Beyond Jumbo’s Clown Room – Where to find good dance in LA

February's Full Frontal Disco - choreographer Nathan Kim
February's Full Frontal Disco photo by: Rolling Blackouts

It’s a common mistake to think that Los Angeles’ dance scene is limited to music video shoots, flash mobs at The Grove and Jumbo’s
Clown Room. But concert dance — the kind performed for a seated audience at the theater — is alive and well in the City of Angels and will be on full display tomorrow at the seventh annual Celebrate Dance showcase at the Alex Theater in Glendale. Local dancer-producer Jamie Nichols spends all year handpicking acts for the performance. This year’s lineup includes work by nine companies and 10 choreographers, including influential homegrown groups like Hysterica Dance Company and L.A. Contemporary Dance Company.

Hysterica artistic director and choreographer Kitty McNamee has released a sneak peek of the new work she’ll be debuting in the show, titled “Bouncy.” In an email to KCRW, McNamee said the piece aims to create “intimate portraits” of her dancers and hypnotize the audience with “swaths of organic movement.” Los Angeles composer Bruno Louchouam created the original score:

If you feel inspired to stay up a little later on Saturday night and kick up your own heels, the monthly dance party Full Frontal Disco comes to Akbar in Silver Lake this week. While FFD typically attracts a big crowd of revelers in outlandish outfits ready to bust a move, the real treat is the dance performance that takes over the floor at midnight. As night turns to early morning, trained dancers storm the space to perform pieces by local choreographers. This week, FFD co-creator Sir Ryan Heffington debuts a new contemporary-style number. Heffington is known for the cult-like following of his Sweaty Sundays dance class (full disclosure: I take this class regularly), his work as co-artistic director of Hysterica and for staging pieces at venues ranging from the Museum of Contemporary Art to Elysian Park.