Abay‘s Kybele Dance Theatre, Judith FLEX Helle‘s Luminario Ballet, Victoria Brown & Sarah Rodenhouse‘s MashUP Contemporary Dance Company, Rosanna Gamson/World Wide, and Brockus’ own BrockusRED. In a sly tribute to L.A.’s female legacy, Luminario performs Turf, a work by Lewitzky. The Ford Theatre. 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood; Fri., Aug. 16, 8:30 p.m., $30-$65, $25-$45 students, $20-$40 children. https://www.fordtheatres.org/calendar/brockus-project-dance.  

   Other dance of note:

The network of performers at Los Angeles Performance Practice invite fans to celebrate LAPP’s tenth anniversary. The evening includes dance, music and theater performances at both the dinner and after party. Announced performers include Milka Djordjevich, Anna Goodman, Jodie Landau, Netta Yerushalmy, Gina Young and Stephanie Zaletel. In true LAPP style, guests are invited to “dress to impress yourself.”  Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, downtown; Thurs., Aug. 15, 6:30 p.m., $25 (9 p.m. after party), $150-$250 (cocktails at 6:30 p.m., dinner at 7:30 p.m.). https://performancepractice.la/gala.

Milka Djordjevich of LA Performance Practice. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Milka Djordjevich of LA Performance Practice. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Choreographer Darby Kelley considers connections in Anomaly. Dancers Sara Hartless, Darby Epperson, brance Souza, tin Nguyen, Taylor Unwin, and Luciana Johnson get support with live music by Michael Palladino, Dylan Rodrigue. Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica, Fri., Aug. 16, 8:30 p.m., $20, $15 seniors & students. https://highwaysperformance.org.

The official opening isn’t for a few more weeks, but this Motown/Funk edition of Dance DTLA offers a sneak peak and a chance to dance under the stars in the renovated Music Center Plaza. From now into September, the series affords different ways to move on most Friday nights. Free beginner dance lessons at 7 p.m. are followed by a chance to dance or to just watch and enjoy until 11 p.m. Each week’s dance style and specific location at https://www.musiccenter.org/tickets/events-by-the-music-center/danceDTLA/. Music Center Plaza, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri., Aug. 16, 7 p.m., free. https://www.musiccenter.org.

Dance DTLA. Photo by Javier Guillen.
Dance DTLA. Photo by Javier Guillen.

This week’s JAM Session heads to Chicago as the LA Steppers Connection share the synchronized steps of Chicago-style stepping that give a nod to swing, jitterbug and bop. Live music by As Iz promises to ease things along. This summer series offers an array of free dance classes that dance participants around the world without leaving town. A full list and locations at the website. Ford Theatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood; Mon., Aug. 19, 7 p.m., free. https://www.fordtheatres.org/.

JAM Sessions. Photo courtesy of the Ford Theatres.
JAM Sessions. Photo courtesy of the Ford Theatres.

Inspired by messages of freedom and authenticity, the family-friendly series Free to Be wings up its summer line-up with the tap troupe Syncopated Ladies. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Brentwood; Sun., Aug. 18, noon & 2 p.m., free with admission, $12, $9 seniors & students, $7 children 2 to 12. https://www.skirball.org.

Syncopated Ladies. Photo courtesy of the artists.
Syncopated Ladies. Photo courtesy of the artists.

Winding up its Taking it to the Streets summer intensive, the participants in this Dance and Dialogue program show their work with choreographers Pat Taylor, Donna Sternberg and the program director Ricka Kelsch. Tongva Park, 1615 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica; Fri., Aug. 16, 1:30 p.m., free.

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