The highlight of the fall season in dance is the return of some swan swains in New Adventures’ “Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake.” If hunky modern spins are not your cup of tea, fear not. Autumn will also be filled with a heavy helping of tradition. You’ll be able to see a more familiar female-dominated version of “Swan Lake,” as well as the holiday season’s “The Nutcracker.” wAnother standby that is steeped in tradition is Pasadena’s own Victorian Dance Grand Ball in which all men in attendance are rock stars and all participants are part of the drama.
If you’re unfamiliar with Bourne, he won Tony Awards for Best Direction of a Musical and Best Choreography for his version of “Swan Lake.” The original London production also won an Olivier for Best New Dance Production (He has a total of eight Oliviers). Bourne’s fabulously masculine and testosterone-pumped vision is about a Prince who desires freedom and love but duty calls and his distant mom hovers over him but can’t express her love. Love is represented by the swans that are danced by barefoot bare-chested men. This version of Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece flies into the Ahmanson Theatre on Dec. 3 and there it will roost and arouse until Jan. 5.
If modern and masculine isn’t your cup of Tchaikovsky, don’t worry. The Russian Ballet Theatre’s “Swan Lake” flies by on Sept. 25 at the Alex Theatre in Glendale. “Swan Lake” is about a princess, Odette, who with her friends has been turned into a swan by the sorcerer, Rothbart. She and her maids can only return to their human forms at night near the enchanted lake created by her mother’s tears. The only thing that can free Odette is true love, but her prince, Siegfried, will be tempted by Rothbart and his daughter, Odile, whom Rothbart has transformed to look like Odette (Odile and Odette are traditionally played by the same dancer.) Will true love triumph?
Also in September is a chance to wine and dine while supporting local talent: The Lineage 20th Anniversary Benefit for Lineage Performing Arts Center with special performances by company members (Sept. 21) at the home of hosts Wendy Kohlhase and Drake Pruitt. Reserve your tickets now.
If you like dance with a Latin flair, Cal State LA’s Luckman Fine Arts Complex hosts Ballet Hispánico for one night only (Sept. 29), when the company will be showcasing their all-Latina choreographers program: Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s “Sombrerísimo,” Michelle Manzanales’ “Con Brazos Abiertos,” and Tania Pérez-Salas’ 3. ”Catorce Dieciséis.”
If Broadway musicals are your mania, the Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre presents “Pacific Ballet Dance Goes Broadway” on Oct. 13 at the Alex Theatre. Great tunes to great movies should have you humming happy tunes for the evening.
For a production on Los Angeles’ own big stage, the Mariinsky Ballet will perform George Balanchine’s “Jewels” with a live orchestra at the Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, October 24-27.
If you really love dance, you won’t want to just watch, you’ll want to dance like no one’s watching, and Pasadena always has plenty of opportunities for that. Of course, every Saturday night you can swing to the sound of live bands at Grace Hall with the Pasadena Ballroom Dance Association. Every Thursday (except Thanksgiving), you can dance to DJs when the Lindygroove takes over the Grand Ballroom of historic Pasadena Masonic Hall.
The Saturday after Thanksgiving is the date when the Social Daunce Irregulars present the Grand Victorian Ball at the Pasadena Masonic Hall. Live music, light refreshments and a chance to remember your manners and decide which of the Victorian fashions, from 1837 to 1901, you’ll be costumed in. Expect to see everything from Gibson Girls, to Southern belles and beaus from the lost plantation days to people with a passion for steampunk.
For holiday traditionalists, the Los Angeles Ballet presents “The Nutcracker” on Dec. 7-8 at the Alex Theatre. Closer to home is the Moscow Ballet’s “Great Russian Nutcracker” on Dec. 4 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. On Tuesday, Dec. 24 (3-6 p.m), the annual LA County Holiday Celebration brings a free live production that features instrumental music, choral music and dance performances. The show is broadcast live in Southern California on PBS SoCal (KOCE), live streamed on pbssocal.org.
See dance and dance on and dance often.
135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles
(213) 628-2772 • centertheatregroup.org
216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale
(818) 243-ALEX (2539) • alextheatre.org
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
135 N Grand Ave, Los Angeles
(213) 972-0711 • dorothychandlerpavilion.org
73 N. Hill Ave., Pasadena
Lineage Performing Arts Center
(626) 844-7008 • lineagedance.org
Luckman Fine Arts Complex at
Cal State LA
University Drive, Los Angeles
(323) 343-6600 • luckman.org
The Music Center
135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles
(213) 628-2772 • musiccenter.org
Pasadena Masonic Temple
(626) 795-5610 • pasadenamasonic.org
victoriandance.org • lindygroove.com