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The Hamburg Ballett at Segerstrom, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet at Barclay

Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet in Ten Duets.
Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet in Ten Duets.
photo by: Sharen Bradford

When it rains in OC it often pours, at least as far as dance goes. This month is no exception, with The Hamburg Ballett opening tonight at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, promptly followed by Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet next week at the Irvine Barclay Theatre.

You couldn’t pay me to sit through another production of Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Carousel,” and I can’t fathom its popularity. Fortunately, The Hamburg Ballett’s “Lilliom,” offering its North American premiere at SCFTA February 7–9, is based on the original play. Not that Ferenc Molnar’s creation was a success when it first debuted in 1909; Hungarian audiences were clueless.

I haven’t caught up with the Molnar play about the carnival barker that mixes fantasy and reality, but I’m looking forward to John Neumeier’s full-length story ballet. He's moved the setting from early 20th century Budapest to America during the Depression, and dropped or altered some characters, but I’m told he's retained the emotional essence of the play. (Liliom by the way is a type of lily but means "tough guy" in Hungarian slang). For info: visit or call (714) 556–2787.

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Related posts:

Barry McGovern’s one-man Beckett show, Christopher Plummer’s ‘Word’ solo

Plummer’s ‘Word or Two’ amuses in LA, STAGEStheatre revives Funny Thing’ in OC

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New York’s Cedar Lake, founded in 2003, has earned a stellar reputation over the past 10 years—for the caliber of its 16 dancers as well as for commissioning new work from in-demand choreographers. An innovative triple bill of pieces is slated for the company’s February 13 performance at Irvine Barclay, part of the theatre's Contemporary Dance Series (next up is Savion Glover on March 8-9.)
Czech choreographer Jiri Kvlian’s “Indigo Rose,” is a fast and frenetic showcase for the company’s ensemble, with a score featuring Bach and fellow Baroque master Couperin juxtaposed with modern composer John Cage. “Ten Duets on a Theme of Rescue,” by Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite, is composed of “images that specifically evoked rescue.” The program concludes with Swedish choreographer Johan Inger’s ensemble piece, “Rain Dogs.” For info: visit or call 9490 854-4646.

Hot tip: Mysterium Theatre’s well-received “Sweeney Todd” closes this weekend in Santa Ana. It may be sold out, but it’s worth a try. Call (714)505-3454.

More from Jordan:

Jerry Lewis at TCM film fest, La Mirada, Curtis Harrington short films on DVD

Academy Award Losers, 1912-1939:
Great Performances in the Oscar Hall of Shame, Vol. 1

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