From a belly dancing extravaganza to an exhibition of the godfather of street photography, here are the 12 best things to do in Los Angeles this week!
The opening night of the long-running Middle Eastern dance themed celebration known as the Cairo ShimmyQuake Belly Dance Festival (CSQ) will be enchantingly dark and decadent this year. Conceived, directed and narrated by Princess Farhana (the dancer persona of punk legend and longtime L.A. Weekly contributor Pleasant Gehman), Mystique traces the evolution of mystical dance, meshing ritual and movement to evoke expression from ancient civilizations and the sensual performance of modern times. Opening with a traditional Egyptian exorcism known as a zar, the ominous show infuses Vedic astrology, sorcery, voodoo and more with a diverse cast local troupes and solo dancers including Aubre Hill, Daniel Estéban, Devilla, Dusty Paik, Edenia Archuleta, Jayna Manoushe, Kamala Almanzar, Mandala DanceWorks, Mirielle Mischook, Qabila Folk Dance Company, Shauntel and Sherri Wheatley. Glendale Civic Auditorium, 1401 N. Verdugo Road, Glendale; Fri., June 7, 7 p.m.; $15 in advance, $20 at the door. cairoshimmyquake.com. —Lina Lecaro
Romantic, emotional, at times surreal and always eccentric, in Semiotics, works by four artists infuse the galleries at La Luz de Jesus with the elements of a parallel language. Dianne Bennett, Meagan Boyd, Carlín Díaz and Nathan Reidt each creates their own take on a more dreamlike way of interpreting the world and their experiences of it, following the rules of their own allegories. From pop-inflected stylized scenic compositions to zesty, detail rich mixed media tableaux, finely rendered but impossible anatomies, and folkloric, feverish fables, this show strikes a fanciful, thoughtful tone of visual poetry. La Luz de Jesus, 4633 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz; opening reception: Fri., June 7, 8-11 p.m.; exhibit: Mon.-Wed., 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Thu.-Sat., 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun., noon-6 p.m.; free. (323) 666-7667, laluzdejesus.com. —Shana Nys Dambrot
Changing of the Guard
In a short decade, Pieter Performance Space has made a name as a supportive space for dance as well as for its distinctive ticketing system for performances. Admission is a non-monetary contribution to the free bar and/or boutique. Among its innovative and experimental efforts, the series Hi, Solo presents 10 choreographers, each with a three-minute solo, a first look at what often has evolved into larger group and evening-length works. Over 70 choreographers have been presented during the four years Alexx Shilling and Devika Wickremesinghe helmed the series. This edition marks the passing of the torch to Miles Brenninkmeijer and Alexsa Durrans, both Hi, Solo alumni. Pieter Performance Space, 420 W. Avenue 33 #10, Lincoln Heights; Sat., June 8, 8:30 & 10 p.m.; admission is a non-monetary contribution to the free bar and/or boutique. pieterpasd.com. —Ann Haskins
Pasadena Is Your Playground
Taking place in and around Old Town Pasadena, BoldPas: A Day of Art & Play in Old Pasadena might be the most Instagram-worthy spot to visit this weekend. Grab a guide map at one of the information booths and stroll down the neighborhood’s streets and alleys, where you’ll find 17 art installations that are bold in both color and size, and consist of everything from 300 balloons and origami to a pop-up tattoo shop and a giant coloring book. Better yet, take part in art and printmaking workshops at one of several businesses, the Armory Center for the Arts and sp(a)ce gallery at Ayzenberg, which is displaying the exhibit, “Robot Remix,” or geek out in front of Big Bang Theory Way, where DJ Glenn Red will spin tunes. If that’s not enough shots for your feed, nearby landmark Pasadena Playhouse is hosting its annual block party, with two stages of performances, family activities, food and tours. Old Town Pasadena; Sat., June 8, noon-8 p.m.; free. (626) 356-9725, oldpasadena.org. —Siran Babayan
The key to happiness is self love. But thanks to societal standards and expectations as perpetuated by the beauty industry, the entertainment world and, worst of all, each other (thanks, social media), it can be a hard thing to achieve. It’s true these days for everyone but in particular women, and even more so women of color. Xipi~Teca’s Love Thyself Festival aims to counter the naysayer noise by gathering women to share, connect and focus on awareness of self love, something women from marginalized groups may find more challenging due to not necessarily looking like the “ideals” represented in pop culture and media and or not having the means to achieve the lifestyles we are told we should want to have. This party is about celebrating yourself and your uniqueness. It’s also about meeting others to be inspired by. Workshops and performances include crystal healing by The Hoodwitch, a self-love demo and ritual by Maitri Healing Co., a self-love altar from Locatora Radio’s Mala y Diosa, jewelry making from Mapache Jewelry, manifestation through meditation and yoga, music from Sin Color and Tona Flores, makeup demos, an open mic, dance, a “Divine Diosa” photo booth, DJ Hella Breezy spinning chica-powered jams and a performance by revered local reina Yesika Salgado called How to Love Yourself as a Brown Fat Fly Mujer. Food and vendors galore too. La Plaza de La Raza, 3540 North Mission Road, Lincoln Heights; Sun., June 9, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; $27 (GA)-$90 (includes all workshops). eventbrite.com/e/love-thyself-selflove-festival-tickets-57601176670. —Lina Lecaro
Getting the Best of Addiction
Take a load off and/or take the edge off when director David Lynch and comedian Russell Brand answer all your questions on consciousness and creation at this benefit for the addicts at Friendly House. Addicts need transcendence and meditation more than most, and Brand — a staunch advocate for such things — tonight receives the Freedom from Addiction Award, which may just be a handful of protoplasm if you really consider the nature of addiction. Lynch himself considers stress a “suffocating rubber clown suit of negativity” — and showing up tonight means that you’re literally being present, so you’re halfway there already. The Fonda, 6126 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sun., June 9, 6:30 p.m.; $49.50-100. (323) 464-6269, fondatheatre.com/events/detail/374847. —David Cotner
Eve Ensler has used the power of words to champion female sexuality in her landmark and ever-evolving 1996 play, The Vagina Monologues. She has also used her words to lay bare the secrets of her life in the memoir In the Body of the World and to empower women in such books as I Am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World. And after waiting in vain for much of her life to hear her father acknowledge and show repentance for reportedly abusing her as a child, Ensler wrote the words for him instead in The Apology, a cathartic and healing account of her tragic childhood that she discusses with vocalist Idina Menzel. Ann & Jerry Moss Theater, 3131 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica; Mon., June 10, 8 p.m.; $27. (310) 828-5582, livetalksla.org. —Falling James
Yuval Sharon has been the wizard behind the curtain for some astonishing visual productions with L.A. Phil, including launching the Nimbus installation of colorful, cottony clouds above Disney Hall’s escalators; marshaling an invasion of gigantic, tripod-like Martian space creatures simultaneously across several downtown locations during Annie Gosfield’s War of the Worlds; and shuffling multiple scenic backgrounds and costumed characters like a deck of cards across a film-studio set during John Cage’s insanely sarcastic operatic mash-up Europeras 1 & 2. He concludes his three-year residency with one final tour de force — a challenging presentation of composer Meredith Monk’s rarely performed opera Atlas, a transcendent symphony of sighs and other artfully evocative, ethereal vocal exhalations. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Tue.-Wed., June 11-12, 8 p.m. & Fri., June 14, 8 p.m.; $32-$164. (323) 850-2000, laphil.com. —Falling James
Create Your Own Style
Relief from the cares and woes of modern living comes in many forms, and at this evening’s Relief Printmaking Workshop you’ll use linoleum blocks to smash the state you’re in by carving your own statement into them. Such blocks are the traditional building materials of protest movements — so simple and direct are they — and you can conjure up your own placard or t-shirt once you’ve mastered the form. The workshop is free, but be sure to make advance reservations for materials like $12 for a 9×12 linoleum block and $5 for 4 sheets of Stonehenge paper, and you’re all set. Last Projects, 206 S. Ave. 20, Lincoln Heights; Tue., June 11, 6 p.m.; free. (323) 356-4225, facebook.com/events/2321562741432202 —David Cotner
What Are Words Worth?
Amanda Montell loves language. The local writer and self-described “wordy gal” not only revels in words and their multiple definitions, she also celebrates the secret meanings and usages of words in her new book, Wordslut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language. The local writer parses the histories, the distinctions between, and the meanings of such loaded words as “bitch” and “woman,” as well as the Valley Girl tendency to, like, use “like” too often. These seemingly simple and lighthearted digressions lead to more serious points about how language is used by those in power to divide us all. Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Wed., June 12, 7:30 p.m.; free. (323) 660-1175, skylightbooks.com. —Falling James
Hollywood’s Mater Familias
If you’re the Hollywood Women’s Film Institute and you’re looking to kick off your 2019 festival with panache, you can’t do better than to premiere a movie like Why Not Choose Love? A Mary Pickford Manifesto — unless it’s to debut this stirring, stylized biopic of Hollywood’s literal founding mother at the gloriously restored United Artists Theater Pickford founded in the first place. Before she grew up and established UA itself, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, and the general ground rules for the rights of creatives working in the dream factories, Pickford was a young woman with a dream and a self to define. Tonight’s gala also includes a pre-reception and a post-screening discussion. As singer Angela McCluskey describes the experience of playing Mary’s mother Charlotte in the film, “It was mind blowing to realize this was literally the conception of the very first name-in-lights movie star!” This is that story. Theater at the Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, downtown; Wed., June 12, 6 p.m.; $50. (213) 235-9614, theatre.acehotel.com. —Shana Nys Dambrot
I Am a Camera
The stellar career and indelible vision of 20th-century photographer Cartier-Bresson was a game-changer for contemporary art, and even for the modern era’s idea of itself. Inventor of the photographic concept of the decisive moment, Cartier-Bresson was not only the godfather of street photography and the perennial chronicler of Lost Generation Paris, but a sort of golden god to the Leica camera brand. Now Leica’s L.A. Gallery opens the new exhibition Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Eye of the Century, co-presented with classic photo emporium Peter Fetterman Gallery, offering exceptional prints of the classic images that gave us the dream of the old European city as we know it. Leica Gallery Los Angeles, 8783 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood; opening reception: Thu., June 13, 6-9 p.m.; exhibit: Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun., noon-5 p.m., through July 31; free.(424) 777-0341, leicagalleryla.com. —Shana Nys Dambrot
Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.