This evocative dance photo speaks to me, for, just like many fellow Americans, I have walls on my mind. How I wish I didn’t. The image is of Concert Walls, a work from the attractive, diverse repertory of Clairobscur Dance Company, whose resident choreographer Laurie Sefton states with certitude, “Dance has the power to be an action of change.”
Here we see a smallish and vulnerable human being juxtaposed against the massive, silver-clad wall of Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall. It is a wall so infinitely more aesthetic than Mr. Trump’s proposed “metal slats,” and yet, it is still a wall. It is a barrier. It is hard. It is impenetrable. It brings human activity to a halt. It fosters the body language of futility on view in the photo. All of these ideas are evoked through dance. “Concert Walls,” a commission by the Los Angeles Music Center, had its premiere last year at Walt Disney Concert Hall performed to live music by Bryan Curt Kosters.
It is wonderful to see choreographers engaged by real social problems, as abstraction held too long a grip over the dance world; I believe we are safely beyond that cycle and that contemporary dance is now flowering in so many modes. Sefton is not uniquely an ‘issues’ choreographer; she also works in lyric and emotions-based modes. Her versatility as a dance maker will be on offer in an upcoming concert at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, which is a very comfortable space to view dance.
The evening will premiere a new work, Imminent Drift, again using original music by Bryan Curt Kostors and Victoria Vasta. The program also includes Triptych: Experience in Defiance in collaboration with hip-hop poet/spoken word artist, Jason Chu. (I must say I like the evocative language with which Ms. Sefton entitles her dances.)
Rounding out this tasty menu, a title that particularly, and perversely, attracts me: Supremacy Ride, a work that mocks and pillories the body language of our president and other political leaders of his ilk.
Clairobscur Dance Company | Nate Holden Performing Arts Center | March 9