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...]

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...]

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...]

Great Moments in L.A. Dance in 2013

Gregory Maqoma in "Exit/Exist." photo: John Hogg

With strong flavors of Stravinsky, Balanchine, and Trisha Brown, 2013 was a satisfying year for iconic dance, and dance music, in Los Angeles. The centennial of Stravinsky’s game-changing “Rite of Spring” for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes delivered unto us both the Joffrey’s faithful reconstruction of the nervy Nijinsky choreography and, earlier in … [Read more...]

Blood-Rich ‘Beauty’

sleepingbeauty_photo 7

Considered the consummate classical ballet, "The Sleeping Beauty" features devilishly hard technical challenges, with nowhere to hide. Traditional stagings -- like Pacific Northwest Ballet's long, rich, drafty one -- have pretty vapid storylines. Instead, the audience identifies with the dancers' technical struggles. That's the meaningful, heroic … [Read more...]

BodyTraffic Excels in Kyle Abraham Premiere

BodyTraffic perform "Kollide"

[Los Angeles struggles to support a pure dance company. You'd be surprised how the city trails behind NY, SF or Seattle.  Yet this weekend, some good news: a small company called BodyTraffic! With a premiere from Kyle Abraham! I wrote for the L.A. Times on the Saturday night show:] Coming off prestigious gigs at New York’s Joyce Theater and … [Read more...]