CALL IT the summer of dance creativity. The big production will come in midsummer with Twyla Tharp teaming up with film composer Danny Elfman in "Rabbits and Rouge," a new American Ballet Theatre piece at the Orange County Performing Artscenter. Tharp had a Broadway hit when she teamed with Billy Joel for "Movin' Out." Lightning may strike again (ocpac.org; Aug. 6-10).
But why wait that long? On the local front, postmodern icon Jeff Slayton has delved into the disparate parts of his own mind to create "Inventory," for Sarah Swenson's Vox Dance Theatre, at the Martha B. Knoebel Dance Theater at Cal State Long Beach (csulb.edu/depts/dance/ location.htm; June 7-8).
Two weeks later, Raiford Rogers Modern Ballet will unveil two new pieces to Beethoven at the Luckman Theatre at Cal State Los Angeles (luckmanarts.org; June 21).
If that's not enough L.A. innovation, the New Original Works Festival at REDCAT (redcat.org; July 17-Aug. 2) will showcase new works from Cloud Eye Control, Ledges and Bones Dance Project and Rosanna Gamson/World Wide, among other local troupes.
Out-of-towners include New York-based Tere O'Connor Dance in its L.A. debut with the Bessie Award-winning choreographer's new "Rammed Earth," an architecture-inspired piece, at the Skirball Cultural Center (skirball.org; June 26-29).
Pop and world dance get covered throughout the summer. At the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, catch Culture Shock Los Angeles in a hip-hop work inspired by Ray Bradbury's novel "Fahrenheit 451" (fordamphitheater.org; July 25).
Or see Mazatlan-based Delfos Danza Contemporanea during the free Grand Performances series at California Plaza (grandperformances .org; July 25-26).
Finally, Spain comes to Orange County in the seventh annual New World Flamenco Festival, with Compania Somos Flamencos and Compania Antonio El Pipa in world and U.S. premieres at the Irvine Barclay Theatre (thebarclay.org; Aug. 8-17).