When a Finale Can Be a Beginning
Meditating on flamenco in Silverlake, tap dance and more in Fontana, disco downtown, dancer additions to a Sondheim musical in Hollywood, Chinese dance in Brentwood, and more SoCal dance this week.
5. Colorado visitors spark a festival
An opening night of dance films followed by two nights of live performance is the calling card for T2 Dance Project’s VDF CA 2019. Based in Boulder, Colorado, the festival aims to present emerging and established dance companies as well as dance film makers. As of press time, the participating companies are listed on the sponsoring company’s website, but not which companies are performing which of the two nights. California companies include Alán L. Pérez, Authentic: Grooves, Errant Movement, Jana Taylor + Dancers, and TYSERdance Project. Colorado is represented by Andrews Movement Project, Nosilla Dance Project and T2 Dance Project. Also visiting are Ariel Rivka Dance and Spacejunk Dance from New Jersey, Ashleyliane Dance Company and KP dance from Montana, Georgia’s Gianna Mercandetti, and Utah’s MotionVivid. Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Thurs.-Sat., July 25-27, 8 p.m., $25, $20 students & seniors. https://highwaysperformance.org/.
4. Performers in progress
A known incubator for cutting edge dance and other performing arts, REDCAT’s New Original Works (NOW) Festival opens the first of three weekends, each offering an early look at three artists or groups. This initial week includes performance art from Sola Bamis considering skincare routines and “womanist” survival. Zach dorn and Danielle Dahl manipulate table top dioramas and a train set, while choreographer Katherine Helen Fisher and artist Andrew Ondrejcak celebrate the divine feminine. Week 2 finds Paul Outlaw’s horror movie nod to Franz Kafka. Choreographer Kate Watson-Wallace, composer Hprizm and visual artist Verónica Casado Hernandez collaborate on a live collage, plus interdisciplinary artists Alexandro Segade and Amy Ruhl demonstrate their “socialism app.” Week 3 concludes the fest with a musical theater work from Source Material, then Austyn Rich considers front-lined black and brown troops, and Poor Dog Group’s co-founder Jesse Bonnell goes solo. REDCAT, 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; Thurs.-Sat., thru Aug. 10, 8:30 p.m. $20, $16 students. https://www.redcat.org/now19.
3. Parsing the “arte” of flamenco
For those seeking to delve deeper into the world of flamenco, this edition of Forever Flamenco, Meditación Flamenca, explores the meditative aspects of flamenco. Follow the performers through flamenco’s elements including “cante” (song), “baile” (dance), “toque” (music or touch) and “arte” (art) that are employed to live the art fully in the moment. Dancers Vanessa Albalos, Wendy Castellanos and Misuda Cohen are joined by singer Antonio de Jerez, guitarist Antonio Triana, guitarist/singer Gerardo Morales and visual artist/performer Edgardo Monserrat. Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave., Silverlake; Sun., July 28, 8 p.m., $40-$50, $30 seniors & students. www.fountaintheatre.com.
2. Dancing “Into the Woods”
For fans of live musical theater, the special gem in this summer’s musical jewelry box is Stephen Sondheim sending fractured fairy tales Into the Woods. On the open Bowl stage devoid of wings and with the orchestra visible behind the action, all set changes occur in full view of the audience. The director and choreographer Robert Longbottom’s solution: add four dancers not in the original. The dancers—Karl Warden, Devine Harris, Rees James and Richard Biglia—appear as woodsmen and in addition to providing the muscle behind the choreographed tree segments, a dance interlude has been added that brings the four woodsmen out from behind the trees and into their own moment. Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood; Fri.-Sat., July 26-27, 8 p.m., Sun., July 28, $14-$201. https://www.hollywoodbowl.com.
1. Incubating new dance
This performance is a finale that often proves a beginning as four choreographers showcase three weeks of work with sixteen professional ballet dancers. Julia Feldman, Alan Hineline, Alex Ketley and Tom Mattingly are the choreographer quartet in this year’s edition of Molly Lynch’s National Choreographers Initiative. While not finished works, since NCI began in 2004, more than 50 ballets have emerged from this incubator, many works going on to fully realized performance by professional ballet companies. Irvine Barclay Theater, 4242 Campus Dr., Irvine; Sat., July 27, 8 p.m., $20-$45. http://thebarclay.org.
Other dance of note:
Choreographer Louise Reichlin brings her dancers to the Fontana Arts Festival performing Brandenburg, a tap dance from Tap Dance Widows Club, and selections from The Tennis Dances. Dancers include Que Anthony, Ruth Bruno, Jill Collins, Natalie Ellis, Corrina Gemignani, Dominique Kersh, Kensiwe Mathebula, Coree McKee, Eve Metsäranta. Fontana Park, 15556 Summit Ave., Fontana; Sat., July 27, 7:30 p.m., free. https://www.fontana.org/160/Fontana-Arts.
Summer’s JAM Sessions continue with Yeko Ladzekpo-Cole introducing participants to dancing, drumming and singing traditions of Ghana. Come to learn new dances or just enjoy those who are dancing. This Monday series offers an array of free dance classes that take participants around the world without leaving town. A full list and locations at the website. Ford Theatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood; Mon., July 29, 7 p.m., free. https://www.fordtheatres.org/.
With June gloom giving way to hot summer days, it’s time to savor L.A.’s seductively, warm summer nights and dance under the stars at Dance DTLA. From now until September, the Friday series affords different ways to move. Beginner dance lessons at 7 p.m. are followed by a chance to dance or to just watch and enjoy until 11 p.m. This week it’s disco (white polyester and your best Saturday Night Fever pose are optional). K-pop reigns next Friday, followed by salsa, Motown/funk and cumbia. With the Music Center Plaza renovation, the action moves to different Grand Park locales, but goes home to the plaza in early August. Each week’s dance style and specific location at https://www.musiccenter.org/tickets/events-by-the-music-center/danceDTLA/. Grand Park Event Lawn, 200 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri., July 26, 7 p.m., free. https://www.musiccenter.org.
Inspired by messages of freedom and authenticity, the family-friendly series Free to Be continues its summer-long line-up with STC Foundation celebrating Chinese cultural with dancers ranging from 5 years old to adults. From now to mid-August, each weekend offers dancers, musicians or story-tellers. Full line up at the website. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Brentwood; Sun., July 28, noon & 2 p.m., free with admission, $12, $9 seniors & students, $7 children 2 to 12. https://www.skirball.org.
Hoofers rejoice! The tap-filled musical Dames at Sea has extended its run to August 3. Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m., Sun., 2 p.m., thru Aug. 3. $45, $40 senior, $25 21 years & under. http://www.sierramadreplayhouse.org/.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ann Haskins has written about dance for L.A. Weekly since shortly after it began publishing. She also has written about local and national dance for Pointe Magazine, Dance Spirit Magazine, Dance Teacher Magazine, Los Angeles Magazine, L.A. View, Coast Magazine, the Daily News, and the Herald Examiner. Among her broadcast projects, Ann hosted Inside Theater on KCRW-FM and contributed dance and theater features to both KLON-FM and KUSC-FM. She has received two Horton Awards from the Los Angeles Dance Resource Center for her coverage of dance in Los Angeles.