A Brazilian dance company known for its "backyard samba" and a Cuban dance orchestra will make their Los Angeles debuts as part of the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre 2003 multicultural performing arts series, May 30 to Nov. 1. The Ford's largest series of events ever, the summer season will consist of 75 performances of 63 events.
Fundo de Quintal, which traces its roots to Rio de Janeiro's major samba school, Imperatriz Leopoldinense, will headline a Brazilian Summer Festival at the Ford on July 26.
Cuba's Orquesta La Modern Tradicion, billing itself as the only ensemble of its kind to perform classic Cuban dance music, from cha-cha-cha to timba (Cuban salsa), will debut locally on Aug. 7.
Marking Panama's centennial, Ballet Folklorico Panameno de Elisa Cespedes, the country's official dance company, will appear for the first time in Los Angeles in decades on Aug. 15.
The season also will include four U.S. premiere productions. "El Automovil Gris/The Grey Automobile" will involve a screening of the Mexican classic silent gangster film with two live actors and a live pianist, by the National Theatre Company of Mexico (June 16).
The other U.S. premieres include Madrid-based Vivian Acosta's one-woman show, "La Virgen Triste/The Sad Virgin" (June 23-25); Barcelona-based Compania Marta Carrasco's performance art work, "Aiguardent/Firewater" (June 29); and Cuba's El Cievo Encantado's "Un Elefante Ocupa Mucho Espacio/An Elephant Takes Up a Lot of Space" (June 28).
World music and dance programs will have doubled over last season, with local choreographers presenting eight world premieres, including Michael Mizerany's "The Man Clan" and Naomi Goldberg's "Frozen/Spring" and "Possessed."
L.A.'s Celebration Theatre also will revive its 2002 production of Gilbert and Sullivan's "H.M.S. Pinafore," drawing on the 85-member Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles to swell the chorus (June 29).
The season will open May 30 with the eighth annual "Red Nation Celebration," consisting of contemporary and traditional American Indian music and dance, and close Nov. 1 with a Mexican "Day of the Dead" celebration. Information: (323) 461-3673.