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Dancers in the Architecture

Maya Gingery at HomeLA. Photo: Ritsu Yoneyama

As a lover of dance and a lover of architecture, I was both excited and fearful about “HomeLA,” the dance performance held on May 4th in a private home on the cliffside heights of Mount Washington. Directed by Rebecca Bruno, working in partnership with the Dance Resource Center and the dance lab Pietor, the recent site-specific event advertised 14 choreographers on the bill, some with companies, some working solo. As the day approached, I began envisioning  the crowding that seemed inevitable when you consider the liberation of so many … [Read more...]

Blessed Stillness of Trisha Brown Retrospective at CAP-UCLA

Amelia Rudolph in "Man Walking Down the Side of a Building."

A funny thing happened when Amelia Rudolph, artistic director of Oakland-based BANDALOOP dance company, launched into the very rare, permit-heavy re-staging of Trisha Brown's "Man Walking Down the Side of a Building" (1970) during the Brown Dance Company Retrospective on Friday evening at CAP-UCLA. Just as she crested the edge of the 8-plus story Broad Art Center, in that split second of obtuse-angled suspension before snapping into the 90-degree downward wall-walking path, she heard --- amidst a generalized audience gasp -- the abrupt words of … [Read more...]

Doug Varone the Painter-Choreographer

Doug Varone and Dancers in "Caruggi." photo: (c) Cylla von Tiedemann

"I'm like a painter," said choreographer Doug Varone during his opening remarks for "Stripped/Dressed," the unique program on choreographic process and performance that he and his company of dancers brought to the Segerstrom Center for the Arts' Off-Center Festival in Costa Mesa on January 25-26 2013. The phrase sounds a little poetic (wouldn't a choreographer be more of a sculptor?) but damn if Varone didn't justify those four words with demonstrations of how he smears and strokes and dots his dancers around the stage using various crafty … [Read more...]

Rockwell’s Rockwells

Norman Rockwell's 'Checkers'

[this article originally ran on Crosscut] In 1943, Norman Rockwell — then America’s most popular artist, with regular Saturday Evening Post covers, annual Boy Scout calendars, plus scores of major U.S. advertising campaigns — was tapped by the Office of War Information to create a series of posters titled "The Four Freedoms." Based on the central content of President Roosevelt’s January 1941 State of the Union Address, the posters were recognizably Rockwellian but featured more serene and dignified characters than his usual paintings. The … [Read more...]

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