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LADP’s “Be Here Now” Recenters the Company in Millepied’s New Evening Length Work

  Be Here Now, Benjamin Millepied’s newest work for Los Angeles Dance Project seems something of a recentering for stage performances after two years of streamed performances colored by pandemic responses, dances on film, multiple cancelled tries at premiering an evening length production of Romeo and Juliet, and a series of drive in parking lot performances that made pretty spectacular fare out of a bad … Continue reading LADP’s “Be Here Now” Recenters the Company in Millepied’s New Evening Length Work

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Un Día de Noviembre, Leo Brouwer’s Anthem to 1970s Cuba

Un Día de Noviembre is a title song of sorts from the Humberto Solás film (1972) of the same name. It was not released in Cuba though it has become popular in Cuban cinema history for its portrait of post revolutionary Cuba as seen through the eyes of the film’s central character, Esteban. The moody, somber film shot in black and white limns the style … Continue reading Un Día de Noviembre, Leo Brouwer’s Anthem to 1970s Cuba

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L.A. Dance Project’s “I Fall, I Flow, I Melt” Is a Vivid Bach Exploration

It’s a safe bet that Bach never imagined full-fledged concert dance as one of the possibilities of how people might hear and understand his music.  He wrote for hire, usually for specific contexts: teaching, church services, court orchestras, and funerals to name a few. And while plenty of choreographers have made narrowly focused pieces on specific works, no one has gone all in on such … Continue reading L.A. Dance Project’s “I Fall, I Flow, I Melt” Is a Vivid Bach Exploration

Breaking Toprocks Its Debut at the 2024 Paris Olympics

  It’s been a long and circuitous route from the streets of the Bronx, New York to the Place de la Concorde in Paris but breaking is now poised to take part in the Paris 2024 Olympics as a special add on prior to being fully absorbed into Olympic competition by 2028.  Begun in the 1970s as a unique expression of American Black and Hispanic … Continue reading Breaking Toprocks Its Debut at the 2024 Paris Olympics

Brouwer’s Sarabande from Estudios Sencillos

Amidst the many influences and sources present in Brouwer’s Estudios Sencillos the Sarabande XV stands out for its motivic connection to the Bach Chaconne from the D minor Partita for violin. Brouwer has reordered the opening rhythmic motive but it retains a similar three note scheme. The form is built on three repeats of the original chordal theme with two slightly different variations that are … Continue reading Brouwer’s Sarabande from Estudios Sencillos

CROWD, Gisele Vienne’s Glacial Techno Spectacle Brings The Euro Zone to Los Angeles Dance Project Festival

  Gisèle Vienne’s slow-motion dance spectacle got something of a site-specific remake for the current Los Angeles Dance Project Dance Festival. Performed in the expanses of the company’s downtown performance space, the opening, including some of the lighting was supplied by two cars driven onto the edge of the performance space. Gone was the thick layer of dirt usually spread where the dancers move. In … Continue reading CROWD, Gisele Vienne’s Glacial Techno Spectacle Brings The Euro Zone to Los Angeles Dance Project Festival

BODYTRAFFIC’S Wallis Program Pairs Scaled Up Ideas and Works From The American Songbook

In a bid to stay current and relevant dance companies often turn to big themes and scaled up ideas. It’s a way of embracing topics that are at the forefront of our increasingly volatile social and political conversation.  BODYTRAFFIC in their season opening program at the Wallis Annenberg Center included two new works embracing the genre. Micaela Taylor’s LOVE.LOST.FLY surveys unrequited love and the effects … Continue reading BODYTRAFFIC’S Wallis Program Pairs Scaled Up Ideas and Works From The American Songbook

Son Montuno From Leo Brouwer’s Estudios Sencillos

Brouwer’s Estudios Sencillos, a set of twenty didactic studies for classical guitar, range over a wide spectrum of compositional formats and influences. Study number 5, marked montuno, leans on a traditional Afro Cuban form from Santiago de Cuba and Oriente. Montuno or son montuno as a traditional form it is used for improvising over a fixed bass line often supplied by the Afro Cuban marímbula, … Continue reading Son Montuno From Leo Brouwer’s Estudios Sencillos

The Coral from Leo Brouwer’s Estudios Sencillos

Leo Brouwer’s career as Cuba’s guitar man at the forefront of guitar pedagogy, composition, and performance for over fifty years is all the more remarkable considering his limited training in all those genres. He is an autodidact whose persistent dedication to new music for the guitar has created a world that didn’t exist before him. Equally at home as a modernist, miniaturist, and a master … Continue reading The Coral from Leo Brouwer’s Estudios Sencillos