Is it “Just Us?”

Award winning choreography in Hollywood, dance festival week 2 in West L.A., urban Latin dance in Beverly Hills and motocross goes cirque in Elysian Park as dance warms up in 2020.

4.  From the streets to the big top

In its 41st and latest endeavor Volta, Cirque Du Soleil spotlights street sports and acrobatics associated with the world of BMX including a full-blown BMX park for what is billed as a “breath-taking finale of non-stop acrobatics on wheels.” The action will fill the signature Big Top here before moving to Orange county. Dodger Stadium, 1000 Vin Scully Ave., Elysian Park; Sat., Jan. 18 thru Sun., March 8, times & tickets at https://cirk.me/VOLTA. Orange County Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa; Wed., March 18 to Sun., April 19, times & tickets at https://cirk.me/VOLTA. 

Moves at the Montalbán's Erik Saradpon. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Moves at the Montalbán’s Erik Saradpon. Photo courtesy of the artist.

3.   Choreography prize winners

Presented in conjunction with Capezio, Moves at the Montalbán returns with four nights devoted to emerging contemporary choreographers. After Wednesday’s opening night packed with the 26 finalists under consideration for this year’s Capezio’s A.C.E. Awards, each of the next three nights belongs to last year’s winners. Thursday offers hip hop from Erik Saradpon. Friday belongs to Mary Grace McNally and her troupe MG + Artists. Saturday wraps up with Rudy Abreu and JA Collective. The Montalbán Theatre, 1615 Vine St., Hollywood; Wed.-Sat., Jan. 15-18, 8 p.m., $40-$100. https://www.themontalban.com/moves.

Odyssey Dance Festival's "Tethering." Photo by Brian Wallenberg.
Odyssey Dance Festival’s “Tethering.” Photo by Brian Wallenberg.

2.  On the same wavelength

A bastion for live theater for four decades, over the past four years the Odyssey Theatre also has extended a welcome mat for dance with Dance at the Odyssey, presenting five weeks of LA-based, mostly contemporary dance companies. This second week boasts two companies that are separate yet sympatico. Rebecca Lemme’s L.A.-based Acts of Matter shares the stage with Andrea Knowlton’s Atlanta-based Dance Aegis. Lemme and Knowlton met as students at CalArts and despite heading separate companies, have brought their companies together in four prior concerts performed under the banner TETHERING. This fifth meet up includes the two premieres: Lemme’s I/D exploring how an identity is constructed and Knowlton’s This Land considering the dislocation between the desire to possess land but failure to care for it. Next week the festival brings the attention grabbing the JA Collective (Jan. 24-26), followed by LA Contemporary Dance Company (Jan. 30-Feb. 2), and the closing weekend is Victoria Marks (Feb. 7-9). Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West L.A.; Fri.-Sat., Jan. 10-11, 8 p.m., Sun., Jan 12, 5 p.m., $15-$25. http://odysseytheatre.com/.

Contra-Tiempo Urban Dance Theater. Photo courtesy of the artists.
Contra-Tiempo Urban Dance Theater. Photo courtesy of the artists.

1.  Justice and joy

Known for combining salsa, hip-hop and Afro-Cuban dance with urban and contemporary dance theater, Contra-Tiempo Urban Dance Theater gets a mainstage showcase as this venue’s dance season continues to feature L.A.-based dance companies. Founded in 2005 by artistic director Ana Maria Alvarez and resident composer César Alvarez, the diverse ensemble has built a strong following locally for energized works that also convey stories of the working classes. In 2014, the troupe went international, touring South America as dance ambassadors. The troupe’s concern for social justice amid exuberant dancing is captured in this event’s title joyUS justUS set to the music of Las Cafeteras and with collaborative choreography from Alvarez and company members. On Friday, stay for a post-performance artist talk-back. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Bram Goldsmith Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills; Fri.-Sat., Jan. 17-18, 7:30 p.m., $29-$79. https://thewallis.org/CT.

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