5 Dance Events to See in L.A. This Week, Including a Tribute to the Dunbar Hotel

Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre in Dancing at Dunbar
Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre in Dancing at Dunbar
Photo by Adam Davila

This week's dance events includes a showcase for African American and Latino choreographers, a tribute to an historic hotel, and L.A.'s BODYTRAFFIC at the Laguna Dance Festival

5. Hoppin’ at a legendary hotel
SoCal’s preeminent site-specific dance troupe, Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre, pays tribute to poet Paul Laurence Dunbar with choreographer Heidi Duckler’s latest Dancing at Dunbar, set at Dunbar Village, which contains the legendary Dunbar Hotel. Built in 1928 as the Hotel Somerville and later renamed, the Dunbar Hotel has a long history that includes hosting the West’s first NAACP national convention and housing African-American performers including Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday and Lena Horne, who were not allowed to stay at major hotels. More recently, the building became affordable housing. Tickets at Dunbar Hotel, 4225 S. Central Ave., dwntwn.; Sat., Sept. 6, 8 p.m., $40, $20 students & seniors.

BlakTina 2
BlakTina 2
Photo by Alex Mol

4. A weekend of BlakTina
Licia Perea and her Latina Dance Theater Project have gathered a strong lineup of choreographers for this edition of BlakTina 2, the showcase for emerging and mid-career Latino and African American choreographers based in L.A. Each evening includes premieres from Cyrian Reed, Dorcas Roman, Marina Magalhães/Allison Gray and Michelle Funderburk as well as works from Sofia Carreras, Rande Dorn, Joshua Romero, Crystal Sepúlveda and Maura Townsend. The styles include dance/theater, hip-hop, tap, jazz and spoken-word, featuring poetry by Maya Angelou. Bootleg Theater, 2200 Beverly Blvd., Echo Park; thru Sept. 6, 7:30 p.m., $20., 213-389-3856,

3. Shimmying with La Chimi
This edition of Forever Flamenco, the long-running, mostly monthly flamenco show belongs to Lakshmi Basile and Company. Dancers include Basile (La Chimi), Oscar Valero, guest guitarist Joaquin Gallegos from New Mexico and singer Antonio de Jerez. Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave., Hlywd.; Sun., Sept. 7, 8 p.m., $40. 323-663-1525,

Forever Flamenco
Forever Flamenco

2.  Electric dance
Timed to coincide with the food trucks and other First Friday festivities on Abbot Kinney, the nearby Electric Lodge hosts High Voltage, a new, free performance series, followed by a dance party. This month the stage belongs to The Colored Room, Rande Dorn’s consideration of race and gender, plus Symmetry and Simulacra, Jeremy Hahn’s slapstick-infused examination of the desensitizing effects of media violence. Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice; Fri., Sept. 5, 9 p.m., free., 310-306-1854,

Photo courtesy of BODYTRAFFIC

1.  A festival worth the drive 
The annual Laguna Dance Festival kicks into overdrive this week with performances by Ballet Memphis (Thursday), L.A.’s BODYTRAFFIC (Friday), a gala performance with New York City’s Complexions, Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theater and stars from American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet and San Francisco Ballet (Saturday); it closes Sunday with a reprise of most of the Gala program. Details on performances, preperformance discussions and the dense array of related events at At Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach; Thurs.-Sat, Sept. 11-13, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 14, 2 p.m., $60, $35 students., 949-497-2787,

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