“La Traviata” – interview with Plácido Domingo and stars of LA Opera – Los Angeles opera theater review
September 5, 2014
“The Long Thread” – Painter Pam Douglas’ new exhibit now at TAG Gallery in Santa Monica – Los Angeles art exhibition review
September 9, 2014

The Australian Ballet Amber Scott and Adam Bull in Swan Lake. Photo by Liz Ham.

Tania Pérez-Salas Compañía de Danza.

Tania Pérez-Salas Compañía de Danza.

This Fall (and beyond…) a thrilling series of dance performances can be experienced in Downtown L.A.

During its eleven season history, Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center series has offered wide variety of American and international dance and ballet. This diversity continues in their 2014-2015 season, which takes place at three of the four major Music Center venues – the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Ahmanson Theatre and Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Premier of BalletNOWTM, whose Artistic Directors are international ballet stars Roberto Bolle and Herman Cornejo, featuring twenty of the world’s greatest dancers and including Bolle’s West Coast premier of his digital interactive work “Prototype” and the World Premier of Cornejo’s “Latin American Ballet Stars”; The Music Center premiere engagements of BalletBoyz® and Tania Pérez-Salas Compañía de Danza from Mexico; the West Coast premiere of The Australian Ballet’s celebrated “Swan Lake”; Alvin Ailey® American Dance Theater; Eifman Ballet of St. Peterburg; and a major revival of the Lucinda Childs-John Adams-Frank Gehry “Available Light,” the first co-presentation for Dance at The Music Center and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

The Australian Ballet opens the season October 9-12, 2014 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion with the West Coast Premiere of a new production of Swan Lake complete with live orchestra. The New York Times said, “The clever thing about this production, whose concept is by Graeme Murphy, Janet Vernon and Kristian Fredrikson, is that it links the modern legend of Diana, the Princess of Wales, to the central psychodrama of Tchaikovsky’s ballet… Tchaikovsky’s music, theatrically effective in all circumstances, does its stuff; the audience applauds heartily.”

 

The season continues with BalletBoyz®  (November 7-9, 2014) at the Ahmanson Theatre. The repertory for this program will include Russell Maliphant’s “Fallen,” which won the 2013 UK Critics’ Circle National   Dance Award for Best Modern Choreography.  The London Observer says, “BalletBoyz is a title Michael Nunn and William Trevitt never much wanted. But it’s stuck to them like glue ever since, in 1999, the two of them made a video diary for Channel 4 about life in the Royal Ballet, and somebody somewhere in the TV company decided that the project needed ‘youth’ appeal. Fourteen years and countless productions later, they’re certainly not boys, and their 10-strong, all-male company, The Talent, doesn’t do ballet. Instead, it does 21st-century choreography with a muscular and occasionally dangerous edge.” “This is dance at its most riveting and fearless.” (The Independent)

 

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Alvin Ailey® American Dance Theater will return to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion April 15-19, 2014 with six performances of mixed repertory, followed by Tania Pérez-Salas Compañía de Danza (May 15-17, 2014) at the Ahmanson Theatre.  Founded in 1994, Tania Pérez-Salas Compañía de Danza is based in Mexico City. Since starting her company, Tania Pérez-Salas has fast become Mexico’s premiere contemporary choreographer. The New York Times declares Pérez-Salas’s choreography possessed of an “intense theatricality,” and the Boston Globe says her work has a “searing brilliance.”

 

The season continues with Available Light, choreographed by Lucinda Childs, with set design by Frank Gehry and score by John Adams, June 5-6 at Walt Disney Concert Hall. This is the first co-presentation between Dance at The Music Center and the Los Angeles Philharmonic and a major reconstruction of the seminal work that was commissioned and had its world premiere in Los Angeles at the Museum of Contemporary Art in 1983.

 

Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg will bring Rodin, dedicated to the life and creative work of the great sculptor Auguste Rodin and his apprentice, lover and muse, Camille Claudel (June 12-14, 2015) at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. (Previously reviewed.)

 

The season concludes with American Ballet Theatre Principals Roberto Bolle and Herman Cornejo serving as Artistic Directors of two separate shows for BalletNOWTM , a new series featuring world-class ballet stars from Latin America and Europe. BalletNOWTM is a significant and unique endeavor of Bolle and Cornejo in collaboration with The Music Center. One program, curated by Cornejo, will feature major ballet stars from Latin America (World Premiere) and another, curated by Bolle, will highlight stars from Europe, many of whom are world renowned but making their first West Coast appearance.

 

Renae Williams Niles, Vice President of Programming, The Music Center, said, “We are excited to offer a dance season that brings extraordinary new experiences for our audiences and also honors our continuing association with the great choreographers and companies of the world. I am delighted to have the renowned Australian Ballet with their bold and fresh take on Swan Lake which is set to the music everyone knows and loves yet the distinct narrative makes the ballet current and relevant to potentially new dance audiences.”

Niles continued, “We are always thrilled when we can host renowned companies and artists presented for the first time in Los Angeles and at The Music Center.   This season we have three: the renowned Tania Pérez-Salas Compañía de Danza, the exuberant BalletBoyz®, and the newly created, three-performance BalletNOWTM engagement, with Robert Bolle and Herman Cornejo serving as Artistic Directors.   Eifman Ballet, one of our most requested companies, returns for the first time since 2005 with their celebrated Rodin. Alvin Ailey® American Dance Theater, one of the most popular dance companies to regularly perform at The Music Center, will make its seventh visit here for the upcoming season.”

“And finally we are pleased to collaborate with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the festival Next on Grand: Contemporary Americans, to bring Lucinda Childs, John Adams, and Frank Gehry together to reconstruct Available Light, which had its world premiere as part of the inaugural season of the Museum of Contemporary Art in 1983.”

 

For season ticket information, please call (213) 972-0711 or visit their official website.

Subscriptions are on-sale now.

 

The Australian Ballet Amber Scott and Adam Bull in Swan Lake. Photo by Liz Ham.

The Australian Ballet
Amber Scott and Adam Bull in Swan Lake. Photo by Liz Ham.

 

About the 2014-2015 Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center Season:

The Australian Ballet – Swan Lake

The 2014-2015 season begins in The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on October 9,10, 11 and 12, 2014 with the West Coast Premiere of The Australian Ballet’s  “Swan Lake” with live orchestra. The Herald Sun says of “Swan Lake,” whose concept is by Graeme Murphy, Janet Vernon and Kristian Fredrikson, “plenty to enjoy …  fans will love its familiar elements coupled with a handful of modern injections” and The Arts Hub says “… a spectacular production of a traditional favorite.”

Founded in 1962, The Australian Ballet is one of the country’s flagship arts companies, and for more than five decades has been the defining face of ballet in Australia. Each year it performs works from the classical repertoire as well as contemporary works by major Australian and international choreographers, and new commissions that explore the development and future of this dynamic art form. The Australian Ballet’s diverse repertoire reflects the company’s motto: caring for tradition, daring to be different.

One of the busiest ballet companies in the world, The Australian Ballet annually presents up to 200 performances in cities and regional areas around Australia, in addition to regular international touring. Recent tours include Paris, Manchester, Tokyo, Shanghai, Auckland, Cardiff and a season in London for which the company won the UK Critics’ Circle award for Best Foreign Dance Company.

 

BalletBoyz®

The 2014-2015 season continues at the Ahmanson Theatre with BalletBoyz® (November 7- 9, 2014).

With triumphant UK and international appearances on stage and screen, BalletBoyz® is one of the most cheekily original and innovative forces in modern dance and has thrilled audiences and critics the world over with its distinctive style, fusing spectacular dance, both energetic and graceful, with music and film. Their groundbreaking work earned them the 2013 UK Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for Best Independent Dance Company.  For this program, ten exceptional young male dancers were handpicked to perform by Artistic Directors and former Royal Ballet lead dancers Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, the original BalletBoyz. The repertory for The Music Center engagement will include “Fallen,” choreographed by Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Russell Maliphant, winner of the UK Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for Best Modern Choreography. The Observer called “Fallen” a “darkly thrilling” display of grace and power, featuring a specially composed score by award-winning French cinema composer Armand Amar.  Rounding out the program is “Serpent” choreographed by Liam Scarlett, who was made The Royal Ballet’s first Artist in Residence in November 2012 and is fast becoming a world-renowned choreographer, with acclaimed works created for The Royal Ballet and other leading international companies. “Serpent” is Liam Scarlett’s first commission for BalletBoyz®, and his first choreographed work to use contemporary dancers. A beautiful study of union and virtuosity, it features a haunting score by acclaimed UK composer Max Richter. Both works feature “exquisite lighting” (The Times) by Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Michael Hulls.

BalletBoyz® was founded in 2001 by Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, previous lead dancers with The Royal Ballet. This innovative new company has made a dramatic mark on the British dance scene thrilling audiences and dance critics alike with its exhilarating mix of award winning repertoire, performance style and high artistic standards combining multimedia with contemporary dance. These are the rebels of ballet appealing to a wider audience than ever before.  Having appeared as guest judges on Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance, Nunn and Trevitt recently finished presenting A CHANCE TO DANCE, a 7 part dance series for the Ovation Network in the U.S.

 

Alvin Ailey® American Dance Theater (April 15-19, 2015) will make a return to The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion with six performances of mixed repertory.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater grew from a now-fabled performance in March 1958 at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. Led by Alvin Ailey and a group of young African-American modern dancers, that performance changed forever the perception of American dance. The Ailey company has gone on to perform for an estimated 25 million people at theaters in 48 states and 71 countries on six continents — as well as millions more through television broadcasts. In 2008, a U.S. Congressional resolution designated the Company as “a vital American cultural ambassador to the world,” one that celebrates the uniqueness of the African-American cultural experience and the preservation and enrichment of the American modern dance heritage. When Mr. Ailey began creating dances, he drew upon his “blood memories” of Texas, the blues, spirituals and gospel as inspiration, which resulted in the creation of his most popular and critically acclaimed work, “Revelations.”  Although he created 79 ballets over his lifetime, Mr. Ailey maintained that his company was not exclusively a repository for his own work. Today, the Company continues Mr. Ailey’s mission by presenting important works of the past and commissioning new ones. In all, more than 235 works by over 90 choreographers are part of the Ailey company’s repertory. Before his untimely death in 1989, Alvin Ailey designated Judith Jamison as his successor, and over the next 21 years, she brought the Company to unprecedented success. Ms. Jamison, in turn, personally selected Robert Battle to succeed her in 2011, and The New York Times declared he “has injected the company with new life.” Artistic Director Robert Battle continues to expand the Company’s diverse repertory with premieres and new productions representing a wide range of important choreographic voices giving Ailey’s 30 extraordinary dancers new ways to inspire audiences.

 

 

Tania Pérez-Salas Compañía de Danza

Making their Music Center Debut, Tania Pérez-Salas Compañía de Danza is the next season offering May 15-17, 2015 with 3 performances in the Ahmanson Theatre. Pérez -Salas has fast become Mexico’s premiere contemporary choreographer; her company has performed worldwide including tours throughout Mexico, the United States, Canada, South America, China, the Middle East and Europe.

Tania Pérez-Salas has worked in dance, theater, and television as television presenter, dancer, and choreographer.  She is one of Mexico’s most highly acclaimed figures on the contemporary dance scene, and is the recipient of several awards including Best Female Performer in the National Dance Competition in Mexico City, Mexico’s National and Continental Prizes for Choreography, and the award for best choreography at Mexico’s International San Luis Potosi Festival.  Her work has been commissioned and presented by the Mexican Fund for Culture, the 2002 Biennale de la Danse in Lyon, France and performed at venues including The Kennedy Center, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, New York City Center, and The Great Theatre of Shanghai during the International Shanghai Festival of the Performing Arts.

 

Available Light, choreographed by Lucinda Childs, with set design by Frank Gehry and score by John Adams is the first co-presentation between the Dance series and the LA Phil and will have two performances only in Walt Disney Concert Hall June 5-6, 2015 as an add-on to the dance season. The work is presented as a part of Next on Grand: Contemporary Americans, an ambitious, collaborative festival across Grand Avenue’s arts corridor. This new production is a major reconstruction of the seminal work that was commissioned and had its world premiere to open MOCA’s Temporary Contemporary, 31 years ago in Los Angeles. Performing to Adam’s original tape score, a company of 12 dancers, who have been working with Childs for two years on Einstein on the Beach, will bring to life refreshed choreography in Gehry’s reimagined set for this landmark hour-long work.

Lucinda Childs is one of America’s most important modern choreographers. She began her career as choreographer and performer in 1963 as an original member of the Judson Dance Theater in New York. After forming her own dance company in 1973, Ms. Childs collaborated with Robert Wilson and Philip Glass on the opera Einstein on the Beach in 1976 participating as principal performer and solo choreographer for which she received an Obie award. Childs has appeared in five of Wilson’s major productions.

Since 1979, Ms. Childs has collaborated with a number of composers and designers, on a series of large-scale productions. Ms. Childs has received a number of commissions from major ballet companies and has choreographed and directed several opera productions including: Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice for the Los Angeles Opera, Mozart’s Zaide for La Monnaie in Brussels, Stravinsky’s Le Rossignol et Oedipe, Vivaldi’s Farnace, and a new production of John Adams Dr Atomic for the Opera du Rhin in 2014. Childs received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1979. She is also the recipient of the NEA/NEFA American Masterpiece Award, and in 2004 she was elevated from the rank of Officer to Commander in France’s Order of Arts and Letters.

 

Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg will return to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for 3 performances of Rodin June 12-14, 2015. The ballet is dedicated to the life and creative work of the great sculptor Auguste Rodin and his apprentice, lover and muse, Camille Claudel.

Keeping in line with the mission to promote Russian contemporary choreographic art, Eifman Ballet has been actively engaged in touring all over the world. The Company’s touring geography includes, besides Russia, many countries such as China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Israel, Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, Switzerland, South Korea, Spain, USA, and others. The Theater’s current repertoire includes world-acclaimed ballets “Tchaikovsky” (1993), “I, Don Quixote” (1994), “The Karamazovs” (1995), “Red Giselle” (1997), “My Jerusalem” (1998), “Russian Hamlet” (1999), “Don Juan, or Moliere Passion” (2001), “WHO is WHO” (2003), “Musagete” (2004), “Anna Karenina” (2005), “The Seagull” (2007), “Onegin” (2009), “Rodin” (2011), “Beyond Sin / Karamazovs” (2013). The most recent ballet “Requiem” was premiered in St. Petersburg in January 2014.

The company presents the ballets of Boris Eifman on the world’s most prestigious theatre stages like the London Coliseum, New York City Center, Paris Theatre des Champs d’Elysees, the Bolshoi theatre, Berlin Staatsoper, Teatro Arcimboldi La Scala and many more.

 

BalletNOWTM (Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 3 performances July 10-12, 2015) is a significant endeavor and first time partnership with dance stars Roberto Bolle and Herman Cornejo stepping into the roles of Artistic Directors working with collegaues and friends from around the world.  One program will feature major ballet stars from Latin America (World Premiere) and another will highlight stars from Europe, many who are world renowned but making their first West Coast appearance.

Roberto Bolle is regarded as one of the greatest danseur nobles and sophisticated partners in the world with whom numerous leading ballerinas are thrilled to dance. For his handsome features, perfect physique and great artistry, he is often likened to “Dancing Greek Sculpture”. Bolle joined La Scala Ballet Company in Milan in 1994. After just two years, his performance as Romeo in “Romeo and Juliet” was acclaimed and he was promoted to a Principal Dancer by Elisabetta Terabust who was the Director of Ballet at the time. The promotion led to many opportunities to dance outside Italy. While he has danced regularly at his home theatre La Scala and throughout Italy, in addition he has performed extensively in many countries by invitations of world-famous ballet companies such as Bolshoi Ballet, Mariinsky Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Great Britain’s Royal Ballet, and others.  He is now Etoile at La Scala Theatre and also a Principal Dancer with the American Ballet Theatre. Since 1999 he has been a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF.

Herman Cornejo was born in Argentina.  He began his ballet studies in Buenos Aires at Teatro Colon’s Instituto Superior de Arte and continued his studies at the School of American Ballet in New York.  In 1997, he won the Gold Medal at the VIII International Dance Competition in Moscow.  Mr. Cornejo has performed with Julio Bocca’s Ballet Argentino and has appeared as a Guest Artist with New York City Ballet, Boston Ballet, Cuban Contemporary Dance Company, Teatro Argentino de La Plata, Barcelona Ballet, Ballett Dortmund and at numerous galas around the world. In 1999, he joined American Ballet Theatre and was promoted to Principal Dancer in 2003. Mr. Cornejo has received multiple nominations, awards and distinctions. Among them, Peace Messenger from UNESCO; Dancer of the Year by The New York Times; a Latin idol by Hispanic magazine; Benois de la Danse Prize in 2005 and 2013; the Mr. Expressivity prize at the Dance Open Festival in St Petersburg in 2010 and 2013; Argentinian Pride Award by the Argentinian Culture Center; and winner of The Bessie’s prize presented by the NY Dance & Performance League in 2013 in New York.

 

About Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center

Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center is one of the leading presenters of dance on the West Coast.  The celebrated series offers significant works by prestigious ballet and contemporary dance artists from around the world.  Entering its second decade, Dance at The Music Center continues to be a powerful commissioning force through the support of new works and artists-in-residence projects by today’s most influential companies and choreographers.  Performances take place throughout The Music Center, from the historic Dorothy Chandler Pavilion to the iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall, providing the ideal setting for distinct and inspiring dance experiences.

 

About The Music Center

The Music Center is one of the largest and most highly regarded performing arts centers in the country, creating a cultural hub that is central to LA’s status as “the creative capital” of the world. It is home to four world-class resident companies— Center Theatre Group, LA Opera, LA Phil and the Los Angeles Master Chorale—and is recognized for its illustrious dance programming, Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center. The Music Center’s 22-acre campus includes four iconic venues: The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Mark Taper Forum and the Ahmanson Theater, as well as The Music Center Plaza and the newly opened Grand Park. Each year, more than two million people enjoy live performances and free community arts events at The Music Center. In its effort to extend the reach and accessibility of the performing arts, The Music Center is a national model for arts experiences in which people participate directly through its Active Arts® programming. In addition, The Music Center presents special productions, events and festivals for children and families, including World City™ which takes place in the Keck Amphitheatre at Walt Disney Concert Hall. The Music Center is nationally recognized as a leader in arts education, providing resources to students and teachers in schools and community centers throughout the region. The Music Center was developed as a public-private partnership with Los Angeles County and through the support of the Board of Supervisors, plays an important role in the successful operation of The Music Center.

 

 

 

Pauline Adamek
Pauline Adamek
Pauline Adamek is a Los Angeles-based arts enthusiast with twenty-five years' experience covering International Film Festivals and reviewing new Theatre, Film and Restaurants.

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