November 6, 2011 |
Jacques Heim, the 47-year-old artistic director of the dance company Diavolo, is spending a good chunk of his time lately hanging out with a group of teenage skateboarders. He watches them zoom up and fly off specially designed ramps in his company's warehouse-like space in downtown Los Angeles and, at appropriate moments, tosses them a lot "of random questions," he says. "I'll ask, 'What does fear mean to you?' Or 'Why would you abandon movement in midair?' And I've learned that the word 'commitment' to these kids is as powerful to them as it is to any adult," he says.
July 3, 2011
Axis Dance Company Where: Ford Amphitheatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood When: 10 a.m. July 9 Price: $5 Contact: http://www.fordtheatres.org or (323) 461-3673
July 3, 2011 |
Bonnie Lewkowicz has been a professional dancer for more than 20 years. She has worked with Bill T. Jones, Stephen Petronio, Joe Goode and other prominent modern dance choreographers. She's also paralyzed from the chest down. Needless to say, when she tells people what she does for a living, "it's still a conversation stopper. " "People will say, 'Oh, so you don't need to use your wheelchair all the time?' When someone with a disability says they dance, a pretty narrow image tends to come into people's heads," she says.
June 12, 2011 |
To her admirers, Alicia Alonso is the gracious grande dame of Cuban classical ballet. To detractors, she's a conservative cultural czarina who has clung to power even longer than Fidel Castro. But even some of her fiercest critics will concede that Ballet Nacional de Cuba — the 63-year-old company that Alonso principally founded and rules as artistic director — still rates among the hemisphere's most technically skilled ensembles, despite financial hardships, dancer defections and other woes.
June 27, 2010 |
A concert under the stars stirs up images of picnic dinners and sparkling wines for audiences. But for dancers, outdoor venues are a unique canvas, offering site-specific possibilities and their own set of challenges. Now through October, Los Angeles' two major outdoor theaters — the Ford Amphitheatre and the Hollywood Bowl — will be showcasing 20 different dance companies, each customizing the space to match artistic vision and practicality. The 1,245-seat Ford, with its bi-level performance area, terraced steps and lush trees and vegetation, has proved to be a perfect, well, stomping ground for Kultura Philippine Folk Arts.
May 2, 2010 |
Paul Taylor laughs out loud when he sums up how critics responded to his early, out-there choreography: "This terrible boy has ruined our evening!" He can well afford to laugh. The Paul Taylor Dance Company is now 56 years old, a stable, permanent exception in the seat-of-the-pants world of modern dance. His minimalist experiments of the '50s long ago evolved into the audience-friendly masterworks — some lyrical, some mordant, some hilarious — that have won him scads of honors and awards, including a MacArthur "genius" grant, an Emmy and the National Medal of Arts.
April 4, 2010 |
In Chicago they build things right -- and that goes for dance companies. In January, Joffrey Ballet of Chicago displayed its artistic vitality in Los Angeles with its splendid staging of Frederick Ashton's postwar masterpiece "Cinderella" at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. And now Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, the next offering of Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at the Music Center, also augurs well. From humble beginnings in 1977 as a jazz-dance ensemble, the troupe of 17 virtuoso dancers has surged to international prominence on its high-quality delivery of eclectic, sophisticated European choreography.
February 28, 2010 |
Judith Jamison can recall vividly the April 1989 lunch in St. Louis when Alvin Ailey designated her his artistic heir. "He said, 'I'm not doing well; you know I'm sick, and I'd like you to take over the company.' I said, 'Sure, of course, Alvin.' "That was it. The decision to do it was instantaneous." Jamison, 66, was speaking last month in her comfortable office on an upper floor of the company's sleek, spacious Midtown headquarters. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater recently had completed its annual five-week New York City season, during which Jamison's 20th anniversary as artistic director was honored and celebrated in various forms.