Pasadena Dance Festival
Pasadena Dance Festival
Photo by Steve Hwan

A Sarah McLachlan Ballet, and Other Dance Shows to See

This week’s dance shows include Sarah McLachlan songs and the percussion hidden in a Cadillac Coup de Ville.

4. A Canadian jukebox ballet

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It’s been 40 years since choreographer Twyla Tharp sent Joffrey Ballet’s dancers twirling to the Beach Boys’ music and launched classical ballet’s romance with popular music. Hard to think of a ballet company that hasn’t taken a spin with the Beatles, Elvis or another pop icon, but few have embraced the genre as completely as Alberta Ballet’s artistic director Jean Grand Maître who has set ballets to the music of Joni Mitchell and Elton John. Canadian songstress Sarah McLachlan is the focus of Grand Maître’s latest, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, which arrives for a single performance after standing ovations and strong reviews praising Alberta Ballet’s latest smart, sexy pop ballet. Royce Hall, UCLA, 340 Royce Dr., Wstwd.; Sat., Jan. 24, 8 p.m.; $25-$75. 310-825-2101, ticketmaster.com.

Ate9 Dance Company in Queen George
Ate9 Dance Company in Queen George
Photo by Scott Simok

3. A dance festival turns eight

The 8th edition of the Horton award-winning Pasadena Dance Festival continues with three more shows including Friday's emerging choreographers showcase, Saturday workshops, a matinee spotlighting student dance troupes and a final concert headlined by Frit & Frat Fuller's Kin Dance Company and the festival host Lineage Dance Company. Lineage Performing Arts Center 89 S. Fair Oaks, Pasadena; Fri., Jan. 23, 8 p.m.; $25 adult, $20 students & seniors. Also at Flintridge Preparatory School, 4543 Crown Ave, La Canada; Sat., Jan. 24, 2 & 8 p.m.; $25, $20 students & seniors. 626-844-7008, lineagedance.org/festival/.

The Wooster Group in Early Shaker Spirituals
The Wooster Group in Early Shaker Spirituals
Photo courtesy of the Wooster Group

2. They are At(e) it again

It’s more than a furniture store or art gallery come to life in Queen George, with Danielle Agami and her Ate 9 Dance Company performing on and among Israel designer/carpenter Amir Raveh’s patchwork furnishings made from woodshop remnants and abstract expressionist artist Avi Roth’s coffeegraph collage series. For more than two hours, dancers will perform duets rotating throughout the gallery every half hour with solo dances in some private rooms. After its opening night last week in Santa Ana, the event moves to downtown L.A. for four more nights. Think Tank Gallery, 939 Maple Ave., dwntwn.; Sat.-Sun., Jan. 24-25, 6 p.m.; $15-$20. thinktankgallery.org/event/queen-george.

Alberta Ballet in Fumbling Towards Ecstasy
Alberta Ballet in Fumbling Towards Ecstasy
Photo by Don Lee

1. Car culture choreography

Two decades after L.A.’s premiere site specific dance ensemble made its mark with Parts and Labor, Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre (then called Collage Dance Theater) revisits its celebration of L.A.’s car culture with Parts and Labor Redux, this time with dancers performing on and around a 1970 Cadillac Coupe de Ville accompanied by percussionists playing the car's amplified metal. LACE, 6522 Hollywood Blvd., Hllywd.; Fri.,  Jan. 23, 8 p.m.; $40, $20 students & seniors. Also at Sci-Arc, 255 S. Santa Fe Ave., dwntwn.; Sat., Jan. 24, 8 p.m.; $100 (includes an after party). 818-784-8669, heididuckler.org.

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