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Between lines

June 24, 2004|Victoria Looseleaf

Subways and high art aren't generally found on the same, er, track. But if you're headed downtown this Sunday and happen to land at the intersection of the Blue and Red lines, you're in for a close encounter of the busker kind.

Instead of a lone drummer, solitary fiddler or harmonica-blowing guitarist, Loretta Livingston and Dancers will be offering more than street cred. Indeed, the troupe that recently won four local Lester Horton dance awards will be on the platform, performing "Almost There." Featuring five dancers, live music (composed by Norman Beede) and two video artists documenting the event, improvisatory and choreographed sequences will repeat in 40-minute cycles for a three-hour period.

"Motion attracts me, and subways are interesting places because they're subterranean," Livingston said. "They're also big, architectural rooms that exist to facilitate motion. They're designed for foot traffic as well as train traffic."

Livingston said the audience mostly will be accidental -- thousands of Sunday Metro Rail riders, including families, seniors, teens, tourists and a smattering of workers.

"Subways around the world have a culture of performance," she said. "When people arrive on the Red Line, they'll be coming up into something happening. But I'm not interested in confrontation. I'm posing artistic questions: What if we did this, how will the public respond? What is this thin membrane between art and life? Will they or won't they stop to watch?"

-- Victoria Looseleaf

"Almost There," Downtown Los Angeles 7th Street/Metro Center/Julian Dixon Station, at the intersection of the Red and Blue lines, on Blue Line Platform 2. 1-4 p.m. Sunday. Ride ticket $1.25; performance is free.

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