Winding up the Zev Yaroslavsky Signature Series and bringing the Ford Theatres 2014 summer season to a close, Ezralow Dance takes the stage at the Ford Amphitheatre on Sept. 13 at 8 p.m
The commissioned, site-specific world premiere from world-renowned director/choreographer Daniel Ezralow will be accompanied by live music from contemporary classical ensemble wild Up, marking the debut of Ezralow’s new, Los Angeles-based company.
‘Daniel is a visionary who creates grand pieces on a scale not usually seen at the Ford,’ says Ford managing director of productions Adam Davis.
Hailed as ‘unforgettably gutsy’ by The New York Times and ‘one of the best American dancer-choreographers now working on an international scale’ by the Chicago Tribune, Ezralow most recently choreographed the opening ceremonies at the Sochi Olympics.
He has created choreography and aerial choreography for theater, film, opera and television around the world, including The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil, Broadway’s Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark, the film Across the Universe and for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Batsheva Dance Company and Paris Opera Ballet. Ezralow is a co-founder of ISO Dance and an original dancer/choreographer of MOMIX.
“I try to break traditions, to look at something we may have all viewed many times before and see it completely differently,” Ezralow explains. “With this new company of 9 dancers, I want to build a creative home for the huge amount of repertory I’ve developed around the world. Being an eclectic artist means that I’ve been lucky enough to jump from film to TV to stage, but there’s been no way until now to collect everything into a single body of work.”
According to Ezralow, the evening will begin with the awakening of the Ford’s historic outdoor amphitheater, which is set against a backdrop of cypresses and chaparral in the Hollywood Hills, and close with a sequence tentatively titled, DEconstruxion.
According to Ezralow, the choreography will be intimately linked to the music, and wild Up artistic director Christopher Rountree is enthusiastic about the collaboration. He is particularly passionate about the planned premiere of a new Bach deconstruction by Chris Kallmeyer (composer of the Bach As A Lens series) and a performance of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto #3 played by a completely different set of instruments than those Bach would have used, which will make the familiar piece sound wildly different and virtuosic. The two Bach pieces will bookend the evening. Also on the program will be dances choreographed to various 19th century composers as well as to the music of contemporary composer David Lang.
“This type of collaboration happens very rarely,” Rountree says. “We’re going to take old world music and adapt it to become something completely new. We define a concert as anything that draws people together to have a shared experience of listening, so this experiment is very exciting for us.”
Since its start in 2010, wild Up has been Orchestra in Residence at the Hammer Museum, Ensemble in Residence with American Composers Orchestra and Education Ensemble in Residence with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.
The group has been featured at a number of Los Angeles’ prominent cultural spaces including the Edye at the Broad Stage, Zipper Hall, REDCAT, Beyond Baroque, the Armory Center for the Arts and the Jensen Rec. Center Studio. Their recordings of Shostakovich, Rzewski and Messiaen have been featured on KUSC, KPFK and American Public Media’s Performance Today.
Photo credit: Angelo Redailli