It's a full spring dance season, with national and international companies heading into town, a trend that continues well into summer. For the next three months, "diversity" is one watchword, with flamenco, contemporary ballet, modern dance and neo-classical masterpieces being presented around the region. Companies that qualify as American treasures will be well represented too, with Paul Taylor, Alvin Ailey and Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo performing. New York's Tere O'Connor will be bringing two new pieces to the Skirball Cultural Center in April, while a newer Big Apple group, the much-talked-about Jessica Lang Dance, makes its first appearance here in late May.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Ballet presents its eighth repertory season and premieres two commissioned works, including one from Christopher Stowell, a former principal dancer with San Francisco Ballet. Other local companies are busy raising money so they can self-present themselves. And stay tuned for news about Dance Camera West, June 6-8, which will combine dance film and live performances.
In "Lluvia" (Rain), the Granada, Spain-raised flamenco sensation explores solitude, a theme she has toyed with in previous works. In this piece's first act, set on a somber street, she has told interviewers the "starting point is pure melancholy," while the second act reverts to the form's most passionate and vigorous dance, a soleá. Yerbabuena is joined by four other dancers, singers and musicians.
Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine, 3 p.m. March 16, $39-$49, thebarclay.org, (949) 854-4646
Los Angeles Ballet
The neo-classical company's early spring program "Quartet" includes company premieres of Jirí Kylían's haunting "Return to a Strange Land" and George Balanchine's charmingly chipper ode to his adopted home, "Stars and Stripes." Co-directors Colleen Neary and Thordal Christensen have commissioned a fourth piece from pop choreographer Sonya Tayeh, "Beneath One's Dignity," and turned to Stowell, a former artistic director of Oregon Ballet Theatre, for a first piece from him, "Cipher," with an original score by Los Angeles composer Noah Arguss.
Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo
Hard to believe the all-male comedy troupe is celebrating its 40th anniversary. The dancers make you laugh, but there's nothing funny about their abilities — these "ladies" have classical style to spare. They return to Long Beach (where they've previously sold out) with some different "classics," including "Go for Barocco" and "Raymonda's Wedding."
Carpenter Center Performing Arts Center, 6200 Atherton St., Long Beach, 8 p.m. March 22 Saturday, 2 p.m. March 23, $45, carpenterarts.org, (562) 985-7000
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Yes, Ailey's masterwork, "Revelations," will be on the company's two different programs in Orange County, but artistic director Robert Battle is extending this treasured troupe's repertory. So the group is bringing three special pieces for the first time to the West Coast: Bill T. Jones' take on the devastating losses of the AIDS crisis, "D-Man in the Waters (Part I)"; British choreographer Wayne McGregor's stark and futuristic "Chroma"; and Canadian Aszure Barton's rhythmically challenging "Lift." The Segerstrom Center is also offering two special events, designed to attract new audiences: a free "Revelations" celebration on the arts plaza at noon March 22, and what it's calling a "mini-performance" of "Revelations" and "D-Man" at noon on March 26 (for a less-expensive $29 ticket).
Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 7:30 p.m. March 27-29; 2 p.m. March 29-30, $25-$119, scfta.org, (714) 556-2787