Five Dance Events to See in L.A. This Week, Including a Salsa Convention
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This week's dance events include Dance Bistro serving up international fare, Datugan Dance Theatre's repertoire concert and the penultimate week of Los Angeles Ballet's Balanchine Festival Red.
5. Serving up a Dance Bistro
More than a festival, Dance Bistro 2013 is more like a feast with 13 companies in two mostly different programs over two nights, each show preceded by video streaming of the dress rehearsals, and with low priced tickets to lure dance fans away from their barbecues Memorial Day weekend. Presented by the TuTu Foundation and Madarin Orange Performing Arts, both nights promise an aerial kickline from Luminario Ballet, a premiere from choreographer Kyle Abraham danced by the excellent modern troupe BODYTRAFFIC, and a contemporary Chinese dance company performing to new music from Swedish composer Henrik Åström. Friday also includes Body Current Dance, the Latin troupe CONTRA-TIEMPO, Elke Calvert Dance Project, Los Angeles Movement Arts, Renaissance Arts Academy, and Watson Dance. The lineup Saturday includes ChoreoLive, Cortines High School Dance Company, Elke Calvert Dance Project, Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company, the L.A. Follies, and Watson Dance. As a mecca for fusion cuisine drawing on SoCal's diversity, it's only natural the region should also give rise to a fusion dance festival. Get tickets at www.dancebistro2013.brownpapertickets.com. Catch at preview at www.dancebistro.com. At the Richard & Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center, 6200 Atherton St., Long Beach; Fri.-Sat., May 24-25, 8 p.m., $5. www.carpenterarts.org, 562-985-7000.
4. Distinctively Datugan
Born in the Philippines and raised in Long Beach, artistic director Ken Datugan's choreography is informed by this background as well as a severe hearing impairment in both ears. That did not stop Beethoven and it did not stop Datugan, who earned a B.A. in dance at CalArts and danced with several top-notch local companies before branching out into film and finally establishing his own eponymous Dautugan DanceTheatre five years ago. Joined by dancers Leslie Curtis, Kristen Holleyman, Kelly Kerastas, Jacqueline Nii, Robyn O'Dell, Erica La Pena, Ericalynn Priolo, Eli Weinberg and Wen-Chu Yang, plus guest artists Mona-Jean Cedar, Jeff Boynton and Angelicao Tolentino, Datugan unveils his latest Being Human. Buy tickets and catch a video preview at www.datugandancetheatre.com/being_human. At Live Arts Los Angeles, 4210 Panamint St., Los Angeles; Sat., May 25, 8 p.m., $25 at door, $15 in advance. www.liveartsla.com.
3. The elusive benefits of dance
NBC recently carried a story about an elementary school principal who fired the security guard and used the money to hire arts and dance teachers, and the students thrived both artistically and academically. That result would not surprise The Wooden Floor, a Santa Ana-based organization that for three decades has used dance as a fulcrum for its program geared to at-risk and underserved youth. Pairing dance classes with academic and family-services support, the result has been kids doing well in school and going onto higher education -- and they can dance up a storm, gaining strong reviews from even former L.A. Times dance reviewer Lewis Segal. This concert titled Sunrise features choreography from Ivy Baldwin, Mark Haim and Wooden Floor's artistic director, Melanie Rios Glaser. At Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine; Thurs.-Sat., May 30-June 1, 8 p.m.; Sat., June 1, 2 p.m., $20-$50, 949-854-4646, www.thewoodenfloor.org and www.thebarclay.org.
2. More Balanchine Festival Red
Photo by Reed Hutchison Los Angeles Ballet principal dancer Alyssa Bross in Balanchine's La Valse
Three more Balanchine masterworks with music by Ravel and Stravinsky, film clips of Balanchine's Hollywood movies, preperformance discussions with a lineup of former New York City Ballet stars, L.A. dance critics and historians -- it's all part of Los Angeles Ballet's Balanchine Red, the second half of its Balanchine Festival, celebrating the most important and influential choreographer of the 20th century. Two performances this weekend and the final June 9 performance at UCLA's Royce Hall bring the three month festival to a close. It's the last chance to see the atmospheric La Valse, the ever-cutting-edge Agon and the sparkling, effervescent Rubies section of the full-length Jewels.Go to www.LosAngelesBallet.org for information on the roster for the pre-performance Balanchine Talks as well as information and rehearsal clips of the three ballets. At the Valley Performing Arts Center, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Sat., May 25, 7:30 p.m., $24-$95, www.losangelesballet.org 310-998-7782. Also at the Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale; Sun., May 26, 2 p.m., $24-$95. Also at UCLA Royce Hall, 340 Royce Dr., Wstwd. Sun., June 9, 2 p.m., $24-$95. www.losangelesballet.org or 310-998-7782.
1. No fillibuster at this Congress
Photo courtesy of Salsa Congress Salsa Congress
It's all things salsa as dancers gather for the Los Angeles Salsa Congress. Details and a full schedule at . At the Westin Bonaventure, 404 S. Figueroa St., dwntwn.; thru May 26, $30-$400, (310) 445-9705 www.mysalsacongress.com.