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Flowered Faces, Challenging Contexts Mark L.A. Dance Project Return to Live Performance

      For a few moments before the beginning of Solo at Dusk, Bobbi Jene Smith’s new, commissioned work for Los Angeles Dance Project, the blue sky above the improvised outdoor theater and the purple floor covering for the stage area glowed with a vivid wash of color. With the company’s down town studio parking lot transformed it was clear this drive-in style performance … Continue reading Flowered Faces, Challenging Contexts Mark L.A. Dance Project Return to Live Performance

Erroll Garner’s Misty

Erroll Garner’s Misty began its life as an instrumental jazz standard for piano in 1954. The lyric was added later by Johnny Burke. It’s been covered by many singers but my favorite version of the music comes from the many recordings (with different ensembles) by the jazz violinist, Stéphane Grappelli. A violinist colleague of mine, someone who played only classical music and possessed a hard … Continue reading Erroll Garner’s Misty

L.A. Dance Project Debuts Its New Collaborative Company In Disney Hall Performances

  Benjamin Millepied and his new, curatorial dance collective, L.A. Dance Project, have their eyes set on a new kind of concept for bringing dance to Los Angeles audiences. The result on Saturday evening, however, looked in style, squarely in the pocket of many chamber sized company performing a repertory evening for the stage. Their real success will depend on what happens next and how … Continue reading L.A. Dance Project Debuts Its New Collaborative Company In Disney Hall Performances

A Chance to Dance: Episode One

Billy Trevittt and Michael Nunn Hit the Road in Their New Dance Series for Ovation TV: episode 1   Cue former Royal Ballet principal dancers, Billy Trevitt and Michael Nunn, aka the BalletBoyz, arriving via motorcycle at the Covent Garden Opera House. Cue the staged phone call from producer Nigel Lythgoe. The task: to create a new dance company to tour with So You Think … Continue reading A Chance to Dance: Episode One

Millepied and LADP Digital: Dance Company By App for the Quarantine Period and Beyond

The beginning of the Covid-19 quarantine saw dance companies both large and small turning to digital engagement as a way of keeping themselves in touch with audiences. The early offerings of streamed performances were an attempt to replace lost performance revenue and salvage at least a temporary virtual presence as performance possibilities evaporated. In March it seemed unlikely that dance companies would be cancelling performances … Continue reading Millepied and LADP Digital: Dance Company By App for the Quarantine Period and Beyond

Rennie Harris’s Awe-Inspiring “RHAW” Pinch Hits at Carpenter Center

While it was a disappointment not to have seen the Brazilian street dance company, Companhia Urbana de Dança (originally scheduled at the Carpenter Center last Saturday) their last minute replacement, Philadelphia’s Rennie Harris RHAW, proved to be a revealing and riveting look into the crucible of that city’s current street dance scene. The company’s Artistic Director, now Dr. Rennie Harris (he was presented with an honorary … Continue reading Rennie Harris’s Awe-Inspiring “RHAW” Pinch Hits at Carpenter Center

How Are We Doing: An International Covid-19 Snapshot

Six months have passed since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Early, dire outcomes in China an Italy were a warning that tolls could be catastrophic and that individual countries could have wildly differing outcomes both in terms of total number of cases and mortality. Italy continues to be a hot spot. Transmission in Italy gained momentum early on in February due to undetected transmissions … Continue reading How Are We Doing: An International Covid-19 Snapshot

Book Review: “Final Bow for Yellowface” Lays Out a Route Toward Inclusion

Final Bow for Yellow Face, Phil Chan’s moving, excellent new book detailing the racially charged history of Asian stereotype in dance is going to prove a valuable resource. It repeatedly strikes resonant chords with America’s problematic history with race and Chan’s own complex upbringing and mixed race identity. Divided into two parts the book offers plenty of historical information about the tropes of Asian representation … Continue reading Book Review: “Final Bow for Yellowface” Lays Out a Route Toward Inclusion

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

“The Last Ship” Is Sting’s Ode to His Tyneside Roots

The Last Ship, Sting’s moving paean to his upbringing in England’s North East now playing at the Ahmanson Theater has finally come into its own in a new production. With a well-paced, focused story, and a new book by Newcastle’s Northern Stage director Lorne Campbell, the show is the fourth incarnation of Sting’s songwriting which includes an original 2014 production in New York as well … Continue reading “The Last Ship” Is Sting’s Ode to His Tyneside Roots