Dance in unusual places — from the Culver Steps to Music Center Plaza and the actual REDCAT theater, plus online readings, outdoor Shakespeare in Topanga, cardboard films downtown, gallery openings everywhere, an interactive indoor/outdoor art festival at Santa Monica Airport, silent avant-garde video on your computer, and a maze of hula hoops in Hollywood.
Thursday, July 8
Heidi Duckler Dance: Honest Purpose. A series of performances at the Culver Steps accompanied by a live four-piece band led by Dwight Trible, the piece is an exploration of private and public space as well as a celebration of the reopening of the city and the joyful reemergence of the community into this space after a period of isolation. 9300 Culver Blvd., Culver City; Thursday, July 8 – Friday, July 9, 8 & 9pm; $20-40; heididuckler.org.
Rosanna Gamson/World Wide: Sugar Houses at REDCAT (Live and Virtual). Performed by six singer/dancer/actors, Sugar Houses is a one-hour dance theater work that cleverly pulls a deconstructed narrative from Hansel and Gretel through the devices and structure of the horror genre, exposing the fairy tale’s historical underpinnings, coded antisemitism, and violent imagery. 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; Thursday, July 8 – Saturday, July 10, 8:30pm; Saturday, July 10, 3pm; $25; live-stream version Sunday, July 11, 4pm; $15; redcat.org.
Terry Tempest Williams at ALOUD (Virtual). In her essays, poetry, and memoirs, WIlliams uses her distinctive voice to argue for a deeply personal connection between land, politics, and the individual human body. Erosion, a new collection of essays that navigates the emotional, geographical, and communal territories of home, sizes up the assaults on America’s public lands and the degradation of our commitment to the open spaces of democracy. Williams examines the many forms of erosion we face — of democracy, science, compassion, and trust. The author discusses the new book with Library Foundation programs director Jessica Strand. Online; Thursday, July 8, 5pm; free; lfla.org.
Friday, July 9
Robin Frohardt: BAG screens at The Rendon. An all-cardboard short film follows the journey of a plastic bag from the present day to the far off-future. Intricate handmade sets, original music by Freddi Price and lo-fi special effects come together to weave an ode to the foreverness of plastic. The 7-minute film plays on a loop as part of the special programming surrounding the nearby installation of Frohardt’s The Plastic Bag Store. Art at the Rendon, 2055 E. 7th St., downtown; Friday, July 9, 1:30-6pm; Saturday, July 10 – Sunday July 11, 11:30am-pm; free; artattherendon.com.
Saturday, July 10
A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Julius Cesar at Theatricum Botanicum. Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum returns to live performance at its famous outdoor venue in Topanga with Julius Caesar, Shakespeare’s edgy, political tragedy — told from the Soothsayer’s point of view. Julius Caesar’s tyrannical rule has polarized the people, the Senators, even his friends. Also in rotation is a new take on the repertory company’s signature production, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, infusing the Bard’s beautiful language with music and song. 1419 North Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga; Saturdays at 7:30pm & Sundays at 4:30pm, July 10-November 7; $15-60; theatricum.com.
Bridget Mullen: Birthday at Shulamit Nazarian. At an intimate scale of 12 x 9 inches each, the 32 paintings offer a visualization of perhaps the ultimate creative act — the moment of birth. Through this consistent scale and thematic hyper focus, the artist employs endless formal variations in composition, color, and paint application. The result is a series of paintings that share a common structure yet champion individuality, as abstract shapes come into focus as human anatomies, capable of expressing emotion. 616 N. La Brea, Hollywood; on view July 10 – August 28; free; shulamitnazarian.com.
LEFT/RIGHT/HERE at 18th Street Arts Center Airport Campus. Where is here? Can we be together? Can we find stability amidst uncertainty? Join artists Lionel Popkin, Marcus Kuiland-Nazario, Yrneh Gabon and Susie McKay Krieser, Lola del Fresno, Luciana Abait, Nicola Goode, Cognate Collective’s Market Exchange project, and Debra Disman in a one-night only interactive outdoor and indoor art experience as part of the exhibition Recovery Justice: Being Well. Santa Monica Art Studios artists will be open for studio visits as well. 3026 Airport Ave., Santa Monica; Saturday, July 10, 7:30-9:30pm; free; 18thstreet.org.
Dianne Bennett: celestial terrestrials and holy ghosts, at La Luz de Jesus. Bennett’s reverential portraits of birds and other wild beings are painted on salvaged road signs celebrating the diversity of flora, fauna, and unspoiled terrain native to the Mojave desert. Subjects are set against abstract landscapes layered with graffitied symbols and language decrying the encroachment brought by human folly and greed, resulting in habitat destruction crucial to threatened species. 10% of all sales will be donated to the Mojave Land Trust. 4633 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz; opening reception: Saturday, July 10, 2-7pm; on view through August 29; free; laluzdejesus.com.
Sunday, July 11
Carole Kim End of Residency Open House at Automata. Kim is a media artist with a focus on video projection for multi-media installation, performance and photography. She has presented her work in diverse contexts including experimental art, music, dance, theater and site-specific installation. For this residency, she wanted to step away from the computer. “With each day, we encounter the novelty of social situations that can at once evoke joy while reminding us how that “muscle” may have atrophied,” says Kim. “I wanted to create a welcoming context for a very hands-on, intimate exchange with people who share a love of improvisation, play, experimentation, exchange, drawing, leaving traces and embodied awareness.” Joining Kim in this venture are 20 collaborators. 504 Chung King Court, Chinatown; Sunday, July 11, noon-5pm by timed reservation; free; carole-kim-open-house.
Monday, July 12
Earmaginations at Soundpedro (Virtual). Earmaginations videos are visualizations, with no soundtrack, that respond to ideas and experiences surrounding auralities and deafnesses, as well as ways of hearing and listening. Themes or actions may include: acoustics, psychoacoustics, audio technologies, spatialization, timbralization, environmental sound, hearing anatomies, synaesthetic responses to sound, imagined aural response, connection of sound and hearing to sight and seeing, autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR), relationship between sound and music. Premieres July 12; free; soundpedro.org.
Wednesday, July 14
Alonzo King LINES Ballet at the Music Center Plaza. Alonzo King LINES Ballet is at the forefront of artistic innovation in ballet. Guided by King’s unique artistic vision, the company’s style adheres to the classical form, while investigating the human spirit and breaking down barriers. LINES Ballet returns for Dance at Dusk with a mixed program featuring the full company of 12 dancers. Jerry Moss Plaza, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Wednesday, July 14 – Sunday, July 18; 7:30pm; pod of four seats $150; live-stream option available on July 18; free with registration; musiccenter.org.
Kengo Kito’s RECONNECTING: A Vision of Unity at Japan House Los Angeles. In his site-specific installation, artist Kengo Kito uses hula hoops to explore ideas of connection and reconnection. By opening up the hoops and linking them to each other end-to-end, he creates one expansive, interconnected whole that fills the space with color, line and light. His first exhibition in the United States, the colorful structure serves as a metaphor for the interconnectedness of all humanity, a theme that resonates deeply today. 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; on view through September 6; free; japanhousela.com.
After social media rumblings about California parents having their kids walk out and skip …