5 Dance Events to See in L.A. This Week Including Diavolo Dance Theatre at Sea and on Skateboards

5 Dance Events to See in L.A. This Week Including Diavolo Dance Theatre at Sea and on Skateboards

This week's dance events include the debut of Ezralow Dance, a sampling of Rosanna Gamson's musings on Scheherazade and the welcome return of Diavolo.  

5.  New kid in town worth watching
The summer dance season closes with a bang as Ezralow Dance, the Daniel Ezralow-led, L.A.-based contemporary company debuts with a site-specific premiere. wild Up performs the live music. A nationally and internationally recognized choreographer, Ezralow founded and led modern company ISO and was a dancer-choreographer with Momix, but is best known for choreographing part of the Sochi Olympics’ opening ceremony. His diverse resume includes choreography for The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil, Broadway’s Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and the film Across the Universe. John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hlywd.; Sat., Sept. 13, 8 p.m., $50-$100. 323-461-3673, www.fordamphitheatre.org.

Diavolo Dance Theatre
Diavolo Dance Theatre
Photo by Ben Gibbs

4.  Dancing architecture
Enormous sculptural structures dominate the stage for Diavolo Dance Theatre performances, drawing the audience's attention. They're not the typical static set, rather more akin to an Alexander Calder mobile on steroids. Diavolo structures tilt and gyrate, joining the human dancers and gymnasts in what artistic director Jacques Heim describes as architecture in motion. The troupe was one of the first L.A.-based dance companies to gain a larger public profile, partly owing to Heim's work for Cirque du Soleil and partly to its extensive touring schedule. As Heim and company bring their distinctive brand of dance home to this al fresco venue, look for a crescent-shaped construct evoking an ark or a ship at sea in Trajectoire, and a Lego effect with interlocking, movable ramps and bridges as Transit Space celebrates the SoCal skateboard culture captured in the 2001 documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys. Don't underestimate the high-caliber human dancing daredevils — they're as much a Diavolo signature as those dancing constructs. Greek Theatre, 2700 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Fri., Sept. 12, 8 p.m.; $50-$75. 323-665-5857, www.greektheatrela.com.

3. Disco lives!
Described as a work in progress, the first phase of choreographer Meg Wolfe’s New Faithful Disco brings taisha paggett, Rae Shao-Lan and Wolfe together with Maria de los Angeles (Cuca) Esteves’ score layering nature sounds with disco rhythms. Part of the Live Arts Exchange (LAX) Festival. Full festival schedule and tickets: liveartsexchange.org. Bootleg Theater, 2200 Beverly Blvd., Echo Park; Sat., Sept. 13, 2:30 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 14, 4 p.m.; Mon., Sept. 15, 8 p.m., $15. 213-389-3856, www.bootlegtheater.org.

Lilly Bright at Soma Fest
Lilly Bright at Soma Fest
Photo by Ramona Trent

2. Embodying Dance
The Somatic Movement Arts Festival, a week of workshops and other activities exploring the world of somatic movement culminates in weekend performances featuring artists from across the U.S. The performances shift between two neighboring venues. Full details on the festival and shows at www.somafest.org. 18th Street Arts Center, 1639 18th St., Santa Monica; Fri., Sept. 12, 8 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 14, 3 p.m., $20, $15. 310-453-3711, www.18thstreet.org. Also at Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Sat., Sept. 13, 8 p.m., $20, $15 students. 310-315-1459, www.highwaysperformance.org.

Rosanna Gamson/WorldWide in Layla Means Night
Rosanna Gamson/WorldWide in Layla Means Night
Photo by Cyrus Omoomian

1. Take a gander at Gamson
Contemporary dance from L.A. choreographers is showcased in this al fresco concert. The always intriguing and insightful Rosanna Gamson and her troupe WorldWide offer excerpts from Layla Means Night, her fascinating exploration of Scheherazade. The dancers include Jonathan Bryant, Caitlyn Conlin, Rachel Butler Green, Lavinia Findikoglu, Eva Grisez, Megan McCarthy, Drea Sobke, Rosanna Tavarez and Alexandria Yalj with live music performed by Houman Pourmehdi and Pirayeh Pourafar. Also on the program, Sheetal Gandhi and WIFE. Grand Performances, 300-350 S. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Sat., Sept. 13, 8 p.m., free. 213-687-2159, www.grandperformances.org/en/gp/homepage.html.

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