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November 11, 2010 | By Rachel B. Levin, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Last spring, Los Angeles choreographer Terri Best was grappling with a creative dry spell. A dance faculty member at EDGE Performing Arts Center in L.A. for the last 17 years, Best worried that she was running low on dance ideas. Turning to the writings of 16th century Spanish priest and poet Saint John of the Cross, she found solace in the perspective that this fallow period "was a necessary passage," she says. "How else do you get to the promised land but to go through the desert?"
February 16, 2014 | By Lewis Segal
The gritty, intense and sometimes rousingly profane music and performance style of the late James Brown left an indelible mark on American pop culture -- an achievement honored but only occasionally Brown-worthy in "James Brown: Get On the Good Foot, a Celebration in Dance" at the Ahmanson Theatre on Friday. No, this plotless compendium wasn't just another slick, mindless energy circus, but choreographic originality and depth remained in short supply. Co-commissioned by New York's famed Apollo Theater, this 75-minute tribute (running through Sunday afternoon)
April 23, 1992
The third "Black Choreographers Moving Toward the 21st Century" festival presents a six-part program in the Wadsworth Theater nightly at 8 tonight through Saturday. A matinee is scheduled for Sunday at 2. The program features two Los Angeles-based artists: Karen McDonald ("Moving Towards the Path of Enlightenment," performed by New Age Dance Workshop) and Daryll Stokes ("Baciagulupo," performed by Electrotonus).
February 1, 2014 | By Joseph Carman
After 16 years in purgatory, a carousel barker takes his granted leave to perform a good deed on Earth. He presents his child, whom he has never seen, a star stolen from heaven. You might expect the title character to break into "Soliloquy" from Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Carousel. " But this is not musical theater. It's a ballet, where the movement alone speaks and sings. Starting Feb. 7, for four performances at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, the Hamburg Ballett is presenting John Neumeier's "Liliom," a ballet in seven scenes and a prologue.
April 15, 1990
At issue is not whether LATC should wholly produce the dance festival--clearly, it can't afford to--but why, of all the performing arts, dance is alone in continually having to rely on self-productions to "get the work out." Dance has unfortunately and unfairly been relegated a secondary-art status in Los Angeles. Unlike the theater and, to a lesser extent, music communities, there is no infrastructure (stages, funding opportunities) that can support the production and exhibition of work by local choreographers and dance companies.
Ballet Pacifica has announced the four choreographers who will create works for the company during its fourth annual "Pacifica Choreographic Project," which runs July 17-30. Rebecca Kelly, Pascal Rioult and David Allan, all of New York City, and Paul Vasterling of Nashville, were selected from a pool of 25 applicants by Molly Lynch, the troupe's artistic director. Kelly has danced with Lar Lubovitch and the Charles Weidman Theatre Dance Ensemble and has her own company.
March 3, 1986
Seeing the individual in terms of a larger context seemed a pursuit common to all four Asian American choreographers featured in the last Dance Sampler Series of the season Saturday at the Japan America Theatre. Hae Kyung Lee's ambitious new "Yun Heh" (Cycles of Life) tackled only the big-picture natural environment, with time-lapse photography of billowing clouds superimposed upon beach and ocean establishing the glacier pace of the dance from the beginning.
Merce Cunningham, the celebrated 76-year-old American choreographer, admits that he hasn't quite mastered his new home stereo system, but nonetheless, he claims an affinity for technology. This Sunday, at the Variety Arts Theater, he will display that affinity in two dances he created with the assistance of a computer at the Interactive Media Festival, which is part of the Sixth Annual Digital World Conference.
June 22, 1994 | CHRIS PASLES
The first five minutes of Dawn Stoppiello's new "Six to the End" take place virtually in darkness, an image that became an unintentional metaphor for much of the hermetic work on the "4 X Four" program Sunday at the Fountain Theatre in Hollywood. The title actually should have been "4 by Four by Four" because the program consisted of four new works by four choreographers working to four original scores.
September 1, 1990 | DOUGLAS SADOWNICK
Los Angeles Festival Director Peter Sellars says he had a multicultural dream he wanted to give to the local concert dance community. "How about drawing together five of L.A.'s emerging black, Asian, Latino and Anglo choreographers and offering them an unprecedented chance to make a collaborative piece for the festival?" he says. But working together hasn't been so easy, according to the five choreographers associated with the project, called the Dance Collective.
November 22, 2013 | David Colker
When Dick Van Dyke got the role of Bert in the 1964 movie musical "Mary Poppins," Walt Disney asked him if he had a recommendation for a choreographer. Van Dyke recalled working with the team of Marc Breaux and Dee Dee Wood, who had created a number for the Jack Benny television show. "I'm not really a dancer," Van Dyke said. "I could move a little and I was what you call an eccentric dancer -- loose limbed and light on my feet. But they took what I could do and made the most of it. I was just thrilled.
November 17, 2013 | By Meredith Blake
NEW YORK - Matthew Bourne was standing in the bedroom of Tchaikovsky's home outside Moscow two years ago when he decided it was finally time to tackle "Sleeping Beauty. " "It had a single bed and a very ordinary wooden table, looking out the window at birch trees," recalls the British choreographer, seated in the plush lobby at City Center in Manhattan, where "Sleeping Beauty: A Gothic Romance," had its U.S. premiere last month in advance of its run at the Ahmanson Theatre starting Thursday.
November 2, 2013 | By Sergei Loiko and Susan Reiter
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia - One might think that performing as a member of the Mariinsky Ballet and American Ballet Theatre and making regular guest appearances at the Bolshoi would keep Diana Vishneva sufficiently busy. But this leading international ballerina, known for combining dazzling classical technique ("Swan Lake" and Balanchine's "Rubies" to name just two) with dramatic intensity, has a restless hunger for the new. Vishneva, 37, consistently seeks out and creates opportunities to work with contemporary choreographers who work far outside her comfort zone.
September 12, 2013 | By Susan Reiter
Australian choreographer Lucy Guerin has been recognized for her intriguing and thought-provoking works since the 1990s, when she spent a pivotal seven years performing and choreographing in New York City. Mikhail Baryshnikov took note of Guerin's individuality in 1999, including two of her dances in his White Oak Dance Project's repertory. Based in Melbourne since 1996, she founded her company Lucy Guerin Inc. in 2002 and has returned to New York often enough to keep its dance audiences abreast of her more recent projects.
September 12, 2013 | By Susan Josephs
As a child growing up in Houston, David Roussève spent most of his Sundays attending an African American Roman Catholic church. Though determined to be a model altar boy, he questioned the definition of sin. "I certainly wasn't in touch then with my own sexuality," says the now 53-year-old choreographer, who came out as a gay man in his mid-20s to his family. "But I knew for a fact there were people in that congregation who were having sex and who weren't married, and it didn't seem right that all these people were going to hell.
September 2, 2013 | Tracy Wilkinson and Richard Fausset
When President Enrique Pena Nieto delivers his first state of the union message Monday, he won't leave home to do it. The unusual venue -- his residence, Los Pinos -- is replacing the more traditional spot, the presidential National Palace, because striking teachers have laid siege to the plaza surrounding it. Government officials and invited dignitaries would have a tough time reaching the palace. Nine months into Pena Nieto's presidency, not everything is going quite according to his well-choreographed, carefully hyped plans.
Dressed in Grecian tunics, five dancers stand on the main stage at South Coast Repertory. To the gentle pulsing of minimalist music by John Adams, they link arms and turn in a circle. Each clasps his or her hands, as if encircling an imaginary hoop. That distinctive image is a constant in Peter Pucci's new "Myth," danced by the Irvine-based Ballet Pacifica on Saturday during a works-in-progress program.
July 23, 2013 | By Michael Miller
On her eighth day of rehearsal at UC Irvine, Kitty McNamee decided to refocus her dancers on the theme of their piece. Rather than demonstrate steps or go over musical motifs, the choreographer gathered her team around and read a different set of directions - from the dictionary. The word in question was "transit," which is also the working title of McNamee's entry in UC Irvine's annual National Choreographers Initiative. With the online Oxford Dictionaries offering a slew of meanings, she rattled them off quickly: the movement of people or materials, the passage of celestial bodies and so on. FOR THE RECORD: Dance program: An article about the National Choreographers Initiative in the July 24 Calendar section described the initiative as a UC Irvine event.
June 18, 2013 | By Terry Gardner, This post has been corrected. See note below for details.
"Michael Jackson ONE ," Cirque du Soleil's tribute to the late King of Pop that's currently in previews, will make its debut June 29 at Mandalay Bay . The numbers alone tell an interesting story. To wit: - 5,412 seat speakers, three for each of the 1,804 seats. - 234 moving lights - 28 strobe lights - 587 lighting fixtures - 295 custom-built LEDs in various set pieces  - 2,200 Swarovski crystals lighting performers' faces - 26 video projectors that help fill the room with images and the music of Jackson (who, by the way, sings every song through the magic of audio and video)
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