Just a month ago, Edward Villella was in town for the Los Angeles Dance Invitational, where he received LADI’s lifetime achievement award for his work both as a dancer with George Balanchine at New York City Ballet and as artistic director of Miami City Ballet. Villella is back, this time with his ballet company, to launch the Dance at the Music Center 2008-2009 season with a program showcasing two 20th-century Balanchine masterpieces and works from two 21st-century master choreographers. Symphony in Three Movements gives the company a chance to display for its prowess with Balanchine’s neoclassical moves, and Tarantella Pas de Deux remains an exuberant showcase. Choreographed in 1993 for New York City Ballet, Christopher Wheeldon’s pas de deux Liturgy draws on music by Arvo Pärt and captures both the mystical and sensuous elements in Pärt’s score. Still, the buzz for this visit surrounds the West Coast premiere of Twyla Tharp’s Nightspot, set to an original composition by Elvis Costello and costumed by fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi. Described by one reviewer as a “vision of Miami as a dramatic club place” Nightspot offers “scenes of temperament, flirtation, fights and reconciliation” taking place against yards and yards of flowing red fabric, courtesy of Mizrahi. Music Center Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Fri.-Sat., Oct. 24-25, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 26, 2 p.m.; $30-$120. (213) 365-3500.
Jennifer Kronenberg and Carlos Guerra in Mizrahis Nightspot costumes; Credit: Joe Gato