Oddly enough, the regional fall arts dance season begins not on a stage but in a movie theater.
Laemmle Playhouse 7 on Sept. 21 — two days before the official beginning of autumn — will be featuring a treat for fans of Paul Taylor, the now 85-year-old Juilliard trained dancer dubbed the “naughty boy” of dance by Martha Graham. In “Paul Taylor Creative Domain,” filmmaker Kate Geis follows Taylor as he creates a new work in his studio.
For those who prefer seeing dancing done live, the Alex Theater feature’s Resurrection Mexican Folk’s presentation of “Cuatro Raices” (“Four Roots”), the story of the three principal ethnic roots in Mexico, on Oct. 3. The fourth root symbolizes the folk dancers living outside of Mexico, representing a contemporary generation of folklorists. With works by Artistic Director Rafael Valpuesta and Special Guest Choreographer Viviana Basanta-Hernandez of the Ballet Folklorico de Mexico, the concert includes many traditional folk dances and modern suites that highlight the fusion of all four roots, such as “Huapango” by Jose Pablo Moncayo and Viviana Basanta-Hernandez’s creation of “Fandango, Son y Danzon.”
Ballet fans have seen several permutations of “Swan Lake,” but this one-night show by the Russian Grand Ballet on Oct. 4 at the Alex is a more classical interpretation of the German legend, with a beautiful score by Pyotr Ilyich Tschiakovsky and choreography by Marium Petipa.
On Nov. 7 at the Alex, you’ll be whisked away to South America by Dances of Peru, a Los Angeles-based cultural project led by choreographer Freddy Chiara, whose mission is the preservation of the ancestral dances of the Andean and coastal regions of Peru. A professional ensemble of LA musicians and a troupe of more than 20 dancers will join in the celebration.
For the Yuletide season, the Los Angeles Ballet presents that holiday favorite, “The Nutcracker,” on Dec. 5-6.
The Pasadena Civic Center Auditorium lets audience members feel the passion of the Argentine pampas from the comfort of their seats on Oct. 17. Sergei Tumas presents a new version of his “Tango Nuevo Cabaret,” a tribute to legendary Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992), who created the tango nuevo genre of music in 1954, blending Argentine tango, jazz and classical music. Special guest artists include masters of bandoneon Daniel Binelli and Peter Soave and Broadway singer Martin De Leon. The show is produced and directed by Tumas, a choreographer for “Dancing with the Stars.”
The Luckman Fine Arts Complex at Cal State LA features Israeli choreographer and dancer Ido Tadmor and Polish dancer Elwire Piorun teaming up for the Los Angeles premiere of two recent works choreographed in collaboration with Rachel Irdos. Tadmor is the artistic director of the Israel Ballet and a recipient of the Landau Prize for lifetime achievement. Piorn performed at the Teatr Wielki, the Polish Opera, in Warsaw. The duets are “Engage” and “Rush” which follow the relationship of two lovers. The program is one day only, Sept. 26, at 8 p.m.
Ballet Folklórico de Mexico de Amalia Hernández returns to the Luckman on Oct. 27 with a highly anticipated repertory performance. Hernández founded the Ballet Folklórico de México in 1952, hoping to preserve the country’s dancing traditions. Since then, Ballet Folklórico de México has created more than 40 ballets incorporating local dance traditions from some 60 regions of Mexico and has won more than 200 awards for artistic achievement. The company focuses on specific geographical and cultural areas in Mexico to highlight the diversity of the culture and present a realistic Mexican identity.
Spanish flamenco composer and guitarist, Paco Peña has brought new life to the archetypal Spanish art form of flamenco and will be at Luckman on Nov. 1. Regarded as one of the world’s greatest traditional flamenco players, Paco Peña has performed around the world. Peña’s newest show “¡Flamencura!” studies the elusive art of flamenco and showcases his passionate dancers.
The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion presents St. Petersburg’s world–renowned Mariinsky Ballet (formally the Kirov Ballet) performing Alexei Ratmansky’s “Cinderella.” This production places Cinderella in the 1930s and is set to Sergei Prokofiev’s haunting score, which will be performed by Mariinsky’s own orchestra. The company will give five performances on four days: Oct. 8, 9, 10 and 11.
The Music Center, as part of Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at the Music Center program, features Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and The Second City bringing their ingenious collaboration, “The Art of Falling,” to the Ahmanson stage. Five choreographers, four writers and more than 30 dancers and actors work together to take dance and sketch comedy to a whole new level on Nov. 6, 7 and 8.
REDCAT features choreographer Camille Brown, winner of a Bessie Award and Doris Duke Artist Award, and her company performing “Black Girl: Linguistic Play,” a work about self-defined identity as a black female in urban American culture from Dec. 3-6. The production is a mix of African-American dance vernacular, including social dancing, double dutch, steppin’, tap, Juba, ring shout, and gesture.
The Pasadena Masonic Temple plays host to the Holiday Grand Ball, a Victorian era gala presented by Social Daunce Irregulars. One can dress in period attire, or not, but it certainly adds to the fun and decorum of the ball. The Holiday Grand Ball is Nov. 28. A practice dance class is Nov. 22. n
The Alex Theater 216 N. Brand Blvd. Glendale
(818) 243-ALEX (2539) | alextheatre.org
The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion 135 N Grand Ave, Los Angeles
(213) 972-0711 | dorothychandlerpavilion.org
Laemmle Playhouse 7 673 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
(310) 478-3836 | laemmle.com
The Luckman Fine Arts Complex at Cal State LA 5151 State University Drive, Los Angeles (323) 343-6600 | luckman.org
The Music Center 135 N Grand Ave, Los Angeles
(213) 628-2772 | musiccenter.org
Pasadena Civic Auditorium 300 E. Green St. Pasadena
(626) 795-9311 or (800) 307-7977 | pasadenacivic.visitpasadena.com
The Pasadena Masonic Temple 200 S. Euclid Ave., Pasadena
(626) 795-5610 | pasadenamasonic.org, victoriandance.org
REDCAT 631 W. Second St., Los Angeles (213) 237-2800 | redcat.org