5 Dance Shows to See in L.A. This Week, Including a Dance About High School

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Thu, Apr 24, 2014 at 4:55 AM
click to enlarge Ate9 dANCE cOMPANY - PHOTO BY SCOTT SIMOCK
  • Photo by Scott Simock
  • Ate9 dANCE cOMPANY

This week's dance includes three perspectives on youth, an inside look at flamenco and a new salon series 

5.  Going Gaga

The shift key-challenged Ate9 dANCE cOMPANY and its director, Danielle Agami, are known devotees of Gaga. Not Lady Gaga, although her imaginative gyrations certainly qualify as dance, but the innovative movement aesthetic of Ohad Naharin, who leads Israel's Batsheva Dance Company, where Agami once danced. Aimed at developing a dancer's full range of physical ability, the results, at least as personified by Ate9's eight dancers, are slow movements as detailed and liquid as a Tai Chi master, which can still explode, à la Jackie Chan, with powerful propulsive jumps and falls.

Over the last year, the troupe's calling card, Sally Meets Stu, drew attention with excerpts at several local dance festivals and the full work in smaller venues. Agami raised her own profile over the year working with Benjamin Millepied's L.A. Dance Project and creating a floor-bound solo for Melissa Barak of Barak Ballet. Not bad for a choreographer and troupe that relocated here from Seattle just a little more than a year ago. Ate9's rising prospects include a move to a larger venue for the premiere of Agami's newest, mouth to mouth. With performances this weekend and next, mouth to mouth has an original score by L.A.-based composer Jodie Landau, performed live by modern music ensemble wild UP. What is it with these folks and that shift key? Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring St., dwntwn.; Sat., April 26 & May 3, 8:30 p.m.; $30 general, $50 VIP, $25 students, seniors & veterans. (866) 811-411, www.thelatc.org/additional-events/.

4.  Flamenco up close and personal

Noted flamenco dancer Yaelisa is joined by a dozen recognized flamenco artists for Flamenco Abierto, an inside look at the art of flamenco. Guests will move among the backstage terrace, scene shop and stage house, all performance sites for the evening. Announced performers include Jesus Montoya, Antonio de Jerez, Manuel Gutierrez, Reyes Barrios, Tony Triana, Mizuho Sato, Briseyda Zarate, Oscar Valero and Claudia de la Cruz. At Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine; Fri., April 25, 6:30 & 8:45 p.m., $20. 949-854-4646, www.thebarclay.org.

click to enlarge Yaelisa - PHOTO BY JACK HARTIN
  • Photo by Jack Hartin
  • Yaelisa

3. Two get WAC'D

UCLA's World Arts Culture and Dance Department offers two shows. On Friday night, it's After Hours, with choreographer Sharna Fabiano exploring the shenanigans and relationships of four cafŽe employees when the diners aren't around. It's part of the MFA Upstarts series.

Monday's free performance presents choreographer Catherine Long's Impasse. Described as a "reconstructed multimedia solo," Impasse employs movement and video to explore gender, disability and the concepts of capacity/incapacity. Co-sponsored by WACD and UCLA Disability Studies, the event includes a postperformance discussion. Both at UCLA Glorya Kaufman Dance Theater, 120 Westwood Plaza, Wstwd.; After Hours on Fri., April 25, 8 p.m., $15, $8 students. Impasse on Mon., April 28, 6:30 p.m., free. www.wacd.ucla.edu.

click to enlarge L.A. Contemporary Dance Company in The Better to See You - PHOTO BY LUKE ROTHSCHILD
  • Photo by Luke Rothschild
  • L.A. Contemporary Dance Company in The Better to See You

2.  Three for the show

In the film Gigi, the octogenarian roué played by octogenarian roué Maurice Chevalier warbled that he was glad he was not young anymore. Maybe that was true for early 20th century Paris, but not a song for 21st century L.A.

For this youth-obsessed city, artistic director/choreographer Kate Hutter and her L.A. Contemporary Dance Company aptly offer a triptych of dances under the banner Youth with three choreographers offering differing perspectives on the subject. Two of LACDC's strengths are that Hutter has always seen the ensemble as a repertory company, never just a showcase for her own choreography, and she is not afraid to have her work seen alongside other strong choreographers' dances as in this program.

In The Better to See You With, Holly Rothschild from String Theory revisits the cautionary fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood as a graphic coming of age story. Dancer Nina McNeely turns dancemaker and posits that infants know universal secrets in Demigods, a world premiere. Hutter contributes I Ran, looking at how teens' typical high school trials and tribulations have been compounded by episodic violence. At Club Fais Do-Do, 5257 W. Adams Blvd., Los Angeles; Fri.-Sat., May 2-3, 8 p.m.; Sun., May 4, 7 p.m., $20 online, $25 at door., 323-931-4636, www.faisdodo.comwww.lacdc.org

click to enlarge Lula Washington Dance Theatre - PHOTO BY JACK HARTIN
  • Photo by Jack Hartin
  • Lula Washington Dance Theatre

1. What's new with Lula?

Catch up with choreographer Lula Washington's new works, meet the dancers and enjoy live music from Marcus L. Miller and Freedom Jazz Movement in this new Showcase at Lula's. Lula Washington Dance Theatre, 3773 S. Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles; Sat., April 26, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., April 27, 3 p.m., $20, $15 students, seniors, children, 323-292-5852. www.lulawashington.com.

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