This spring, some postmodern dance heavy hitters come to town, with new works and tantalizing revivals. The weeklong Trisha Brown engagement is especially significant for its selection of historic outdoor works. It's a farewell of sorts — this trailblazer of the Judson Dance Theater movement of 50 years ago announced recently that she will not be creating any new pieces. For ballet lovers, the season's pickings are slimmer, though Ballet BC will show off its new look, instigated by artistic director Emily Molnar, and Los Angeles Ballet will devote two different programs to masterworks by George Balanchine.
Bebe Miller Dance Company
"A History" is Miller's exploration of the creative process and dance making, through the lens of her 25-year career and her relationships with veteran company members Angie Hauser and Darrell Jones. This duet includes a special digital projection created by Lily Skove and videos that will play in the REDCAT lobby.
Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater, 631 W. 2nd St. , Los Angeles. 8:30 p.m. April 4-6, 3 p.m. April 7. $16-$25. http://www.redcat.org
SPRING ARTS PREVIEW: Art | Pop | Country
Trisha Brown Dance Company: The Retrospective Project
A sampling of work spanning Brown's groundbreaking career is the focus of this innovative project, organized by Kristy Edmunds, the new director of the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA.
Among the highlights is the outdoor performance of "Astral Converted," Brown's 1991 collaboration with visual artist Robert Rauschenberg, featuring his lighted sculptural towers (April 4, Sunset Canyon Amphitheatre); the local debut of Brown's 1971 "Roof Piece," performed twice at the Getty Center on April 6; two repertory evenings (April 5 and 7, Royce Hall); and a revival of the 1970 "Forest of the Floor" installation dance, which will be performed by students from UCLA's World Arts and Culture department at the Hammer Museum.
Royce Hall and various locations, Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, 340 Royce Drive, Los Angeles, March 30-April 7, check website for performance times (the Hammer installation Thursdays-Sundays, through April 21). Free-$55. http://www.cap.ucla.edu
Mark Morris Dance Group
Morris remains true to his vision of dance as a unique expressive form that is, nonetheless, intimately tied to music — glorious music, exquisitely played.
This program of celebrated dances reveals Morris' connection to music for the piano and, at most, two other instruments. His early "Canonic ¾ Studies" (1982) explores the waltz form; the recent "Festival Dance" (2011) is set to a piano trio by Austrian composer Johann Nepomuk Hummel; while "Grand Duo" (1993) was the second piece in a 16-year collaboration between Morris and the late maverick composer Lou Harrison.
Valley Performing Arts Center, Cal State Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge. 8 p.m. April 27. $35-$65. http://www.valleryperformingartscenter.org
SPRING ARTS PREVIEW: Jazz | Classical
A former dancer with National Ballet of Canada, Ballet BC and Frankfurt Ballet, artistic director Emily Molnar has restored and revitalized Vancouver's formerly troubled contemporary ballet company of 18 dancers. The program will feature ballets by three choreographers whose works have not been performed here. Molnar will be represented with a recent work, while the other two choreographers are Italy's Jacopo Godani and France's Medhi Walerski; in a twist, Walerski's "Chamber," for Nederlands Dans Theater, was co-commissioned by the Music Center as part of that theater's "Rite of Spring" project. NDT will perform it at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in October.
Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine. 8 p.m. May 11. $16-$100. http://www.thebarclay.org
SPRING ARTS PREVIEW: Architecture | Theater
Alonzo King LINES Ballet + Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
Collaborations between dance companies that have their own distinct visions are rare — if not impossible. Yet, Hubbard Street and LINES Ballet have done just that. They will present the local premiere of a new joint work, "Azimuth," by LINES artistic director Alonzo King. Each company also will perform separately in a signature piece.
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. 7:30 p.m. June 21-22, 2 p.m. June 23. $28-$110. http://www.musiccenter.org
INTERACTIVE: Christopher Hawthorne's On the Boulevards
Depictions of violence in theater and more