June 29, 2008 |
MEG WOLFE had good reason to be professionally depressed when she moved to Los Angeles for love in 2003. Fresh from 12 years as a well-known performer and choreographer on New York's downtown experimental dance scene, she arrived here knowing "no one, and at a complete loss. I went to this performance where the dancers were dressed up as poodles or maybe babies, it wasn't clear, and there was zero sense of irony," she says. "This scared me."
May 12, 2008 |
An authentic, serious new voice in dance, Victor Quijada, a native son of L.A., has created an exciting, seemingly improbable fusion of hip-hop, ballet and modern dance. He has taken the energy and virtuosity of street dancing and married it to the formal structures of concert dance, and he's done it with a probing sense of musicality, a respect for the individuality of his dancers and an ability to evoke meaningful character interactions.
April 21, 2008 |
All the cliches of bad modern dance were on display Saturday night when L.A. Contemporary Dance Company presented four world premieres in the first of a two-weekend run at Diavolo Dance Space. Omnipresent angst, frenzied flailing and headache-inducing soundtracks were but some of the offenses lobbed during the 90-minute show, "Modern Myths and Monsters."
March 16, 2008 |
When discussing one of her latest dances, Jennifer Backhaus might as well be referring to her life. "It's about all the things you have to accomplish in the course of one day and how you just have to get it all in there," she says. Called "Countdown," the 36-year-old choreographer's kinetic ode to the passage of time speaks volumes about her recent professional history.
March 14, 2008 |
She's done the fundraising and the marketing, including mailing 5,000 postcards, doling out scores more and blasting 2,500 e-mail accounts. She's made sure to get extra insurance for rigging apparatus -- besides, of course, overseeing the sound and lighting. The only question remaining is: How many of the 1,324 seats in the Alex Theatre will be filled Saturday when the curtain goes up on producer Jamie Nichols' third annual "Celebrate Dance" concert?
February 3, 2008 |
WHO SHE IS: As artistic director of Saint Joseph Ballet, an after-school program for disadvantaged children, Melanie Rios Glaser works with students who have always felt the strain of economic hardship; some even shoulder the burden of managing family finances. But at the Santa Ana academy, Glaser's 400-plus pupils (ages 9 to 19) can shed their worries. They receive ballet training and learn about movement, performing spirals and hinges in professional-grade theaters. "The philosophy was that, because it's for low-income youth, if they had the best possible facilities, then their spirits would soar," says Rios, a 37-year-old Juilliard-trained dancer and choreographer who has been with Saint Joseph Ballet since 1999.
December 30, 2007 |
JACOB 'KUJO' LYONS BREAK DANCER-CROSSOVER CHOREOGRAPHER WHO'S NOT SLOWING DOWN The B-boy/break-dance scene is a world unto itself, and although Lyons has been a fixture in it for 15 years, the rest of us discovered him only recently, when he turned up as a stunt dancer for various local companies -- doing handstands on ice, for example, or fearsome gymnastic whirling balances that even L.A.'s hell-for-leather modernists don't attempt.
October 22, 2007 |
Even with a minuscule audience and an injured performer at Diavolo Dance Space on Saturday afternoon, the show went on. In this case, it was the Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company offering its first evening-length work, "pinky swear."
August 26, 2007 |
Linda LACK, Hae Kyung Lee and Bradley Michaud have very different ideas about dance making. Just consider what they require to collectively put on a show. Lack needs a 9-foot lizard sculpture and various animal masks. Michaud and his dancers will not hurl themselves into the air without their kneepads. Lee, meanwhile, simply brings the inspiration she derives from her spiritual life and Korean heritage.
July 1, 2007 |
IN the past, choreographer Maria Gillespie wasn't a fan of participating in group shows. "I was opposed to them because they didn't allow me to dive deep enough into my own vision," she says. But when Gillespie was offered the opportunity to join forces with two other L.A.-based contemporary choreographers, she experienced a change of heart. And, she says, "I wound up taking the most risk artistically that I ever have."