This week's dance includes L.A. Contemporary Dance Company with new works from three choreographers, plus Rennis Harris bringing street dance to the stage in RHAW.
5. Three choreographers and a destination dancer
Sometimes the allure is the prospect of the latest from an intriguing choreographer and other times the attraction is just the chance to experience an extraordinary dancer. L.A. Contemporary Dance Company's Then. Now. Onward! boasts both. LACDC's repertory show is almost an excess of riches. Established choreographer Arianne MacBean, emerging dancemaker Lindsey Lollie and company artistic director Kate Hutter each contribute a new work for the company dancers, but the frosting on the cake is guest artist Charlie Hodges. A destination dancer for those in the know, Hodges danced with several ballet companies before making a major spash in Twyla Tharp's jukebox dance musicals Movin' Out, Times They Are a Changin' and his award-winning turn in Tharp's Sinatra show Come Fly Away. L.A. had a chance to be wowed most recently when he danced at Disney Hall with Benjamin Millepied's L.A. Dance Project (Hodges is both dancer and ballet master for that company). Hodges and Hutter dance Unravel, a duet the long-time friends collaborated on. Catch a preview of LACDC at lacontemporarydance.org/media. Much to like. Not to be missed. At Diavolo Dance Space, the Brewery, 616 Moulton Ave., dwntwn.; Thurs.-Sat., April 4-6, 8 p.m.; Sun., April 7, 7 p.m.; $20 online, $25 at door. www.onward.brownpaperticket.com.
4. Rennie Harris, see him R.H.A.W
Rennie Harris is Dr. Rennie Harris now. He's older, a bearded bear of a man with moves that can still command a stage against a crew of dancers half his age. With his company, Pure Movement, and his other projects, his moves increasingly are divided between his ongoing efforts to establish the theater cred of street dance while mentoring a new generation of street dancers and choreographers. RHAW combines both, with promising street dancers from Harris' Puremovement bringing street-dance history to life and showcasing various styles of street dance to music by the likes of George Benson and Michael Jackson. At Richard & Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center, 6200 Atherton St., Long Beach; Sat., March 30, 8 p.m., $45. 562-985-7000, www.carpenterarts.org.
3. Balanchine Festival dances on
With performances at two theaters this weekend, the Los Angeles Ballet continues its three-month Balanchine Festival celebrating the ballets, the life and the legacy of George Balanchine. Arguably the most important and influential choreographer of the 20th century, Balanchine's danceworks remain timeless, but only major companies have the resources or permission to present Balanchine's ballets. Los Angeles Ballet co-artistic directors Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary both danced in Balanchine's New York City Ballet, and Balanchine personally selected Neary to stage his ballets which she continues to do for companies that include the Bolshoi, Paris Opera Ballet, American Ballet Theater, and Los Angeles Ballet. LAB is devoting its spring and summer seasons to seven of Balanchine's greatest ballets, divided into two programs (Gold and Red) presented at each of the company's five home theaters. On Saturday, the 6 p.m. pre-performance Balanchine Talks has dance reviewer Victoria Looseleaf in conversation with Neary about Balanchine's life and legacy. On Sunday at noon, the dance historian Sasha Anawalt and Neary converse. A complete line up of the ballets and previews are at www.losangelesballet.org. At Valley Performing Arts Center, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Sat., March 30, 7:30 p.m., $18-$95. 818-677-8800. www.valleyperformingartscenter.org. Also at Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale; Sun., March 31, 2 p.m., $18-$95. 818-243-2539, www.alextheatre.org.
2. Lower case name; upper case dancing
Born in Uruguay, luciana achugar is now based in Brooklyn and considered a force on the New York dance scene. Her choreography asserts that the carnal and primitive human aspects are not of lesser import than the intellect. Like e.e. cummings, she eschews capitalizing her name, but her ideas come capitalized in Puro Deseo receiving its L.A. premiere thanks to Meg Wolfe and the folks at Showbox L.A.. Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles, 1238 W. 1st St., Los Angeles; March 29-30, 8:30 p.m., $15 advance purchase, $20 at door. 213-481-2273, www.shakespearecenter.org.
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1. The newest ballet troupe on the block
This isn't the official debut of choreographer Melissa Barak's new contemporary ballet troupe, but it is a chance to get a peek at what's to come with Barak Ballet. Barak trained in L.A. and New York, then danced with New York City Ballet, where her choreography was first presented. She then danced with Los Angeles Ballet while continuing to build her choreographic portfolio. This program features works by Christopher Wheeldon, Darrell Grand Moultrie and Frank Chaves in addition to Barak's latest. At the Ann & Jerry Moss Theater, New Roads School, 3131 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica; Sun., March 31, 7 p.m., $20-$75. www.newroads.org.