An upswing in the use of dance in music videos and television commercials may keep dancers employed, but the result can be frustrating to watch. Too often, a stunning dance sequence is chopped up by quick editing, or blocked as the superstar act or product intrudes to claim the camera’s focus. Enter Jazz Dance L.A., which once a year affords choreographers and dancers a chance to seize center stage with a spectrum of styles loosely gathered under the umbrella of jazz dance. This season, director Claude Thompson has assembled a stellar lineup that includes Hama, Otis Salid, Pat Taylor of JazzAntiqua, Keny Long, Kenji Yamaguchi, Bob Borros, the legendary Donald McKayle, and Jaime Rogers (who recently received a Lester Horton Award for lifetime achievement). Japan America Theater, 244 S. San Pedro St., dwntwn.; Sat., May 20, 8 p.m.; Sun., May 21, 2 p.m.; $25-$40; $15 student rush. (213) 680-3700.

—Ann Haskins

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