L.A.'s Drool-Worthy Dance Season
Los Angeles's concert dance renaissance is hitting a new high this fall.
L.A. Dance Project (photo by Laurent Philippe)
The city will host one of the coolest performances we've heard about all year: A program next month featuring Ate9 dANCE cOMPANY, BODYTRAFFIC and L.A. Dance Project. Each was commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic—which will be playing live—for a show in the iconic, 17,500-seat outdoor Hollywood Bowl.
Say what?! That's huge!
Although contemporary dance is by no means new to Los Angeles, in the past few years, these three powerhouse companies based in L.A. have drawn national—and international—attention with major tours, amazingly versatile dancers and buzz-worthy choreography. Just last month, I was blown away by the incredible level of the LADP dancers, who not only tackled Justin Peck and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui choreography brilliantly, but breathed new life into rarely-seen Graham duets with fresh, expansive dancing (and great costumes by Janie Taylor). BODYTRAFFIC—which recently picked up some former Cedar Lake dancers—has continued to curate one of the most interesting reps in the country, counting Victor Quijada, Joshua L. Peugh, Hofesh Shechter and Kyle Abraham among its choreographers. And then there's the innovative Danielle Agami who's made Ate9 into a kookier, younger, American version of Batsheva.
Photo via ate9dancecompany.com
Sofiane Sylve and Carlo Di Lanno in Forsythe's Pas/Parts 2016.
(© Erik Tomasson)
But Los Angeles can also now claim to be home (at least part-time) to a singular dance legend: William Forsythe. The USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance faculty member is being celebrated in a major way this season with a month-long Fall For Forsythe festival throughout the city. Think site-specific performances, intimate conversations, open rehearsals and—best of all—a shared program of Forsythe choreography danced by San Francisco Ballet (Pas/Parts 2016), Pacific Northwest Ballet (The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude) and Houston Ballet (Artifact Suite). Read more about it in Dance Magazine's Fall Preview in our September issue.
As if that weren't enough, Mikhailovsky Ballet, Akram Khan Company, American Ballet Theatre, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Deborah Hay, Cullberg Ballet, Ragamala Dance Company, Lucinda Childs Dance, Urban Bush Women and CONTRA-TIEMPO all have performances scheduled in the Los Angeles area this fall.
No one can say this city doesn't love dance.
More than once, when I'm sporting my faded, well-loved ballet hoodie, some slight variation of this conversation ensues:
"Is your daughter the dancer?"
"Actually," I say, "I am."
"Wow!" they enthuse. "Who do you dance with? Or have you retired...?"
"I don't dance with a company. I'm not a professional. I just take classes."
Insert mic drop/record scratch/quizzical looks.
You nominated your favorite dance moments so far in 2019, and we narrowed them down to this list. Now it's time to cast your vote to help decide who will be deemed our Readers' Choice picks for the year!
Voting is open until September 17th. Only one vote per person will be counted.
Just four years ago, the University of Southern California's Glorya Kaufman School of Dance welcomed its first class of BFA students. The program—which boasts world-class faculty and a revolutionary approach to training focused on collaboration and hybridity—immediately established itself as one of the country's most prestigious and most innovative.
Now, the first graduating class is entering the dance field. Here, six of the 33 graduates share what they're doing post-grad, what made their experience at USC Kaufman so meaningful and how it prepared them for their next steps:
The 2019–20 season is here, and with it more performances than any one person could reasonably catch. But fear not: We polled our writers and editors and selected the 31 most promising tickets, adding up to one endlessly intriguing year of dance.