CULTURAL CUTTING EDGES ON THE WESTSIDE

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.

2.13.19

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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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