Baryshnikov backstage at REDCAT

Dance
Monday evening saw Russian-born ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov join the great Merce Cunningham Dance Company on stage for a fundraiser at REDCAT performance space in downtown Los Angeles. Beneficiaries: MCDC’s “legacy” project and REDCAT. After the show … Barysh & the Merce’ites click for better view Marisa Meets Misha click for better view Mark Murphy, Executive Director, REDCAT, ...

merce misha mashup 2

Dance · Visual arts
“Farewell Merce Cunningham Dance Company” weekend in Los Angeles was capped by a bonus performance in which Mikhail Baryshnikov appeared with the company. It was a fundraiser for the Cunningham Dance Foundation’s “Legacy Project” and REDCAT. Charles Atlas, with whom the choreographer collaborated on multiple video projects over thirty years, presented his film homage to Merce — ...

Merce’s marvelous Irish jig 3

Dance · Reviews
Co-published on Huffington Post arts page “It was unutterably moving to watch,” said long time company archivist David Vaughan of the historic reconstruction of “Roaratorio” (1983) that graced Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s fare-thee-well performances at Walt Disney Concert Hall this weekend. “We all feel Merce in the dance.” Indeed, watching company elder Robert Swinston, 60, ...

Neil Greenberg chats about Roaratorio

Dance
“You really see people dancing. It’s especially clear that this was a concern of Merce’s. There’s a lot of humanity in this work.” Thus choreographer Neil Greenberg remembers Roaratorio, the Merce Cunningham work dating from 1983 that will be restaged at Disney Concert Hall next weekend.  A member of Merce Cunningham Dance Company from 1979 ...

Lionel Popkin, elephantine

Dance · Reviews
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 ...

Pina Bausch films at Dance Camera West

Dance · Film
Kudos to hardworking impresario Lynette Kessler on the launch of the ninth annual installment of Dance Camera West, the month-long series celebrating the best-of-the-best of the filmed dance experience. Here is Dance Camera's West's full schedule. I'm particularly drawn to Lynette's June 12 symposium on German choreographer Pina Bausch, a great force in dance who died ...

L.A. Music Center co-commissions revival of Merce Cunningham work

Dance
It gave me pause to learn that the Los Angeles Music Center had co-commissioned the revival of Roaratorio, a major work dating from 1986 that Merce Cunningham Dance Company will soon present in L.A. That’s really cool. I had to read it twice. Choreographer Neil Greenberg, who performed in the piece while a Cunningham dancer, ...

The eyes have it …

Dance · Reviews
Indian dancers dance with their eyes. They train them too. That’s evident in this image of the great Indian classical dancer Uday Shankar (Ravi Shanker was his little brother and Jack Cole was his student). Modern-dance choreographer Yvonne Rainer wisely reminds us that the mind is a muscle. So, too, are the eyes. The pedagogy ...

Heidi Duckler’s sudsy classic

Dance · Reviews
The Echo Park lavanderia (“SpinCycle”) where choreographer Heidi Duckler is reprising her 1988 site-specific work “Laundromatinee” stands next door to a Los Angeles bagel factory. Yeasty baking odors waft into the laundromat where her whimsical dance unrolls. We’re in the inner city. That makes sense because Duckler, a long-time contributor to the local dance scene, ...

BODYTRAFFIC & Barak Marshall fete Israel’s 62nd 1

Dance · Music · Reviews
Haim Saban, the expatriate Israeli entrepreneur who made a bundle in the 1990s manufacturing Power Rangers, threw an amazing and generous party for L.A.’s Jewish community to celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaoot, Israel Independence Day, at his newly refurbished Saban (formerly the Wilshire) Theater. Everything nifty about Israeli culture — its youth, high energy, optimism, talent to ...