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Five Dance Events to See in L.A. This Week, Including Speed-Dating Choreographers and Composers

KTCHN dancers
KTCHN dancers
Photo by Daniel Trese

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This week's dance events include speed dating musicians and dancers, the latest from Ryan Heffington and Los Angeles Ballet continues to paint the town Balanchine Red.

5. When musicians and choreographers date

The dancer/choreographers are familiar names from local, mostly modern dance companies including Stephanie Zaletel, Loretta Livingston, Carol McDowell, Rebecca Pappas, and Damon Rago. The musicians are Erik Leckrone, Eric Pham, Alan Shockley, Marty Walker, George Wheeler. In this two-part event curators Stephanie Nugent and Robin Cox first pair five choreographers with five composers with the "hook up" intended to create new and unlikely pairings to produce new works. In the second half, dubbed the "speed dating" round, each composer and choreographer gets a different pairing for an eight-minute collaboration session, during in which they will create a score. Then the audience gets to see the results. At Art Share LA, 801 E 4th Place dwntwn.; Sun., May 19, 8 p.m., $10-$20. www.iridianarts.com/page5/Iridian_Arts_payment_page.html

Nickerson-Rossi Dance
Nickerson-Rossi Dance
Photo by Joe Lambie

4. A show of their own

The four-year old contemporary company Nickerson-Rossi Dance has been a frequent and well-received presence at local dance festivals including an invitation to the prestigious Celebrate Dance! The polished dancing and intriguing movement ideas were a preview of this full concert. The program will include choreography by artistic director Michael Nickerson-Rossi and guest choreographers/dancers Lori Bryhni and Kim T. Davis. Catch a video preview at www.nickersonrossidance.com. At El Camino College Marsee Theater, 16007 Crenshaw Blvd., Torrance; Sat., May 18, 8 p.m., $18. 800-832-2787, www.centerforthearts.org.

Los Angeles Ballet dancers Julia Cinquemani and Zheng Hua Li in Agon
Los Angeles Ballet dancers Julia Cinquemani and Zheng Hua Li in Agon
Photo by Reed Hutchison

3. Painting the Valley and Glendale Balanchine red

Three more Balanchine masterworks with music by Ravel and Stravinsky, film clips of Balanchine's Hollywood movie choreography, pre-performance discussions with a lineup of former New York City Ballet stars, L.A. dance critics and historians, and a roster of gorgeous dancers -- it's all part of the Los Angeles Ballet's Balanchine Red, the second half of its Balanchine Festival celebrating the most important and influential choreographer of the 20th century. Co-artistic directors Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary's both danced with NYCB, and Balanchine personally selected Neary to stage his ballets. Go to LosAngelesBallet.org for information on the roster for each preperformance's Balanchine Talks as well as information and rehearsal clips of the three ballets, the atmospheric La Valse, the ever-cutting edge Agon and the sparkling, effervescent Rubies section of the full-length Jewels. After opening in Redondo Beach and Long Beach, the festival continues with performances at two venues this weekend before the Festival finale in Westwood, making Balanchine a short drive for almost everyone. At Valley Performing Arts Center, 1811 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Sat., May 25, 7:30 p.m. Also at the Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale; Sun., May 26, 2 p.m. Also at UCLA Royce Hall, 340 Royce Dr., Wstwd. Sun., June 9, 2 p.m., $24-$95. 310-937-6607 or www.losangelesballet.org.

2. Heffington in the KTCHN

KTCHN is a new dance installation with choreography by the ever-inventive, often outrageous Ryan Heffington, sets by Nolan Hendrickson and Adrian Gilliland, and costumes by Mindy LeBrock, inspired by Hendrickson's paintings. At the Mack Sennett Studios, 1215 Bates Ave., Los Angeles, www.macksennettstudios.net.; Fri.-Sun., May 17-19, 8 p.m. $35, brownpapertickets.com/event/360947.

KTCHN dancers
KTCHN dancers
Photo by Daniel Trese

1. Homage to Yvonne

The respected training company Westside Ballet offers its annual spring performance with selections of classical and contemporary ballet performed by the company's young dancers. This is the first program since Martine Hartley assumed the mantle of artistic director following the death of Westside Ballet's founder Yvonne Mounsey. Appropriately, the performances are dedicated to Mounsey and include Mounsey's choreography for Prokofiev's Classical Symphony. At Smothers Theatre, 24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu; Sat., May 18, 2 & 7 p.m., $25. www.westsideballet.com. 310-506-4522, arts.pepperdine.edu/tickets.

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