When it comes to attending cultural events in L.A. , and wanting to avoid the increasingly taxing trip downtown, particularly attractive to me is the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing arts in Beverly Hills.
And happily for dance aficionados, upcoming at the Wallis next weekend, May 5, 6 and 7, are three special dance performances by the always engaging, and challenging, Paul Taylor Company.
As I comment on public radio 97.5 KBUU and select websites, I may not be able to do anything about the traffic, no waze short cuts to the center on Santa Monica Blvd. But I can suggest scoring tickets early, for the performances promise to be sell-outs, as they are wherever the company appears.
The program for the Wallis features 3 distinctive pieces,: SYZYGY, which is described as a nearly straight line configuration of three or more celestial bodies in a gravitational system; THE WORD, inspired by the biblical line, “For our God is consuming fire -,” and the classic, ESPLANADE, danced to the music of J.S, Bach.
At 84 years old, Paul Taylor is a celebrated icon of dance, his company having performed for more than 60 years. and as observed by Wallis artistic director, Paul Crewes, “continues to this day to shape modern dance.”
This follows the recent performances by the equally iconic Alvin Ailey dance company , downtown. The program was stunning, but the stop-and-go drive getting there was awful.
True, the driving to the Wallis also calls for patience, coming as we do from Malibu and Pt. Dume. There is always the unpredictable drive on the PCH and having to weave on local streets to Beverly Hills.
But for me that is so much better than going to the music center downtown, whether by the agonizing slow expo line or the forever frustrating freeways.
You want to be culturally au courant. I was nurtured in my native New York on art, music, dance and the theatre, and have been increasingly pleased, at times dazzled, by the array of artistic attractions in L.A.
But getting to them has also been increasingly difficult. And forget going to the ridiculous pricey Dodger Stadium with the family, even if you sneak in snacks and drinks.
Yes, I have to declare that traffic in L.A. has become the tail that wags the arts and entertainment dog.