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Five Dance Shows to See in L.A. This Week, Including Barak Ballet's Debut

Sacred Dancers of Angkor
Sacred Dancers of Angkor
Photo courtesy of the Sacred Dancers of Angkor

This week's dance events include the return of Nederlands Dance Theater, the debut of a new company and a local company that keeps getting better and better.

5. Sacred survivors dance

Composed of Cambodian children orphaned by the Khmer Rouge's genocide, the Sacred Dancers of Angkor arrive for a week of events celebrating Cambodia's classical, folk and sacred dance, and survival. This is the first of two public performances. For a complete list of events go to www.nkfc.org/ustour. At Martha B. Knoebel Dance Theater, Cal State Long Beach, 6200 Atherton St., Long Beach; Sat., Oct. 19, 7 p.m., $25, 562-985-7000, www.nkfcmartha.eventbrite.com. Also Colburn School of Music, Zipper Concert Hall, 200 S. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Mon., Oct. 21, 7 p.m., $25-$100, 213-621-2200 www.nkfczipper.­eventbrite.com.

4. Dancing with glass

After more than half a century, Nederlands Dans Theater 1 continues to defy its age, with current artistic director Paul Lightfoot recruiting edgy choreographers such as Sol León and NDT dancer Medhi Walerski. This visit, NDT gives a nod to the ongoing L.A. celebration of the 100th anniversary of Igor Stravinsky's Rite of Spring with Walerski's Chamber, which draws on a score by Joby Talbot, not Stravinsky. The other choreographers contribute the U.S. premiere of Same Difference and the West Coast premiere of Shoot the Moon, both set to music of Philip Glass. At the Music Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Fri.-Sat., Oct. 18-19, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 20, 2 p.m., $34-$125. 213-972-7211, www.musiccenter.org.

L.A. Contemporary Dance Company
L.A. Contemporary Dance Company
Photo courtesy of L.A. Contemporary Dance Company

3. A contemporary quartet of new works

With each performance, L.A. Contemporary Dance Company just keeps getting better and better. This program promises more riveting dance with new works from four choreographers. Mark Tomasic considers the temporary insanity of love; Andrew Pearson provides a new-age minuet; Melissa "MJ" Jackson looks at giving oneself over to an experience without expectation or control; and artistic director Kate Hutter contemplates the complex humanity that lies beneath simplified categorization. At Diavolo Performance Space, 616 Moulton Ave., dwntwn.; Thurs.-Sat., Oct. 24-26, 8 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 27, 7 p.m., $20 online, $25 at door., 323-225-4290 www.lacdc.­brownpapertickets.com.

Linda Sohl-Ellison of Rhapsody in Taps
Linda Sohl-Ellison of Rhapsody in Taps
Photo courtesy of Rhapsody in Taps

2. Dancers in tip-tap shape

Lind Sohl-Ellison and the tappers of her troupe Rhapsody in Taps are backed by live jazz, percussion and world music for this 32nd edition of their annual show. The program includes Latin jazz, bucket drumming, stick percussion, klezmer, a tribute to the late tap master Eddie Brown and the music of Louie Bellson, Otis Redding and Sam Cooke. Learn more and get tickets at www.rhapsodyintaps.com. At Aratani Japan America Theatre, 244 S. San Pedro St., dwntwn.; Sat., Oct. 19, 7:30 p.m., $25-$40, 213-680-3700.

Dancers in Melissa Barak's Lux Aeterna
Dancers in Melissa Barak's Lux Aeterna
Photo courtesy of Barak Ballet

1. Barak Ballet makes its move

Although her work has been widely seen locally with other companies, this is the official debut of choreographer Melissa Barak's eponymous contemporary ballet company, Barak Ballet. L.A.-born and trained, Barak danced with New York City Ballet and later Los Angeles Ballet while building a national reputation as a neoclassical choreographer. It's a tribute to L.A.'s emerging stature as a force in the ballet world that Barak chose her hometown to establish her ballet troupe. Her choreography is on the bill alongside works by Danielle Agami and Pascal Rioult. Learn more about the company and buy tickets at www.barakballet.org. The show is at the Broad Stage, Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica; Thurs., Oct. 24, 8 p.m., $45-$125. 310-434-3200, www.thebroadstage.com.

See also: Melissa Barak, The Rebel Ballerina

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