Populist Eifman Ballet en route to Southern California

Dance
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Choreographer Boris Eifman is the Donald Trump of the ballet world. His fans love him for his provocative, populist appeal while his critics find him unsophisticated and far from coherent. And then there’s the Russia thing. Eifman is Russian and his narrative ballets, while modernist in story line, have the old-school Bolshoi tendency to go ...

Stella Abrera, ABT’s proud Firebird, soon in flight at the Chandler 2

Dance
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She’s a woman of color in a white ballerina world. She began her training in Southern California, joined American Ballet Theatre, had a serious injury, recovered and was promoted to principal in 2015. Misty Copeland, right? No, it’s Stella Abrera. A Filipina American, her career trajectory is similar to Copeland’s but without all the hoopla. ...

Ana Laguna brings wisdom, depth to ‘Juliet & Romeo’ @ Segerstrom 1

Dance
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Relatively unknown in the U.S., Ana Laguna is a legend in Europe — as a dancer, choreographer, and muse of pioneering choreographer Mats Ek, also her husband. At age 61, she’ll dance the role of the Nurse in the Royal Swedish Ballet’s “Juliet and Romeo” on Friday, June 10 and Saturday, June 11 at Segerstrom ...

Royal Swedish Ballet’s stunning, unconventional ‘Juliet and Romeo’ soon @ Segerstrom

Dance
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With a history that stretches back to 1773, you’d expect the esteemed Royal Swedish Ballet to offer a “Romeo and Juliet” full of swordplay and courtly gowns.  But no — not when master choreographer Mats Ek is in charge. He reimagined the tragic love story in 2013 with the same urban, gritty edge that he’s ...

Review: Memphis jookin phenom Lil Buck & pals wow @ Broad Stage

Dance · Music · Reviews
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Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade is only eight blocks from The Broad Stage, but it took Memphis jookin phenom Charles “Lil Buck” Riley thousands of miles and several years to get from one to the other.  Six years ago, he was busking for quarters on the Promenade, but when a video of him dancing to ...

From “Fame” to “Freeze Frame,” Debbie Allen ties dance to real world

Dance
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Dance critic Gillian Anne Renault anticipates Debbie Allen’s “Freeze Frame” at The Wallis. I first fell in love with three-time Emmy Award-winner Debbie Allen when she choreographed and acted in the 1980s escapist TV series “Fame.” Now, decades later, after a wide-ranging career, she’s taking on big, serious issues far removed from the rarefied atmosphere ...

L.A. Dance Project to dance in L.A.

Dance
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Some are still in a huff about Benjamin Millepied’s decision, in 2014, to leave Los Angeles and L.A. Dance Project, the much-hyped dance collective he co-founded less than two years earlier. But how could he not accept the offer to be dance director of the Paris Opera Ballet, one of the world’s oldest and most ...

De Keersmaeker soon revealed in CAP-UCLA retrospective

Dance
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New York Times dance critic Anna Kisselgoff once described Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker as “a cross between Lucinda Childs and Pina Bausch … a choreographer who makes you think and feel at the same time.” That was in 1986, the year that “Rosas danst Rosas” caused a sensation at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next ...

Chicago troupes bring “The Art of Falling” to Los Angeles

Dance · Theater
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It’s not immediately obvious why Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and The Second City improv troupe collaborated on “The Art of Falling,” coming to the Ahmanson Theatre next weekend, except that both companies are based in Chicago. So I asked Michael Solomon, Associate Vice President of Programming at The Music Center, if he knew why. “Both ...

Review: Twyla Tharp’s 50th, reminder of a revolutionary

Dance · Reviews
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photo: Sharen Bradford, New York Times Watching Twyla Tharp’s 50th Anniversary Tour performance at The Wallis in Beverly Hills was like taking a trip down memory lane with an old friend. (The Wallis co-commissioned the tour with four other presenters including The Joyce Theater in New York.) The old magic was there in Tharp’s juxtaposition ...