Food and the arts will keep you busy in Los Angeles this week. The L.A. Dance Festival brings dancers of all types together for four jam-packed days of performances, and Record Store Day will have vinyl geeks in heaven with all those must-have records. You won’t want to miss artist and curator Mark Todd’s innovative art exhibit, which is closing soon, or the limited-time-only menu at Chaya’s two locations.
AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what's happening in cities around the U.S.
April 14–17 | Dance
Los Angeles Dance Festival
L.A. is home to many contemporary dance troupes, but it’s quite rare to be able to enjoy all of the different styles and dancers in one location. Make that nearly impossible: The dancers are on the road for a large portion of the year, so it’s often hard to catch them at all except at a competition, Thankfully, Deborah Brockus of Brockus Conservatory has organized a festival that focuses on celebrating dancers and takes the competitive aspect out of the equation completely. Highlights of this year’s event include Lulu Washington Dance Theater and Nina McNeely presenting her choreography The Empusa.
Times vary | Diavolo Performance Space, 618 Moulton Ave., Los Angeles | From $25 | website
April 16 | Music
Record Store Day
Sure, you can get your music fix straight from your computer these days, but downloading an mp3 on iTunes will never replace the experience of browsing through vinyls at your local record store. April 16 has been set aside for music junkies nationwide to celebrate their love of high fidelity at the places that cultivate the art form. Participating stores can be found online, and will each have limited-edition RSD releases for purchase. Hollywood’s own Amoeba Records will host guest DJs, including Lance Rock of Yo Gabba Gabba fame. In the words of Matt and Kim, “Get it.”
Times and locations vary | Free | website
April 16–17 | Escape the city
Phoenix is only 365 miles from L.A.—that’s a quick hour and a half flight when all is said and done. You will be rewarded with desert sun and a dry heat that rivals the best we’ve seen in Palm Springs. In fact, the winds pair perfectly with a tequila sunrise or two—which may in fact be why that very drink was first poured in Phoenix at the immensely lush and gorgeous Arizona Biltmore. There’s golf, swimming pools galore, and a beautiful grand piano (once played by Frank Sinatra). This place is teeming with history: You can walk in the footsteps of former presidents or Hollywood royalty like Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable. Eat at Wright’s, named for the influential Frank Lloyd Wright, who left his mark here in the form of organic architecture and stained-glass windows that epitomize his signature style.
The Arizona Biltmore, 2400 E. Missouri Ave., Phoenix, Arizona | (855) 689-2878 | website
Chaya DTLA and Chaya Venice present the A5 Wagyu Menu
Chaya serves up a mix of European and Asian fare while always paying homage to Japan. For the rest of this month, the chefs of Chaya DTLA and Chaya Venice will be unveiling a special menu that celebrates top quality Japanese beef. A quick culinary lesson: A5 Wagyu is the highest-grade beef in Japan. It has the perfect combination of marbling, color, brightness, texture, firmness, and fat. Pair that with the inventiveness of Chaya's chefs Joji Inoue (DTLA) and Yuichi Natori (Venice), and we’re talking dishes like Wagyu fried rice in a stone bowl with shiitake mushrooms and a jidori egg. It’s pleasing to both the eye and palate.
Chaya DTLA and Chaya Venice, Los Angeles | website
Closing soon | Art
Mark Todd presents Keep it Together
Flower Pepper Gallery is a small but mighty gallery in Pasadena with a gift for presenting a mix of emerging and established artists with one common denominator: creative genius. Artist Mark Todd is the perfect choice to curate a show with both gravitas and approachability. Yes, it is possible, and Todd nails it—his choice of artists includes the great Gary Taxali, Gina Triplett, and Seonna Hong. The title of the show, Keep it Together, represents feelings of uneasiness in our current state of unrest politically, socially, and artistically. Catch it before it closes on April 26.
Times vary | 121 E. Union St., Pasadena| (626) 795-1895 | Free | webiste
Eva Glettner is a writer and a native Angeleno. She loves art, travel, coffee, and skateboarding.