Blood-Rich ‘Beauty’

sleepingbeauty_photo 7

Considered the consummate classical ballet, "The Sleeping Beauty" features devilishly hard technical challenges, with nowhere to hide. Traditional stagings -- like Pacific Northwest Ballet's long, rich, drafty one -- have pretty vapid storylines. Instead, the audience identifies with the dancers' technical struggles. That's the meaningful, heroic … [Read more...]

BodyTraffic Excels in Kyle Abraham Premiere

BodyTraffic perform "Kollide"

[Los Angeles struggles to support a pure dance company. You'd be surprised how the city trails behind NY, SF or Seattle.  Yet this weekend, some good news: a small company called BodyTraffic! With a premiere from Kyle Abraham! I wrote for the L.A. Times on the Saturday night show:] Coming off prestigious gigs at New York’s Joyce Theater and … [Read more...]

Performance/Art Arrives at LAX Airport

Sarah Elgart's "Everywhere Nowhere," held at LAX airport. Photo: Kelly Barrie, Panic Studio LA

[A version of this piece originally ran on the L.A. Weekly arts blog.] The current renovations and re-branding of Los Angeles International Airport is delivering frustrating, mixed cues for its art. In its first public arts festival -- "Influx: Art at LAX," running through Dec. 31 -- a few of the newly designed and curated exhibition spaces -- … [Read more...]

David Roussève/REALITY in the soft premiere of “Stardust”

Nehara Kalev in the 'avant-premiere' of "Stardust" by David Roussève/REALITY

  Though dubbed an 'avant-premiere" (the official world premiere is slated for January 2014 at the University of Maryland), there was nothing anemic  or glitchy at the Los Angeles opening of "Stardust," the latest challenging, one-pot dance-theater stew from David Roussève/REALITY.  A dogged 85-minute work, “Stardust” was chockablock … [Read more...]

24 ‘Choreographed’ Dancers?

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines TV ad

"24 choreographed dancers? That's the unlikely phrase the new Royal Carribbean Cruise line TV advertisement  uses to bestow validity and power to the jazzy dance performances on its cruise ships. Has anyone seen such language before? Since when did "choreographed" become Madison Avenue's go-to adjective for teasing a populist dance … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]

The Well-Oiled Alvin Ailey Audience in SoCal

AAADT in Ohad Naharin's "Minus 16." Photo: Paul Kolnik

Southern California is old, good friends with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, with a rightful claim to a crucial piece of Ailey choreographic history (the Lester Horton connection was forged here) and a revered longtime company member (Matthew Rushing).  Ailey concerts have a party atmosphere at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion -- the houses … [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 … [Read more...]

The Horses Keep Coming

Cavalia horses

Back in February, I received the fun assignment to look at the choreography created for the dozens of horses in "Odysseo," the new $30 million touring production from Cavalia. As usual, the show is a popular hit -- originally slated for a 3-week run in March, it keeps getting one extension after another after another. As of now, the end date is … [Read more...]