Category Archives: Dance

Zero Hour: Tokyo Rose’s Last Tape at REDCAT

From Thursday, February 26 to Saturday, February 28, REDCAT, CalArt’s Downtown Center for Contemporary Arts, will presents Zero Hour: Tokyo Rose’s Last Tape, a multimedia theater work conceived, written and directed by internationally renowned artist Miwa Yanagi.

this is a must see event!

YanagiAT13_1016 courtesy of  Aichi Triennale 2013  photo by Naoshi Hatori

In the midst of WWII, the voice of a female announcer on Radio Tokyo, Japan’s state-run international radio service, reached the ears of U.S. troops stationed in the South Pacific. The broadcast announcements were made by not one, but several Japanese-American women, ordered to work on air by the Japanese Imperial Army. Their voices, aired during an entertainment program, The Zero Hour, were immediately and wildly popular with the US Troops based, who soon began referring to the announcers collectively as Tokyo Rose.’

TicketsZero Hour: Tokyo Rose’s Last Tape, inspired by actual events, traces the story of and the search for the true Tokyo Rose and examines the case of a young Japanese-American woman who was stranded in Japan during WWII, forced to serve as a broadcaster for the propaganda radio program and subsequently tried for treason by the United States.

This historic incident is visually reimagined with dynamic redcat logoprojections, and iconic imagery from the rich body of photographic work by artist Miwa Yanagi, who takes audiences inside the multifaceted story of a woman caught between two nations during and in the wake of WWII. Tokyo Rose marks Miwa Yanagi’s North American debut as a theater artist, and is touring to the Kennedy Center in Washington, The Japan Society in NY and Toronto and REDCAT in Los Angeles.

YanagiAT13_2156-1 courtesy of  Aichi Triennale 2013  photo by Naoshi Hatori

Los Angeles native Iva Toguri is the most famously-linked name behind the Tokyo Rose persona. Toguri was raised in Los Angeles and graduated from UCLA, but was stranded in Japan because she was visiting her family when the war broke out. Toguri’s prominence saw her branded as one of the war’s most notorious propagandists, but evidence shows that she was not a Japanese sympathizer. Toguri’s program became conflated with more vicious propaganda, and she was arrested and convicted of treason after the Japanese surrender. She was released from prison in 1956, but it would take more than 20 years before she finally received an official presidential pardon for her role in the war.

Miwa Yanagi was born in Kobe, Japan and completed postgraduate courses at Kyoto City University of Arts. Known primarily as a contemporary photographer and video artist, in recent years she has expanded her work into performance art and theater. Hailed by The New York Times as a veteran on the art fair circuit, Miwa Yanagi employs computer graphics and special effects in her intricate visual pieces, and her theatrical works incorporate images from her visual artwork. Yanagi’s elaborate creations communicate themes of femininity/gender, aging, employment and body image.

Zero Hour: Tokyo Rose’s Last Tapeis written and directed by Miwa Yanagi
Performed in English and Japanese with English subtitles

Set and Costume Design by Miwa Yanagi.
Set Construction Design by Torafu Architects.
Choreography by Megumi Matsumoto.
Lighting Design by Akane Ikebe.
Sound Design by Yasutaka Kobayakawa.
Video Projection by Tadashi Mitani. Technical Direction by Genta Iwamura.

Performers: Yohei MatsukadoHinako AraoMegumi MatsumotoAmi KobayashiSogo NishimuraAki and Sachi Masuda.

“Transcends time and space.” – Artscape Japan

The North American tour of Zero Hour is produced and organized by Japan Society, New York and supported by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan in the Fiscal year 2014, The Japan Foundation through the Performing Arts Japan Program and the National Endowment for the Arts.

“My Gorey Valentine!” The Edwardian Ball® Returns To The Fonda Theatre L.A.

TThe Edwardian Ball® “My Gorey Valentine!” presents Edward Gorey’s “The Beastly Baby”

The Edwardian Ball Los Angeles

 

Paradox Media and Vau de Vire present The Edwardian Ball® on Saturday, February 14th, 2014 at the historic 1920’s Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles.  The award-winning Edwardian Ball® founders Rosin Coven and co-hosts Vau de Vire Society bring a featured Edward Gorey story to life on stage with original music, theatrical choreography and narration…this year presenting ‘The Beastly Baby’ which is described “a calmly horrific tale about a most unpleasant infant everyone is trying to get rid of…”It’s where literary fans are as welcome as Goth clubgoers and where the high-flying trapeze and steam-powered machines create the backdrop for elegantly dressed ballgoers waltzing their way from absinthe to the dance floor.

Edwardian Ball

Step into a uniquely immersive world, where turn-of-the-century meets world-to-be in a fantastic blend of performance and audience, of sights, sounds, and magic – an irreverently elegant blend of theatre, circus, live music, DJs, ballroom dancing, parlour games, steam machinery, aerial performances, obscure props, period technology, games, fashion shows and an Edwardian inspired Vendor Bazaar.

Edwardian Ball

All in attendance are invited to return to a time of well-dressed gentility by creating characters and costumes for the occasion – instilling a madhouse slapdashery of costumery by nearly every single attendee.

Edwardian Ball

Featuring Rosin Coven, Vau de Vire Society, TRAPEZE DJs Delachaux & The Klown, The Gentlemen Callers of Los Angeles, Gorey-inspired Fashion Show & Living Statues by Dark Garden Unique Corsetry and Bridal Couture, The John Brothers Piano Company, Owl Tree Tarot & Tinctures, Our Famous Portrait Booth, Ballroom Dancing, Rooftop Vendor Bazaar, Midway Gaming and many more TBA.  Also, attendees can enjoy absinthe cocktails, full food menu and ample parking.

Edwardian Ball

Saturday, February 14, 2015 – Doors and Show at 8:00pm – All Ages Welcome

The Fonda Theatre – 6126 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 464-0808 or visit http://www.fondatheatre.com/.

Tickets: Purchase: http://www.ticketfly.com/event/750879-edwardian-ball-los-angeles-hollywood/

General Admission Tickets: $50
Includes main floor and rooftop Carnival, limited seating on a first-come, first-served basis.

VIP Tickets: $85
Includes all GA access plus admission to seated balcony with cocktail service and prime view of stage.

VIP Private Booth: $400 for 4 people, $600 for 6 people on Balcony or Main Floor
Includes private booth with table service, great visibility of stage and dance floor. One ticket is good for the entire booth – the best seats in the house!

Edwardian Ball

 Applications Open for Directors Lab West 2015

The Directors Lab West Steering Committee has opened  applications for its sixteenth annual Directors Lab West, taking place Saturday, May 23 through Saturday, May 30, 2015.

Directors-Lab-West

Now entering its 16th year, the annual Lab brings together dedicated emerging and mid-career theatre directors and choreographers with master artists for an eight-day long intensive, enabling them to inspire each other to dream and create the future of American Theatre.

The deadline to submit the application is Friday, March 6, 2015 at      

5 pm PST.

There is no cost to participate, however attendance is by application only. Applicants should have experience as a professional director and/or choreographer; students are encouraged to apply for internships.

For more details on the application process, including the full eligibility criteria, and for more details on Directors Lab West, please visit: directorslabwest.com

Directors Lab West is produced by the Directors Lab West Steering Committee, in association with the The Pasadena Playhouse and with the generous support of the Stage Directors & Choreographers Society.

About Directors Lab West
Directors Lab West fosters an intensive laboratory environment where a community of directors and choreographers inspire each other to dream and create the future of American Theatre. The Lab, which was spun off of Lincoln Center Theater’s Directors Lab in 2000, brings together theatre directors and choreographers to participate in a week long series of workshops, panels, roundtables, and symposia with some of the nation’s leading theatre artists. In the last 14 years, over 100 acclaimed artists have given their time to the Lab including Jason Alexander, Julie Arenal, Luis Alfaro, Paris Barclay, Cirque Berzerk, Kay Cole, Gordon Davidson, George Furth, Moises Kaufman, Ming Cho Lee, Marc Masterson, Randy Newman, Vincent Paterson, Carey Perloff, Stephen Wadsworth and Charlayne Woodard.

No Magic at the Mariinsky for Cinderella

by Carlos Stafford, The Model Critic

Mariinsky Ballet, Cinderella

I imagined I was eight years old. I’m at Disneyland and it starts to rain. All the rides are closed except It’s A Small World. No Haunted House, no Pirates of the Caribbean, no Frontier Land, or Tomorrowland.  Mickey and Minnie are running around drenched looking for cover.

That’s about as much fun as I had with Alex Ratmansky’s Cinderella, Act 1. From great anticipation to this chilly interpretation of Cinderella.  No fun, no magic, no humor I could recognize. In this production, the evil stepsisters are actually attractive, well dressed, and are mostly graceful, except for when the dance teachers arrive, and they indicate akwardness here and there; however subtle the distinctions. Cinderella’s father is a drunk who stumbles home and asks Cinderella for money. I never knew young Cinderella, being a slave to her sisters, had a stash of money in a cookie jar. Then there is the problem of the indefinite gender of the four magical fairies representing the seasons; four men dressed in colorful cutout leotards with midriffs and various bandeau tops. Where the evil stepsisters are usually portrayed by men, and are funny, Ratmansky chooses to make the fairies cross-dressing creatures without humor. Tepid applause.

But the Mariinsky is one of the most famous, as well as oldest ballet companies in the world, and after 250 years they know a thing or two on how to put on a production. This Cinderella must be an exception, however, as it apparently comes under the heading of “perspectivism.”

Gratefully, they begin to redeem themselves in Act 11 as Ratmansky dazzles with the highlight of the evening–an exquisite pas de deux between the Prince and Cinderella at the Ball, danced with liquid energy by Nadezhda Batoeva and Vladimir Shklyarov. I at once thought of Fredrick Ashton’s balcony scene from Romeo and Julliet, with the similar evocative and soaring romantic music, and passionate choreography. It was splendidly done. Then once again later, the couple dance in the final act, reunited at last, as choreography, dancers, and music become an exceptional and glorious unity.

Ratmansky’s greatest ability is how he fluidly moves his dancers through space with surprising ideas, and musicality. The movements evenly connect and reconnect in brilliant patterns that are full of substance and delight.

But overall, the problem with this Cinderella is not in the choreography, the steps, the surprising and flowing transitions nor especially, the scintilating dancers with their always remarkablable beauty and technique–we’ve grown to expect this high quality. Rather, the  problem lies in the artistic direction. Being a narrative ballet, you’d expect a good story. Here, Act 1 is awful, Act 11 soars, and Act 111 is very mixed.  You get the impression that the story was an afterthought to the choreography, that humor was barely considered, that the acts don’t link up.

For all the world class talent onstage and in the pit, the overall affect was unevenness. For instance, when the Prince searches the world for a foot to fit the glass slipper, we have the dullest section immaginable. This is a blarring artistic opportunity to display fun, wonder, and lightness, to take the audience on a wondrous journey. But what we get again is another deflating transvaluaton. We are shown the Prince finding a group of women–who knows from where or representing what–oblique, probably hookers. Not much chance for a proper fitting here. Next stop, we encounter seven guys dressed in blue and black. They pummell the Prince and clearly don’t fit the slipper, or care–are they nasty gay thugs from Marseille with a shoe fetish? Or, are they merely emblematic of life’s negative forces? This part of the story was very strange and incomplete.

Sadly, these two meager stops represent the Prince’s entire search.  Dramatically, it should be a fun interlude for the audience before his final ecstatic discovery. Like Candide, what the Prince finds in his brief travel is bleak and cold. I guess this could be someone’s  joyless intepretation, but this sober, obscure, and disspirited meaning seems totally inappropriate in dance, perhaps not in literature–it leaches out any form of revelation or elevation to the fairy tale that occurs only moments later,  and lessens the joy of his return and final union.

Not until, that is, the last pas de deux that salvages the performance with its abundant life force; again magnificently performed by the two exceptional principals. This was the fireworks, this was the glory.

But as for the Prince, at that point, he could’ve have settled for a stepsister.

BAM and the MARIINSKY BALLET present

CINDERELLA
at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Howard Gillman Opera House

Music by Sergei Prokofiev
Choreography by Alexei Ratmansky
Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg
Musical direction by Valery Gergiev
Conducted by Valery Gergiev

Principal casting*:

Diana Vishneva/Konstantin Zverev/Yekaterina Kondaurova (Jan 17), Anastasia Matvienko/Alexander Sergeyev/Anastasia Petushkova (Jan 18),
Nadezhda Batoeva, Vladimir Shklyarov, Ekaterina Kondaurova (Jan 20)

NO MORE PERFORMANCES

Pentacle Is Building a New Way to Present and See L.A. Dance

PENTACLE presents HOME GROWN @  BOOTLEG

Antics

 

To help meet the challenges of presenting and producing dance in Los Angeles, Pentacle steps up to the plate with Pentacle Presents Home Grown @ Bootleg, a new pilot program in two parts: February 19-22 and April 23-26.

Reservations: 213.289.3856  or   www.bootlegtheater.org 

The innovative new program is open to all dance companies and independent choreographers in Los Angeles County, and will offer participants more opportunities to show their work, to build and expand the audiences, and to create audience identity with the Bootleg Theater, a trusted venue for strong Los Angeles area based dance and performance work.   In addition to the evening performances, each weekend will include a fourth afternoon of celebratory engagement with the artists and participatory exploration of the works presented in performance the three previous nights.

February 19-21 at 7 PM

Part 1: Antics and MULTIPLEX Dance** (more information about this program appears below)

Added: February 22 at 1 PM: Celebrate with the artists and explore the work.  (Free, but RSVP is required).

April 23-25 at 7 PM

Part II: Invertigo Dance Theatre and Danza Floricanto/USA

All performances at the Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd., L.A.

Tickets: $20 in advance/ $25 at the door

Invertigo

 

Companies selected for the debut performances of Home Grown @ Bootleg in February are Antics, Amy “Catfox’ Campion’s L.A. based hip hop company, and MULTIPLEX DANCE, which integrates athletic and acrobatic movement vocabulary with digital media and electronic music.   The April dates will see Invertigo Dance Theatre and Danza Floricanto/USA.

The companies were selected by a panel that included Alicia Adams, Artistic Director of Bootleg Theater; Charmaine Jefferson, Kelan Resources; Sara Wookey; and Evy Warshawski, former Executive Director of Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center.  Home Grown @ Bootleg will be led by Pentacle Director Felicia Rosenfeld and Program Coordinator Raélle Dorfan.

Why a new program for dance? 

As noted by LA Times dance writer Lewis Segal,  “Angeleno choreographers Melissa Barak, Josie Walsh (both at the Broad) and Jacob Jonas (at Highways) launched impressive, short-term attempts to break into wider renown.  But what’s next for them?  Another night or two a year from now?  And will they have to mortgage all their wordly possessions and maybe even their first born to afford even that?   As they know too well, there’s no dedicated dance space in this city, no sure passage for choreographers and companies to grow from studio to stage, no accessible/affordable venue where the members of the dance community can measure their work against the achievements of others and where audiences can find and follow the artists they’ve heard or read about.”   These are EXACTLY the issues Pentacle seeks to address with Home Grown @ Bootleg!

logo

Through this pilot initiative, Pentacle, in partnership with Bootleg Theater, is determined to provide a home for  L.A.’s vivid dance scene, opening doors by creating new and affordable means for local dance artists to showcase their work in an on-going way.   In addition, Pentacle hopes to create audience identification with the Bootleg Theater as a venue that the audience can trust to present high quality, interesting and engaging Los Angeles-based dance.

**More About the February 19-21 program:

Antics will present Sneaker Suites, a performance collaboration between the company and story architect Mark Gonzales.   Through spoken word poetry and street dance, Sneaker Suites delves into the diverse and personal relationships that we have with one of the most highly purchased fashion items in the world: sneakers!

MULTIPLEX DANCE will perform From Darkness to Light, a two part work consisting of subSTRATA (2014), and the premiere of Between Earth and Heaven.   Both works incorporate video projections designed by Chad Michael Hall and music by composer David Karagianis.

PENTACLE is a not-for-profit management support organization for small and mid-sized companies and project-based artists working in dance and theater.  Pentacle’s mission is to provide these communities with flexible and affordable infrastructure support in a sustained way, on an expert level, and at an affordable price.  Since 1976, Pentacle has served as a model for arts administration, a direct resource to the groups and artists with whom we work, and as a facilitator to the performing arts community with innovative programs of local and national impact.   Pentacle is unique in providing infrastructure support directly to dance and theater groups and artists, grounding their services and programming in the creative work of each artist-group, and responding and adapting to the ever-changing needs of the community so that artists have more time to create, perform and engage in the world.

Danza Floricanto USA

Danza Floricanto USA

 

Culture Marches On

 Of all the things I could possibly write about 2014…that it’s been Gia On The Move’s best year yet…that we’ve been so fortunate to have experienced so much gorgeous, avant-garde, unique, delicious artistry in live performance, art, music, movies, food, fashion and more…what an awesome adventure it’s been…that we love all of the great friends we’ve made along the way, and how incredibly lucky to often accidentally have stumbled across gems that no one else was noticing…  What we’re most happy to say is ‘Thank you’.  Thank you for letting us entertain, inform, introduce and offer a little bit of our passions to YOU.   What a ride!  Ready for more?   ~Gia

Happy New Year!!!

canstockphoto22262075

Six Dance Lessons In Six Weeks

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

6 Dance Lessons in 6 WeeksLast Tuesday evening had me sitting in the Wilshire Screening Room for the second and final preview of Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks, the new screenplay by two-time Writer’s Guild Award winner and Emmy nominee, Richard Alfieri based on his Broadway hit show by the same name, to be released this Friday, December 12th, in Los Angeles at Sundance Sunset Cinema, Laemmle Town Center 5, and Edwards Westpark 8 and in NY at AMC Empire 25.

The movie stars two-time Academy Award nominee and two-time Golden Globe winner Gena Rowlands as the crusty 75-year-old South Florida matron Lily Harrison who unexpectedly develops a life-changing friendship with her much younger, gay dance instructor.

Cheyenne Jackson co-stars as Michael Minetti, the frustrated, 30-year-old teacher and former Broadway chorus star who is assigned to Lily after she calls to request a private lesson.  Julian Sands plays Cunard, owner of the dance studio. And what would a dance film be without Oscar, Emmy, Tony and Grammy award winner Rita Moreno (West Side Story) who makes a lively appearance as Lily’s cranky downstairs neighbor.

Six Dance Lessons overall is rather a delightful little film and was certainly well-received by the crowd in attendance.  The movie lightly hits all the intended points about stereotypes, prejudice, intolerance, ageism, gay issues, religion, and most of all the invisibility of older women.

“I’ve noticed so many times older women say, finally something for us,” said director Arthur Allan Seidelman.  Sincerely, this is a film dedicated especially to them.  A love story between a very much older matron and a very young man who genuinely need each other for so many reasons.  And sex actually does sort of come into play, just not for the two of them.  But the story does bring up the issue of older women, their power, loss of identity without a man, loneliness and needs beyond card games, bingo and coffee clutching.

It is a story however “by the numbers” so exact in intention that it feels at times a bit like a Sunday School lecture in relationships. The dialog “fits and starts” at the beginning and feels more like a stage play rather than a film.  In fact, Broadway is exactly where this story was originally debuted.  Characters have been added in to pad the drama and the environment between the two leads, and more layers could have filled the gaps.  But in the end, it does settle into what the director wanted to give us…a beautiful picture and a clear message.  That’s exactly what we got.

As an homage to the ladies of this film, their respective talents, beauty and full-spanning careers, Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks is worth the viewing simply for the sentiment and wisdom.  Gena Rowlands and Rita Moreno are as wonderfully spot-on and snappy as ever.  Actress Jacki Weaver as the kittenish, older woman looking for a great time, throws in a tremendous amount of honesty in the few moments she is given on screen.  And all of them supported by a strong and thankfully not overbearing Cheyenne Jackson.  Overall, it’s a sweet, comedic, straight-shooting story of life lessons for everyone.  You’ll want to get your pen and paper out for notes.  Because eventually, this day is coming for all of us.

The Film Collective and Dada Films presents a Docler Entertainment Production in Association with Entpro

And Arthur Allan Seidelman Film.

Screenplay by Richard Alfieri, based on his play.

Directed by Arthur Allen Seidelman

STARRING:

Gena Rowlands as Lily Harrison

Cheyenne Jackson as Michael Minetti

Jacki Weaver as Irene Mossbecker

Rita Moreno as Ida Barksdale

Julian Sands as Winslow Cunard

LA THEATERS
Sundance Sunset Cinema – 8000 Sunset Blvd West Hollywood, CA

Laemmle Town Center 5 – 17200 Ventura Blvd #121, Encino, CA
Edwards Westpark 8 – 3735 Alton Pkwy, Irvine, CA
NY THEATER
AMC Empire 25 – 234 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036