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Arts and Entertainment

Music Center Expanding Into Offsite Events, From Rufus Wainwright Concert To Outdoor Dance Parties

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The Akram Khan Company performs "Kaash" in London. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)
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The Music Center already takes up some prime real estate in Los Angeles. The complex, unveiled in 1964, is comprised of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the Mark Taper Forum, and the Ahmanson Theatre. And, in 2003, it added the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

But it looks like the Center isn't content with just sticking around its Grand Avenue hub—it has announced a new program, titled "The Music Center On Location," that will bring different acts and happenings to other parts of the county. Rachel Moore, president and CEO of The Music Center, said in a release that On Location is “ a natural step in The Music Center’s evolution as we work with artists, presenting partners and our communities to define what it means to be a performing arts center of the 21st century." She added, "We are committed to collaboration with venues that distinctly represent Los Angeles and where we will be able to reach and engage new audiences and delight them in unexpected ways."

The scheduled events are:

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Aszure Barton and Artists

Canadian choreographer Aszure Barton will be presenting Awáa, a dance performance piece that examines the meaning of femininity and motherhood. The Washington Post described it as "an extraordinary work, full of fantasy and surprises, yet grounded in recognizable behaviors." The performances also include male dancers who represent the different traits of babies." Somehow, that wasn’t as ridiculous as it sounds. These were sophisticated little man-munchkins, scooting across the floor on their bottoms with the precision of Rockettes, or picking their noses with pioneering delight," said the Post.

This event will take place at the Ford Amphitheatre at 2580 Cahuenga Blvd E, Hollywood Hills, (323) 461-3673. It runs at 8:30 p.m. on August 18.

Jacob Jonas The Company, Tim Hecker with Kara-Lis Coverdale

This event is a double billing featuring both avant-garde dance and music. Jacob Jonas, at the young age of 24, has ascended to renown with his combination of disparate dance styles, ranging from breakdance to contemporary ballet. He'll be joined by his group—the aforementioned Company—which features a decidedly diverse lineup of dancers. Also, musicians/composers Tim Hecker and Kara-Lis Coverdale will be performing alongside one another. The two are hard to define; some might label them as "electronic" or as "sound artists." The plain truth is that they both have an affinity for glacial, structureless tracks that sound tranquil at times, but also harsh and discordant at other moments. The one constant lies in how haunting the songs are.

This event takes place at the Ford Amphitheatre at 2580 Cahuenga Blvd E, Hollywood Hills, (323) 461-3673. It runs at 8:30 p.m. on August 19.

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Rufus Wainwright (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images)
Rufus Wainwright

Singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright will be giving us some northern exposure when he performs Northern Stars, a collection of songs from notable Canadian artists such as Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and the late Leonard Cohen. The performance is meant to be a celebration of Canada's 150th anniversary. There's also a VIP package that will include a dinner, an artist meet-and-greet, and a post performance reception.

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This event takes place at the Ford Amphitheatre at 2580 Cahuenga Boulevard in the Hollywood Hills, (323) 461-3673. It runs at 8:00 p.m. on August 20.

Akram Khan Company

Choreographer and dancer Akram Khan will bring her dance company to Culver City to present Until the Lions, Khan's own take on poet Karthika Naïr’s book Until the Lions: Echoes from the Mahabharata, which itself is a retelling of the ancient Indian epic, Mahabharata. According to the Music Center, Khan will be using both kathak—a classical Indian dance—and contemporary dance forms to tell the story. She will be joined by female dancers Ching-Ying Chien and Christine Joy Ritter, as well as four live musicians.

This event runs at The Culver Studios at 9336 Washington Blvd in Culver City, (310) 202-1234. It goes from October 18 to October 21, with a start time of 8 p.m. for each date.


Dance DTLA

Maybe you're feeling inspired by the likes of Jonas and Khan, and want to do some dancing on your own? If so, "Dance DTLA" will give you reason to let loose in the airy spread of Grand Park. This program is composed of two events: "Dance Downtown" and "DJ Nights." The former is presented as a kind of informal (and huge) dance class in which participants learn moves related to the music genre of the evening. DJ Nights, meanwhile, is a massive dance party where anything goes (within certain social boundaries, of course). These evenings will be curated by "by influential artists and tastemakers," says the Center.

Dance DTLA runs from June 23 to September 1 at Grand Park at 200 N Grand Ave, downtown L.A. Dance Downtown takes place from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. on every other Friday starting on June 23. DJ Nights takes place from 9:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. on every other Friday starting on June 30.

For ticket information to any of these events, click here.