Jumping from cutting edge to cutting edge beyond the beach on the Westside these seemingly endless rainy days; last weekend it was the UCLA’s Center for the Performing Arts in Westwood and this weekend the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills
And in doing so, one must jump with caution, for cutting edges can be both sharp and dull, challenging the senses, and on stage the theatrical norms, as I observe in The Local and select social media websites.
So, if last weekend’s production of “Mouthpiece” at Royce Hall was an offbeat production of the spoken word, requiring listening carefully to the rush of feminist dialogue, this weekend’s dance concert at the Wallis requires close attention to the body movements and accompanying music.
In keeping with its commitment to “create, present and celebrate unique performing arts events, “ and to tap talent from “around the globe,” on stage at the Wallis this Friday and Saturday night will be the dance company Ate9, which has deep roots in Israel. Live music will be provided by percussionist Glenn Kotche..
Under the always inventive direction of choreographer Danielle Agami, the company will be performing the world premier of a work labeled “Blind Lady, “ which should give you some hints of the dance drama to be played out on stage. Agami will of course star, to live music as usual for her performances provided by the percussionist Glenn Kotche.
Interestingly, also on the program is the company’s acclaimed piece “Calling Glenn,” which alludes to the percussionist, who accompanies the piece and no doubt will be a presence. It should be fun, and I’m looking forward to the performance.
As for its pursuit of distinctive musical performances, next weekend, Saturday, the 23rd, at the Wallis will be the chamber orchestra Kaleidoscope. As its mode, the orchestra’s 40 or so musicians will play without a conductor a program of Beethoven and Prokofiev, featuring pianist Irene Kim.
And in keeping with the Wallis commitment to the new, also on the program is a work for strings by the Pulitzer Prize winning composer Caroline Shaw. She has been praised for taping songs for political and interpersonal relevance, to quote a line from a New York Times review.
If you love expecting the unexpected in the performing arts, you have to love the Wallis, in Beverly Hills.
And for me making an evening there all the more pleasing, is that the Wallis is housed in an imaginatively repurposed formerly Beverly Hills Post Office, an iconic landmark built in 1933, and on the National Register of Historic Places.