Tag Archives: contemporary dance

GUSH at Highways Performance Space on Friday May 29th

Exploring Becoming Undone, Sex & Death, Excess, and Being ConsumedGUSH

Highways Performance Space presents GUSH

5 New Contemporary Dance Works
By Choreographers Charlotte Adams and Jennifer Kayle
In Santa Monica, CA
Friday, May 29 and Saturday, May 30, 2015

Kayle probes the realm of mortal passion and the new era of human impact on the earth. Adams uncovers the body’s anatomy and its undoing, and the ludicrous toiling for success.

Five works immerse viewers in the distinctly visceral performance of eleven dancers and two musicians. The pieces include original music by composer Jason Palamara, and original video by Alex Bush and Tori Lawrence.

The two-hour event starts at 8:30pm at Highways Performance Space (18th Street Arts Center, 1651 18th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404).

General admission tickets are $20 in advance ($15 for students, Highways members, and seniors) and can be purchased here. Reservations may also be made by calling 310-315-1459.

TicketsAdditional information is available at www.highwaysperformance.org

Also at the Highways Event Page

Listen to composer Jason Palamara on SoundCloud –

“The works in GUSH have different looks and languages, but share common blood,” according to Kayle. “The images pulse with intensity and dancers cut deep with words and gestures. Exposed limbs, flickering video, and poetic objects seep over the edge.”

In their second collaborative concert, Adams and Kayle reveal an ongoing dialogue. “The works accumulate in a gut-level conversation; feelings simmer in farewell waltzes, plastic rain, and seam-ripping fits,” says Kayle. “As people pile on gurneys, and sunbathe at the apocalypse, the darker tones mix with humor, satire, and hopefulness, cutting down to the bone and plunging the audience into the world of GUSH.”

Adams and Kayle return to Highways, armed with 5 new contemporary dance works. The two choreographers first presented work at Highways in 2010, when they brought their collaborative project Virtually Yours to Santa Monica. GUSH dancers include Jessica Anthony, Zach Bird, Emily Climer, Erin Corcoran, Crystal Gurrola, Emily McElwain, Tyler Nemmers, Anthony Pucci, Katie Skinner, Melanie Swihart, and Calvin Windshitl. The five works presented at GUSH in May include:

Riding Mad Horses (Choreography by Kayle) –
Riding Mad Horses reflects on passion as a double-edged sword – a life force that is the very essence of vitality, and also the cause of our undoing, sizzling our being with desire and uncontrolled drive. Particularly in the realm of the sexual, the sensual, and the romantic, passion is a dangerous line to tread. Despite hours of meditation to cultivate “detachment,” many have wondered if a dispassionate life is worth living … and even truly possible. Yet be forewarned: “A man in a passion rides a mad horse.” (Benjamin Franklin)

Five Rejections and a Funeral (Choreography by Adams) –
The contemporary dance cousin to the popular Dilbert cartoon, Five Rejections and a Funeral skewers the hardships, heartbreaks, and frustrations that affect employees everywhere in the new economy. Peer reviews, letters of rejection, bureaucracies, bosses, firings, auditions, and job applications all bring a “little death” with each receipt. Humorous at times, yet darker in intent, Adams’ piece acknowledges the negative baggage that comes along with working, while recognizing the weirdness of and humor in job-related predicaments.

GUSH-2Smoke Screen (Choreography by Kayle) –
Smoke Screen joins an interdisciplinary conversation in considering whether we are in a new geologic era, The Anthropocene, an epoch where human activities have a significant global impact on the earth. As technology merges with natural processes, as human powers increase to alter what was once labeled as “organic,” conventional distinctions begin to blur. With the human body at the center of its substance, Smoke Screen reveals the body as both a genesis of environmental and ecological impact, and a place where that impact is felt.

Dysphonia (Choreography by Adams, Music by Palamara) –
Dysphonia, a collaborative new work by composer Jason Palamara and choreographer Charlotte Adams, combines interactive electronics and dance in an exciting and devastating work exploring artificial intelligence. Sensors worn by a dancer communicate with Palamara’s computer program, HIDI, responding in sound to the dancer’s movement as Adams’ choreography toys with the idea of our obsession with searching and accepting “cures” in blind faith of technology. Palamara’s live violin is accompanied by Justin Comer’s saxophone and paired with the performance of six dancers.

Beyond Anatomy (Choreography by Adams) –
Beyond Anatomy utilizes the science of the body to transform the stage into a visual anatomy lesson. Opening with a “lecture” on human anatomy, veering gleefully to talking and waltzing skeletons, before descending to bodies out of control, the piece, ponders whether or not we are more than the sum of our parts. Beyond Anatomy is performed to music ranging from Patti Page to Stephen Foster.

Choreographer Jennifer Kayle’s Smoke-Screen. Photo by Eric Lawrence

Choreographer Jennifer Kayle’s Smoke-Screen. Photo by Eric Lawrence

Charlotte Adams, Choreographer
Charlotte Adams’ choreography has been described as “arresting” (The New York Times) and “gorgeous … delicious” (The Tucson Weekly). Her style combines a signature wit and athleticism, with an eye for the poetry of human foibles. In 2001, Adams and Dancers had its premiere performance at New York’s Joyce SoHo and new work was selected to return in 2003 and 2006. Notable projects include the selection of Adams’ choreography for Highways Performance Space in Los Angeles, May 2015; The White Wave DUMBO Dance Festival, 2009 and 2012 in New York; a collaborative project with colleague Jennifer Kayle entitled Virtually Yours, presented by the prestigious El Museo Centro Leon in Santiago, Dominican Republic, and Highways Performance Space in Los Angeles, both in 2010; and an invitation to teach and present choreography at The University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, with The Dance Knots Project, 2013. Adams began her choreographic career in Tucson, Arizona as a founding member of Tenth Street Dancework and was awarded the $25,000 Arizona Arts Award. Under her direction, the company performed throughout the Southwest and in tours to Nebraska, Texas, North Carolina, as well as numerous cites in Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, Australia, and Southern France. Adams joined the faculty in The Department of Dance at The University of Iowa in 1998.

Jennifer Kayle, Choreographer
Jennifer Kayle’s work has been chosen for festivals, for regional and national GALA concerts, and for grants including an NEA/CBE project to investigate improvisational methods for choreography. Kayle’s dancing has been referred to as having “muscular presence” (Dance Source Houston), while her work has been reviewed as “provocative, tight, with wit and stage craft… serious chops” (Vox Fringe), “distinct… affecting scenes” (Hampshire Gazette), and “memorable… shockingly poignant” (City Revealed). She is co-founder of MICI: Movement Intensive in Compositional Improvisation, a professional laboratory dedicated to performance improvisation. She actively presents her work in the U.S. and internationally at venues including New Territory/Cuerpo de Danza (San Juan, Puerto Rico), Performatica (Cholula, Mexico), El Museo Centro Leon (Santiago, Dominican Republic), 37 por las Tablas (Santiago, Dominican Republic), the Dostoevsky Museum Theatre (St. Petersburg, Russia), Osobniak Theatre-Body/Word International Festival (St. Petersburg, Russia), Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival, Links Hall (Chicago, IL), The Dance COLEctive (Chicago, IL), Joyce Soho (New York, NY), Symphony Space-International New Music Festival (New York, NY), Jacob’s Pillow (Becket, MA), Highways Performance Space (Los Angeles, CA), University of Utah (Salt Lake City), New Articulations (Tucson, AZ), and Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life, A Call to Action (Syracuse, NY). Kayle is an Associate Professor and Co-Director of the MFA Program in Dance at University of Iowa. She holds a BA from Middlebury College and an MFA from Smith College.

Jason Palamara, Composer
Jason Palamara is a third year PhD student in music composition at the University of Iowa. He is an active performer on the violin, guitar, and laptop with Bonecrusher Ensemble of Louisville, KY, the 24+24 Hour Composition Project in Iowa City, IA, and the newly constructed Iowa City Laptop Orkestra (ICLOrk). Palamara currently works as an audio engineer and composer for the University of Iowa Department of Dance. He composes music for many dance department projects, specializing in electroacoustic music, collaboration, improvisation, and audience engagement. He also teaches songwriting and musicianship to the inmates at Oakdale Community Prison.

Highways Performance Space
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Leo Garcia, Highways Performance Space is Southern California’s boldest center for new performance. Now in its 26th year, Highways continues to be an important alternative cultural center in Los Angeles that encourages fierce new artists from diverse communities to develop and present innovative works. Described by the Los Angeles Times as “a hub of experimental theater, dance, solo drama, and other multi-media performance,” Highways promotes the development of contemporary socially involved artists and art forms.

Bellydance Evolution: “Alice in Wonderland” World Fusion Dance

The Magical Tale ReImagined Through Theatrical World Fusion Dance



Step into the world of Alice in Wonderland as Bellydance Evolution brings this classic tale to life through world fusion and Middle Eastern dance. Under the artistic direction of international belly dance sensation Jillina, the cast will meld Middle Eastern dance and music, break dance, theatrical hip hop, contemporary dance, fusion and tribal dance, for a journey into wonderland. The storyline will unfold to the sounds of an original score composed by Paul Dinletir and the live beats of Ozzy Ashkenazi.

Friday, August 1 @ 8:30 p.m.
John Anson Ford Amphitheatre
2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood, CA 90068


Uniting Eastern and Western Culture with Middle Eastern,
Hip Hop, Contemporary, Tribal, and Acrobatic Dance



Founded in 2009 by world renowned choreographer Jillina Carlano, the company presents a revolutionary approach to the whimsical and magical tale, reimagining the colorful, iconic and – dare we say – “mad” characters through the language of world fusion dance. The dance company takes a revolutionary approach to the art of belly dance, presenting theatrical dance shows with a storyline, much like a ballet. The show features a cast of 20 international artists from diverse backgrounds in Middle Eastern dance and music, break dance, theatrical hip hop, contemporary, tribal and fusion dance, each bringing their own unique vision to the production.


Bellydance Evolution has performed to sold out crowds in over twenty different countries spanning North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. The company was featured at the 2012 Mawazine festival in Morocco, where it performed for the Queen of Morocco. With the success of its residency program, Bellydance Evolution has established ensemble company members in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Bellydance Evolution’s “Alice in Wonderland” takes you on a magical journey filled with spinning mushrooms, dancing caterpillars and a charismatically acrobatic rabbit all set to an original and theatrical soundtrack. Based on Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll, the performance is appropriate for all ages.

Ticket prices start at $18; discount tickets available for full-time students with ID and children 12 and under. Purchase by July 26 and save! Tickets are available at FordTheatres.org or 323 461-3673 (for non-visual media 323 GO 1-FORD). To learn about discounts for groups of 8 or more, please call 323 461-3673.



The Ford Theatres are located at 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood, CA 90068, just off the 101 Hollywood Freeway between Hollywood Blvd and Barham Blvd in the Cahuenga Pass. The grounds open two hours before showtime for picnicking. The Ford offers a number of dining options: a variety of food and beverages is available on site and box dinners for evening events may be ordered in advance. Patrons are welcome to bring their own food and drink.

The Ford is disabled accessible. Portable wireless listening devices are available upon request. On site, stacked parking costs $5 per vehicle for evening shows and $1 per vehicle for morning family shows. FREE nonstacked parking serviced by a FREE shuttle to the Ford, for evening amphitheatre performances only, is available at the Universal City/Studio City Metro Station parking lot at Lankershim Blvd. and Campo de Cahuenga. The shuttle, which cycles every 15-20 minutes, stops in the “kiss and ride” area. Please allow an extra 30 minutes if taking the shuttle.


This event is part of the Ford Theatres 2014 summer amphitheatre season, a multidisciplinary arts series produced by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission in cooperation with Los Angeles County based arts organizations. A complete season schedule, directions to the amphitheatre and parking information can be found at FordTheatres.org.

Bellydance Evolution was created with a mission to unite Eastern and Western culture through dance and this intention is evident in the works of the company through their education and residency programs. Together, these initiatives celebrate the dynamic aesthetics of world fusion dance, culture and creativity, by sharing the joy of dance with all communities.
With the success of a residency program, Bellydance Evolution has established ensemble company members in the USA, Europe, Asia and Latin America.  In addition to this specialized performance program, principal cast members offer seminars that are open to all people in the community, giving dancers and non-dancers alike an opportunity to learn about this diverse and important cultural art form from accomplished masters in the field.



Jillina Carlano, Founder, Executive/Artistic Director (The Queen of Hearts) is a performer, master instructor, choreographer, director and producer, Jillina has devoted her life to dance.  Jillina pulls from a strong dance background in Middle Eastern, folklore, jazz, ballet, and hip hop to create a colorful Middle Eastern fusion repertoire. She travels extensively, teaching seminars and performing in concerts worldwide.  Jillina has co-produced 12 instructional DVDs, which are now offered in five different languages and distributed by Universal Records. In the summer of 2009 and 2010, Jillina was the first American to be invited as a featured performer in the prestigious closing gala at the Ahlan Wa Sahlan festival in Egypt.  Jillina is the owner of Evolution Dance Studios, located in Universal City, California, USA.

Paul Dinletir, Music Composer, is the co-founder of and lead composer for “audiomachine”, a boutique motion picture music production house, specializing in original music and sound design for the high-end trailer market. To create his signature sound, Paul records with the world’s top orchestras and musicians in exclusive spaces such as Skywalker Ranch and Air Studios of London. He has composed exclusive music for blockbuster campaigns such as The Hobbit, Avatar, Life of Pi, Hunger Games, 300 and Snow White and the Huntsman.  In creating original scores for Bellydance Evolution, Paul composes and records an emotional, dramatic soundtrack. He works side by side with the artistic director to bring the show to life and is an integral part of the creative process.


We Fall Down – We Get Up – May 17th and 18th


RG Dance Projects presents We Fall Down, We Get Up featuring three pieces from choreographer and Artistic Director Rubén Graciani on May 17, 2013 at 8pm and May 18, 2013 at 3pm and 8pm at the Martha Graham Center for Contemporary Dance’s Studio Theater at Westbeth, 55 Bethune Street, 11th Floor, NYC.  Tickets are $20 ($15 for students, seniors, and artists) and can be purchased here: buy-tickets-now


The evening will include two works from the repertory – Swing and a Miss set to music by Richard Danielpour and Rapture, a multi-media duet to the music of Debussy. The program culminates with the new work, We Fall Down, We Get Up – a larger work with 5 dancers, 24 singers from the Broadway Community Chorus, and a “living” set by Philip Treviño.

We Fall DownWe Fall Down, We Get Up is an extension of a work begun at Skidmore College about the boundaries of identity. The new work is an exploration of one’s boundaries; both those we create for ourselves and those we inherit. The work questions how much control we have over the “performance” of our identity if some of those identifying markers are more or less inherited and permanent. The singers will be part of a “living” set to which they are tethered, demarking the stage space with tangible boundaries for the dancers to either work through or be constrained by. The singers are not only performing with the dancers, but also creating and changing the dynamics of the performance space as a living, breathing set piece.

Rubén GracianiRubén Graciani has performed with the Mark Morris Dance Group (1994-1999), been a company member of the Kevin Wynn Collection, Company Stefanie Batten Bland, and the Joe Goode Performance Group, and has been a Guest Artist with the City Dance Ensemble and the Brian Brooks Moving Company, among many others. He holds a BFA from SUNY Purchase, and an MFA from University of Maryland-College Park. His work in dance film was profiled in the November 2012 issue of Dance Magazine. He is currently an Associate Professor at Skidmore College, and a Dance Panelist for the New York Council on the Arts.

RG Dance Projects was loosely formed in 2009, and was formalized with debut performances in the DanceNow Raw Materials show in April of 2012. The company performed at the International Woodwind Festival in July of 2012 – cementing our commitment to collaborating with other artists on performance projects. The company performed in the DanceNow Joe’s Pub Festival in September of 2012, winning the Audience Favorite Award for our evening. In February 2013, the company debuted at the CoolNY Festival, and in March, the Current Sessions Festival premiered a dance film project. The company had a residency at DanceNow SILO in Pennsylvania as a result of our Joe’s Pub performance. RG Dance Projects is ecstatic to be able to begin work on a spring season with such a prestigious award. They have also been invited to perform their season at Saratoga ArtsFest in June of 2013.

For more information, please visit www.RubenGraciani.com.