Could an L.A. Dance Hub Grow from a Mapping Tool?

Dance Map LA

The L.A. dance scene of late has felt a fresh momentum. And the decade-long accumulation  -- of new companies, new venues, new academies and institutions, prestige teachers and choreographers --  took a leap in cumulative power this past month, thanks to the debut of an elegant digital source called Dance Map L.A. Simple census taking can be a … [Read more...]

Los Angeles Ballet’s Notable “The Sleeping Beauty”

Kenta Shimizu and Allyssa Bross. Photo: Reed Hutchinson

It’s all shiny and assured good news for Los Angeles Ballet -- as well as the evolving character of Princess Aurora -- in the lean, deftly satisfying production of “The Sleeping Beauty” that L.A. Ballet founders Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary have been debuting this winter in four different SoCal theaters. The third concert in L.A.B.’s … [Read more...]

The Will of Eva Perón, Painted in Tango

Nestor Gude and Lucia Alonso in Tango Buenos Aires' "Song of Eva Peron." Photo: Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register

If it's coming your way, you won't do wrong to grab tickets to Tango Buenos Aires' current touring show, "Song of Eva Perón." Already immortalized in music and on film, Evita's physical portrait here -- mostly an energetic one, as considered here through the lens of Argentine tango --  adds subtle dimension to her mystique. Eva Perón’s … [Read more...]

Best Dance of 2014

Norwood Pennewell in "Prelude." Photo: Greg  Barrett

Norwood Pennewell, of the Garth Fagan Company, danced exquisitely in "Prelude," performed at the Nate Holden Center -- it's my no. 1 pick.  Now in his 50s, Pennewell's continuing power and delicacy raises the hairs on the back of my neck. It's thrilling to watch. How glorious to see Pina Bausch's "Kontahkof," captured in both radiant … [Read more...]

Perform or Die

Raushan Mitchell

Concert dance is ridiculously evaporative. It enters through your eyes, yet you can't study it. Repeated music phrases might linger, but live movement performance can barely be held or stored. It’s why people ask to see “Revelations” or “Serenade” again and again, year after year.   And what of the dancemakers -- are they struggling … [Read more...]

Smokin’ Ivan Vasiliev Manifests “The Flames of Paris”

Marat Shemiunov and Ekaterina Borchenko in Mikhailovsky Ballet's "The Flames of Paris." Photo: Stas Levshin.

By the third performance of the West Coast debut of Mikhail Messerer’s 2013 revival of “The Flames of Paris” (1932), the engine of the recently revamped Mikhailovsky Ballet and Orchestra was running incredibly hot. Never before has a three-act ballet burned by so fast, alternating multilayered scenes of street rebellion and palace treachery … [Read more...]

Ira Glass’ Dance Theater Follies To Tour Through 2015

"Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host" featuring Anna Bass, Ira Glass, and Monica Bill Barnes. Photo: David Bazemore

It feels like it might have been a dare. The group of quirky, brainy folks who produce “This American Life” radio show week after week, challenge its creator/host, the wildly popular Ira Glass, to produce a piece on an impossible to produce subject. “Federal Reserve regulators!” Already done that, he says. “Nine shows about poultry!” … [Read more...]