Category Archives: Dance

Review: ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,’ National Ballet of Canada, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Oct 19-21, 2012

“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” with the National Ballet of Canada.

By Lewis Segal
L.A. Times

The search for a warm-weather “Nutcracker” continues with “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” Christopher Wheeldon’s three-act dance fantasy, which the National Ballet of Canada brought to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Friday in its U.S. premiere, beginning a five-performance run. Like the Russian Christmas classic, the new work (co-commissioned by Britain’s Royal Ballet) begins at a party for adults, involves its child-heroine in dreamlike changes of scale and battles with bizarre READ MORE…


Preview: ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,’ The National Ballet of Canada, Oct 19-Oct 21, 2012 The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (Highly Recommended)

Sonia Rodriguez in “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” with the National Ballet of Canada.

By Joseph Carman
Los Angeles Times

The Mad Hatter executes demonic time steps, his tap dancing signifying his mindless chatter. An enormous dismembered Cheshire Cat floats through space like a Japanese bunraku puppet. The Queen of Hearts glides threateningly around the stage in a bulbous, hard-framed, heart-shaped gown. Playing cards projected onto a scrim shuffle in concert with a full corps de ballet. And then there’s Alice, READ MORE….


Long Range Tip: ‘The Rite of Spring’ 1913 Re-Creation by Joffrey Balley, Music Center, Feb 1-3, 2013 (Not-To-Be-Missed)

Scene from the Joffrey Ballet’s 1987 production of The Rite of Spring

by Rosemary McGuinness
L.A. Opening Nights

First-hand accounts of that infamous night at the Theatre de Champs-Elysees in 1913 are confused and contradictory. The overall, jumbled impression is in keeping with the chaos of the scene; witnesses can’t seem to agree on what happened anymore than they could decipher what unfolded on stage.

It was the debut of The Rite of Spring. Audience members filed in, rustling programs full of the Twentieth Century’s already  illustrious names: music by Igor Stravinsky; chorography by Vaslav Nijinsky; performance by Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. So far so good, especially as the program opened with the trance-like, completely innocuous Les Sylphides. Read the rest of this entry

Review: Laguna Dance Festival, Sept. 6-9, 2012

Alonzo Ling LINES Ballet, featuring…Salt.

By Laura Bleiberg
Los Angeles Times

The Laguna Dance Festival is small, but it has a mighty impact, thanks to artistic director Jodie Gates and her long and impressive list of friends and contacts. The eighth annual festival, ensconced in its new home at the Laguna Playhouse, featured Lines Ballet from San Francisco and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago on a shared headliners’ program Saturday and Sunday; Orange County’s contemporary troupe Backhausdance put on a strong 10th anniversary retrospective show Friday night. Read more…

Preview: ‘LA Phil Spotlights Dance,’ August 13, 2012 (No Recommendation)

By David Ng
Los Angeles Times 

The Los Angeles Philharmonic will open its new season with a program that will focus on ballet and modern dance. The gala concert, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, is set for Sept. 27 at Walt Disney Concert Hall and is being organized in partnership with Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at the Music Center…READ MORE

2012-13 season

Review: Bolshoi ‘Swan Lake’ at the Music Center, June 7-10 (No Recommendation)

The Bolshoi dances ‘Swan Lake.’

By Laura Bleiberg
Los Angeles Times

Moscow’s mighty Bolshoi Ballet, the brash and emotionally outsized one ofRussia’stwo historic companies, inspired a déjà vu experience of bittersweet intensity with its return Thursday to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

Onstage was Yuri Grigorovich’s “Swan Lake,” closing out this season’s Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at the Music Center series (through Sunday). Grigorovich ruled the Bolshoi as director and chief choreographer for 30 long years, finally stepping down from the top position in 1995. READ MORE…

By Lewis Segal
Los Angeles Times

June 1, 2012

Placards for Van Cleef & Arpels decorate the main street of Russia’s capital, heralding the Bolshoi Ballet premiere of George Balanchine’s “Jewels,” with the best seats costing between 7,000 and 8,000 rubles ($233-$266). Expectation runs high. This three-part company showpiece was called the first full-evening abstraction when New York City Ballet introduced it in 1967, and since that time some…READ MORE


Review: Da Camera and ACB, Music+Dance: L.A., May 28, 29; June 28, 29 (No Recommendation)

Publicity shot for the Music+Dance: L.A. series, which continues May 29, June 29, and June 30.

By Laura Bleiberg
Los Angeles Times
May 29, 2012

The Da Camera Society introduced a welcome new series Monday evening, adding dance to its already popular mix of inspirational chamber music and architecture.

Music + Dance: L.A. brings together Da Camera, well-known for its concerts in landmark buildings, with American Contemporary Ballet, which relocated here from New York City two years ago. The first performances (a second set is scheduled in June) were in a sleek, if acoustically challenging, warehouse space near mid-Wilshire. American Contemporary Ballet is young, READ MORE…


Review: ‘Cold Dream Colour’ at REDCAT, May 16-20, 2012 (Worth the Risk)

By Laura Bleiberg
Los Angeles Times

Visceral expressionism and a prodigious visual beauty coalesced in “Cold Dream Colour,” a dance-theater homage to seminal Irish artist Louis le Brocquy. It received its U.S. premiere at a sold-out performance Wednesday evening (continuing through Sunday). An international gathering of dance artists, designers and musicians calling themselves the Arcane Collective animated the REDCAT performance box through meditatively unreeling movement and a soundscape of plaintive guitar strumming, alternating with drums and bells (from U2’s The Edge and composer Paul Chavez).  READ MORE…



Dance: Music Center announces 2012-2013 Season

Christopher Wheeldon's 'Alice in Wonderland' comes to L.A.

By Jean Lenihan
Los Angeles Times, April 16, 2012

Christopher Wheeldon’s acclaimed version of “Alice in Wonderland,” danced by the National Ballet of Canada, plus an array of repertory programs by Alvin Ailey, the Joffrey Ballet and the American Ballet Theatre, are among the highlights of the 2012-2013 Music Center season being announced Monday morning at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Also on the bill are some firsts for the 10-year-old Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at the Music Center: a rare onstage collaboration between two acclaimed contemporary companies Read more….

Review: Ballet Geneve debuts Benjamin Millepied works at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

Swiss troupe Ballet Geneve at Dorothy Chandler. (GTG/Vincent Lepresie)

By Jean Lenihan
Los Angeles Times, April 15, 2012

Touring with contemporary, soft-slippered ballets, Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève made its West Coast debut at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Friday with a trio of eye-catching works set to canonical ballet music choreographed by Benjamin Millepied, now known widely for his work in “Black Swan.”

Read more….

Review: American Ballet Theatre – ‘The Firebird’ at Segerstrom, Mar 29-Apr 1 (Not-To-Be-Missed)

Alexei Ratmansky's 'Firebird.'

By Laura Bleiberg
Los Angeles Times, March 30, 2012

With his characteristic blend of sensitive classicism and impish humanity, choreographer Alexei Ratmansky has updated the iconic “Firebird” into an extravagant and fanciful adventure for American Ballet Theatre.

The one-act ballet had its world premiere Thursday at Segerstrom Center for the Arts on an abundant triple bill that also featured the local premiere of Christopher Wheeldon’s “Thirteen Diversions” (2011) and “Duets” (1980) by the late Merce Cunningham. Read more….

Review: Ballet Preljocaj’s ‘Snow White’ at the Music Center, Mar 23 – 25, 2012 (Worth the Risk)

Ballet Preljocaj’s 'Snow White' at the Music Center.

By Laura Bleiberg
Los Angeles Times, March 25, 2012

Ballet Preljocaj’s “Snow White,” seen Friday at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, was Grimm indeed, with the ballet hewing to the fairy tale’s original ending of macabre justice for the evil Queen: Forcibly strapped into coal-fired iron shoes, she danced to her death.

Such retribution was to be expected from French choreographer Angelin Preljocaj, whose imagination is far more simpatico with the Brothers Grimm than with Walt Disney. His 25-member company from Aix-en-Provence has presented a diverse repertory at local theaters since 1998.  Read more….

Review: Ronald K. Brown’s ‘Evidence, A Dance Company’ at Ahmanson Theatre, Mar 9, 2012 (Worth the Risk)

'Evidence: A Dance Company.'

By Jessica Koslow
Culture Spot L.A., March 13, 2012

I often wonder, which is harder: exhibiting refined technique accrued from years of study, or grooving effortlessly to a beat with natural grace and impeccable rhythm? The answer depends on whom you ask. As I watched Ronald K. Brown’s “Evidence, A Dance Company” on March 9 at the Ahmanson Theatre, this question popped into my head. The 10 dancers on stage demonstrated hard-earned, well-polished talent. Leading the charge, however, was their mastery of establishing a visible connection with the music, of riding the tempos with soulful impact. Read more….

Discussion: Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, April 13-15 2012

Scene from Millepied's 'Spectre de la Rose.'

The Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève will make their West Coast debut at the L.A. Music Center, performing Les Sylphides and La Spectre de la Rose, choreographed by the highly sought Benjamin Millepied.

WHY IT’S HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Best known for his work in the 2010 film Black Swan, dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied is one of the most exciting figures on the ballet scene today. Principal dancer with the New York City Ballet from 2001-2010, Millepied recently retired from that position in order to launch the L.A. Dance Project, a contemporary ballet company dedicated to artistic experimentation and collaboration between the arts. The Music Center performance marks the North American premiere of his choreography for Les Sylphides and La Spectre de la Rose.

Read the rest of this entry

Review: Joffrey ‘Nutcracker’ at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

Joffrey Nutcracker. Photo: Herbert Migdoll

by Laura Bleiberg
Los Angeles Times, December 2, 2011

Robert Joffrey got just about everything marvelously right in his 1987 “Nutcracker,” the last ballet he directed before his death. And the Joffrey Ballet did just about perfectly as well on Thursday, when the company returned with this sparkling production to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (through Sunday). This distinguished group of 42 dancers, now headquartered in Chicago and directed by alumnus Ashley Wheater, gave Los Angeles an assured and elegant classicism, a maturation first seen three years ago here in a production of Sir Frederick Ashton’s “Cinderella.” Read More