Dancing about the stars in Santa Monica, flamenco shows in Silverlake and Orange, the lady with the lost shoe continues downtown, depression and mental health considered in Pasadena and Venice, out of town visitors in Malibu and Irvine, plus more SoCal dance this week.
5. Lessons from a losing struggle
Choreographer Hilary Thomas and her Lineage Dance return with Ceiling in the Floor, Thomas’ dance/theater remembrance of her long-time friend composer Brandon Toh and his losing struggle with depression. Directed by Marisa Echeverria with music and lyrics by Toh, the performance is followed by a discussion with mental health professionals and the dancers. Redmond Stage at A Noise Within Theater, 3352 Foothill Blvd., Pasadena; Mon., Feb. 25, 7 p.m., $10-$30. https://secure.anoisewithin.org/Online/default.asp.
4. Flamenco goes on
This month’s edition of this long-running flamenco show is dubbed Forever Flamenco by Fanny Ara. Ara heads a cast that includes dancers Reyes Barrios, Marina Elena and Timo Nuñez, singer Antonio de Jerez, guitarist Gabriel-Osuna, and percussionist Gerardo Morales. The Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave., Silverlake; Sun., Feb. 24, 8 p.m., $40-$50, $30 seniors & students. 323-663-1525, http://www.fountaintheatre.com.
3. Cinderella Set in the London Blitz
While he may never seize public attention as ferociously as his transformation of Swan Lake with its male swans in feathered knickers, Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella displays the master’s uncanny ability to transform ballet into a theatrical experience that can run for weeks while most ballets barely extend a full weekend. Bourne retains the Prokofiev ballet score and the basic architecture of the fairy tale but as is his wont, sets the action in WWII London during the blitz, reconsiders the fairy godmother as a male who is equally an angel of death, and moves the pivotal meeting from a palace ballroom to a kind of underground nightclub that actually existed despite the German bombings. Reviews from London suggest Bourne has tinkered with the choreography and other details since the original was seen here in the 1990s. Music Center Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Tues.-Fri., 8 p.m., Sat., 2 & 8 p.m., Sun., 1 & 6:30 p.m., thru Sun., March 10, $30-$175. https://www.centertheatregroup.org/tickets/ahmanson-theatre/2018-19/new-adventures-matthew-bourne-cinderella.
2. First they vote, then they persist
Now led by former dancer Janet Eilber, the Martha Graham Dance Company anticipates the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote in 1920 with performances at two local venues. The repertoire is devoted to works by women choreographers including the legendary namesake of the company and her distinctive approach to dance. Under the banner The EVE Project, the March 2 performance includes live music by Christopher Rountree and wild Up. Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Dr., Irvine; Wed., Feb. 27, 8 p.m., $58-$68. http://bit.ly/MarthaGraham-Feb27. Also at Cal State University Northridge, Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts (The Soraya), 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Sat., March 2, 8 p.m., $39-$94. https://www.thesoraya.org.
1. A quintet on climate change
Ebb & Flow: Culver City 2019 moves consideration of climate change and its environmental impacts to the great outdoors, namely, a scenic overlook in Baldwin Hills. Last year’s inaugural one-day event with visual arts, music, tech, and dance from Heidi Duckler Dance Theater was so successful, this year’s festival extends to two days of dance and activities. Duckler returns with four additional choreographers, Bernard Brown, Raymond Ejiofor, Comfort Fedoke and Jacob “Kujo” Lyons, creating site specific performances on an oversized fish sculpture, each with a distinctive perspective on that fish construct and the surrounding environmental issues. Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, 6300 Hetzler Rd., Culver City; Sat.-Sun., Feb. 23-24, 11 a.m., free with reservation at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ebb-flow-culver-city-tickets-55092960528.
Other dance of note:
Choreographer Rosanna Gamson and composer David Rosenboom continue their exploration of the interrelationship of dance and music informed by their separate studies of neuroscience and how creativity happens. For the 90 minute session, dancers of all ability levels are invited (wear clothes to move in and bring water) or just come, watch and listen. CalArts at LA Dance Project, 2245 E. Washington Blvd., downtown; Sat., Feb. 23, 4:30 p.m., $5. https://calartsxladp2-23.eventbrite.com.
The young, superbly trained dancers of Ailey II are on an Ailey Ascending tour celebrating the 60th anniversary of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. Ironically, they are not dancing any of Ailey’s choreography, but rather three new works, South African-born choreographer Bradley Shelver’s Where There Are Tongues, Jamaican-born choreographer Renee I. McDonald’s Breaking Point, and choreographer Uri Sands’ collaboration with the Ailey II dancers dubbed Tracks. Smothers Theatre, Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu; Tues., Feb. 26, 8 p.m., $20-$50. 310-506-4522, https://arts.pepperdine.edu.
Choreographers Paula Thomson and Maurice Godin examine post traumatic stress in Shadows of Darkness set to part of Henryck Gorecki’s Third Symphony. Led by Jonathan Kim, the ensemble includes Elissa Brock, Melissa Cantarero, Annick Chung, Trenton Cockerl-Patrick, Megan Escobar, Angela Janney, Demi Kupershmidt, Bebe Liang, Ricky Lopez, Sarah No, Jesse Perez, Jesse Ricaldi, Amanda Steiner, and Michael Villar. The evening also includes video, short plays, and musical performances in Theater of the Mind considering psychological and emotional health. Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice; Sat., Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m., $25. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/theater-of-the-mind-performances-for-healing-and-growth-tickets-51275716047.
The creation of a Constellation becomes a metaphor for choreographer Ghislain Grellier‘s exploration of strong and evolving relationships among dancers as they progress from mechanical movement into freer expression while still having connections with one another. Info on the choreographer at https://www.grellierghislain.com. Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica, Fri., Feb. 22, 8:30 p.m., $20, $15 students & seniors. https://highwaysperformance.org.
An intimate setting provides the stage for Flamenco LIVE from Naranjita Flamenco. This month’s edition includes dancers Alexandra & Ryan Zermeño, singer Briseyda Zárate and guitarist José Tanaka. Naranjita Flamenco, 301 E. Katella Ave, Orange; Sun., Feb. 24, 2 p.m., $25. https://www.naranjitaflamenco.com.
A harbinger of 2019 centennial activities celebrating the life and legend of the late modern dance choreographer Merce Cunningham, Clouds and Screens, includes two large works by Andy Warhol and Charles Atlas, both artists associated with Cunningham’s company. The installation also includes two early videos of Cunningham’s work with performances and more to come during the exhibition’s run. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Hancock Park; Thurs.-Tues., thru March 31, $25, $21 students & seniors (museum admission). http://www.lacma.org/event/memprev_merce2.
Note to readers: In keeping with the growing activity surrounding the Cunningham Centennial, LA Dance Chronicle is providing a place for individuals who worked with Merce Cunningham, saw his work or otherwise just want to say something about Merce Cunningham to participate in the Centennial remembrance. L.A. Dance Chronicle founder Jeff Slayton danced with Cunningham’s company and championed the idea of a place individuals could post a remembrance or comment about Merce Cunningham, his dance works or his legacy. The Cunningham Centennial Page now is live at the website (http://LADanceChronicle.com). Comments will be collected and passed on to the Cunningham Trust.