54th Annual LA Holiday Celebration Brings Diversity to Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

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Holidays in Los Angeles are filled with many activities to do. There are the traditional activities, such as the Hollywood Christmas Parade or the posadas on Olvera Street; the activities you could only do in Los Angeles, such as Disneyland or Universal Studios; and even the things you shouldn’t be able to do in Los Angeles, such as the sledding hill created of snow and ice skating rink at L.A. Live.

Many of those activities usually come with a downside. Usually if they’re worthwhile, they’ll take a pretty penny from your holiday budget. If they’re free, they’re not always worth your time.

The 54th Annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration is one of the rare exceptions that brings together quality and affordability—and by “affordability,” I mean free. This holiday event will take place December 24 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the L.A. Music Center. The event is one of the many concerts put together by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

The L.A. County Holiday Celebration will feature a lineup no less eclectic than the city of Los Angeles itself. Artists range from the Immaculate Heart of Mary Children’s choir, an ensemble of 8-12 year-olds from Los Angeles, to Grammy Award-winning groups such as Quetzal, an East L.A. Chicano rock group.

The Jung Im Lee Korean Dance Academy is one of the many dance participants in this year’s event. Based in the heart of Koreatown here in Los Angeles, this academy strives to develop a sense of Korean culture within its students as well as in the community.

The Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet will feature dancers performing traditional Aztec dances in their traditional wardrobe. The mission of this group is to, “perpetuate and showcase the splendor of Mexican folk dance; and to cultivate and promote public awareness and an appreciation of this rich and diverse cultural heritage.” It is perhaps the most high-energy act of this show.

The Harana Men’s Chorus is a group that will perform traditional songs from the Philippines as well as traditional American Christmas songs. “Harana” means to serenade in Tagalog, and these young men do just that in their performance.

The JazzAntiqua Dance and Music Ensemble features male and female dancers performing elaborate and rhythmically complex dances. As stated in their website, this group “celebrates the jazz tradition as a vital thread in the cultural fabric of African-American history and heritage, and a defining element of the American experience.” The most captivating part of this group is their seductive dance solos.

The Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea are a Grammy Award-winning all-women’s Mariachi group led by Cindy Shea. The group features three phenomenal singers backed by a traditional mariachi ensemble. In keeping with the diverse and eclectic spirit of the show, this group blends traditional Latin Christmas songs, such as, “El Burrito de Belen,” and fuses them with traditional American holiday songs into a mix called a popurri. They are simply talented and amazing.

Other participating artists will be the Palmdale High School Choral Union, the Ate9 dANCE cOMPANY, Gypsy All-Stars, Artemusica, Invertigo Dance Theatre, Salvation Army Tabernacle Children’s Chorus, Lorenzo Johnson & Praizum, Sarah Reich and Tap Music Project, along with many others.

Parking for the L.A. County Holiday Art Celebration will be free, and photographs and even Tweeting will be allowed during the show. The show will start at 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. and doors will open at 2:30 p.m, though attendees may come and go as they wish. Although reservations or tickets are not necessary, entrance to the show will be on a first come, first served basis and the theater is expected to fill up.

For those who can’t attend, the show will be televised on KCET-TV and kcet.org at 3 p.m. with a few repeat shows later that day and on December 25.

The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the L.A. Music Center is located on 135 N Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 9001. For any questions regarding this show, including the show’s full lineup and performance times, you can visit their website at http://www.lacountyarts.org/holiday.html or call The Music Center by phone at (213) 972-7211.

Francisco Reyes is a Staff Reporter for Living Out Loud - LA, covering entertainment and sports. Follow him on Twitter: @fjr3487

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