A Selective Guide to the Arts in Los Angeles

BalletBoyz / Photo by Panos

Downtown dance means something totally different here in LA than in New York. There, it refers to a rough and tumble community of movement explorers based south of midtown Manhattan. In our City of Angels, the rawness isn’t always part of the aesthetic, but the innovation can be just as compelling. And it’s not happening on the Westside or Eastside, but smack dab in the center of town.

In the 12th season of Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center, British dance ambassadors and ex-Royal Ballet lead performers and now Artistic Directors Michael Nunn and William Trevitt have been invited to present the BalletBoyz®, their all-male company of 10 at the Ahmanson Theatre. For only three performances this Friday through Sunday, Nov. 7-9,  this explosive band of movers will take over the prestigious location. The evening shows begin at 7:30 p.m. and the Sunday matinee begins at 2 p.m.

The current group of athletic artists called “The Talent” will present choreography by two of England’s finest dance makers (also men), Royal Ballet’s first Artist-in-Residence Liam Scarlett and Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Russell Maliphant. Performing work that’s been critically acclaimed and currently touring throughout North America, the dancers come from a variety of backgrounds including ballet, modern, contemporary and no formal training at all. Match this assemblage of what promotional materials describe as “a muscular and occasionally dangerous” collection of men with an environment surrounded by original music by either UK composer Max Richter or award-winning French cinema composer Armand Amar, and the result is what London’s The Independent calls “dance at its most riveting and fearless.”

Sounds like a bomb waiting to go off. Yet it also follows in the tradition of American modern dance pioneer Ted Shawn’s all male entourage of the early 20th century.

—Benn Widdey, Culture Spot LA

Tickets range from $28 to $110. Purchase tickets at https://www.musiccenter.org/reserve/index.aspx?performanceNumber=2651. For more information, visit https://www.musiccenter.org/about/Our-Programs/BalletBoyz/ and https://www.balletboyz.com/.