This week's dance events include four Balanchine ballets and the Tap Dance Kid grown up.
5.What an L.A. Times dance critic has to do to get onstage with the Los Angeles Ballet
After an electric opening in the South Bay, the Los Angeles Ballet moves to West L.A. tonight for the second of ten SoCal stops in its three-month Balanchine Festival. Arguably the most important and influential choreographer of the 20th century, George Balanchine was trained in Russia, established his choreographic talent in Europe and then moved to New York, where he established what became the New York City Ballet. That company seldom tours and only its major counterparts, including the Los Angeles Ballet, have the resources or permission to present Balanchine's ballets.
Los Angeles Ballet co-artistic directors Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary both danced in the New York City Ballet, and Balanchine personally selected Neary to stage his ballets. Since Balanchine's death, Neary has continued to do so for her own and other companies, including the Bolshoi, Paris Opera Ballet and American Ballet Theater. This year, on the 30th anniversary of Balanchine's death, Los Angeles Ballet devotes 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. The opening Gold program includes La Sonnambula, a one-act story ballet of love, jealousy, murder and a mysterious sleepwalker; Concerto Barocco, one of Balanchine's signature works, set to Bach's Concerto in D-minor for Two Violins; Tchaikovsky's Pas de Deux, a bravura duet set to the original music for the Black Swan Pas de deux; and Four Temperaments, with music Paul Hindemith composed at Balanchine's request.
Don't miss L.A. Times dance critic Lewis Segal hosting this week's 6 p.m. pre-performance Balanchine Talk. Segal interviews Neary and her sister Patricia Neary who also danced for Balanchine at NYCB and stages his ballets for the Balanchine Trust. At UCLA Royce Hall, Wstwd.; Sat., March 23, 7:30 p.m.; $24-$95. (310) 937-6607. www.losangelesballet.org.
4. New Home, New Dances
Enjoy Contra-Tiempo dancers in Full Still Hungry, the newest from the Latin dance troupe's artistic director Ana Maria Alvarez. The dancers include Bianca Blanco, Jasmine Burgos, Steve Flores, Cesar Garfiaz, Samad Guerra, Marina Magalhaes, Maisha Morris, and Mike Butler. Afterward enjoy refreshments and a tour of this new theater. At New Roads, Ann & Jerry Moss Theater, 3131 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica; Sat., March 23, 7 p.m., $30, $25 students. https://contratiempo.secure.force.com/ticket.
3. Savion Glover's shoe leather sanctuary
Tap master Savion Glover has come a long way since breaking into tap dance stardom as The Tap Dance Kid and he continues to explore new tap paths. Glover arrives with his latest percussive exhibition SoLe Sanctuary. At Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Drive, Cerritos; Fri., March 22, 8 p.m., $30-$65. 562-467-8818. www.cerritoscenter.com.
2. Black Grace from New Zealand
New Zealand's Black Grace has built a rep for its a blend of traditional and contemporary movement. Founder and artistic director Neil Leremia draws on ceremonial dances of the indigenous Maori, traditional dances of Samoan immigrants and a brand of highly physical modern dance, blending a distinctive dance cocktail. At the Valley Performing Arts Center, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Sat., March 23, 8 p.m., $20-$65. 818-677-8800. www.valleyperformingartscenter.org.
1. Alhambra hosts Andalusian flamenco
After a successful solo career, flamenco dancers Inesita settled in L.A. and formed a company. Last year, Flamenco Alhambra 2012 debuted with a sold out show. Flamenco Alhambra 2013 is a new edition with Inesita leading her troupe of a dozen dancers. They are joined by respected local flamenco dancers Juan Talavera, Clarita, and Mari Sandoval with live music from guitarists Stamen Wetzel, Benjamin, Ricardo Davila and El Miguelito. At Sage Granada Park United Methodist Church, 1850 W. Hellman Ave., Alhambra; Sat., March 23, 7 p.m.; free (donations accepted). 626-230-5435 or www.cvpaministry.com.