This week’s dance events include Los Angeles Ballet’s 11th season launch, homage to a Butoh master, Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre invades Chinatown, Tom Tsai gets personal, a visit from Complexions, Lisa Wahlander on Carl Sagan, abstract puppetry, new music/dance collaborations and more.
5. Mixing Bach and Metallica
Led by Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson, the electrifying contemporary ballet company Complexions arrives with a program that draws on music from Metallica and J.S. Bach. Carpenter Performing Arts Center, Cal State University, 6200 Atherton, Long Beach; Sat., Oct. 8, 8 p.m., $50. 562-985-7000, http://carpenterarts.org.
4. Everything’s personal
In his evening-length solo Personal Persona Person, Taiwanese-American dancer Tom Tsai draws on his eclectic background in breakdance, modern and post modern dance to consider his identity. ARC Pasadena, 1158 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Sat., Oct. 8, 8 p.m., Sun., Oct. 9, 3 p.m., $10 cash at door or : https://www.facebook.com/events/938020479654475.
3. A Butoh master gets his due
Takao Kawaguchi pays homage to Kazuo Ohno, Japan’s revered Butoh master, by reimagining some of Ohno’s distinctive works, the effort described as “a copy that is in itself an original”. In addition to the performances, two special events on Saturday afternoon and Monday evening explore Kawaguchi’s process (go to REDCAT’s website for workshop info and reservations). Also, materials from the Kazuo Ohno Dance Studio in Yokohama, Japan and Japan Society’s archives including posters, video, costumes and other articles, will be displayed in the lobby after performances. REDCAT, 631 West Second St., downtown; Fri–Sat, Oct. 7-8, 8:30 p.m. & Sun., Oct. 9, 5 p.m., $20–$25. 213-237-2800, http://redcat.org.
2. Beating Tarantino to Chinatown
Film director Quintin Tarantino is rumored to be buying Chinatown’s long neglected King Hing Theater, but first the dancers, musicians, singers and other performers of the Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre open the theatre to the first audience to enter in 20 years. Known for employing overlooked L.A. cultural institutions in site specific considerations, HDDT promises to turn the theatre into a walkable art installation in When I Am King, exploring what it means to be a public figure in a world where individuals are now brands. Duckler teams with long-time collaborators designer Dan Evans and composer Amy Knoles. King Hing Theater, 647 N. Spring St., Chinatown; Sat., Oct. 8, 15, 22 & 29, 8 p.m., $50, $25 students & seniors. http://heididuckler.org.
1. Ballet in the eye of visionaries
After two seasons emphasizing its ability to stage ballet’s full length classics, Los Angeles Ballet shifts gears with the Modernists, a triptych of shorter works as it opens its 11th season. The newest is Canadian choreographer Aszure Barton’s Untouched set to music by saxophonist and composer Curtis Macdonald, pianist Njo Kong Kie, and Russian-born violist Lev “Ljova” Zhurbin. Dipping into its repertoire, LAB reprises George Balanchine’s architectural and elegant Stravinsky Violin Concerto and the exuberant, tambourine infused Tarantella and Pas de Six from August Bournonville’s Napoli. After this week’s opening in Glendale, the company continues its metro tour in Redondo Beach and then UCLA, beginning a new decade as L.A.’s own professional ballet company bringing great ballet to greater L.A. Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale; Sat., Oct. 8, 7:30 p.m.; Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach; Sat., Oct. 22, 7:30 p.m.; UCLA Royce Hall, 340 Royce Dr., Westwood; Sat., Oct. 29, 7:30 p.m.; $29.50-$84, discounts for children, seniors & military. 310-998-7782, http://losangelesballet.org.
Other dance of note:
Clad in a white leotard and eschewing any special effects and props, Lisa Wahlander is featured in In Real Life: Studio, a 100 day series exploring artists’ working processes. In this edition, dancer/choreographer Wahlander offers a first glimpse at LADYBEAST AND THE IMPERMANENT SKY inspired by a Carl Sagan quote about the universe experiencing itself. The work is being developed with artist, animator and musician Bryan Konietzko with the eventual full length version intended to occur in the last 60 minutes of daylight. Hammer Museum Courtyard, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Wed.-Fri., Oct. 12-14, Thurs.-Fri., Oct. 20-21, Tues., Nov. 1 & Dec. 13, Thurs.-Fri., Dec. 15-16, check with the museum on times, free. http://hammer.ucla.edu.
Puppetry meets contemporary dance to explore universal human connections as artistic director Madeline Leavitt and her Voices Carry, Inc. premiere Strings Attached. The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles, 1238 W. 1st St., downtown; Thurs.-Sat., Oct. 6-8& 13-15, 8:30 p.m., Sun., Oct. 9 & 16, 7:30, $30, $20 students & seniors. 213-481-2273, http://stringsattached.brownpapertickets.com.
This week’s JAM Session features choreographer Achinta S. McDaniel and dancers from Blue 13 Dance Company teaching Bollywood dance. Ford Theatres, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood; Mon., Oct. 10, 7 p.m., free but reservations recommended. http://fordtheatres.org.
Guest choreographers Keith Johnson and Robert Moses join BFA students Bradford Chin, Madison Clark, Jasmine Mosher and Maili Schlosser in a program of new dances under the umbrella title Variance. Martha B. Knoebel Dance Theater, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach; Thurs.-Fri., Oct. 13-14, Sat. Oct. 15, 2 & 8 p.m., $20, $16 students & seniors. https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/962467
Dancer/choreographers Laurel Jenkins and Jmy James Kidd collaborate with Phillip Greenlief on reeds and Claudia La Rocco providing text and voice for animals & giraffes. While Greenlief and La Rocco have worked with a range of musicians, this is first time they’ve included movement in their exploratons. Pieter, 420 West Ave. 33, Unit 10, Lincoln Heights; Sat., Oct. 8, 8:30 p.m., free with non-monetary donation to bar or boutique. http://www.pieterpasd.com.
The full work won’t be premiered until next June, but choreographer Melissa Barak and her collaborators composer David Lawrence and media artist Refik Anadol offer a preview of choreography in process in Barak Ballet’s Studio Series I. Address provided with reservation. Sun., Oct. 9, 2 p.m.; free. reservations at email@example.com.