If the arts and entertainment do anything for me, it engages, excites and expands the mind, be it the theater, film,, painting, sculpting, music or dance, as I comment this week on radio malibu, 99.1 KBU and select websites.
Note new and stronger signal, out to all of Malibu!
Dance in particular I’ve always found challenging, combining as it does music and movement, a feast for the ears, and eyes, and being an aging mesomorph, I am always amazed seeing what the body can do.
Prompting this thought was the premiere performance last weekend at the UCLA ‘s Royce Hall of “calling glenn,” a work by the ever-experimental dance company AteNine, and and supported by the ever-encouraging UCLA Center for the Art of Performance.
It was choreographed and directed by Israeli-trained and now L.A. based Danielle Agami, who not incidentally was one of the ten dancers who athletically and with grace cavorted on stage to the original music of Glenn Kotche.
While each talented dancers made distinct solo statements, none really stood out, not even when isolated by staging or costume, for the 70 minute piece was very much a collaboration, either as duos, a foursome, or a troop scrambling in concert.
What props there were you could have guessed: simple chairs the dancers on occasion sat in and dueled with. And microphone stands they grasped and fought over.
At times the choreography looked chaotic, but obviously wasn’t. The technique displayed was awesome, the unpredictable changes in rhythm challenging, and the multiple and simultaneous actions I felt celebrated a welcomed expressive freedom: what contemporary dance is all about.
And it was riveting.
Somehow the dancers kept pace to the percussionist punctuated music, or perhaps it was the music performed by an energetic Kotche that somehow kept pace with the dancers.
And then in the midst of a segment, there was silence, which had the effect of lending a sharp focus on the non-stop performers. Very legendary composer John Cage and dance choreographer Merce Cunningham inspired
At the abrupt end of the performance, the dancers appeared spent, and so was the audience. But not so much as not to give the dance company and Agami a standing , rousing ovation.
You left Royce elated, and looking forward to the next delight from UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance.