The Da Camera Society introduced a welcome new series Monday evening, adding dance to its already popular mix of inspirational chamber music and architecture.
Music + Dance: L.A. brings together Da Camera, well-known for its concerts in landmark buildings, with American Contemporary Ballet, which relocated here from New York City two years ago. The first performances (a second set is scheduled in June) were in a sleek, if acoustically challenging, warehouse space near mid-Wilshire. American Contemporary Ballet is young, and its artistry is at a less sophisticated level than that of the A-list musicians, who included violinists Martin Chalifour and Mitch Newman, cellist Tao Ni, pianist Bernadene Blaha and harpsichordist Edward Murray.
In spite of this imbalance, Music + Dance: L.A. had the power of intimacy and instinctual coupling in its favor. Live music is a rare commodity at dance performances, making this a worthwhile idea to pursue.
American Contemporary Ballet's artistic director, Lincoln Jones, choreographed two abstract pieces, both reflecting the neo-classical style of George Balanchine. Indeed, Jones was channeling “Apollo” in his piece to Igor Stravinsky’s Serenade in A. Jones created a jazzy dance to this solo piano work, choreographing flexed feet and hands, thrusting hips and rhythmically complex pizzicato for dancers Zsolt Banki, Marie Buser, Theresa Farrell and Regina Park Suh.