5 Dance Shows to See This Week, Including Krumping on Stage

The Underground
The Underground
Photo courtesy of The Underground

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This week's dance picks include krump's Lil' C and Miss Prissy bringing street dance to the stage and Bill T. Jones in Long Beach.

5. Krumping in a theater

Hip-hop, break dance and street dance have achieved general public recognition, in part due to the success of b-boys and b-girls on TV’s So You Think You Can Dance, and the insightful, if not always linear, critiques from frequent SYTYCD judge Lil’C. But Lil’ C’s own niche, krumping, has yet to gain widespread recognition beyond the dance world. Dave LaChapelle's 2005 film Rize documented this energetic street-dance style and introduced major players like Lil' C and Miss Prissy. While krumping has infiltrated music videos and TV dance competitions, its realm has remained insular — battles between individuals and crews. Convinced that the time has come for krumping to meet a wider audience, Lil' C and Miss Prissy took The Underground: From the Streets to the Stage into a USC theater in September with repertory that introduced theatrical structure while retaining the excitement, energy and improvisation at krumping’s heart. The enthusiastic audience gave them bragging rights to the first ever live krump stage show. Anyone who missed that debut effort has two more chances to see The Underground: From the Streets to the Stage at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4718 W. Washington Blvd.; Fri.-Sat., Nov. 16-17; $10-$20; (323) 964-9766 or www.itsmyseat.com/ERT.

4. Bill T. Jones in Long Beach

Choreographer Bill T. Jones is known for his passionate, thoughtful and sometimes in-your-face provocative modern dance. In a coup for the dance department at CalState University Long Beach, Jones accepted a residency working with dance majors. The residency includes setting the West Coast premiere of his Reading Mercy and the Artificial Nigger and the companion piece Mercy 10 x 8 on a Circle, in which Jones mixes dance and race with a Flannery O'Connor short story. The evening also includes three new works from faculty choreographers Gerald Casel, Sophie Monat and Andrew Vaca at the Richard & Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center, 6200 Atherton St., Long Beach; Nov. 16-17, 8 p.m., $25. (562) 985-7000, www.carpenterarts.org.

Baggage Project: The Tap Dance Widows Club
Baggage Project: The Tap Dance Widows Club
Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Choreographers & Dancers

3. The plight of widows, via tap-dance

Loss of a spouse is way up there on the emotional Richter scale. After choreographer Louise Reichlin lost her husband, tap dancer Alfred Desio, she turned to Loretta Zerby and Katherine Hopkins-Nicholas, also widows of revered tap dancers. The widows' conversations spanned histories dating from 1930s Hollywood to the present and evolved into workshops that became Baggage Project: Tap Dance Widows Club. The polished product of last year's workshops receives its premiere as L.A. choreographers & dancers offer a suite of live dance and multimedia that explores what the living carry forward as positive baggage after the death of a beloved. What better tribute to a lost dancer than new dance at Miles Memorial Playhouse, 1130 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica; Fri., Nov. 16, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 17, 4 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 18, 4 p.m., $20, $17 students & seniors. (310) 458-8634, www.milesplayhouse.org.

L.A. Contemporary Dance Company
L.A. Contemporary Dance Company
Eric Mason

2. Last chance to catch that evil lady

Anyone who thinks listening to that snake made Eve the first female troublemaker hasn't heard about Lilith. Described in Jewish folklore as a demon goddess with an insatiable appetite for blood, Lilith, according to some interpretations of the Bible, was created at the same time as Adam but left him to seduce an archangel before Eve was created. This bad, bad girl takes center stage for the last time this weekend as artistic director Kate Hutter and her L.A. Contemporary Dance Company join forces with Theatre Dybbuk for Cave ... A Dance for Lilith. Written by Aaron Henne and choreographed by Hutter, Cave explores threads connecting ancient creation stories about the bloodthirsty goddess to contemporary issues of personal and political conflict. Hutter and Henne's two previous collaborations produced compelling dance theater, and the two co-direct this endeavor in addition to their writing and dancemaking duties. An original score by Eric Mason will be performed live at the Diavolo Stage, The Brewery, 694 Moulton Ave., Los Angeles; Fri.-Sat., Nov. 16-17, 8:30 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 18, 7:30 p.m., $25, $20 in advance. (323) 223-9301, www.lacdc.org.

1. When "them" are us

A quarter-century after choreographer Ishmael Houston-Jones, writer Dennis Cooper and composer Chris Cochrane premiered Them, the dance theater piece won New York's coveted Bessie Award last year and now finally makes its West Coast premiere. Them explores issues of male identity in the time of AIDS, an issue that sadly remains as immediate now as when Them was created 25 years ago. At REDCAT: Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater, 631 W. Second St., dwntwn.; through Nov. 17, 8:30 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 18, 7 p.m., $20-$25, $16-$20 students. (213) 237-2800 or www.redcat.org.

See also:

*Our Calendar Section, Listing More Great Things to Do in L.A.

*5 Artsy Things to Do in L.A. This Week

*Our Latest Theater Reviews

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