Equal Parts Hip-Hop and High Art, Seattle’s Amy O’Neal Tours “Opposing Forces”

Seattle-based choreographer, teacher and dancer Amy O'Neal. Photo: Nate Watters.

At quick glance, the dance lineup for this year’s Off Center Festival at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa might appear underwhelming. There’s the Barcelona-based performance group Agrupación Señor Serrano, which advertises “minimalist choreography” among its many attributes. And then, as the concluding act of the festival, there are … [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...]

Rare Early Soviet Ballet in High Demand

Angelina Vorontsova and Ivan Zaytsev in Mikhailovsky Ballet's "The Flames of Paris." Photo by Stas Levshin

Segerstrom Center for the Arts Executive Vice President Judy Morr adores Russian ballet and loves to make history. She was the first U.S. presenter of Eifman Ballet – also appearing this season at the center – and she makes sure the Mariinsky and Bolshoi ballets perform as often as possible. But past Segerstrom Center events could barely … [Read more...]

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...]