HIGH TECH, HIGH ART IN A LANDMARK THEATRE

I’m making an exception for a limited engagement high tech, high art performance in a revitalized landmark theatre in Hollywood, as I explain in my weekly arts and entertainment commentary for 97.5 KBU, radiomalibu.net and select websites.

I usually prefer first experiencing the productions, exhibits and assorted offering I comment on, before recommending them, or not.

But since the production labeled Proxima will be at the Ricardo Montalban Theatre, a few steps south of Hollywood and Vine, for just three days, this evening, tomorrow and Sunday, I made an exception.

Prompting me was that the performance promises something distinctly different, which I tend to welcome, for whatever different is and does, it expands my critical context.

The cutting edge sometimes cuts both ways, and evenings can become forgettable, as well as memorable.

Proxima is being promoted as a unique futuristic melding of acrobatic dance in a bombardment of digital projections, composed of colorful, geometric designs.

The performance is by a Tokyo based dance company entitled Enra, a name with roots in the mythical shape shifting and smoke-like Japanese spirit called “enenra.”

And like a shape shifter lurking in a thick cloud, you have to catch a glimpse of it while you can. You may not like it, but you’ll never know if you don’t see it.

In this case, you can check it out, as I did, on You Tube, where its performance for Tokyo’s 2020 Olympic bid went viral. For happenings like this you have to love YouTube. Key word, ENRA. There are several performance pieces that can be chosen.

But seeing Enra live promises something special, particularly for performing in the Montalban. It is an eyeful, the theatre having been designed in the gilded Beaux Arts style by the renowned architect of his time, Myron Hunt.

Built in 1926, it has persevered over the years, and is one of the few remaining mid-sized and fully equipped proscenium theaters in Los Angeles, with excellent sightlines and acoustics No doubt from what I could tell from the You Tube teases, they, and the human form of the dancers, will tested by Proxima.

 

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hallkaplan

Parallel careers as an urban planner and a journalist, principally at present airing commentaries on pubic radio 99.1 KBU.FM The many arrows in my quiver have included Emmy award winning reporter/ producer for local Fox Television News, design critic for the Los Angeles Times, urban affairs reporter for The New York Times, an editor of The New York Post, contributor to various popular and professional publications, news services and broadcast outlets, including Reuters, NET, NBC, CBS, NPR and the BBC. Founding editor of the East Harlem (NY) Independent. A diversity of professional positions and consultancies in the private and public sectors, (Metro, Disney Imagineering, Howard Hughes, M. Milken, NYC Educational Construction Fund, US Comptroller of the Currency etc,) assorted academic appointments (UCLA, USC, CCNY, Art Center etc.), and always open to new challenge. And let us not forget fashioning sand castles and acting on 90210, crafting TV docs, design reviews, master plans. Books: "The Dream Deferred: People, Politics and Planning in Suburbia," "L.A. Lost and Found," an architectural history of Los Angeles, "L.A. Follies," a collection of essays, and co-author of "The New York City Handbook." Writings have appeared in academic texts, commentaries on the web, scripts for TV, and wherever, latest the Architects Newspaper, The Planning Report and Planetizen.

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