ed. note: This excerpt of a story by artsmeme’s Debra Levine was first published by Ford Theatres
A peevish story in The New York Times started the ball rolling for Los Angeles dance producer Deborah Brockus. When Brockus read a lengthy #metoo article decrying the dearth of female choreographers, she felt fired up. But not in the expected way. She instead had an epiphany. As she remembers, “I said … wait, LA dance is mostly run by women. This complaint does not apply to us.”
Brockus’s feminism finds firm footing at the Ford Theatres on Friday, August 16, when she’ll present Women Rising: Choreography from the Female Perspective. An experienced impresario (she produces the Los Angeles Dance Festival), Brockus promises nothing less than “a celebration of female creativity in Los Angeles.”
Chatting by Skype from Korea, where her company participated in the Seoul International Dance Festival, Brockus clarifies: “Most of our teachers, choreographers, presenters and critics are women. Most college dance programs are run by women. In LA, dance is a female-centric industry.”
Our town’s tolerant creative climate, untethered to old-world notions of high art, gave wide berth to women—who just ran with it. When men started taking the power reins of the New York dance world in the 1980s, women on the West Coast did not receive the memo. That reality, combined with a celebratory nod to the impending centenary of the 19th Amendment, gives Women Rising its context.
Choreographer Achinta S. McDaniel, whose Blue13 Dance Company has trod the Ford floorboards many times before, says, “I am excited to see diversity and inclusion within this community of women.” McDaniel’s solo for dancer Adrianna Vieux deals with “isolation, shame and obedience.” As a first-generation South-Asian American, she sees the timeliness in Women Rising: “We share a collective rage about what is going on in the world. My parents were immigrants to this country. With Trump, and the way he is treating women, it is so important that we stand in the spotlight without fear of denigration.” [story continues …]
Los Angeles dance critic Debra Levine is editor/publisher of arts•meme, the fine-arts blog she founded in 2008.