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Dance

Four Dance Shows to See in L.A. This Week, Including Two Free Balanchine Ballets and Two Worth Paying For

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Thu, Jul 4, 2013 at 8:00 AM

click to enlarge Los Angeles Ballet's Allynne Noelle and Ulrik Birkkjær in George Balanchine's "Agon" - PHOTO BY REED HUTCHINSON
  • Photo by Reed Hutchinson
  • Los Angeles Ballet's Allynne Noelle and Ulrik Birkkjær in George Balanchine's "Agon"

See also:

*5 Artsy Things to Do in L.A. This Week

*Our Latest Theater Reviews

*Our Calendar Section, Listing More Great Things to Do in L.A.

This week's dance events includes Balanchine ballets from Los Angeles Ballet and American Ballet Theater, plus flamenco two ways.

4. Los Angeles Ballet's Balanchine Festival get an encore

The home team goes al fresco as Los Angeles Ballet and the Music Center join the yearlong centennial celebration of Igor Stravinsky in L.A. with Ballet Under the Stars!, a free performance of two ballets choreographed by George Balanchine to Stravinsky scores that were part of LAB's recent Balanchine Festival. With its bejeweled red costumes, Rubies draws on Balanchine's time in Hollywood choreographing for the movies and accentuates the jazzy elements in Stravinsky's Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra. The second work, Agon, finds Balanchine in a more abstract mood, with dancers in simple black leotards and tights, the better to articulate Stravinsky's intricate music. L.A. has a special claim to Agon: Stravinsky's score was performed here first, before the ballet's premiere in New York. Look for the uber-flexible Allynne Noelle as Rubies' central tall girl and a lead in Agon. Raised and trained in SoCal, Noelle left to dance with Miami City Ballet and National Ballet of Canada. Her return exemplifies how Los Angeles Ballet artistic directors Thordal Christiansen and Colleen Neary have established L.A. as a destination to dance, not just a place exporting dancers to companies elsewhere. This free performance offers a first chance to see these masterworks for those who missed LAB's spring Balanchine festival and another chance for the throngs of Balanchine and Stravinsky fans who appreciate how the two masters synergistically elevated one another's genius. Bring a picnic and a blanket to Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Sat., July 6, 7:30 p.m.; free. (213) 972-0711, www.losangelesballet.org, www.grandparkla.org/calendar/.

click to enlarge American Ballet Theater in Alexei Ratmansky's "Chamber Symphony" - PHOTO BY ROSALIE O'CONNOR
  • Photo by Rosalie O'Connor
  • American Ballet Theater in Alexei Ratmansky's "Chamber Symphony"

3. American Ballet Theater opens with Balanchine, follows with pirates

Master choreographers of the 19th and 20th centuries are joined by a current fave as American Ballet Theater opens a four-day visit with a mixed-bill program of Apollo and Symphony in C from George Balanchine (an acknowledged 20th-century genius) and Chamber Symphony from ABT's current resident choreographer Alexei Ratmansky. You have only one chance to see this admirable mixed bill, with the weekend shows devoted to a revival of Marius Petipa's full-length Le Corsaire, a 19th-century extravaganza of pirates, slave traders and beautiful ballerinas. At Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Music Center, 135 N. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Thurs.-Sat., July 11-13, 7:30 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., July 13-14, 2 p.m., $34-$125. 213-972-0777, www.musiccenter.org.

2. Beat the heat with flamenco dinner theater

Flamenco dancers Jennifer Larson and Claudia Moreno join vocalist Antonio Sanchez and guitarist Borislav Solakov in the ongoing Sevilla Flamenco Dinner Show. At Cafe Sevilla, 140 Pine Ave., Long Beach; Sat., 7 p.m. continues through Aug. 17, $47.50 562-495-1111 www.cafesevilla.com/locs/longBeach

1. Playing around with flamenco

One could debate whether Heart Song is a play or dance theater. But it's much more fun to ignore categorization and just relish this dance-filled tale of a flamenco class leading to friendship and personal healing. It's always worth a trip to enjoy Maria Bermudez, who plays the flamenco teacher and provides the choreography. Not surprisingly, this world-premiere production of Heart Song is at long-time home of Forever Flamenco! At the Fountain Theater, 5060 Fountain Ave., E.Hllywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m., Sun., 2 p.m. through August 25. $34. www.fountaintheatre.com.

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