December 11, 2013 |
It's a grim reality, but there's one thing you don't expect from Charlie Haden on stage in 2013, and that's a lot of conversation. Stricken by post-polio syndrome since late 2010 (Haden was first diagnosed with a bulbar form of the disease around his throat and facial muscles at 15), his voice was said to be just about gone heading into a Tuesday night performance at REDCAT. The 76-year-old bassist-composer was there to conduct CalArts musicians through his work with his own socially conscious, large ensemble, the Liberation Music Orchestra.
December 9, 2013 |
You can't talk about modern jazz without talking about Charlie Haden. The bassist who forged a woodsy backbone for groundbreaking recordings with Ornette Coleman and later went on to found the jazz program at CalArts, Haden has been in poor health since the onset of post-polio syndrome in 2010 -- a disease that first struck him at 15 years old. PHOTOS: Grammys 2014 concert highlights As a result, Haden hasn't performed in...
November 13, 2013 |
Equal part handcrafted, computer-aided sensory hallucination and concert, composer Morton Subotnick and visual artist Lillevan's performance at REDCAT, "From 'Silver Apples of the Moon' to 'A Sky of Cloudless Sulphur IV: Lucy,'" offered a mesmerizing reminder of the distances that both electronic music and video art have traveled over the last half-century. The pair offered Subotnick's remix/reinterpretation of his influential recordings starting with "Silver Apples on the Moon," the landmark 1966-67 composition created for home stereo, and ending with "A Sky of Cloudless Sulphur" in 1978, all built with the aid of important early electronic devices, the most prominent of which was inventor Donald Buchla's "Buchla Box. " The set on Tuesday was, to be base, a total trip, featuring tones and visuals crafted for getting lost inside the head and experiencing a whole other reality. CHEAT SHEET: Fall arts preview For those looking for some Zen, in fact, the 70-plus-minute performance was an excellent means of gliding into a state of focused mindfulness, turning inward while letting Subotnick and Lillevan guide the senses.
September 28, 2013 |
A wrathful, wondrous, clairvoyant, powerfully sexual and just as powerfully beyond-sex Maori women's dance ritual had its astonishing first public presentation Thursday night as part of Radar L.A. Whimsical Japanese puppetry followed a half-hour later. Lemi Ponifasio's "Stones in Her Mouth," the Samoan choreographer's new work for his company MAU, was not intended to be a double bill with "Dogugaeshi," created by American puppeteer Basil Twist and Japanese musician Yumiko Tanaka a decade ago. The shows had little to do with each other, geographically, theatrically or psychically.
September 25, 2013 |
The most startling - and stunning - moment in David Roussève's latest dance-theater hybrid, "Stardust," came an hour into the 80-minute intermissionless piece, which premiered Tuesday at REDCAT. The 53-year-old choreographer appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, to perform a heartwrenching solo set to Johnny Mathis crooning the Bach/Gounod “Ave Maria.” With his jerking, swooping arms and quasi-angelic face, Roussève, bathed in Christopher Kuhl's amber light, and bending and dipping as if the world's weight were on his shoulders, was spellbinding.
September 22, 2013 |
During their 17-year creative partnership, Tina Kronis and Richard Alger of L.A.-based Theatre Movement Bazaar have drawn a receptive global audience to their audacious, rip-it-up, ensemble-based remixes of classic Chekhov. "Anton's Uncles," their gleefully irreverent deconstruction of "Uncle Vanya," was an out-of-left-field smash at the 2011 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Recently, they returned from a London touring production of their work "Track 3," a vaudeville- and disco-infused riff on the Russian playwright's tragi-comic "Three Sisters.
September 20, 2013 |
The real estate mania that brought the financial system to the brink of collapse has also had a deleterious effect on the arts. Too many refurbished show palaces and money pit museums have found themselves at the mercy of their mortgages. When overhead costs soar in unpredictable economic times, adventurous programming is the first thing to suffer. A rising commercialism is the price we pay as a cultural community for fancier digs. But for every rule propounded by a furrowed-brow critic there is a thrilling exception.
September 12, 2013 |
Theater festivals have the potential to galvanize an audience, but in a sprawling city already awash in performance, the importance of sharp curating can't be overemphasized. Radar L.A., an adventurous amalgam of international theater, made a winning debut in 2011 in part because it recognized that L.A. is a unique metropolis and that a replica of New York's Under the Radar Festival just wouldn't cut it. It took more than two years for the festival to return, but the wait promises to be worth it. The program, presented by REDCAT and CalArts in association with Center Theatre Group and a consortium of other partners, features work from Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, New Zealand and Japan as well as our own backyard.
August 6, 2013 |
For his first solo exhibition in L.A., São Paulo artist Héctor Zamora sutures together two emblems of Southern California consumerism: the single family home and the shopping cart. Nearly filling the gallery at REDCAT, "Panglossian Paradigm" consists of a single sculpture: the wooden frame of a small, six-room house entirely supported by evenly spaced metal shopping carts. An odd and unwieldy structure to be sure -- giving new meaning to the term “mobile home” -- it is a quiet indictment of the American dream.
April 24, 2013 |
An authority on Euripides, Christian Wolff is a retired professor of Greek and Latin classics (along with Marxist literature), having taught at Harvard and Dartmouth for many years. He is also one of America's most unpredictable, most venturesome, most radical (politically and compositionally), most inventive, most satisfying (intellectually, aesthetically and musically) and, at 79, least recognized (at least by America's musical establishment) living composers. In addition to all that, he happens to be the last living musical link to the New York School of composers and artists who gathered around John Cage in the 1950s.