This week's dance shows include the start of a 9-month Stravinsky Festival.
5. Who's Joffrey Now?
The Joffrey Ballet may call Chicago home now, but it continues to have a strong L.A. following. This visit includes two mixed-bill programs with four of the current generation of in demand choreographers. Friday offers Christopher Wheeldon's After the Rain and Stanton Welch's Son of Chamber Symphony while Saturday and Sunday include William Forsythe's In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated and Edwaard Liang's Age of Innocence. But the big attraction at all three shows is the Joffrey's celebrated restoration of the legendary Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring) that caused a riot at its 1913 Paris premiere. Igor Stravinsky's score is now so familiar, it's hard to image how primitive its polyrhythms sounded a century ago or how the stylized fertility rite choreographed by iconic dancer Vaslav Nijinsky was so far removed from accepted ideas of ballet the audience reacted with catcalls and fistfights. The Joffrey is only here for the weekend, but these performances are the launch event for a nine-month series of performances, exhibits, lectures, panel discussions and demonstrations spotlighting Stravinsky and dance, including his sojourn in Los Angeles. He lived here longer than he lived anywhere else. Just like the Joffrey, Stravinsky has strong ties to L.A. that will be celebrated and explored starting with the performances at the Music Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., dwntwn. Fri.-Sat., Feb. 1-2, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 3, 2 p.m.; $34-$125. www.musiccenter.org.
4. L.A. Contemporary Dance Company Evokes Caravaggio's Shadows and Light
The major LACMA exhibit Bodies and Shadows: Caravaggio and His Legacy is augmented by dance and music perspectives on the great Italian master. The evening begins with period music performed in the Resnick Gallery among the exhibition of art by Carvaggio and those he inspired. The action then moves to the Bing Theater for the U.S. premiere of choreographer Matteo Levaggi's Caravaggio, performed by dancers from L.A. Contemporary Dance Company, with a score by Giovanni Sollima. At the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., mid-Wilshire; Wed., Feb. 6, 7:30 p.m., $25, $18 LACMA members & seniors, $5 students, 323-857-6010, lacma.org.
3. Backhaus Dance Celebrates its 10th
Jennifer Backhaus has been in demand, gaining attention for her usually athletic, often witty contemporary choreography for Los Angeles Ballet and Orange County Regional Ballet, among others. But there is something special about seeing Backhaus' work performed by the bodies on which she created the moves. Now 10 years old, Backhausdance marks the occasion with the world premiere of The Elasticity of the Almost and repertory selections including Duet(s) and Sitting on January. At Richard & Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center, CSULB, 6200 Atherton St., Long Beach; Sat., Feb. 2, 8 p.m., $40. 562-985-7000, carpenterarts.org.
2. Hip Hop's Many Colors of the Blues
Marc Bamuthi Joseph/The Living Word Project use hip-hop movement, music and an art installation to explore environmental and social justice issues in red, black & GREEN: a blues. At REDCAT: Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater, 631 W. Second St., dwntn.; Thru Feb. 2, 8:30 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 3, 3 p.m., $20-$25; $16-$20 students. 213-237-2800, redcat.org.
1. Arcosm Arrives from France
In Traverse, France's Arcosm employs dance, live music and theatrical elements to amplify one person's daily routine to discover some larger universal connections. The 2-year-old company is led by dancer-choreographer Thomas Guerry and percussionist-composer Camille Rocailleux. At Theatre Raymond Kabbaz, 10361 W. Pico Blvd., W.L.A.; Fri., Feb. 1, 7:30 p.m., $30. 310-286-0553, theatreraymondkabbaz.com.