Once again I’m braving the traffic on the dreaded PCH, and weaving my way through a congested Santa Monica, and Westwood, to Beverly Hills, and to what is becoming one of my choice cultural venues.: the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.
Upcoming on the center’s schedule is a dance program by the celebrated British choreographer, Mathew Bourne,, entitled Early Adventures, running Wednesday May 17th through Sunday the 21st.
Having heard much about Bourne but never having seen him, I am looking forward to a singular program that features his early works, said to be witty and spectacular. It will be Bourne’s only U.S. appearance this spring, happily in \an inviting venue .
The former Beverly Hills Post Office has been imaginatively recycled into two distinct theatres: the Bram Goldsmith, containing 500 seats but with a rake that leaves no seat more than 50 feet from the stage. Sight lines are great, complemented by pitch perfect acoustics, making it particularly suitable for dance.
More intimate is the Lovelace Studio Theatre, with flexible space and traditional theatre seating and also cabaret style seating.
The parking at the Wallis is also accessible and reasonable , and being closer to Malibu, you do noy have to take the terrible 10.
As for the Wallis’ laudable commitment to dance, the Bourne troupe follows a classic program, last weekend that celebrated the Paul Taylor Dance Company.
Featured was three familiar favorites under the direction of the master himself, now a venerable 86. It was a trip back in time for his many fans.
The program opened with the 1987 work entitled “Syzgy,” which is an astronomical term for celestial bodies at opposite points in an orbit. As one can imagine, the choreography was energetic and athletic, the dancers pliable and playful, lots of squiggly arms and legs, singularly and in chorus, exhausting and entertaining. Loved it.
It was followed by the more somber 1998 piece,“The Word,” a dark score and grim. It sent shiver through me.
In contrast, the last piece was more joyful, entitled “Esplande, created in 1975. ” a celebration of everyday movement in a public space teeming with dancers, echoing with the music of J.S. Bach . You left the theatre uplifted and smiling.