The Fall/Winter Dance Roundup

As a follow-up to last month’s Culture Guide, we went a little deeper into dance, which is a particularly great holiday break option for little ones. And speaking of kids, there’s a Nutcracker production in each of the cities below—though the Parisian interpretation is best suited for adults.

LA Dance Project

The Brainchild of choreographer Benjamin Millepied and composer Nico Muhly, LA Dance Project is regarded by many as the crown jewel of LA-based dance companies. Though undoubtedly rooted in classical ballet, their focus is on creative collaborations, which results in incredibly beautiful—if not a little bit out-there—contemporary ballet productions. While their next home-base performance isn't until the end of January, try to catch a leg of their European tour if you happen to be traveling.

The Art of Falling

135 N. Grand Ave., Downtown | 213.972.0711

Improv comedy troupe Second City and modern dance company Hubbard Street, both based in Chicago, debuted their collaboration The Art of Falling last year to great acclaim in their home city; this year, they're taking the show on the road. The hybrid dance/comedy/theatre performance has a narrative story told by comedians and dancers—think hilarious dance numbers ("White Office Swan" is a favorite) and the innovative use of dancers' bodies to create props, like a staircase or a vending machine. The show opens November 6 at the Music Center downtown.



The Los Angeles Ballet doesn't have a permanent performance venue, which is actually kind of great because it means they "tour" different stages in every part of the city—the Dolby in Hollywood, Alex Theatre in Glendale, and as far south as Redondo Beach. In honor of their 10th season this year, they’re staging four of the major romantic ballets: Gisele, The Nutcracker, Don Quixote, and Romeo and Juliet. With so many strong female roles, Gisele is a home-run for anyone with ballerinas-in-training at home. October 24 and November 1.

The Nutcracker

600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa | 714.556.2787

The American Ballet Theatre's staging of this classical holiday show at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa promises to be one of the season's best. The show is choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky, the former director of the Bolshoi Ballet and current Artist in Residence at ABT. He's famous for bringing new life to the old classics—to the extent that he was awarded a MacArthur fellowship for his choreography in 2013. Another bonus: The sets were created by Richard Hudson, of Lion King set-design fame. December 10 to 20.


5151 State University Dr., El Sereno | 323.343.6600

Flamenco is one of those art forms that should be experienced in person, and renowned composer Paco Peña's show at Cal State's Luckman Theatre is the perfect opportunity to do just that without getting on a plane to Spain. While by no means flashy in terms of production value, the dancers—as well as the musical accompaniment, which is lead by Peña himself—are world-class. Tickets are in sale now for the November 1 performance.

American Contemporary Ballet

5900 Wilshire Blvd., Downtown | 310.929.5703

American Contemporary Ballet's 2015 season has come to a close and there's no word yet on when the 2016 seasons begins. Their repertoire includes works choreographed by George Balanchine, Fred Astaire, and Lincoln Jones and the productions are always accompanied by live music, followed by receptions so patrons can mingle with the talent. Get on the mailing list for updates.

Four Seasons

4470 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood

L.A. Contemporary Dance Company is actually a non-profit and their mission is to make dance accessible to all, particularly kids. In the decade they've been around, they've put on some exceptionally choreographed shows with talented, mostly local, dancers. Their latest is a collaboration between four local choreographers, each doing a moving interpretation of Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter.