A Poet, Some Musicians and 4 Dancers Walk Into a Coffeehouse...
A Poet, Some Musicians and 4 Dancers Walk Into a Coffeehouse...
Photo courtesy of Keith Glassman

5 Dance Shows to See in L.A. This Week, Including Coffeehouse Invasion Dances

This week's dance events include the return of Coffeehouse Dances, three different UCLA shows and last call for Maurice Hines' tribute to brother Gregory Hines 

5. Caffeinated choreography
So you're sitting and sipping that favorite half-caf soy latte, checking out the most recent edits on your screenplay, when A Poet, Some Musicians and 4 Dancers Walk Into a Coffeehouse and start dancing, playing their instruments and talking in rhythms just one step away from singing. Don't be alarmed; they are harmless and quite entertaining. Also known by the shorter moniker Coffeehouse Dances, it's choreographer Keith Glassman's 4-year-old effort to bring dance and music performance to untapped audiences where they live, or at least where they spend lots of time. Glassman and four dancers (Louie Cornejo, Rebeca Hernandez, Steve Irvin and Shoji Yamasaki) will descend on three coffee emporia this weekend and one more at the end of the month. The dancers get help for these one-hour performances from composer/saxophonist Charles Sharp, bassist Jeff Schwartz, drummer Rich West and poets Pat Payne, Shy But Flyy, Aleida Rodríguez and Jen Hofer. Admission is free but coffee drinks aren't. Coffee Connection, 3838 S. Centinela Ave., Mar Vista; Fri., May 16, 7 p.m.; free. Also at Sabor y Cultura Cafe, 5625 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Sat., May 17, 8 p.m.; Paper or Plastik Cafe, 5774 W. Pico Blvd., Mid-City; Sun., May 18, 3 p.m.; and UnUrban Coffee House, 3301 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica; Sat., May 31, 5:30 p.m. keithglassman.org.

Photo courtesy of Diavolo
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4. Ships and skateboards 
Choreographer Jacques Heim and Diavolo, his troupe of dancers, gymnasts and now skateboarders, take the stage for two slightly different programs. Both nights feature the skateboard-infused Transit Space. Friday also includes D2R, Knockturne, Bench and Humachina; Saturday pairs Transit Space with the seafaring Trajectoire. Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine; Fri.-Sat., May 16-17, 8 p.m., $32-$100; $16-$21.50 age 30 & under. 949-854-4646, thebarclay.org.

Ballroom With a Twist
Ballroom With a Twist
Photo courtesy of Scott Stander

3.  Move Over Arthur Murray
Look for Broadway, classical and international-style dancing with a bit of song in Ballroom with a Twist. Louis Van Amstel choreographs and directs an assemblage of ballroom dance stars including Dancing With the Stars' Kym Johnson and Tristan MacManus, So You Think You Can Dance's Jonathan Platero and Randi Lynn Strong and American Idol's Gina Glocksen-Ruzicka and Von Smith. Valley Performing Arts Center, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Sat., May 17, 8 p.m., $25- $60. 818-677-8800, valleyperformingartscenter.org.

2. Dance Three Ways
The range of UCLA's World Arts and Culture department is displayed this week in three separate performances. Seniors Concert showcases dance and performance from WAC senior students. UCLA Glorya Kaufman Dance Theater, 120 Westwood Plaza, Wstwd.; Sat., May 17, 3 & 8 p.m., $6; In Double Happiness or Nothing, Choreographer Julie Tolentino offers new works with help from dancers Alessandro Codagnone, John Lovett and Stosh Fila. UCLA Glorya Kaufman Dance Theater, 120 Westwood Plaza, Wstwd.; Thu., May 22, 3 p.m., free. wacd.ucla.edu.  Later that afternoon, Fowler at Fifty continues the museum's golden anniversary celebration with original works performed by Samantha Blake Goodman and Kethya Chey that relate to current exhibitions. At UCLA Fowler Museum 308 Charles E Young Dr N,, Wstwd.; Thursday, May 22, 2014 6 - 8 pm free fmch.ucla.edu.

Maurice Hines
Maurice Hines
Photo by Teresa Wood

1. Tappin' for the time of his life
Despite his impressive credentials as a dancer, choreographer, director and singer - even a Tony nomination - Maurice Hines can't avoid being identified as the brother of the late, higher-profile Gregory Hines. Displaying some deft footwork, Maurice Hines: Tappin' Thru Life embraces that reflected identity, paying tribute to his early career as one-half of a brotherly tap duo, while at the same time affirming his own credentials as a multitalented performer and mentor to a new generation. The version that toured the East Coast saved most of the tappin' to follow Hines' singing of some standards, interspersed with anecdotes about the stars he and his brother worked with. For these shows, Hines, 70, does lay down some licks before opening things up to John and Leo Manzari, a new generation of tapping brothers (18 and 21 years old, respectively), whom Hines featured a few years back in a production of Sophisticated Ladies. They're joined by an even younger phenom, 11-year-old Luke Spring, who already has Broadway and touring companies on his résumé, along with show-stopping turns on So You Think You Can Dance and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. It's all backed by a live jazz band. Bram Goldsmith Theater, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills; Fri. May 23, 8 p.m.; Sat., May 24, 3 & 8 p.m.; $79-$129. (310) 746-4000, thewallis.org.


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