5 Dance Shows to See in L.A. This Week, Including the Lost Art of the Mixtape

Sole Vita Dance Company in The Great American Mixtape
Sole Vita Dance Company in The Great American Mixtape
Photo by Tim Agler

This week’s dance shows include dance at the cathedral and dances celebrating the mixtape and a vinyl record.

5.  Whole lot of shaking going on

The ever audacious theater ensemble the Wooster Group is known for its multi-dimensional endeavors, but not necessarily for its dancing. With Early Shaker Spirituals, the Wooster Group returns to an earlier format, recreating a record album, this time giving second life to a 1976 LP recording (yes, a vinyl recording) that captures Shaker hymns, anthems and marches. The event covers 20 tracks on the album with dancers Matthew Brown, Modesto Jimenez, Bobby McElver, Bebe Miller and Andrew Schneider amplifying the singing by Cynthia Hedstrom, Elizabeth LeCompte, Frances McDormand (yes, the Oscar-winning actor) and Suzzy Roche. REDCAT, 631 West 2nd St., dwtwn.; Wed.-Sat., Jan. 21-24 & Tues.-Sat., Jan. 27-31, 8:30 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 25 & Feb. 1, 3 p.m.; $50, $40 students. 213-237-2800, redcat.org.

The Wooster Group in Early Shaker Spirituals
The Wooster Group in Early Shaker Spirituals
Photo courtesy of The Wooster Group

4.  La La La Lecavalier

The Canadian dancer Louise Lecavalier was a poster child with Montreal’s La La La Human Steps and its hyper-physical, hyper-accelerated style of contemporary ballet. Since leaving that company in 1999, Lecavalier has added choreographer to her resume while continuing to dance. Lecavalier, choreographer and dancer arrives, paired with Frédéric Tavernini in So Blue with music by Mercan Dede. UCLA Royce Hall, 135 Royce Dr., Wstwd.; Fri., Jan. 16, 8 p.m., $19-$69. 310-825-2101, cap.ucla.edu.

Louise Lecavalier and Frédéric Tavernini
Louise Lecavalier and Frédéric Tavernini
Photo by Andre Cornellier

Upcoming Events

3.  Sharing a love of mix tapes

Among the many things doomed by the advent of digital music was the mixed tape or mix tape—music selections gleaned, reassembled and gifted in unsubtly coded messages of affection, inside jokes and shared memories. Paying homage to that lost art, Sole Vita and RhetOracle Dance Companies join together for a program of repertoire faves under the banner The Great American Mixtape. These two well-regarded local contemporary companies promise a wide ranging spectrum of dance in this affectionate salute. Martha B. Knoebel Dance Theatre, 6200 Atherton Blvd. Long Beach; Sat Jan 17, 8 p.m.; Sun Jan 18, 5 p.m.; $20. 562-985-7000, smarturl.it/MixTape_tix.

2.  Dancin’ at the cathedral

Described as a mystery play, The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian, with choreography by Grete Gryzwana and set to music by Claude Debussy, was commissioned as a site specific performance in conjunction with the sculptures, wallworks and mixed media installations of Simon Toparovsky's exhibition Vessels and Channels.Toporovsky designed the cathedral’s life size bronze crucifex above the cathedral’s main altar, but this is his first exhibition in L.A. in two decades. An early Catholic martyr, Saint Sebastien is usually depicted bound to a tree or post, shot with many arrows. The exhibition opened in November and continues until February when it moves to Italy. Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angeles, 555 W. Temple St., dwtwn.; Sun., Jan. 18, 7:30 p.m.; free. gretegryzwana.com.

Ate9 Dance Company in Queen George
Ate9 Dance Company in Queen George
Photo by Scott Simok

1.  They are Ate it again

It’s more than a furniture store or art gallery come to life in Queen George, with Danielle Agami and her Ate9 Dance Company performing on and among Israel designer/carpenter Amir Raveh’s patchwork furnishings made from woodshop remnants and abstract expressionist artist Avi Roth’s coffeegraph collage series. For more than two hours, dancers perform duets rotating throughout the gallery every half hour with solo dances in some private rooms. After its opening night last week in Santa Ana, the event moves to downtown L.A. for four more nights. Think Tank Gallery, 939 Maple Ave., dwntwn.; Wed.-Thurs. Jan. 21-22, 7:30 p.m., & Sat.-Sun., Jan. 24-25, 6 p.m.; $15-$20. thinktankgallery.org/event/queen-george.


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