This week's events include a New York transplant's local debut and a Mark Twain character mixing with a Japanese dance form.
5. Huck Finn goes butoh
Oguri is arguably L.A.'s most recognized proponent of the dance genre of butoh and, with his Body Weather Laboratory, responsible for expanding the understanding of and appetite for this hypnotically slow, mesmerizing, sometimes apocalyptic dance form. This edition of BWL's annual Flower of the Season finds Oguri joined by Yasunari Tamai from Japan for the local premiere of Notaway-Quest for Freedom. Both Oguri and Tamai trained and danced with Japan's Min Tanaka, a seminal figure in the development of butoh in post World War II Japan. Notaway takes its inspiration from Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Huck's travels that had no specific destination, just away from where he was–not unlike butoh's travels away from classical Japanese dance. Frequent Oguri collaborator Wadada Leo Smith provides music, performed live by Smith's Golden Quartet at the Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice; Fri., March 1, 8 p.m., Sat., March 2, 5 & 8 p.m., Sun., March 3, 3 p.m.; $22 in advance, $25 at door; $17 students, seniors & under 18 years. www.brownpapertickets.com. (310) 306-1854. www.electriclodge.org.
4. Evolving a dance form that was almost annihilated
Choreographers Chey Chankethya and Samantha Goodman share the stage in this MFA concert. Chankethya's My Mother and I considers the conflicted impulses to preserve traditional dance versus the need to evolve, in the context of classical Cambodian dance whose proponents were targeted for death and the dance form almost lost forever. In the second work, Goodman explores The Corrosive Function of Words with movement, video and sound. At Glorya Kaufman Dance Theater, Glorya Kaufman Hall, 120 Westwood Plaza, UCLA, Wstwd.; Fri., March 1, 8 p.m., free. arts.ucla.edu.
3. New York transplant makes his local debut
An alum of the Limo—n Dance Company and Doug Varone & Dancers, dancer-choreographer Daniel Charon makes his SoCal debut as a dancemaker in a program called Blink. The seven dancers get help from Daniel Jackson's technology and Jeff Aaron Bryant's score. Opening night includes a post-performance reception. CalArts, Sharon Disney Theater, 24700 McBean Parkway, Valencia; Fri., March 1, 8 p.m.; Sat., March 2, 7 & 9 p.m., $10. calarts.edu/calendar.
2. Last chance for Mardi Gras
If you can't get to Rio or New Orleans, Brazilian Carnaval is a local alternative offering a rollicking, exotic Mardi Gras show at Club Nokia, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., dwntwn.; Sat., March 2, 8 p.m., $45-$65 in advance, $55-$75 at door. (818) 566-1111, braziliannites.com, clubnokia.com.
1. Darwinian adaptation in dance
Choreographer Hilary Thomas considers the human capacity to adapt in Arc of Evolution–The Path of Loss. This latest for her Lineage Dance has original music by John Guth. Friday's preview is pay-what-you-can at Lineage Performing Arts Center, 89 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena; Fri.-Sat., March 1-2, 8 p.m.; Sun., March 3, 5 p.m., $25, $20 seniors & students. 626-844-7008, lineagedance.org.