What’s the Answer to Abstract Dance?

Batsheva dancers in Ohad Naharin's "Sadeh21." Photo: Gadi Dagon.

Batsheva Dance Company 50th Anniversary Tour “Sadeh21” U.S. Premiere Royce Hall, UCLA Thurs Oct 30, Sat & Sun Nov 1-2   Touring the U.S. for the company’s 50th anniversary year, Batsheva Dance Company performed 3 shows at UCLA last week. The first was an invitation-only event: a rare assemblage of L.A.-area dance artists and … [Read more...]

On Bessies Night, L.A. Cheers for Keen Presenters

Okwui Okpokwasili’s solo work, "Bronx Gothic."

On the night of the Bessie Awards, New York City once again feels to eclipse all, sending L.A. into dark orbit. At the end of the night, however, L.A. dance-lovers have to come away with renewed appreciation for the great programmers out here who recognized the evening's genius, prize-winning solo artists from the U.S. and beyond, way before they … [Read more...]

Off-the-Radar Akram Khan Concert Next Week

Akram Khan company in "“iTMOi.” Photo: Jean-Louis Fernandez

Red alert, to anyone anywhere near Northern California on Oct. 24: Akram Khan is presenting his latest piece,“iTMOi” (“In the Mind of Igor”), which sounds amazing, at the UC Davis campus theatre next week. This blog page doesn't usually run preview notices, but this is the ONLY U.S. performance during the London-based company's international tour. … [Read more...]

Australian Ballet’s Earthly, Wrenching ‘Swan Lake’

The Australian Ballet's Madeleine Eastoe in Graeme Murphy's "Swan Lake." Photo: Lisa Tomasetti

While it sounded unpredictable on paper, the 12th season of Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at the Music Center opened on a high note with the West Coast debut of Australian Ballet’s “Swan Lake,” choreographer Graeme Murphy’s 2002 reimagining of Tchaikovsky’s epic beauty through the lens of the Princess Diana tragedy. Though a hybrid … [Read more...]

Garth Fagan’s Ancient, Electric Storms

The Garth Fagan Company in "LIghthouse/LIghtning Rod"

Back in 1991, when Tony Award-winning choreographer Garth Fagan first teamed with jazz composer Wynton Marsalis, Fagan gave Marsalis a poem he had written in the voice of a West African storyteller to use as a centering theme for the music of “Griot New York.” The juncture of these two revered artists made for soaring, warmth-spreading … [Read more...]

Do You Think You Know Gene Kelly?

"Singing in the Rain." Photo courtesy of Patrica Ward Kelly.

Teasing apart the movie musical a few years back, cultural critic Gilberto Perez wrote that each successful musical positions one of two figures of the artist in the fore: either the performer or the director. Sometimes, as in "The Band Wagon," we actually see the two figures characterized on film, fighting for prominence. But usually, one of the … [Read more...]

Top 10 Must-See Dance Concerts in L.A. this Year

Batsheva Dance Company presents "Sadeh 21," Ohad Naharin's new work for the company's 50th anniversary tour.

If you count carefully, you'll actually find 16 concerts listed here. I expanded the roundup I wrote for the OC Register -- which highlights the great companies that Orange County's deep-pocketed Segerstrom Center and Irvine Barclay can bring in --  to add a few more affordable offerings in Los Angeles and beyond. It's a good year for dance: read … [Read more...]

A Fizzled Evening with Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal

Ballet Jazz de Montréal in "Harry" by Barak Marshall. Photo: Gregory Batardon

The house was packed. The second-ever dance company to perform at the cushy new Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal easily sold out its two-night run  (January 10-11 2014), and was welcomed by a good faith audience, comfortable and ready to cheer.  The program had strong local ties, with … [Read more...]