Flamenco in Silverlake and Echo Park, a hip hop master reigns in Hollywood, incubating new work downtown, Black family structure considered in Santa Monica, a dance festival preview in Laguna Beach, and more SoCal Dance this week.
5. Going to the tablao
Known best for music performances, this venue has a growing rep for its dance offerings curated by Licia Perea including Black and LatinX choreographers in the BlakTina Festival and hip hop in Shut Up and Dance! The venue continues its expansion into the world of flamenco co-produced with respected dancer Briseyda Zárate. Under the title Flamenco Tablao (loosely translated as a venue or the platform where flamenco is performed), Zárate returns with her Briseyda Zárate & Company in what some consider among the most authentic flamenco forms. Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd., Echo Park; Sun., Apr. 21, 6:30 p.m., $30 & $40. https://www.bootlegtheater.org/.
4. Once more with feeling
Word clearly got out that international flamenco star Carmen Ledesma from Spain was a special guest for this edition of Forever Flamenco: Baillar es Sentir. The show already is close to sold out, but perhaps the theater has a waiting list? Artistic director Manuel Gutierrez also dances while guitarist Andrés Vadin, singer José Cortes, and percussionist Jose Alvarez provide backup. The Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave., Silverlake; Fri., July 19, 8 p.m., $40-$50, $30 seniors & students. http://www.fountaintheatre.com.
3. Getting physical
Works by MFA graduates from UCLA, Art Center and CalArts with a theme of physicality are showcased in LA Dance Project’s Physical Education. Friday’s show is devoted to full length choreography from Jinglin Liao (CalArts Dance). Saturday is shared by videos from Nena Zinovieff (UCLA Art Department), sculpture from Dirk Knibe (ArtCenter), live composition by Kenneth Glendon (UCLA School of Music), and performance video from Lucy Kerr (CalArts Film Department). Ticket proceeds go to the artists. LA Dance Project, 2245 E. Washington Blvd., downtown; Fri., July 19, 8 p.m., Sat., July 20, 6 p.m., $15. http://ladanceproject.org.2245season.
2. New works for NOW
A known incubator for cutting edge dance and other performing arts, REDCAT’s New Original Works (NOW) Festival opens the first of three weekends, each offering an early look at three artists or groups. This initial week includes performance art from Sola Bamis considering skincare routines and “womanist” survival. zach dorn and Danielle Dahl manipulate table top dioramas and a train set, while choreographer Katherine Helen Fisher and artist Andrew Ondrejcak celebrate the divine feminine. Week 2 finds Paul Outlaw’s horror movie nod to Franz Kafka plus choreographer Kate Watson-Wallace, composer Hprizm and visual artist Verónica Casado Hernandez collaborate on a live collage, and interdisciplinary artists Alexandro Segade and Amy Ruhl demonstrate their “socialism app.” Week 3 concludes the fest with a musical theater work from Source Material, then Austyn Rich considers front-lined black and brown troops, and Poor Dog Group’s co-founder Jesse Bonnell goes solo. REDCAT, 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; Thurs.-Sat., thru Aug. 10, 8:30 p.m., $20, $16 students. https://www.redcat.org/now19.
1. The doctor is in
If street dance has an elder statesman, Rennie Harris, actually Dr. Lorenzo “Rennie” Harris, has earned the honor. Under the title Rennie Davis Funkedified, the professor assembles a trio of street dance troupes including L.A.’s own Versa Style Dance Company, plus The Hood Lockers, and his eponymous Rennie Harris Puremovement. Executives at the Ford Theaters were so impressed with his program last year at Lula Washington’s studios, they invited Harris to return with an expanded edition as one of the theater’s special Ignite at the Ford events. Ford Theatres, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood; Sat., July 20, 8 p.m., $25-$50, $250 (benefit ticket includes reception, parking, premium seating). https://www.fordtheatres.org/calendar/rennie-harris.
Other dance of note:
Two dance troupes provide an early taste of the Laguna Dance Festival coming in September. Fresh from its performance with Rennie Harris in Hollywood, Versa Style Dance Company brings its signature brand of hip hop and street dance with a free dance class after each of two shows. With their own distinctive contemporary take on dance South Asian dance, Blue 13 Dance Company also offers a performance followed by a free class. Festival of the Arts, 650 Laguna Canyon Rd., Laguna Beach; Sun., July 21, Versa Style at 1 & 2 p.m., Blue 13 at 2 p.m., free. www.lagunadancefestival.org.
A triple threat performer, known for his work on Broadway, film and television, the incandescent Ben Vereen steps to the music in Steppin’ Out with Ben Vereen. In addition to signature song like Magic to Do from Pippen, Vereen offers a dance and song laced journey through his eventful career. Catalina Jazz Club, 6725 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., July 19, 8:30 p.m., $35, Sat., July 20, 8:30 p.m., $40. https://www.ticketweb.com/search?q=ben+vereen.
Dance from Korea is part of this edition of LA Women’s Theatre Festival. Traditional Korean music with a hint of western influence provides the soundtrack as Juli Kim offers Five Drum Dance and New Leaf. The dancer/choreographer shares the stage with singers Florence LaRue, Freda Payne and actress Marla Gibbs. Greenway Court Theatre, 544 N. Fairfax Ave., West Hollywood; Sat., July 20, 8 p.m., $25 in advance, $30 at door. 818-760-0408, http://lawtf.org.
The dancers of the respected youth troupe The Wooden Floor have been working with Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener, alumni of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company on Cunningham’s chance procedures and indeterminacy techniques. The collaborative result of this Co-Creation Lab is premiered along with a MinEvent described as an original arrangement of Cunningham work plus a Cunningham dance film, all part of the Merce Cunningham Centennial Celebration. The Wooden Floor Studio Theatre, 1810 N. Main St., Santa Ana; Thurs.-Sat., July 18-20, 8 p.m., $10-$20. https://www.thewoodenfloor.org/. https://www.eventbrite.com.
Described as an “experimental movement-based play,” Shaina Lynn Simmons’ Blood explores the Black family structure and the effect of mothers sending different messages to their sons and daughters. Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Sat., July 20, 8:30 p.m., $25, $20 students & seniors. https://highwaysperformance.org/.
Known for tap dancing to music ranging from Michael Jackson’s Thriller to a Star Wars tribute, Sarah Reich returns with her Just Jazz Concert Series. Mr. Musichead Gallery, 7420 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Wed., July 24, 8:30 p.m., $15-$25. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/just-jazz-live-concert-series-presents-sarah-reich-tickets-58624614801#tickets.
Summer’s JAM Sessions continue with dance and a drum circle led by Christopher Ramirez who promises a special guest artist. Come to learn new dances or just enjoy those who are dancing. This Monday series offers an array of free dance classes that take participants around the world without leaving town. A full list and locations at the website. Ford Theatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood; Mon., July 22, 7 p.m., free. https://www.fordtheatres.org/.
An opening night of dance films followed by two nights of live performance is the calling card for T2 Dance Project’s VDF CA 2019. Based in Boulder, Colorado, the organization’s festival aims to present emerging and established dance companies and dance film makers. As of press time, a list participating companies had not been posted at the website. Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Thurs.-Sat., July 25-27, 8 p.m., $25, $20 students & seniors. https://highwaysperformance.org/.
Warm summer nights mean it is time to dance under the stars with Dance DTLA. From now until September, the series affords different ways to move on most Friday nights. Free beginner dance lessons at 7 p.m. are followed by a chance to dance or to just watch and enjoy until 11 p.m. This summer includes three new entries, but this week it’s the ever-popular Argentine tango. With the Music Center Plaza still closed off for renovation, the action moves around, this week shifting to Grand Park’s Olive Court. Each week’s dance style and specific location at https://www.musiccenter.org/tickets/events-by-the-music-center/danceDTLA/. Grand Park Olive Court, 200 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri., July 19, 7 p.m., free. https://www.musiccenter.org.
Hoofers rejoice! The tap-filled musical Dames at Sea has extended its run to August 3. Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m., Sun., 2 p.m., thru Aug. 3. $45, $40 senior, $25 21 & under. http://www.sierramadreplayhouse.org/.