5 Dance Shows to See in L.A. This Week, Including a Nutcracker With Audience Participation
L.A. Contemporary Dance Company's Urban Nut
This week's list includes flamenco, new choreography and, of course, more Nutcrackers.
5. The fury of flamenco
Passion and percussion take the stage for the final 2012 edition of Forever Flamenco! The intimate, long-running, roughly once-a-month flamenco series showcases local flamenco dancers as well as guests from semi-foreign locales like San Francisco, and definitely foreign locales like Spain. The success of the Fountain Theater's theatrical offerings caused an extended relocation of Forever Flamenco! to another venue, but the popular dance series has now returned to its home turf and closes out the season with dancers Fanny Ara, Melissa Cruz and Manuel Gutierrez with Gypsy cantador (singer) Jose Cortes, percussionist Joey Heredia and guest guitarist Kai Narezo joining guitarist and artistic director Antonio Triana. In a world of uncertainty, it's reassuring to know there will always be Forever Flamenco! and now back at the Fountain Theater, 5060 Fountain Ave., E. Hlywd.; Sun., Dec. 9, 8 p.m.; $40. (323) 663-1525, fountaintheatre.com.
4. Dancers CHIME in for other dancers
The 2012 SoCal choreographers mentored through the CHIME program, created by Bay Area modern dance maven Margaret Jenkins, present some of their work product followed by a discusion hosted by Jenkins. Stacy Dawson Stearns mentored Gregory Barnett, Julie Tolentino mentored Jmy James Kidd and Cheng-Chieh Yu mentored Sheetal Gandhi. See what they have been up to in this free event at Live Arts Los Angeles, 4210 Panamint St., Los Angeles; Sun., Dec. 9, 7 p.m., free. liveartsla.com.
3. Los Angeles Ballet's Nutcracker debuts in Long Beach
The most polished and professional of this season's productions of the Nutcracker, Los Angeles Ballet offers its Nutcracker at the second of five venues across metropolitan L.A. Choreographed by Christensen and Neary, this full-length Nutcracker is set in 1912 Los Angeles and was the calling card when LAB made its debut seven years ago. Over the intervening years, the production has been polished to a bright patina and the dancing talent deepened as LAB continues to prove itself to be the top-drawer professional resident ballet company which has eluded this city. (In full disclosure, your scribe continues to volunteer to observe the ballet from a chimney onstage.) At the Richard & Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center, 6200 Atherton St., Long Beach; Sat., Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 9, 2 p.m., $21-$95, (310) 998-7782, losangelesballet.org. carpenterarts.org.
John Pennington in Dances Before God
2. John Pennington's current considerations
Do-it-yourself web therapy, poetry and music capturing love's trials and tribulations and a consideration of German Expressionism are grist for award-winning choreographer John Pennington and his Pennington Dance Group in Traversing Time/s at ARC Pasadena, 1158 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Fri.-Sat., Dec. 7-8 & 14-15, 8 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 9 & 16, 3 p.m., $22. arcpasadena.org.
1. Do we have a volunteer?
L.A. Contemporary Dance Company artistic director Kate Hutter oversees this Urban Nut, a contemporary riff on the classic Nutcracker. An audience member is chosen at each performance to participate as Clara or Clarence, who falls asleep at a performance of The Nutcracker, only to be drawn into a dream where the traditional story takes on modern-day elements, including a colorful cast of characters and an au courant soundtrack. (Only audience members who submit their name on arrival will be recruited, so the shy need not worry.) LACDC company members Kate Andrews, Christian Beasley, Genevieve Carson, Michael Crotty, Marcello de sa Martens, Andrew Pearson, JM Rodriguez, Melissa Schade, Kim Thompson, Diana Vaden and Hutter perform and also contributed choreography. At the Brockus Project Space at The Brewery, 618B Moulton Ave., Los Angeles; Fri., Dec. 7, 8 & 10:30 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 8, 8 & 10:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 9, 7 p.m., $10. Brockus Project Space at The Brewery, 618B Moulton Ave., Los Angeles, 323-227-0307.
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