he two biggest dance events for Pasadenans simply have to be the New Adventures production of “The Red Shoes” and the annual Victorian Grand Ball.
Matthew Bourne’s Olivier Award-winning adaptation of the 1948 Academy Award-winning movie is certain to delight dancers. This version of “The Red Shoes” has a new score arranged by Terry Davies and will be at the Ahmanson Theater Sept. 15 to Oct. 1. Who better than Bourne to look at the dangerous obsession of dancing? Victoria Page lives to dance, but her ambitions become a battleground between the two men who inspire her passion.
To give it that old time feel, Davies uses the mesmerizing music of Golden Age Hollywood composer Bernard Herrmann (famous for his collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, and Martin Scorsese). If you loved Bourne’s “Sleeping Beauty,” this production reunites that team with set and costume designs by Lez Brotherston, lighting design by Paule Constable and sound design by Paul Groothuis.
“The Red Shoes” is part of Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at the Music Center, which will also present Akram Khan’s powerful take on poet Karthika Naïr’s book “Until the Lions: Echoes from the Mahabharata” on location at the Culver Studios in Culver City. The title comes from an African proverb, “Until the lions have their own historian, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.” Princess Amba is abducted and asks the gods for revenge.
For those who want to get involved in the theatrics of dance, the Social Daunce Irregulars are again presenting their Winter Grand Ball on Nov. 25 with a live orchestra at the Pasadena Masonic Hall (VictorianDance.org). If you’re not up on 19th-century dance, attend the dance class on Nov. 19. You don’t need a date or proper Victorian wear, but you do need to embrace the manners and etiquette of the time. Take your dance card dates seriously and be ready for men to be pop-idol popular.
Masonic Hall also hosts weekly swing dances hosted by the LindyGroove (LindyGroove.com).
Ballet fans should check out the Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre presentation of “Best of Khachaturian” which includes a new work dedicated to the memory of the Armenian Genocide by Natasha Middleton. Elen Hartutunyan and principal dancer Grigori Arakelyan are featured at the Alex Theatre on Sept. 17 at 5 p.m.
Feel the cultural cool breezes of the Peruvian Andes when La Diosa presents “Dances of Peru” on Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. at the Alex Theatre. Choreographer Freddy Chiara leads this Los Angeles-based cultural project. At the Alex on Oct. 21 is Los Angeles Ballet’s “Pushing Dance Boundaries” program that features avant-garde works from choreographers Alejandro Cerrudo (“Second to Last” and “Pacopepepluto”), Menghan Lou with a world premiere piece and George Balanchine (“The Four Temperaments”).
Lineage Dance lovers, make sure to leave your October open. Lineage will have its annual gala on Oct. 7, then perform for ArtNight on Oct. 13. On Oct. 22, they present “Healing Blue,” true stories of women and breast cancer in partnership with The Foundation for Living Beauty, a nonprofit organization focused on cancer support, whose clients are featured as storytellers in “Healing Blue.”
Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company comes to Caltech for one night only, Oct. 14 (8 p.m.). The company combines the old with the new and colorful costumes.
If you prefer to sit and watch in the cozy confines of REDCAT, try the Congolese choreographer and writer Faustin Linyekula’s “Sur les traces de Dinozord,” a piece that nurtures hope in the face of the ongoing legacy of war and ruin in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Sept. 28-30). For another worldly view, “Tesseract” which, according to the Chicago Reader “explores queer identity through the lens of science fiction,” is a collaboration between two former Merce Cunningham dancers (Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener) and a filmmaker (video artist Charles Atlas), featuring live dance and 3D video (Nov. 30 to Dec. 3). REDCAT ends the year with the Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance performances of works by guest artists and current faculty.
Nobody likes LA traffic, but the Los Angeles-based dance company Bodytraffic is scheduled to perform at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex at Cal State LA on Oct. 7. Expect to be thrilled by this concert dance company that is always pushing toward the future.
Of course to end the year, you have a choice of a variety of Nutcrackers. The Los Angeles Ballet presents “The Nutcracker” on Dec. 9-10 at the Alex Theatre in Glendale. Voice Art Group also presents the “Russian Grand Ballet: The Nutcracker” on Dec. 24 at the Alex.
135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles
The Alex Theatre
216 N. Brand Blvd. Glendale
(818) 243-ALEX (2539)
1200 E. California Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 395-4652 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
135 N Grand Ave, Los Angeles
89 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena
(626) 844-7008| lineagedance.org
The Music Center
135 N Grand Ave, Los Angeles
(213) 628-2772 | musiccenter.org
The Pasadena Masonic Temple
200 S. Euclid Ave., Pasadena
(626) 795-5610 | pasadenamasonic.org, victoriandance.org
631 W. Second St., Los Angeles
(213) 237-2800 | redcat.org