December 8, 1997 |
In creating and continually enlarging an international festival of contemporary choreography, the city of Bagnolet just outside Paris has become an evolutionary force with an ever-widening impact. Eighteen countries currently participate in the festival selection process--some with only token representation--luring choreographers with the prospect of major artistic recognition, prizes of $20,000 plus travel expenses to the biannual event.
March 13, 1987 |
An earlier version of John Fleck's "Psycho Opera" was called "I Got the He-Be-She-Be's." It is a much better title, for it not only describes the theme of the piece--the battle between the male and female halves of one personality, named Leyland--but it also suggests the frenzied yet flip quality of Fleck's performance.
May 17, 1993 |
Shakespeare, anyone? Like tennis, playing the Bard is a game more exacting for pros than amateurs. But you needn't be a pro to play. And who better than that sporty old dame, the Laguna Playhouse, to offer a charming tournament of amateurs with "A Midsummer Night's Dream." This comedy, written in 1595 or thereabout, is one of Shakespeare's most popular, entertaining and accessible works. But for all its heady antics, it can be tedious.
February 10, 1989 |
Tom Waits has made a life out of fooling people. Just when the pop music cognoscenti had him pegged as a singer-songwriter who spent his time lamenting lost loves and dreams over warm glasses of booze, along came his 1983 album, "Swordfishtrombones," which dove into dark maelstroms of fury with weird, sly instrumentations and vocals.
January 22, 2004
MARIA GILLESPIE Her dancing can veer from swift and hummingbird-like to meltingly graceful in a heartbeat. Since relocating from New York to Los Angeles in 1996, the petite, 32-year-old Gillespie has been making a name for herself in modern dance as a performer, choreographer and teacher. Last year, she received two Lester Horton Dance Awards for individual and small ensemble performance for her work in Victoria Marks' "Against Ending."
June 19, 2003 |
Among the landmarks of dance history are some works in which the talents of dance makers and composers seem to have fused: the epochal Stravinsky-Ballets Russes "Rite of Spring"; Martha Graham and Aaron Copland's indelible "Appalachian Spring"; the classic 1965 collaboration between Merce Cunningham and John Cage, "How to Pass, Kick, Fall and Run."
October 21, 2009 |
Seven dancers move in unison to the throbbing of minimalist music. Twitching spasmodically, the performers then indulge in a series of backward bends and sideways swooping. As the sun streams into the studio at Westside School of Ballet, it illuminates the dancers' dispassionate faces, their movement free from any lyrical or psychological elements. Indeed, this is the signature style of postmodern guru Rudy Perez, who turns 80 next month. Perez, having decamped from his native New York to Los Angeles more than three decades ago, is celebrating the milestone by -- what else?
November 6, 1994 |
Choreographer Winifred R. Harris and recording artist Me'Shell NdegeOcello are seated on the hardwood floor of a Cal State Los Angeles rehearsal room, chatting about their work as dancers dress to leave. Five-year-old Askia NdegeOcello wanders nearby, exploring the space and scoring the proceedings with periodic sharp toots on his plastic flute. Harris' long wild locks and delicate gold nose-ring contrast with NdegeOcello's Spartan shaved head and wire-rimmed specs.