Pasadena has plenty of opportunities this fall to turn dancing into romancing, even if that love is for an era or an author.
Of course, one can just stay off their feet and watch others dance — from modern and ballet to experimental. Watching Ballet Hispánico (from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15), Ballet Folklorico de México or actually doing some flamenco dancing is a wonderful way to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month. And, of course, what holiday season would be complete without “The Nutcracker”?
The annual Victorian Grand Ball on Nov. 24 at the Pasadena Masonic Temple celebrates 30 years of bringing back the quaint customs and dances of Queen Victoria’s long reign and giving Pasadenans an opportunity to dress up in a number of Victorian styles. Worried about your two-left feet? Many of the dances just require one to walk forward and backward, bow and turn. If you’re a guy, you’ll be astoundingly popular.
This year will be a masked fancy dress ball. But the masks do come off for dancing, so it really is all about making a grand entrance. You don’t have to come in costume, but you must be able to dance (at arm’s length) in what you wear.
Another chance to make a grand entrance is at the Lineage Gala on Sept. 29, which includes a silent auction, food catered by Alchemy Kitchen and a special performance by the Lineage Dance Company. Lineage is on the move, and is temporarily housed at First United Methodist Church at 500 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena.
At the Music Center, dance courts science in British choreographer/director Wayne McGregor’s new piece, “Autobiography.” Performed by Company Wayne McGregor, the piece consists of 23 choreographic portraits based on the sequencing of McGregor’s own genome. Each performance (scored by Jlin, aka Jerrilynn Patton) will be determined by a computer algorithm. Is that geeky enough? (Oct. 5-7)
For more mind-melding in dance, Diavolo returns to the Music Center after making national waves by being in the top 10 for “America’s Got Talent,” and artistic director Jacques Heim mixes modern dance, acrobatics and gymnastics for his “Architecture in Motion.” The program includes Diavolo’s signature work “Trajectoire” and the California premiere of “Voyage.”
At the Alex Theatre, Los Angeles Ballet (LAB) presents “Modern Moves,” a bill of three choreographic interpretations from master choreographers Aszure Barton (“Les Chambres des Jacques,” LAB premiere), Alejandro Cerrudo (“Lickety Split,” LAB premiere) and George Balanchine (“Western Symphony”) that honor Americana, folk music and the Old West (7:30 p.m. Oct. 6).
For something intimate and new, head to REDCAT. David Roussève’s “Halfway to Dawn” explores the life of composer and arranger Billy “Sweet Pea” Strayhorn, a gay man and social activist in Harlem who co-wrote and arranged some of Duke Ellington’s hits (Oct. 4-7). And don’t forget the Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance at CalArts evening of repertory remounted, reimagined and re-contextualized at REDCAT. (Dec. 7-8).
A great way to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month is to make reservations for two performances at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex at Cal State LA: Ballet Hispánico (Sept. 29, 8 p.m.) and Ballet Folklorico de México de Amalia Hernandez (Oct. 19-21). Ballet Hispánico will showcase their all-Latina choreographers program: Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Línea Recta, Michelle Manzanales’ Con Brazos Abiertos, and Tania Pérez-Salas’ Catorce Dieciséis. Ballet Folklorico combines the music, dance and dress of Mexican folklore from pre-Columbian civilizations through the modern era.
Another way to celebrate the occasion is to go out and get on stage. The Arte Flamenco Dance Theatre in Alhambra is hosting a Flamenco Intensive with Cristobal Reyes (Oct. 15-19).
The Granada LA presents The Adolfo Indacochea Experience with mambo, cha cha and salsa workshops and nightclub and shows for one weekend (Sept. 14-15).
For those looking for a more regular place to move to the groove, the Masonic Temple hosts weekly swing and blues dances hosted by Lindygroove (LindyGroove.com) every Thursday.
The Pasadena Ballroom Dance Association has been bringing swing to Pasadena for 35 years, so if you’re looking for some sweaty G-rated fun on Saturday nights, head on over to Grace Hall (behind the church).
If swing is too modern for your sensibilities, there’s really old school English dance in two places. Twice a month (second and fourth Fridays) the Monrovia English Country Dance meets at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. Fans of Jane Austen can search for their Darcy on the third Sunday of the month when the Valley Area English Regency Society (VAERS) hosts English Regency Dancing at the Reformation Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall.
And finally, what would Christmas be without “The Nutcracker”? The Music Center brings out “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker” for the holiday season (Nov. 30 through Dec. 2) at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The Los Angeles Ballet also presents “The Nutcracker” on Dec. 1-2 at the Alex Theatre in Glendale.