Head Over Heels For National Dance Day!

One lucky girl plucked from the audience shows off her best move!

One lucky girl plucked from the audience shows off her best move!

If you love dance and you live in Los Angeles, then you most likely joined us on the Plaza (or on the stage!) this past Saturday for National Dance Day! With the one and only “So You Think You Can Dance” co-creator and Dizzy Feet Foundation co-president Nigel Lythgoe as our master of ceremonies, this year’s NDD festivities proved to be as inspiring as ever!

The audience dances along to two pre-choreographed routines!

The audience dances along to two pre-choreographed routines!

Launched in 2010, the Dizzy Feet Foundation decided to dedicate the last Saturday in July as National Dance Day in order to encourage Americans to embrace dance as a fun and positive way to maintain good health and fight obesity. The result is a day jam packed with dancing, workshops and inspiring performances.

While we enjoyed a fun day in the L.A. sun, there were simultaneous events in New York at Lincoln Center, and in Washington, D.C. at The Kennedy Center!

Chehon leads the crowd through the Beginner Routine!

Chehon leads the crowd through the Beginner Routine!

Here at The Music Center Plaza our line up of performers included SYTYCD stars Nathan Trasoras, Chehon,  and Ray Leeper, Dizzy Feet Community Partners: DEA Youth and San Pedro City Ballet.  We also had performances from Bust A Move Dance, Invertigo Dance Theatre, Mestre Amen and Capoeira Batuque, Jacob Jonas The Company, GROOV3,  and the LA Sparks Dance Crews.

We finished the day off with a Bollywood Dance Party with Blue13 Dance Company and their artistic director Achinta S. McDaniels.

Members from the LA Sparks Dance Crews engaged with some of the littlest audience members!

Members from the LA Sparks Dance Crews engaged with some of the littlest audience members!

All in all, National Dance Day really got us moving this year!

Dance as a Moveable Feast!

Moves After Dark - Kelev Lavan

It’s been nearly a week since we concluded our 2 week run of Moves After Dark, but we’re still buzzing about the shows, which did prove to be a kind of “moveable feast” throughout our beautiful Music Center campus.  Each of the 4 dance companies featured brought such amazing work to their assigned spaces, so much so we don’t know if we’ll ever see them the same way again!  From Ate9’s brilliantly bizarre piece in the Founders Room, to Lula Washington Dance Theatre’s uplifting Message for my Peeps on the steps of the Disney Concert Hall, to Ana Maria Alavarez’s splash-sational work in the Taper Reflecting Pool, and BODYTRAFFIC’s intriguing Restructure on the plaza with Gustavo Godoy’s stunning yellow sculpture –  Moves After Dark had something for everyone and truly transformed our Music Center into a cornucopia of dance as we never have before.

Moves After Dark - Restructure

Moves After Dark - Message for my Peeps

 But beyond the dancing, we loved the atmosphere that our audience added to the mix.  As groups of patrons walked from performance location to location, sharing thoughts, sipping beverages and snapping pics, a wonderful sense of community developed.  It was the perfect way to enjoy dance on a warm summer’s evening in LA.  If you were lucky enough to snag a ticket to one of our sold-out shows, leave a comment below and let us know which piece was your personal favorite.

Moves After Dark - Wade En El Agua

And if you’re still wanting a bit more Moves, here’s a quick video reacap for your viewing pleasure…. Enjoy!

Series sponsored by Center Dance Arts.  BODYTRAFFIC performance Co-commissioned by Dance Camera West and The Music Center. Sculpture by LA artist Gustavo Godoy.


Ticket Tricks: Summer Fridays Edition


Ok, so there is actually no ticket involved with our Summer Friday night events – “Bring Your Own Dance Moves” (BYODM) and Dance Downtown, which alternate every Friday and are both free, fun and fantastic for everyone.   Never the less, we’ve put together a few helpful hints you may find useful when heading out to dance the night away with us!  Let’s get right to it…

Tip 1:  Parking goes down to $5 after 8pm.

Parking is always an issue in downtown LA, but if you enter The Music Center’s parking lots (there’s one under the plaza with the entrance on Grand Ave. and another under Walt Disney Concert Hall, with the entrance on 2nd) after 8pm, it’s a $5 flat rate as opposed to the usual $9.

Tip 2:  At 8pm a new bar menu is available at Pinot Grill on the plaza.

Pinot Grill

Wings, Flatbread, Sliders and Veggie Spring Rolls…. The Pinot Grill bar, located on the plaza, has the perfect selection of light bites to keep you going through the night.  Plus a myriad of refreshing summer cocktails, wine and beer all at a special late night price.  Only available after 8pm.

Tip 3:  At BYODM, you can snag a free pair of pineapple sunglasses!

BYODM June 12-6143

It’s true.  All you have to do is visit our info table, located to the south of the DJ stage, and show that you’re following The Music Center on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and BOOM.  Sunnies are yours!

Tip 4:  $25 gets you access to our Member Lounge for the whole summer, and a 1-time free parking voucher!

Ticket Tricks-

Enjoy your own reserved space to sit, relax and have a drink with friends.  Perfect when you need to rest your dancing feet and there are no other free seats around.  Plus, your $25 is a donation to The Music Center that will help us continue to program events like these summer Friday dance parties.  It’s a win win!  Click here to pay in advance.

That’s it for now!  Check out all our Ticket Tricks posts to get the most out of your time at The Music Center and happy dancing!

Moves After Dark Opens Monday!

Ana Maria Alvarez rehearsal -8588 - Heather Toner

Work by Ana Maria Alvarez Rehearsal – Photo by Heather Toner

Ordinarily in the theater world, Mondays & Tuesdays are considered “dark nights,” because there very rarely ever is a show on those days.  So the theaters are literally dark with all the lights turned out.  Well, this month we’ve decided to bring a bit of life to these normally quiet evenings with a new production called Moves After Dark!

Starting Monday, Moves After Dark will feature 4 LA-based dance companies in original works choreographed specifically for unusual locations around The Music Center’s large campus.  Ate9 dANCE cOMPANY will perform in the Founders Room of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (a space normally not open to the public,) Lula Washington Dance Theatre will perform on the front steps of Walt Disney Concert Hall,  Contra-Tiempo’s artistic director has set a piece in the reflecting pool that surrounds the Mark Taper Forum, and BODYTRAFFIC will perform  a work on the plaza originally co-commission by Dance Camera West and featuring an original sculpture by LA artist Gustavo Godoy.

Ate9 Rehearsal - photo by Heather Toner-7112

Ate9 dANCE cOMPANY – Photo by Heather Toner

LWDT Rehearsal - photo by Heather Toner-7686

Lula Washington Dance Theatre – Photo by Heather Toner

Audience members will be split into three groups and each group will be escorted from location to location to view the works.  At the end of the evening, all three groups will come together to view the final piece by BODYTRAFFIC.

IMG_4638_by Skye Schmitdt

BODYTRAFFIC on scuplture by Gustavo Godoy – Photo by Skye Schmitdt

Ana Maria Alvarez rehearsal -8649

It’s safe to say, we’re all pretty excited about Moves After Dark  because it launches a whole new way to experience dance at The Music Center and does so in a way that’s more casual and accessible…. It also highlights the beautiful architecture and nuances of our campus in a truly exciting and innovative way.

Tickets are just $25 and that includes 1 free drink from the Patina Bar (soft drinks, wine, beer, tea and coffee only) and you’ve got 4 chances to see this innovative, totally LA performance:  July 13, 14, 20 & 21.  So grab your tickets, grab your friends and get ready to move! 

This new series is sponsored by Center Dance Arts, with lead support from Cornerstone Research  and STROOCK & STROOCK & LAVAN LLP.

BalletNow™ is Near!

The final dance engagement of our 2014/15 Season of Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center is fast approaching, with the opening night this coming Friday, July 10th…. And we are certainly finishing things off with a bang!

balletnow photos

The world premiere of BalletNow™ will bring together the brightest stars from Europe and Latin America for a no-holds-barred show of ballet at its very best!  Curated by co-artistic directors and American Ballet Theatre stars Herman Cornejo & Roberto Bolle, the BalletNow™ program will include traditional excerpts from classical favorites like Don Quixote and The Sleeping Beauty, as well as newer contemporary ballet work from choreographers Wayne McGregor, Hans Van Manen, Itzik Galili and Cornejo himself.

Each of the three performances (yes there are only three) will be different – Friday will showcase all European dancers, Saturday will showcase all Latin American dancers and Sunday will be a mixture of the two.  With many of the cast currently holding principal positions in several of America’s top ballet companies,  BalletNow™ promises to be a refreshing look at all the world-wide talent we’re lucky enough to see and experience here in the US.

If that weren’t enough, the show will also feature the US premiere of Passage , the west-coast premieres of Prototype, & Tango y Yo, as well as the world premiere of dancer and fellow BalletNow™ star Carlos Molina’s own Carmen pas de deux.  Additionally, it will feature recently retired ABT principal, Paloma Herrera and give our LA audiences a chance to see her perform one more time!

So obviously, BalletNow™ is a Ballet-Must.  We still have a few tickets available for each show….  Visit our website for more details and to snag your seats!

 Finally, here’s a playlist of videos we’ve gathered from all over YouTube with many of the works being performed, as well as highlights on several of the amazing ballet stars who are about to light up our stage.  Just a little something to whet your appetite…. Enjoy!