Spring arts 2018: 10 to watch in dance this season


Spring’s dance season offers a fresh perspective with new premieres and the growing movement to combine different music and dance styles. You’ll find ballet dancers performing to live jazz or wearing flapper costumes. Modern dancers move to classic rock and the blues. Through innovative movement, we learn original stories and understand old myths. And a new dance company in North County is born.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

San Diego Civic Youth Ballet performs William Shakespeare’s romantic comedy about two pairs of mortal lovers, a mystical king and queen, a man transformed into a donkey and a mischievous fairy named Puck. 7 p.m. April 6, 2 and 7 p.m. April 7, 2 p.m. April 8. Casa del Prado Theater, Balboa Park. $12-$18. (619) 233-3060.

“The Great Gatsby”

California Ballet Company stages Septime Webre’s choreography, a mash-up of classical, jazz and tap movement, in a work based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s tale of obsession, wealth and excess. The Blue Syncopators accompany the ballet. Not recommended for children. 7:30 p.m. April 6, 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. April 7, 2:30 p.m. April 8. Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave., downtown. $25-$115. (619) 570-1100. or

“Expressive Sensations”

Mojalet Dance Collective performs choreography by founder Faith Jensen Ismay, including “Buffle Shuffle,” a whimsical musical journey through the music of the Swiss percussive band, Rhythm Talk, and “Sculpt,” a dance that explores the line and design of the human body using different heights of cylinders to exaggerate levels and dimension in space. Guest choreographers Lara Segura and Janet Alvis also present works. 7 p.m. April 7, 2 p.m. April 8. The Vine Theater at The Bernardo Winery,13330 Paseo Del Verano, San Diego. $10-$16. (858) 243-1402.

“Live Arts Fest”

Ten evenings of contemporary dance hosted by Jean Isaacs San Diego Dance Theater introduce new premieres by experienced choreographers. “Coop,” by Gina and Kyle Sorenson of somebodies dance theater, kicks off the festival on April 13. The dance asks us to reconsider the way humans share space, and the performance includes 22 dancers from San Diego City College Dance Program and the Grossmont College Dance Department. Lara Segura’s “Bee Conscious” explores the life cycle of bees through dance on April 17. A performance that includes Lux Boreal completes the festival lineup. 6:30 and 8:30 April 13, 7:30 p.m. April 14-22. White Box Space, 2590 Truxtun Road, Building 176, adjacent to Dance Place San Diego, Studio 205, Point Loma. $20 per show, $150 festival pass. (619) 225-1803.

“MASHED UP Songs & Dance”

PGK Dance Project delivers an evening of contemporary dance to popular and theater music. The interactive show invites the audience to join singers Barbara Schoenhofer, Shaun Tuazon-Martin and Peter G. Kalivas. 7:30 p.m. April 20-21, 2 p.m. April 22. Lyceum Theatre, 79 Horton Plaza, downtown. $20-$25. (619) 544-1000.

“Ezio Suite continues”

LITVAKdance, the new repertory dance company conceived by Sadie Weinberg, will present its inaugural concert with Weinberg’s choreography and works by Bradley Lundberg, Dave Massey and Yolande Snaith. The show honors the diversity and personal history of the dancers and includes live musicians and an art exhibit of mixed-media works by artist Wren Polansky. 7 p.m. April 28, 4 and 7 .m. April 29. Molli and Arthur Wagner Dance Building, Studio Theatre (behind La Jolla Playhouse), UC San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, $15-$20. (619) 855-0367.

“Carmina Burana” and Mozart’s Concerto for Flute and Harp

City Ballet’s resident choreographers Geoff Gonzalez and Elizabeth Wistrich create new dance for timeless works. Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana,” with its devastating theme ‘”O Fortuna,” is re-imagined during the Roaring Twenties, while the light and airy Mozart’s Concerto for Flute and Harp is a selection that demonstrates the fluidity of City Ballet’s company dancers. 8 p.m. May 11-12, 2 p.m. May 13. Spreckels Theatre, 121 Broadway, downtown. $25-$85. (858) 272-8663.


The La Jolla Music Society presents the Mark Morris Dance Group in a concert that pays tribute to the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Six original works in the show and a live chamber music ensemble emphasize the choreographer’s use of combining classical music forms and the blues. 8 p.m. May 12. Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave., downtown. $16.50-$71.50. (619) 570-1100.

“A Night of Jazz and Dance”

San Diego Ballet incorporates different dance styles accompanied by saxophone great Charles McPherson, who will perform “Reflections and Hope” along with a world premiere by Grammy Award-winning artist Kamau Kenyatta. Mingle with the artists at a champagne reception after the May 19 show ($20 per guest purchased separately from performance tickets). 8 p.m. May 18-19, 2:30 p.m. May 20. Lyceum Theatre, 79 Horton Plaza, downtown. $35-$50. (619) 544-1000.

“Don Quixote”

Bases on the original novel and choreography by Marius Petipa, The National Ballet of Ukraine makes 17th-century Spain come alive with stunning costumes and a movement language that combines classical ballet with folk dancing. 7 p.m. May 20. Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave, downtown. $26.94-$140. (619) 570-1100.

Manna is a freelance writer.

Manna is a freelance writer.