This week's dance highlights include major figures in improvisational dance.
5. Organized Improvisation at the iDfest in Venice
Company Blu from Florence, Italy performs with local proponents of improvisational dance including the legendary Simone Forti at all three iDfest shows. Different performers and danceworks join them for each show drawn from such major players as Carmela Hermann, Terrence Luke Johnson, Kristine Suarez, Carol McDowell, Shel Wagner Rasch, Stephanie Nugent, Jones Welsh Cynthia Lee, Ruby Karen, Vanessa Adelman, Luca Cecchini, and the Not Man Apart Ensemble. Each show is followed by a discussion with the artists. At the Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice; Fri.-Sat., Jan. 4-5, 8:30 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 6, 4 p.m., $20, $15 students. idfest.bpt.me or www.electriclodge.org or 310-306-1854.
4. Kotohajime: The First Performance of the New Year
Some cultures are absorbed with ringing out the end of the year while others are more concerned that the new year begin in a propitious manner. The latter is the focus of Hirokazu Kosaka, artistic director of the Japan American Cultural and Community Center and curator of Kotohajime: The First Performance of the New Year. Drawing on Eastern and Western performing arts, this year's performers include the Korean Culture Center, the Colburn School's Trudi Zipper Dance Institute, Majikina Honryu, and traditional Japanese dance groups Wakana-kai and Bando Hidesomi. As part of Hatsu-Mato (First Target), IKKYU of the Los Angeles Kyudo Archery Group will handle the traditional shooting of an arrow, a ritual considered to be purifying. Kotohajime literally means the beginning of all things, a propitious promise as the new year dawns. Japan American Cultural and Community Center, 244 S. San Pedro St., dwntwn.; Sun., Jan. 6, 1 p.m., $20. 213-628-2725, www.jaccc.org.
3. Ten 10-Minute Performances
Known as the Max 10 Performance Laboratory, this feisty, funky and uncurated monthly showcase for dance and performance greets a new year. Like a good laboratory, there's lots of experimentation and often surprisingly delightful results. This edition includes a meet and greet for new participants. Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice; Mon., Jan. 7, 7:30 p.m. $10. 310-306-1854, www.electriclodge.org.
2. Tapas, Paella and Flamenco in Long Beach
Flamenco dancers Jennifer Larson and Claudia Moreno join vocalist Antonio Sanchez and guitarist Borislav Solakov in Sevilla Flamenco Dinner Show, an ongoing Saturday night show celebrating the Spanish artform. Cafe Sevilla, 140 Pine Ave., Long Beach; Sat., Jan. 5, 7 p.m. Continues through Feb. 23, $47.50. 562-495-1111. www.cafesevilla.com/locs/longBeach/index.html.
1. A New Type of Dinner Theater for the New Year
Teatro Zinzanni set out to bring the dinner theater concept into the 21st century. The announced extension of its run into 2013 strongly suggests it is succeeding and assures that it will continue to occupy the Plaza area of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts with a 3-hour extravaganza that combines fine dining with dance, cabaret, improv comedy, cirque and vaudeville. The show is ever-changing, encouraging repeat visits. The price includes the five course meal but not beverages or gratuity. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa; Wed.-Sat., 7 p.m.; Sun., 12 & 7 p.m. Continues through Feb. 17, $122.85-$163.80. , 714-556-2787, www.scfta.org.