This week's dance events include the arrival of nouveau circus Traces and the 6th Annual Pasadena Dance Festival wraps up.
5. Pasadena does festivals besides the Rose Parade
The week-long Pasadena Dance Festival peaks with a series of jam-packed shows. Up-and-coming dancemakers and their companies are showcased Friday including Chasen Dreamz, Datugan Dance Theatre, HD Movement Project, James Hansen Assemblage Dance, Kerrie Schroeder Pickup Company, LA Unbound, McNaughton/Navarrete Dance Ensemble, MODA Dance Collective, No Strings Attached Dance Company, Priolo Dance and Santa Ana College. Younger dancers take the stage at Saturday's matinee including Brockus Conservatory of Dance and Musical Theater, Compass Dance, Colburn School's Trudi Zipper, Flintridge Preparatory School, Idyllwild Arts Academy, Leverage Dance, Versa-Style Next Generation, and Vonder Haar Center for the Performing Arts. The 6th annual festival moves to the venerable Pasadena Civic Auditorium for the finale with an eclectic line-up that includes BPM beatsperminute, Blue13 Dance Company, F.Y.V Group, Luminario Ballet, SoleVita Dance Company, Terri Best Dance, The Underground, and festival host Lineage Dance Company. Bravo to Lineage Dance Company for organizing this 6th annual event and to the Pasadena Arts Council for funding it. For complete details and tickets go to www.pasadenadancefestival.org. At Lineage Performing Arts Center, 89 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena; Fri., April 26, 8 p.m.; Sat., April 26, 2 p.m.; $20 in advance, $25 at door. Also at Pasadena Civic Auditorium, 300 E. Green St., Pasadena; Sat., April 27, 8 p.m., $35 in advance, $40 at door. 626-793-2122, www.pasadenadancefestival.org.
4. Traces of Cirque du Soleil
In 1984, two Montreal street performers took their popular combination of performance and acrobatics onto the global stage, and so began Cirque du Soleil's world conquest. Two decades later, Cirque du Soleil alums launched a new generation of nouveau circus performers under the title Seven Fingers or Les 7 Doights du Main. That ensemble has in turn spawned Traces, a septet of multi-talented performers who whiz through thrillingly choreographed episodes that weave acrobatics with activities like skateboarding, basketball and other sports to a soundtrack by Radiohead, VAST and Blackalicious. Traces arrives with glowing reviews from Montreal and New York including Time Magazine listing it as one of the year's top ten plays and musicals. The name Les 7 Doights du Main is a play on a French idiom that references separate things that are so closely knit they work as one. There may be no comparable English idiom, but given the rave reviews the troupe garners, nothing appears to get lost in translation. Catch a video preview at http://www.tracesusa.com/sights/videos. Join the fun at the Music Center Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Fri.-Sat., April 26-27, 7:30 p.m., Sun., April 28-21, 2 p.m.; $25-$70. www.musiccenter.org.
3. Duckler & friends start dancing around town
After years of drawing audiences to historic jails, abandoned underground streetcar facilities and operating laundromats, Heidi Duckler and her entourage of dancers, actors, writers and musicians are traveling to their audiences, aided by a mid-century trailer. Dubbed the Duck Truck, the vintage Oasis trailer will become the stage for performances by the Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre throughout metro L.A. The Duck Truck makes its official debut this week at West Hollywood Park. In weeks to come, look for it at a Crenshaw Blvd. Krispy Kreme donut shop, an empty lot in Culver City and the East L.A. Civic Center. Check the company website at www.heididuckler.org for complete schedule. West Hollywood Park, 647 San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood; Sat., April 27, 8:30 & 9:30 p.m., $10, $5 seniors & students. www.heididuckler.org 323-848-6501.
2. Mark Morris breezes through
The always interesting Mark Morris and the polished dancers of the Mark Morris Dance Group arrive with a triptych of Morris' highly musical choreography. Festival Dance draws on The Hummel piano trio while Canonic 3/4 studies relies on piano waltzes, and Grand Duo is set to music by Lou Harrison. Sat., April 27, 8 p.m., $20-$65. At the Valley Performing Arts Center, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Sat., April 27, 8 p.m., $20-$65. 818-677-8800, www.valleyperformingartscenter.org.1. Making music, making ballet
Artistic director/choreographer Lincoln Jones and American Contemporary Ballet dancers demonstrate the process of creating ballet with help from music performed live. Another edition of the ACB collaboration with the DaCamera Society. At Gensler, 500 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles; April 26-27, 2, 7 & 9 p.m., $20. www.acbdances.com 213-327-3600, gensler.com/location/los-angeles.