Deadly dance in East L.A., a day-long dance party in Northridge, Oregon visitors revisit Virginia Woolf in Long Beach, dance about rivers flow downtown, an admired dancer goes solo in Santa Monica, dance with live jazz in West Adams, and more So Cal dance this week.
5. Catching their breath
Known for a deep committment to live jazz music backing contemporary dancers, Pat Taylor returns with her JazzAntiqua Dance & Music Ensemble. This time the choreographer and the dancers also teamed with poet Peter J Davis and choreographer Cynthia Gutierrez in Breath (part 2). Expect insightful storytelling through exuberant, exciting dance, all set to live jazz music. Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4718 W. Washington Blvd., West Adams; Sat., Nov. 11, 8 p.m.. $25-$35. 323-964-9766, http://www.itsmyseat.com/events/287900.html.
4. Looking for America
Last year, SuarezDance Theater offered a series of performances that concluded with the audience joining the dancers to share a meal and before that, a series that explored what “family” means today. This time out, choreographer Christine Suarez tackles another tough topic in On Being American: An Interactive Dance Event. Concerned about forces deliberately seeking to polarize definitions of an American identity, Suarez and collaborator Shelby Williams-Gonzalez set out to develop this piece by interviewing a wide swath of Santa Monica residents for their different perspectives on the subject. Company member Nguyen Nguyen came in to direct the final work that promises the kind of provocative insights and multiple perspectives this ensemble is known for. Miles Memorial Playhouse, 1130 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica; Fri., Nov. 10, 8 p.m., Sat., Nov. 11, 3 & 8 p.m., Sun., Nov. 12, 3 p.m., $15. http://brownpapertickets.com/event/3317296.
3. Does he answer when you call?
Named after Glenn Kotche, composer and percussionist for the band Wilco, calling glenn is the newest work from Danielle Agami and her modern troupe AteNine. Agami and her ensemble are known for their work with Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin’s “gaga” technique and were artists-in-residence at UCLA last year. It’s another hopeful sign for the expanding profile of local dance for this L.A.-based company to be included in CAP UCLA’s official dance season. UCLA Royce Hall, 340 Royce Dr., Westwood; Sat., Nov. 11, 8 p.m., $29-$59, 310-825-2101, http://ucla.edu.
2. Dancing a little for those with less
Leave it to underpaid L.A. dancers and underfunded local choreographers to devote themselves to a series of charity fundraiser concerts to aid those with even less. Organized by choreographer/impresario Deborah Brockus under the banner Dance/BACK, this third edition presents ten companies and solo artists including PROJECT21DANCE, Kybele, Palm Dance, Sean Green, Andrew Pearson, Pia Vinson, Jessica Harper, Charlotte Smith, Dominique McDougal and host company BrockusRED. Friday’s show benefits the International Rescue Committee and Sunday’s show benefits Doctors Without Borders. A Sunday 2 p.m. matinee benefits Youth Dance Education and fees for a Sunday masterclass with Alan Perez are earmarked for Mexico earthquake relief. Admission is free with a donation of food, clothes, and household goods for victims of the Santa Rosa fire. Details at http://brockusproject.org. Brockus Project Studios, Brewery Arts Center, 618 B Moulton Ave., Lincoln Heights; Fri., Nov. 11, 8 p.m., Sun., Nov. 12, 2 & 4 p.m., free with donation of food, clothes or cash. http://brockusproject.org.
1. A 10-hour dance party
In 1992, Diavolo exploded onto the L.A. dance scene, literally, with acrobatic dancers bursting out of a staircase or employing a doorway as a multi-dimensional Romeo and Juliet balcony scene. Led by French-born choreographer Jacques Heim, a team of dancer/acrobat/gymnast/daredevils and a growing collection of giant architectural structures that opened, closed, expanded and moved with as flexibility as the human performers, the company gained national and international attention including three successive L.A. Phil commissions to music by John Adams, Esa Pekka Salonen and Philip Glass. Heim and his cohorts forged a special relationship with this venue with a monumental performance with those three L.A. Phil commissions performed on one night with live music. To mark Diavolo’s silver anniversary, Heim, his troupe and some of those amazing architectural constructs return, taking over various campus locations for ten hours brimming with workshops, a dance party and performances including the premiere of Veteran’s Project. Along the way, the name “Diavolo,” derived from the Spanish word for “day” and the Latin for “I fly,” expanded into the current and descriptive Diavolo/Architecture in Motion, flying as high if not higher than when launched 25 years ago. Complete details at http://valleyperformingartscenter.org. Valley Performing Arts Center, Cal State University Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Sat., Nov. 11, 1 p.m. – 11 p.m., $48-$85. http://valleyperformingartscenter.org/calendar/details/diavolo.
Other dance of note:
Considerable attention is afforded the dead and undead surrounding Halloween, but throughout Latin American and Latin American communities in the U.S., another celebration follows with Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead), combining reverent remembrance of forbearers and a solid dose of revelry, perhaps fueled by heightened appreciation of being alive. Now in its 16th year, Gema Sandoval and her Danza Floricanto/USA offer a most polished combination of reflection and jubilance. Floricanto Center for the Performing Arts, Sat., Nov. 11, 8 p.m., Sun., Nov. 12, 5 p.m., $40 dinner and show package Nov. 11 only, $15-$20, $15 students & seniors, $5 children 10 & under. http://www.danzafloricantousa.com/store.php.
As a dancer, Kevin Williamson has been admired for his dancing with David Roussève, Maria Gillespie, and LA Contemporary Dance Company. Williamson dons his choreography cap for this solo show, Still or I’ve Been Choreographed that offers a variety of dance genres, video imagery and reflections on his former selves. Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Fri.-Sat., Nov. 10-11, 8:30 p.m., Sun., Nov. 12, 7 p.m., $20, $15 students & seniors. 310-453-1755, http://highwaysperformance.org.
Five years of research on the impact of damming rivers was the starting point for River of Everyone River of No One developed and performed by Marina Magalhães, Isis Avalos, Samad Guerra, along with participants of a workshop that employed African Diasporic dance practices to explore ideas about fluidity, water, containment, and environmental justice. The research, contained in Carolina Cayedo’s recently published River Serpent Book, becomes both a score and prop in this site specific performance. A Q&A follows the performance. Beta Main Museum, 114 W. 4th St., downtown; Sun., Nov. 12, 6:30 p.m., free. http://www.themainmuseum.org.
The latest installment of the Lineage Dance series Stories of Love boasts live music from Dyad, the contemporary classical duo with violinist Niv Ashkenazi and bassoonist Leah Kohn. This modern dance troupe also gets support from guitarist Juan Lozano and singer Cortney Wright. Lineage Performing Arts Center, 89 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena; Sun., Nov. 12, 7 p.m., $20 advance purchase, $25 at door, $15 students & seniors advance purchase, $20 at door. https://lineagedance.secure.force.com/ticket/
Under the banner Voces, Spanish dancer Cihtli Ocampo “La Gallardí” provides the dance component of an impressive assemblage of musicians and singers exploring the intersection of Gypsy flamenco, Latino boleros, African-American jazz and blues. The innovative show from the producers of Forever Flamenco also includes guitarist Ethan Margolis, upright bass and Venezuelan cajón player Reggie Hamilton, percussionist Diego Álvarez, and singers Stephanie Amaro, Luis de la Tota, and Maiya Sykes. Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave., East Hollywood; Thurs.-Fri., Nov. 9-10, 8 p.m., $40-$50, $30 seniors & students. 323-663-1525, http://fountaintheatre.com.
In Woolf Papers, NW Dance Project artistic director Sarah Slipper takes inspiration from Virginia Woolf’s stream of consciousness novel Mrs. Dalloway. The Oregon-based contemporary company arrives with strong reviews and growing national attention. Carpenter Performing Arts Center, Cal State Long Beach, 6200 Atherton St., Long Beach; Sat., Nov. 11, 8 p.m., $50. 562-985-7000. https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pesptpm/10156942/1081486.
Original choreography from an impressive line up of choreographers including Lorin Johnson, Keith Johnson, Rebecca Lemme, Julio Medina, Andrew Vaca, and Norbert De La Cruz III highlight this Dance in Concert. Lorin Johnson contributes contemporary ballet for seven dancers while Keith Johnson offers a modern dance quartet. Love songs from the 1950’s are the backdrop for Rebecca Lemme’s Love Letter juxtaposed with Julio Medina’s exploration of hip hop culture aided by a live DJ. Jazz is Andrew Vaca’s métier employing a capella singing while contemporary choreographer Norbert De La Cruz III collaborated with musician/composer Nathan Prillaman. Martha B. Knoebel Dance Theater, Cal State University Long Beach, 6200 Atherton St., Long Beach; Wed.-Fri., Nov. 15-17, 8 p.m., Sat., Nov. 18, 2 & 8 p.m., $20, $16 seniors & students. 562-985-7000, http://csulb.edu/dance.
It’s not just on television any more as Lex Ishimoto, the winner of this season’s So You Think You Can Dance, is joined by the other top 10 finalists as they stop off on their 34-city tour. Dolby Theatre, Hollywood Blvd. & Highland Ave., 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, Hollywood; Wed., Nov. 15, 8 p.m., $45.50-$59.50. 323-308-6300, http://dolbytheatre.com/events.
Parked on a scenic overlook, the site specific performance specialists who comprise Heidi Duckler Dance Theater celebrate with their 32nd Gala. In addition to HDDT’s performance, the event honors L.A. County Supervisor, Mark Ridley-Thomas, Culver City Vice-Mayor Thomas Aujero Small and Culver City Councilwoman Meghan Sahli-Wells. Details at http://heididuckler.org/. Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, 6300 Hetzler Rd., Culver City; Sat., Nov. 11, 4:30 p.m., $150-$5,000. https://web.ovationtix.com.
The new series Heart of Dance offers studio performances by major dance companies, this week with Martha Graham Dance Company and concluding with Mark Morris Dance Group (Nov. 18). The new venture is a collaboration among the UC Irvine dance department, New York University, and the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. Claire Trevor Theatre, UC Irvine, 4000 Mesa Rd., Irvine; Sat., Nov. 11, 11 a.m., Free, but reservations required. http://heartofdance.brownpapertickets.com.