This week's dance events include Los Angeles Ballet's Quartet and Cirque plus Circa.
5. Sonya Tayeh's Fourth for Los Angeles Ballet's Quartet
Audiences cheered at the opening performances of Quartet, as the dancers of Los Angeles Ballet revel in two world premieres plus company premieres of two 20th century masterpieces that only the best dance companies are allowed to perform. Choreographer Sonya Tayeh from TV's So You Think You Can Dance returns for her fourth LAB commission. Each outing Tayeh has explored new movement potential in LAB's superb dancers and the dancers take Tayeh's ferocious stylings to new levels even dancing blind with their hair covering their faces in Tayeh's newest, Beneath One's Dignity.
The second world premiere is choreographer Christopher Stowell's first LAB commission. A recognized choreographer and former artistic director of the respected Oregon Ballet Theater, for his ballet Cipher, Stowell teamed up with composer Noah Agruss. The work of Europe's master choreographer Ji?í Kylián has been seen here on Nederlands Dans Theater and American Ballet Theater, but Kylián severely restricts who can perform his work especially Return to a Strange Land, a luminous series of pas de deux and trios set to music of Leoš Janá?ek.
Kylián's permission is another benchmark of the international reputation LAB has established under co-artistic directors Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary. Last season brought LAB's inaugural Balanchine Festival to the company's multiple home theaters and added a free summer performance at downtown's Grand Park that set attendance records. Quartet's finale returns to Balanchine for the company premiere of his terpsichorean sparkler, Stars and Stripes. Set to John Philip Sousa's exuberant marches, Stars and Stripes is a Balanchine valentine to his adopted home country.
Performing in multiple theaters throughout March, LAB continues its commitment to make ballet a short drive for all of metro L.A. Catch a preview and get tickets at www.losangelesballet.org. See the show at the Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale; Sat., March 15, 7:30 p.m.; Also at UCLA Royce Hall, 340 Royce Dr., Wstwd. Sat., March 22, 7:30 p.m., $30-$95, $24-$76 students, children & seniors. 310-937-6607 or www.losangelesballet.org.
4. Is a Small Cirque a Circa?
Santa Monica plays hosts to two contemporary cirques this weekend. The long-running Cirque du Soleil and its large cast of dancers, acrobats and clowns continue with Totem under the blue tent at the Santa Monica pier while the nearby Broad Stage hosts the seven member Circa from Brisbane, Australia. Cirque du Soleil at Santa Monica Pier, 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica; Tuesdays-Sundays. Thru March 16, 310-458-8900, www.tickets.cirquedusoleil.com. Circa at the Broad Stage, Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica; March 14-15, 7:30 p.m., $47-$75. 310-434-3412, www.thebroadstage.com.
3. Clap Your Hands and Stamp Your Feet
That clatter of castanets and quicksilver, percussive footwork announce Gala Flamenca: a quartet of flamenco stars who strut into town with a clutch of supporting dancers, live musicians and rave reviews from last year's Flamenco Festival in London. (Yes, London hosts a significant flamenco festival.) The show opens with the stars - Antonio Canales, Carlos Rodríguez, Karime Amaya and Jesús Carmona - displaying their prowess in solo turns before the program erupts with more competitive duets. Carmona, for one, is known for his rapid footwork, but Canales charmed London reviewers with his ability to casually stroll across the stage while his feet fired increasingly complex rhythms as he smiled sweetly and didn't even break a sweat. At Valley Performing Arts Center, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Fri., March 14, 8 p.m.; $25-$60. www.valleyperformingartscenter.org.
2. More Clapping and Stamping
Closing out the New World Flamenco Festival, Eva Yerbabuena brings technical power and compelling artistry in Lluvia (Rain), originally titled Solitude; the curtain opens on Yerbabuena alone onstage and builds to a powerful climax. At the Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine; March 15-16, 8 p.m., $39-$100. 949-854-4646, www.thebarclay.org.
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1. And Still More Clapping and Stamping
This month's edition of Forever Flamenco!, the ongoing flamenco series features José Tanaka & Company, with dancers Mizuho Sato, Oscar Valero and special guest Carola Zertuche from San Francisco. They get help from cantaor (singer) José Cortes and guitarists Gabriel Osuna and Tanaka. At the Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave., Hlywd.; Sun., March 16, 8 p.m., $40. 323-663-1525, www.fountaintheatre.com.
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