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Thoughtful Provocation

Rock & roll ballet in Pasadena, New York visitors stirring up Westwood, flamenco in Topanga, contemporary dance in a new Santa Monica home, post-pandemic considerations in Culver City, and more SoCal dance to be thankful for this week.

Live This Week

When a bandage isn’t enough

Choreographer Donna Sternberg and her Donna Sternberg & Dancers  have a deserved reputation for exploring and articulating scientific concepts through dance. Conversations with immunologist Devavani Chatterjea on healing from disease fueled Sternberg’s latest Mending ,applying the science of disease recovery to larger issues of pandemic recovery and repairing the societal inequalities exposed by Covid’s disproportionate effect on various communities. Temple Akiba, 5249 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City; Sat., Nov., 19, 8pm, Sun., Nov. 20, 3pm, advance purchase $25, $20 students & seniors, at the door $30, $25 students & seniors. Tix: Eventbrite  Info: Donna Sternberg & Dancers.

Two dancers on the floor

Donna Sternberg & Dancers. Photo courtesy of the artists

Let the dancing begin

After last month’s unveiling of their new, spacious studio/performance space in Santa Monica’s arts district, Jacob Jonas/The Company begin performing in their new home. First up, the premiere of Jonas’ Early Bird paired with the return of his Juxtapose, both showcasing the troupe’s highly trained, uber-athletic dancers at The Water Garden, 1620 26th St., Santa Monica; $35. Wed.-Fri., Nov. 16-18, 7:30pm, $15. Jacob Jonas.

A group of dancers on the floor

Jacob Jonas/The Company. Photo courtesy of the artists

Seeing RED

Backed by live music from Jealous Angel, choreographer Josie Walsh is a rare SoCal choreographer who successfully blends pointe shoes and rock music for her company BalletRED. One of her signature works had dancers in one pointe shoe and one stiletto heel. Her new works, under the banner Frequency Vol. 1, promise more avant garde ballet and a finale house party that welcomes the audience. – Frequency Vol. 1 at Athletic Garage, 121 Waverly Dr., Pasadena; Fri.-Sat., Nov. 18-19, 7:30pm, $45-$65.  BalletRED.

A dancer on the floor lifts a female dancer in the splits

BalletRED. Photo courtesy of the artists

And still he persists

For four decades choreographer Bill T. Jones has unabashedly tackled challenging subjects with passion and deep consideration. In What Problem? Jones and his Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company are at it again. Drawing on deconstructed text from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech and Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, Jones and his dancers worked with local community members to confront the current divisive political times. UCLA Royce Hall, 10745 Dickson Court, Westwood; Sat., Nov. 19, 8pm, $39-$59, CAP UCLA.

A group of dancers in shadow

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. Photo by Maria Baranova

A Spanish visitor

Flamenco dancer Cihtli Ocampo and musicians join Juan Bacán, a cantaor (singer) from Lebrija, Spain. Corazon Performing Arts, 125 S. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga; Sun., Nov. 20, 8pm,$25-$40. Eventbrite. Info at Corazon Performing Arts.

A flamenco dancer in white

Cihtli Ocampo. Photo by Elazar Harel

Encore

A breakout favorite at the 5th Dance at the Odyssey Festival, Galiana & NikolchevThe Useless Room returns with Insula, a highly physical duet between a traumatized man and several props, including a table, after a hurricane. Dancer Gabriel Eduardo Jimenez Montes returns for his riveting solo. Gema Galiana choreographed and directed. Anthony Nikochev is credited with the text along with Calderon de la Barca, Peter Handke, Karl Ove Knausgaard and a hurricane survival booklet. Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, 2955 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West LA; Fri.-Sat., Nov. 18-19, 7:30pm, $25. Odyssey Theatre.

A person on table bends backward

Galiana & Nikolchev’s The Useless Room. Photo courtesy of the artists

Collaborative dancemaking

Now in its second of two weeks, CONTRA-TIEMPO’s ¡AZÚCAR!  Project includes a gallery exhibition and choreography workshops focused on Latin and Afro-Brazilian dance. This weekend includes a choreography workshop on Saturday exploring social dance practices rooted in the African and Afro-Latin diaspora. Sunday’s closing considers what has been created, the closing of the gallery exhibit, and a film screening. Helms Bakery, Washington Corridor Gallery, 8723 Washington Blvd., Culver City; Sat., Nov. 19, 1-3pm, Sun., Nov. 20, 6 pm, free with reservation at CONTRA-TIEMPO.

A dancer with a yellow top and glue skirt

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

Taking up residence

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the contemporary dance company Backhausdance may be based in Orange County, but it definitely gets around. This week choreographer Jennifer Backhaus and her dancers travel to San Diego County to launch the dance series at this venue where the troupe is currently resident dance company. Old Town Temecula Community Theater, 42051 Main St., Temecula; Sat., Nov. 19, 8pm, $25, $20 seniors, $15 students. Temecula Theater.

Dancers with red leggings jump

Backhausdance. Photo courtesy of the artists

Trying it out

A work in progress and an encore highlight MashUp Contemporary Dance Company’s showcase for its current and most recent choreographers-in-residence. The work in progress is from current resident choreographer Tess Hewlett and the encore is Run from Waeli Wang who was in residence this past spring. A post-show Q&A affords a chance to chat with the dancemakers. The Stomping Ground, 5453 Alhambra Ave., El Sereno; Sat., Nov. 19, 7:30pm, free or pay what you will with reservation at MashUp Dance.

A dancer bends backward

Tess Hewlett. Photo courtesy of the artist

Catch the show, see the art

Based on the 1956 novel by Cameroonian diplomat Ferdinand Oyono, Houseboy is artist William Kentridge’s durational performance with South African performers framed by Kentridge’s large charcoal drawing. The Saturday show offers a livestream option. The event is co-presented by the Broad Museum where Kentridge’s work is on exhibition. The show ticket includes same day access to the exhibit. REDCAT, 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; Thurs.-Sat., Nov. 17-19, 8:30pm, Sun., Nov. 20, 3pm, $45, REDCAT.

A group in white look in different directions

William Kentridge’s “Houseboy.” Photo courtesy of the artists

From their perspective

Designed as a festival style event, HomeLA and MoFundamentals offer The We in Me: House of RESILIENCE, a creative platform with dance, film, music, and dialogue from the perspective of foster youth artists and advocates. The Box Gallery parking lot, 822 E. Third St., downtown; Sat., Nov. 19, 2:30pm, free w/reservation at  Eventbrite.

An audience watches a dancer on a window sill

HomeLA. Photo courtesy of the artists

When its not a golf club

With a promise to transform a resort into a theatrical environment, Palm Springs Dance Project‘s Artistic Director, Stephen Agisilao unveils The Connoiseur Club. Choreography is from Deborah Brockus, Adam Parson and Agisilao. Performers include Nick Signor, Daurin Tavares, Hannah Yosef, Raymond Ejiofor, Jessica Oalesby, Julienne Mackey, Mara Hancock, William Mcafee, Anthony Vega, Curtis Collins, Beverly Durand, German Gomez, Jaslyn Ramirez, and Heaven Rodriguez. Indian Canyons Golf Resort, 1100 Murray Canyon Dr., Palm Springs; Sat., Nov. 19, 5:30 & 8pm, $150. Palm Springs Dance Project.

A dancer in a red dress inside a martini glass

Palm Springs Dance Project. Photo courtesy of the artists

A Peek At Next Week

It’s Nutcracker Season! Next week see the round up of the 2022 Nutcracker performances all over SoCal!!

A man holds a nutcracker

Inland Pacific Ballet.
Photo courtesy of the artists.

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