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Dancers Duking It Out

Experimental dance downtown, two dancers duke it out in Santa Monica, dance explained in Sylmar, the three top Nuts in town plus more SoCal dance this week.

5.  Cutting an edge

This edition of the quarterly REDCAT Studio includes movement and dance from Shaina Lynn Simmons/Afro Futuro, Physical Plastic, Gary Reagan + Genna Moroni and more. REDCAT, 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; Sun.-Mon., Dec. 10-11, 8:30 p.m., $15, $12 students. http://REDCAT.org.

REDCAT Studio's Gary Reagan + Genna Moroni. Photo courtesy of the artist.

REDCAT Studio’s Gary Reagan + Genna Moroni. Photo courtesy of the artist.

4.  Nutcracker No. 3

Russian choreographer Alexei Ratmansky’s interpretation of  the classic for American Ballet Theatre brings ABT’s splendid dancers to SoCal. The announced casting includes many of ABT’s top stars (current casting for leads at http://scfta.org.), further cementing ABT’s expanding presence in Orange County.  Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa; Thurs.-Fri., Dec. 7-8 & Wed.-Fri., Dec. 13-15, 7 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 9 & 16, 2 & 7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 10 & 17, 12:30 & 5:30 p.m.; $39-$269. 714-556-2787, http://scfta.org.

American Ballet Theatre's "Nutccracker". Photo by Gene Schiavone.

American Ballet Theatre’s Nutcracker. Photo by Gene Schiavone.

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3.  Nutcracker No. 2

Miami City Ballet arrives with a new production of George Balanchine’s Nutcracker. Telecast of the original Balanchine version in the mid-1950s launched the ballet’s spread into a national seasonal epidemic. In addition to the live orchestra, young dancers from local studios and the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus participate. Music Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Thurs., Dec. 7, 6:30 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 9, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 10, noon & 4 p.m.; $34-$125. http://musiccenter.org/nutcracker.

Miami City Ballet's "Nutcracker". Photo by Iziliaev.

Miami City Ballet’s Nutcracker. Photo by Iziliaev.

2.  Nutcracker No. 1

Set in 1912, the Los Angeles Ballet’s Nutcracker is an L.A. original, choreographed by company co-artistic directors Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary, with set design by L.A. artist Catherine Kanner. Now in its 12th season, L.A.’s own professional classical ballet company continues to demonstrate how well it understands this city. With home theaters in Glendale, Westwood, Redondo Beach, and Hollywood with a live orchestra, LAB brings ballet to the audience rather than expecting folks to overcome hours of gridlocked traffic. The superb company dancers have proven themselves a home team to root for. In full disclosure, your scribe volunteered to watch the goings on from a chimney. Alex Theater, 216 Brand Blvd., Glendale; Sat., Dec. 9, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 10, 2 p.m.; $36-$104, $24-$76 seniors, students & children under 13. Also at UCLA Royce Hall, Westwood.; Fri., Dec. 15, 7:30 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., Dec. 16 & 17, 1 p.m. & 5 p.m.; $36-$104, $24-$76 seniors, students & children under 13. Also at Dolby Theatre, Hollywood & Highland, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., Dec. 23, 1 & 5 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 24, 11 a.m. & 3 p.m.; $72-$124. Also at Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach; Fri., Dec. 29, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 30, 1 p.m. & 5 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 31, 1 p.m.; $36-$104, $24-$76 seniors, students & children under 13. 310-998-7782, http://www.LosAngelesBallet.org.

Los Angeles Ballet's "Nutcracker". Photo by Reed Hutchinson.

Los Angeles Ballet’s Nutcracker. Photo by Reed Hutchinson.

(For even more of this week’s Nutcracker bumper cropsee below)

1. Back again

As we enter this sugar-filled Nutcracker season, Rematch offers a bracing alternative as two dance masters/mistresses, Simone Forti and Carmella Hermann Dietrich meet in figurative terpsichoreon combat, matching movement, words and sounds. A long-time L.A. resident and improvisational force of nature, Forti established her post modern dance cred in the 1960s during New York City’s Judson Church movement. Hermann Dietrich brings her own high powered game as an established local choreographer in her own right who also acknowledges being mentored by Forti.  Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Fri.-Sat. Dec. 8 & 9, 8:30 p.m., $25, $20 students & seniors. http://www.highwaysperformance.org.   

Simone Forti in "Rematch" with Carmella Hermann Dietrich. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Simone Forti in Rematch with Carmella Hermann Dietrich. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Other dance of note:

Choreographer Kitty McNamee also directs this dance update of Igor Stravinsky’s Firebird as party of the Toyota Symphony for Youth (that includes “youth” of all ages). Disney Hall, 111 S. Grand. Ave., downtown; Sat., Dec. 9, 11 a.m., $22-$26. https://www.laphil.com.

Closing out the year with the last installment of Explore Dance, Benita Bike’s DanceArt Company offers a performance and discussion to demystify dance. Lake View Terrace Library, 12002 Osborne St., Sylmar; Sat., Dec. 9, 2 p.m., free. http://danceart.org.

Benita Bike's DanceArt Company. Photo courtesy of BBDA.

Benita Bike’s DanceArt Company. Photo courtesy of BBDA.

Under the banner Dance ActuallyL.A. Unbound celebrates the holiday with a variety of dance styles. El Portal Theatre, 11206 Wedding St., North Hollywood; Sat., Dec. 9, 4 & 8 p.m., $24-$29. https://ci.ovationtix.com/371/production/982459.

Choreographer Kareli Montoya and her Ballet Folklórico de Los Ángeles provide the dance component of Fiesta Mexicana Feliz Navidad joined by Mariachi Garibaldi, vocalists Shay, Paulina and Joana Marri Núñez, violinist Ashlie Neilson and Paige Brooks Ruiz plus Haddon Mariachi, a 35-member children’s mariachi from the Haddon Elementary School. Valley Performing Arts Center, 18111 Nordhoff St., Norhridge; Sat., Dec. 9, 7 p.m., $38-$78.  http://www.valleyperformingartscenter.org.

Even More Nutcrackers:

Fans of Debbie Allen have a chance to see her perform in Hot Chocolate Nutcracker, her version of the holiday classic. Carlos Imperato,  Tisha Campbell-Martin, Tichina Arnold, Kristopher Nobles, Mathew Johnson and DADA also star, backed by dancers from the Debbie Allen Dance Academy. A special all-star gala show opens the series on Thurs., Dec. 12. Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Redondo Beach; Thurs.-Fri., Dec. 7-8, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 9, 1 & 7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 10, 2 p.m.; $50-$110. http://HotChocolateNutcracker.com.

Promising a one hour, immersive, three-dimensional  experience, American Contemporary Ballet debuts its Nutcracker Suite. ACB Studios, 700 S. Flower St., 3200, downtown; Fri., Dec. 8, 15 & 22, 7:30 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., Dec. 9-10, 16-17, 2 & 5 p.m.; & Sat., Dec. 23, 2 p.m.; $40-$105. http://acbdances.com.

American Contemporary Ballet's Sarah Bukowski. Photo by Art Lessman.

American Contemporary Ballet’s Sarah Bukowski. Photo by Art Lessman.

Choreographer Laurence Blake and artistic director Victoria Koenig created Inland Pacific Ballet’s version of The Nutcracker that has become a local tradition. IPB’s professional dancers are joined by students from IPB’s respected ballet academy. The opening night in Claremont includes a gala and that weekend’s performances have live music from the Pomona College Orchestra.  Inland Pacific Ballet at Claremont Colleges, Bridges Auditorium, 450 N. College Way, Claremont; Sat., Dec. 9, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 10, 2 p.m.; $30-$25; $27-$22.50 seniors; $25.50-$21.50 children 12 & under. (909) 607-1139. Lewis Family Playhouse, 12505 Cultural Center Dr., Rancho Cucamonga; Fri., Dec. 15, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 16, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 17, 2 p.m.; $49-$59. Fox Performing Arts Center, 3801 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside; Fri. Dec. 22, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 23, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; 951-779-9800, http://www.IPBallet.org.

Inland Pacific Ballet's "Nutcracker". Photo courtesy of IPB>

Inland Pacific Ballet’s Nutcracker. Photo courtesy of IPB>

For two decades, Moscow Ballet has toured its elaborate Great Russian Nutcracker to approximately 50 cities during November and December. This Russian company stops off at three SoCal venues. The cast of 40 includes international ballet competition winners. Arlington Theater, 1317 State St., Santa Barbara; Wed., Dec. 13, 7 p.m.; $28-$175. Also at The Wiltern, 3790 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles; Fri., Dec. 15, 7 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 16, 1 & 5 p.m.; $43-$241. Also at Jacobs Music Center, Copley Symphony Hall, 750 B St., San Diego; Thurs., Dec. 21,  4 & 8 p.m.; $28-$89. http://www.nutcracker.com/buy-tickets.

More than 100 students from Southland Ballet Academy perform with its training company, Festival Ballet Theatre. Announced guest stars include Beckanne Sisk (Ballet West) and Fabrice Calmels (Joffrey Ballet) on Dec. 9-10, Victor Luiz on Dec. 16-17 with Frances Chung on Dec. 16 and Maria Kochetkova on Dec. 17 (San Francisco Ballet), Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Beloserkovsky (formerly with American Ballet Theatre) on Dec. 20-22, and Tiler Peck and Gonzalo Garcia (New York City Ballet) on Dec. 23-24. Irvine Barclay Theater, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine; Sat., Dec. 9, 16 & 23, 2 & 7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 10 & 17, 1 & 6 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 15 & 22, 7 p.m.; Thurs., Dec. 21, 6 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 24, 11 a.m.; $42-$55. 949-854-4646. http://www.theBarclay.org.

One-time star of Russia’s Kirov (now Mariinsky) Ballet, Marat Daukayev choreographed, directs and stars as the mysterious Uncle Drosselmeyer with students from his admired Marat Daukayev Ballet Theatre and School.  Luckman Fine Arts Complex, 5151 State University Dr., East L.A.; Sat.-Sun., Dec. 9-10, 2 & 7 p.m.; $42. https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2419796 Company director

Cynthia Young choreographed Pasadena Dance Theatre’s version of The Nutcracker for the students of her well-regarded ballet academy. The Dec. 16 & 17 shows offer refreshments and a chance to meet the heroine Clara at a Nutcracker Party before the performance (additional charge). San Gabriel Civic Auditorium, 320 Mission Dr., San Gabriel; Sat.-Sun., Dec. 9-10 & 16-17, 2 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., Dec. 22-23, 1 p.m., $20-$65. http://www.PasadenaDance.org.

San Pedro Ballet – The studio where American Ballet Theatre’s Misty Copeland trained showcases its current students. Warner Grand Theater, 478 W. 6th St., San Pedro; Sat., Dec. 9, 2 & 7 p.m.; Sun., Dec.10, 2 p.m.; $29-$39, $19 seniors & children under 13. http://www.SanPedroCityBallet.org.

Dance West – James Armstrong Theatre, 3330 Civic Center Dr., Torrance; Sat., Dec. 9, 7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 10, 2 p.m.; $19.50, $17.50 children. 310-781-7171, http://dancewest.org.

Pacific Dance Academy – Centinela Valley Center for the Arts, 14901 S. Inglewood Blvd., Lawndale; Fri.-Sat., Dec. 8-9, 6 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 10, 2 p.m.; $18-$23 in advance, $20-$25 at door. (818) 346-4447, http://PacificDanceCenter.com.

Degas Dance – Agoura Hills Performing Arts Education Center, 28545 W. Driver Ave., Agoura Hills; Sat., Dec. 9, 5 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 10, 1 p.m.; $20-$42. http://PerformingArts.lvusd.org.

Antelope Valley Ballet – Lancaster Performing Arts Center, 750 W. Lancaster Blvd., Lancaster; Sat., Dec. 9, 2 & 7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 10, 2 p.m.; $25-$30. 661-723-5950, http://www.lpac.org/event.php?id=2017#shows.

Sunrise Ballet – Servite Theater, 1952 W. La Palma, Anaheim; Sat., Dec. 9, noon & 4 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 10, noon; $20. http://SunriseBallet.dance.

Ballet Repertory Theatre – Golden West College Mainstage Theater, 15751 Gotherd St., Huntington Beach; Sat., Dec. 9, 16 & 23, 2 & 7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 10 & 17, 1 & 5 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 15 & Thurs., Dec. 21, 7 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 22, 2 & 7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 24, 1 p.m.; $19, $15 seniors & under 12 years. 714-895-8150 x1, http://www.gwctheater.com.

Ballet Etudes – Huntington Beach Historic Theater, 1905 Main St., Huntington Beach; Sat., Dec. 2, 7 p.m., Sun., Dec. 3, 1 p.m., Sat., Dec. 9, 2 & 7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 10, 2 p.m.; $25-$35. 714-902-9423, https://www.tututix.com/client/balletetudes.

Laguna Ballet – McKinney Theatre, Saddleback College, 28000 Marguerite Parkway, Mission Viejo; Thurs.-Fri., Dec. 14-15, 7 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 16, 2 & 7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 17, 1 & 6 p.m.; $22-$26.  949-582-4656, http://www.lagunadancetheatre.com/nutcracker.

Ventura County Ballet – Oxnard Performing Arts Center, 800 Hobson Way, Oxnard; Sat.-Sun., Dec. 2-3, 2 p.m.; Also at Ventura College, 4700 Loma Vista, Ventura; Fri., Dec. 8, 7 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 9, 2 & 7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 10, 2 p.m.; $30-$45, $10-$45 children under 13, $20-$45 seniors. http://venturacountyballet.com/.

Conejo Civic Ballet Company – Fred Kavli Theatre, Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks; Sun., December 10, 2:30 p.m.; $20-$36. http://www.balletarts.orghttp://www.ticketmaster.com.

Santa Barbara Festival Ballet – Arlington Theater, 1317 State St., Santa Barbara; Sat., Dec. 9, 2:30 & 7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 10, 2:30 p.m.; $25-$55. http://www.theArlingtonTheatre.com.

City Ballet – Spreckels Theater, 121 Broadway, San Diego; Fri., Dec. 8, 15 & 22, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 9, 15, & 22, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 10 & 17, 2 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 24, 1 p.m.; $25-$85. 858-272-8663, https://www.cityballet.org.

Scripps Ballet Theatre – David & Dorothey Garfield Theater, 4126 Executive Dr., La Jolla; Sat.-Sun., Dec. 2 & 3, 9 & 10, 2 p.m.; $20-$35.  https://tickets.lfjcc.org.

California Ballet – San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 3rd. Ave., San Diego; Sat., Dec. 9 & 16, 2:30 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 10, 2:30 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 15, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 17 & Sat., Dec. 23, 1 & 5:30 p.m.; Wed.-Thurs., Dec. 20-21, 7 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 22, 2:30 & 7:30 p.m; $22-$103  858-560-5676, http://www.sandiegotheatres.org/the-nutcracker.

V&T Classical Ballet & Dance Academy – Plummer Auditorium, 201 E. Chapman Auditorium, Fullerton; Sun., Dec. 10, 1 & 5 p.m.; $25, $20 children & seniors. http://plummerauditorium.com.

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