This week's dance shows include a finale by a fireside, a modern pairing, Max 10 for March and more Cirque.
5. And a one, two, three, four!
In Quartet, the dancers of Los Angeles Ballet are reveling in two world premieres, as well as dancing two 20th-century masterpieces that only the best dance companies are allowed to perform. Choreographer Sonya Tayeh (from TV's So You Think You Can Dance) returns for her fourth commission for the company, Beneath One's Dignity. The second world premiere is Christopher Stowell's first Los Angeles Ballet commission. A recognized choreographer and former artistic director of the respected Oregon Ballet Theatre, Stowell teamed up with composer Noah Agruss for his ballet Cipher. As for the classics: The choreography of European master Ji?í Kylián has been seen here thanks to Nederlands Dans Theater and American Ballet Theatre, but Kylián severely restricts who can perform his work - especially Return to a Strange Land, a luminous series of pas de deux and trios set to music by Leoš Janá?ek. Kylián's permission is another benchmark of the international reputation that LAB has established under co-artistic directors Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary. Last season featured the company's inaugural Balanchine Festival, and Quartet's finale returns to Balanchine for the company premiere of his terpsichorean sparkler, Stars and Stripes. Set to John Philip Sousa's exuberant marches, Balanchine's Valentine to his adopted home country invariably leaves the audience cheering. Performing in multiple theaters throughout March, LAB continues its commitment to make ballet a short drive for all of metro L.A. Valley Performing Arts Center, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Sat., March 1, 7:30 p.m. Also at Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd.; Sat., March 8, 7:30 p.m. At Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale; Sat., March 15, 7:30 p.m. At UCLA Royce Hall, 340 Royce Drive, Wstwd.; Sat., March 22, 7:30 p.m., $30-$95, $24-$76 students, children & seniors. (310) 998-7782, www. losangelesballet.org.
4. Bendy, bendy people
Each edition of Cirque du Soleil has a theme, and Totem looks at founding myths and Darwinian links, from the first amphibians crawling ashore to creatures taking flight. Expect the mix of acrobatics, gymnastics, dance, music and spectacle that has taken Cirque du Soleil on its own evolution from Canadian street performances to international phenomenon. The visit offers a range of tickets from mere admission to V.I.P to just short of joining the cast. Click here for a complete listing of performance dates and times for the run and preview videos as the distinctive blue circus tent takes up residence in the pier parking lot at the Santa Monica Pier, 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica; Tue.-Sun.. Thru March 16. 310-458-8900, www.tickets.cirquedusoleil.com.
3. A contemporary pair
Laurel Tentindo is an alum of the renowned Trisha Brown Dance Company. Kevin Williamson has toured with David Rousseve and helms his own KDUB Dance. The two share the stage in a performance with soundscores from composers Jeepneys and Miguel Frasconi. Tentindo does double duty as choreographer and dancer in IMAGE ACTION with six other dancers in paper costumes that expand into kinetic sculptures. Williamson contributes a new solo, Robert, and reprises The Lost Boys, a work for four men, which premiered last fall. At UCLA Glorya Kaufman Dance Theater, 120 Westwood Plaza, Wstwd.; Fri., Feb. 28, 8 p.m., free. www.wac.ucla.edu.
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2. 10-minute dances
Max 10 Performance Laboratory, that feisty, funky and uncurated monthly showcase for dance and performance, continues. Like a good laboratory, there's lots of experimentation and often surprisingly delightful results. At the Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice; First Monday of every month, 7:30 p.m., $10. 310-306-1854, www.electriclodge.org.
1. Stringin' by the fireside
The finale to this year's Fireside at the Miles series offers two nights of the dance/music ensemble String Theory. Cozy up to the fireplace and enjoy the dancing to music from this group's signature giant stringed construct. Reservations at 310-458-8634 or firstname.lastname@example.org are recommended, and guests must arrive 15 minutes before showtime to retain them. At the Miles Memorial Playhouse, 1130 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica;Feb. 28-March 1, 8 p.m., $10, $5 students, seniors, youth 17 & under. 310-458-8634, www.milesplayhouse.org.