Spring Dance Calendar 2014: ‘Flowers & Weeds to Pick’

“The calla lilies are in bloom again” and so are the spring dance productions. Imagine Katharine Hepburn talking about dance events popping up all over town. “Such a strange flower, suitable for any occasion…” in full bloom from Point Loma to La Jolla, Escondido to downtown.

Dig into one-nighters or expansive festivals. Many events are dance theater hybrids grown from professional troupes with live music. Others sprout from bold emerging artists. Think we can’t stretch this dance-flower theme too much? There’s even a show titled “Seed.”

Anne Gehman poses with succulent plants and presents the youTurn Arts event "Seed: An exhibition of Autonomy" at the White Box.  Publicity photo: youturnarts.com

Anne Gehman of youTurn Arts poses with succulent plants and co-presents  “Seed: An exhibition of Autonomy” at the White Box. Photo: Maria Juan

Lara Binder started the season with “The Art of Human Being,” a playful site-specific event in the garden of Art Produce Gallery in North Park. On a recent Saturday, Binder and dancers enticed viewers to join them in mesmerizing gestures amid the planters. Viewers young and old joined the cast for interactive dancing games to stay warm.

The dancing bloom continues indoors for several weeks in April. You might consider camping near the White Box in Point Loma. We’ve assembled a bumper crop calendar. Save it. Share it.  Color-code it.  And we’ve gleaned five picks, but you’ll need to pick more for a full bouquet. Don’t be afraid to wander into unknown territory. Step out of your comfort zone.

Dance events are wonderfully strange and varied flowers in a “pick your own” garden. Dozens of troupes are presenting dance-theater spiced up with live music, spoken word, puppetry, ethnic forms, and art installations – and don’t forget adult beverages and desserts.  Productions may be fresh and colorful or prickly and dark. You may find a few strange weeds among the flowers – and weeds can be fascinating.


1. “Seed: An Exhibition of Autonomy.” The women of  youTurn Arts, Maria Juan, Erica Buechner and Anne Gehman, perform new solos and collaborative dances to live Gypsy blues music in the 4th annual event at the White Box, April 4 and 5 at 8 pm. www.youturnarts.com

2. Bill Shannon is known internationally as the artist, break dancer, and skate punk “who wields crutches as tools of expression and weapons of provocation.” Born with a rare hip defect that prevents him from walking without crutches, he is a fluid and energized dancer on crutches and a skateboard. He breaks all notions of ability and has won too many awards to list here. Presented by ArtPower! at the White Box. http://artpwr.com/experience/2014/04/10/bill-shannon#.Uz8NitFOVjp

3.      White Box Live Arts Fest features 10 nights of dance theater including: “Love H.E.R” with Grace Shinae Jun & Co. of bkSOUL and super poet Ant Black of Collective Purpose. The collaboration mixes hip hop, spoken word, dance, and live music; “The Collector,” presented by Creative Catalyst artists Iain Gunn and Bridget Rountree, was a huge hit at the Fringe Fest. The rare multimedia puppet theatre stars a lowly and tiny debt collector who undergoes a radical transformation. Performances also presented by: San Diego Dance Theater, Flamenco Sur, Minaqua McPherson and Viviana Alcazar-Haynes, The Women of VIV of San Francisco, Lavina Rich, Terry Wilson and Sadie Weinberg, Anjanette Maraya-Ramey, and Minerva Tapia Dance Group of Tijuana. www.sandiegodancetheater.org/whitebox

4. Malashock Dance & Art of Elan present “Life-blood Harmony,” with original choreography set to live music by contemporary composers David Bruce, Judd Greenstein, and Osvaldo Golijov. Billed as “intense and thrilling,” the production features 10 dancers in three new works by choreographer John Malashock  and six Art of Elan musicians, under the leadership of Kate Hatmaker. April 17-19 at Mandell Weiss Theatre, UC San Diego. www.malashockdance.org / www.artofelan.org

5. Alonzo King Lines Ballet stops for one night at the historic Spreckels Theatre before heading back to San Francisco. Program to be announced. May 17, 8 pm. Presented by La Jolla Music Society. www.ljms.orgLILY - Copy

BUMPER CROP CALENDAR – April 2014 + 3 ballets and 2 wknds in May 

4 APRIL “Alice in Wonderland,” Bellydance Evolution, Spreckels Theatre

4-5       “Seed: An Exhibition of Autonomy,” presented by You Turn Arts, White Box (dance, art, live music, food and drinks) www.youturnarts.com

5          San Diego Ballet in “Dance Gallery,” Dance Place

10-12   Bill Shannon – ArtPower! presents at White Box.

11        Indian Music and Dance Festival, Garfield Theater, JCC

15-27   Live Arts Fest, White Box Theater, www.sandiegodancetheater.org/whitebox

15        bkSOUL and Collective Purpose

16        “Things Lost,” SD Dance Theater

17        Latin Night

18        “The Collector,” Animal Cracker Conspiracy

19        “Half & Half,” Minacqua McPherson & Viviana Alcazar-Haynes

23        “Ouroboros (6) & other works,” The Women of VIV (San Francisco)

24        “Push Process,” Lavina Rich

25        “Seeing Through,” Terry Wilson & Sadie Weinberg

26        “Indivisible,” Anjanette Maraya-Ramey

27        “In Proceso, Lynch Town, Y Aura,” Minervia Tapia Dance Group (Tijuana)

17        “this” (the improvised series), Expressive Arts Institute, Liberty Station

17-19   “Lifeblood Harmony,” Malashock Dance with Art of Elan, Mandell Weiss Theatre. www.malashockdance.org

22-23   “A Blast from the Past,” Mojalet, California Center for the Arts, Escondido

26-27 “Dance on the Edge” at ArtWalk, 26 companies and performers from the all over Southern California perform at Little Italy festival (stage at India & Grape Streets) www.artwalksandiego.org


Two Weekends of Dance at UC San Diego in the Wagner Dance Building:

2-3 MAY IMAGOmoves and Yolande Snaith. “The Mapping Games.”

10-11  MAY  Katie Duck and Guests (Yolande Snaith, Liam Clancy, Alicia Peterson Baskel). http://www.imagomoves.com/calendar.html

9-11 MAY City Ballet of San Diego presents: “Swan Lake Act II” plus  Mozart’s “Requiem,” with live orchestra and chorus. Spreckels Theatre. http://www.cityballet.org/performances/swan_lake.php

17 MAY Alonzo King Lines Ballet presented by La Jolla Music Society. Spreckels.Theatre. www.ljms.org

17-18 MAY California Ballet presents: “Sleeping Beauty,” Civic Theatre. http://www.californiaballet.org/






  1. Maria on April 7, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Love Dance in the Springtime! Thanks for the shoutout! 🙂

  2. Michael Mizerany on April 11, 2014 at 9:58 am

    Hey Kris,

    Thanks for this listing. Helps me plan my month.

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