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5 Dance Events to See in L.A. This Week, Including BODYTRAFFIC Dances with Sculpture

BODYTRAFFIC with Gustavo Godoy's "live action" scupture
BODYTRAFFIC with Gustavo Godoy's "live action" scupture
Photo by Erich Koyama

This week's dance events include a film festival focused on dance, Scots vs. Sylphides, and dance about Anne Frank.

5.  Dancin' All Over Downtown
The world's preeminent festival of dance film, Dance Camera West, returns with its 13th annual Dance Media Festival. Titled "Restructure," this year's events include both indoor and outdoor screenings, live performances by two of L.A.'s top contemporary companies, and two awards ceremonies. The live performances and many of the screenings are free, and even the others are less costly than your local multiplex. The festival opens Friday on the Music Center Plaza with dancers from BODYTRAFFIC performing with L.A.-based sculptor Gustavo Godoy's latest "live-action" sculpture. The action moves into the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for the opening night's 13 films, all less than 15 minutes long, from the Netherlands, Australia, Singapore, Japan, France, Slovakia and the United States.

Saturday offers a midday reprise of BODYTRAFFIC, followed by five longer films at MOCA before the sunset action shifts to Grand Park, where L.A. Contemporary Dance will debut Prite Oef Stringh, a riff on Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, ahead of an outdoor screening of two films and an awards presentation. The festival wraps up Sunday with a swirl of action: the final BODYTRAFFIC performance preceding four more screening programs, panel discussions, Q&As and the final awards. 13th Annual Dance Media Festival:  BODYTRAFFIC at Music Center Plaza 135 N. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Fri. June 6, 8 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., June 7-8, 2 p.m.; free. Short film screenings at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Fri., June 6, 8:30 p.m.; $15. International Dance Films at MOCA, 250 S. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Sat., June 7, 2:30 p.m.; $12. L.A. Contemporary Dance Company, screenings and Horton Awards at Grand Park, 227 N. Spring St., dwntwn.; Sat., June 7, 7 p.m.; free. Screenings at REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., dwntwn.; Sun., June 8, 2:30, 4:30 & 7 p.m.; $15 each. Complete details, venues and tickets at  dancecamerawest.org.

L.A. Contemporary Dance Company
L.A. Contemporary Dance Company
Photo courtesy of L.A. Contemporary Dance Company

4. Paean to a modern dance legend
Modern-dance pioneer Ruth St. Denis inspired choreographer choreographer Lionel Popkin's evening-length Ruth Doesn't Live Here Anymore. The score by Guy Klucevsek for accordion and violin will be performed live. REDCAT: Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater, 631 W. Second St., dwntwn.; June 12-14, 8:30 p.m., $25-$25, $16-$20 students. 213-237-2800, redcat.org.

Los Angeles Ballet's Alyssa Bross
Los Angeles Ballet's Alyssa Bross
Photo by Reed Hutchinson


3. Great Scot!
He's young, rich, entitled and in love with an entrancing female from a magical realm. No, it's not Swan Lake, it's La Sylphide, an even older and possibly more romantic ballet, being presented by Los Angeles Ballet at four local venues this month. The plot follows a handsome Scotsman who abandons his world for an entrancing woodland sprite, a Sylphide. The plot thickens when our hero arrives in the Sylphides' forest, pursued by a vengeful witch whom he has offended. The two-act La Sylphide is paired with George Balanchine's 1930s masterpiece Serenade. Bathed in blue lighting and featuring dancers in long diaphanous costumes, Serenade was the first ballet Balanchine choreographed in America, and it's regarded as one of his most beautiful. Tackling these two ballets together is a declaration of how far Los Angeles Ballet has come in just eight years, despite L.A.'s tough dance terrain. Further proof is the company's first tour outside California, to Seattle's McCaw Hall Theater, after these performances. This week at the Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale; Sat., June 7, 7:30 p.m.; at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach; Sat., June 14, 7:30 p.m.; and at UCLA Royce Hall, 340 Royce Drive, Wstwd.; Sat., June 21, 7:30 p.m.; $30-$95, $24-$76 students, children & seniors. (310) 998-7782, losangelesballet.org.

 

Helios Dance Theater
Helios Dance Theater
Photo by Jamie Caliri

2. Some faculty are just WAC'd
Some high-profile faculty at UCLA's Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance including Lorenzo "Rennie" Harris, Michel Kouakou, Ros Warby and Cheng-Chieh Yu, offer new, in-process and repertoire works. UCLA Glorya Kaufman Dance Theater, 120 Westwood Plaza, Wstwd.; June 6-7, 8 p.m., $6. wacd.ucla.edu.

1. Anne Frank would be 85 this year
Laura Gorenstein Miller and the dancers of Helios Dance Theater perform About Anne: A Diary in Dance, their consideration of Anne Frank. The performance is in conjunction with the Museum of Tolerance exhibit on what would have been Frank's 85th birthday. Tickets include performance and exhibit at The Museum of Tolerance, 9786 W. Pico Blvd., Pico-Robertson; Sun., June 8, 6 p.m.; Thu., June 12, 7 p.m.; $26, $23 seniors, $20 youth. (310) 553-9036, museumoftolerance.com.


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