The sign of the Rabbit is a symbol of longevity, peace, and prosperity in Chinese culture, and 2023 is predicted to be a year of hope, so enjoy that new year smell while it lasts with Lunar New Year celebrations still in full swing. There’s also another special holiday coming up in February, but I’ll spare you the poetry and hearts until at least next week. Please go forth now and have a good time with friends and family at the following movie, art show, parade, global forum, and/or concert of your choosing. See you soon!
Lunar New Year, Homeward Bound, and Strings of Desire
Presented by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of LA (CCCLA) and LA Department of Cultural Affairs, the 124th Golden Dragon Parade, celebrating The Year of the Rabbit, is back in Chinatown this Saturday, January 28, complete with lion dancers, live music, government dignitaries, thousands of spectators and more. While spirits will be somewhat muted this year after last week’s tragedy in Monterey Park, Lunar New Year is still the most celebrated holiday of the year for the approx. 1.5 million Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese people living in Southern CA. It’s a cultural tradition in which ancestors are remembered and families give thanks for their blessings, red packets of money are given, special foods are eaten to promote fortune and health, and firecrackers are lit. The Chinatown event is FREE to the public, but limited Grandstand Seating is available for $40. The route will start at Hill St. and Temple. Festivities will take place from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Public transportation and rideshares are highly recommended. Interesting fact: dating back to the early 1900s, the Golden Dragon Parade was not originally established in celebration of Lunar New Year, nor was it organized by Chinese people — according to the Los Angeles Chinese Chamber of Commerce, it was called La Fiesta de Los Angeles and it was a way for the city to advertise itself as a land of progress and bounty. Interesting indeed!
Next up, Terasaki Center’s Global Japan Forum 2023 has come to town. In conjunction with the upcoming JAPAN HOUSE LA exhibition Designing with Disaster: Stories from Seven Regenerative Cities, planned by ArcDR3 (Architecture and Urban Design for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience), this year’s forum invites renowned architects, academics, and environmental researchers from both Los Angeles and abroad to discuss the “lessons learned from past environmental disasters and how to create disaster-resilient environments to safeguard our futures.” Session 1 (2 p.m.): three experts in disaster research will talk about various disasters that affect Japan, the US, and South America, and explore ways societies have historically adapted and responded to disaster situations. Session 2 (3:45 p.m.): Esteemed architects will address important questions on “how society can design living environments that proactively plan for inevitable environmental disasters.” The event is happening this Saturday, January 28, from 2-5 p.m. in the JAPAN HOUSE Salon, Level 5. And the cost is free…see you there!
The Craft Contemporary has a few new exhibits coming your way as well, and to kick things off there’ll be an Opening Reception this Saturday, January 28 from 6-9 p.m. Come be among the first to lay their eyeballs upon Strings of Desire: United by themes of human desire and longing, this group of thirteen artists have chosen to work with embroidery either as a singular medium or as a part of a multimedia art practice. The assembled artists have embraced needle and embroidery floss to connect with and integrate their non-Western cultural heritages, their queer identities, and their fantasies. And Alicia Piller: Within: an installation of multimedia works that investigates the relationship between macro and micro perspectives of knowledge, meaning, and bodily form. Piller uses resin, latex, xeroxed imagery, dried plants, stones, and found objects. Guests enjoy first access to the galleries, complimentary drinks, and live DJ music. Tickets are $12 and Free for Members. Kindly RSVP here. Regular museum hours are Tues-Sun 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
OMG, remember Homeward Bound, people of my generation?! It came out in 1993 and it’s the heartwarming tale of Chance, Sassy, and Shadow (left) who cross the rugged Sierras in search of their owners, whom they sense are in trouble, having lots of adventures along the way. The teeny-bop me really loved this movie, so I’m guessing the elder me would as well, and the good old El Capitan Theater will give me a chance to see it again with a 7 p.m., 30th anniversary showing of this beloved ’90s flick on Saturday, January 28. And in honor of such a milestone, there will be a panel discussion before the film featuring the director and some of the cast members. Ah, that has family fun written all over it. All ages reserved tickets are $15 or opt for a Hard Rock Cafe Movie & A Meal for $50 or Wahlburgers Movie & A Meal for $40. Call 1-800-DISNEY6 to get tickets.
We’re only a month in, so 2023 is still shiny and new, and on Sunday, January 29 at 3 p.m. The Ebell of LA is keeping the dream alive with Live In The Lounge: Dream New Year’s Concert. Award-winning violinist and Colburn artist Aubree Oliverson joins the Dream Orchestra and conductor Daniel Suk for a “dazzling” NY’s Celebration Concert. The program will include the Samuel Barber Violin Concerto, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, and the Coriolan Overture. Tier 1 Tickets are $75 and Tier 2 Tickets are $55 – not sure what actually sets the 2 tiers apart, but there are so few surprises left in life anymore, why not enjoy the suspense?Bonus: the First 50 Ebell Members receive $30 off with code Ebelldream. The Dream Orchestra is a nonprofit focused on providing work for local, world-class musicians and cutting-edge classical music performances for the community.
And the New Year celebrations continue at The Ebell with another Live In The Lounge: Lighting The Way Home Concert on Monday, January 30 at 7 p.m. Chinese-American composer Nathan Wang will bring you a very special Lunar New Year Concert featuring the all-women Saltando Strings ensemble. The group will perform traditional Chinese folk songs in honor of the Lunar New Year Festival, which traditionally celebrates the beginning of spring and the arrival of the new year in many Asian cultures. Wang will also be performing a new work in honor of Anna May Wong, the renowned Chinese-American actress who was also recently honored by the US Mint as one of the new faces (and the first Asian American) to be featured on the US quarter. Tickets are $10 per person and free for students.
What do The Walt Disney Concert Hall and The Maybourne Beverly Hills have in common you ask? It’s the LA Phil, of course, and they’re both part of a full schedule this week that includes the Ensemble Intercontemporain: Die Stadt ohne Juden (“The City Without Jews”) on Monday, January 30 at 8 p.m. It’s part of the larger 2023 Green Umbrella New Music Series at Disney Hall. Then, on Tuesday, January 31, also at 8 p.m., and also at Disney Hall, catch a new program of pulse-pounding traditional Japanese drumming by KODO, as part of its One Earth Tour 2023: Tsuzumi. For decades, KODO has shown off the extraordinary range of the traditional taiko drum on stages around the world. Their new program Tsuzumi commemorates this incredible legacy, featuring pieces that trace their music back to the group’s origins. And rounding things out is The Beverly Hills Songbook: Rachmaninoff Was Here Opening Event at The Maybourne Beverly Hills on Thursday, February 2. “From Virginia Robinson’s lavish parties featuring the LA Phil Orchestra to George and Ira Gershwin’s weekly salons, Beverly Hills was the center of popular music in the early 20th century. The American songbook was written in its living rooms, and collaborations that would shape music, film, and fashion got their start at its social gatherings. The Beverly Hills Songbook celebrates the immense musical legacy of the world-famous city!” Pre-program reception starts at 7 p.m., followed by a panel at 7:30 p.m. and performance at 8 p.m.
Your local NC, the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council is taking a breather from its community service this week, but will be back soon. Zzz. Check the GWNC’s full calendar here. And the Mid City West Neighborhood Council will wrap up a quiet week in general with just 2 virtual meetings, starting with the Planning and Land Use Committee on Monday, January 30, followed by the Public Safety and Well-Being Committee on Tuesday, January 31. Click here to check MCW’s calendar for details.
About Julia Christiansen
Julia is a native Angeleno and jack of all trades, having worked in television, visual effects, professional sports, health and wellness, and custom design. She currently resides in El Segundo.