We all know it's a jungle out there. Especially now, with oil gushing into the Louisiana Wetlands, we're sincerely grateful to choreographer Lionel Popkin for inverting the familiar man-destroys-nature theme.
Popkin transforms a downtown Los Angeles performance space into an urban jungle of lush mystery in his marvelously inventive "There is an Elephant In This Dance." The hour-long piece is on tap for further REDCAT performances this weekend.
Popkin, a UCLA dance professor, credits the Hindu god Ganesh with the weird-and-wonderful foray of a plush-toy Babar into modern dance-land. But we spied the solid-torsoed choreographer's own fleshy, weighted movement quality, and his mournful gaze, transferred to great effect onto "Elephant"'s excellent cast of veteran dancers.
Kicking in to make this intriguing performance hum is cellist/composer Robert Een's polished musical accompaniment, and a b&w video projection that pleasantly totters between spooky and absurd.
Lionel Popkin: There is an Elephant in this Dance | REDCAT | this weekend