In light of our latest event – a tango lesson with the professional dancers of Guillermina Quiroga – I thought a look at the LA dance scene was appropriate. The meeting place of a wide array of cultures, Los Angeles is a city diverse in it’s food, art, and lifestyles, yet the emphasis is rarely on the varieties of dance it fosters. UCLAlive does its fair share, bringing contemporary dance troupe Batsheva Dance Company (check them out Feb 28 and March 1 in Royce) and Los Farruco, flamenco extraordinaries (March 3-4, Royce). But there are only so many acts that can perform in Royce or on Fox’s hit show “So You Think You Can Dance?” and with a city teeming with young dance talents trying to make it big there’s an abundance of independent dance company’s showcasing any imaginable style of dance.
Perhaps you’ve seen the American Apparel ad with spandex-clad women creating a kaleidoscope of shapes with their brightly colored legs as discoteque music pumps in the background. Those talented young ladies are part of the LA Contemporary Dance Company based in on nearby Sunset Blvd. The non-profit company, created by two USC students (don’t hold that against the group) “performs a diverse repertoire of modern, ballet, and jazz influenced works representative of L.A.’s vibrant culture,” according to their website. The troupe clearly is very polished and professional, providing quality dance to the LA community.
The American Apparel ad is just too fun!
“Spring 2008 Preview” is long, but has some really neat video-editing going on.
Hysteria Dance Company has a similarly eclectic taste, but with more of a contemporary vibe. The troupe, which defines itself as “pop-influenced, theatrically driven,” aims to create “original dance reflective of the current cultural landscape,” as their website describes. They clearly strive to differ from the standard dance routines (as exemplified in “Aphlex”) and do so with exquisite form and technique, maintaining a high quality despite sometimes bizarre routines.
This video, entitled “Aphlex” is a bit too abstract for me, but give it a look if just for amusement purposes.
“Crush” is a bit more understandable with something of a storyline that the title betrays. Beautiful moves.
If you, the apathetic student, don’t envision yourself getting off your tuchas and to a dance event in the greater-L.A. area, have I got the show for you! Every year UCLA’s World Arts and Culture Department puts on WAC Smash!, a showcase of the dance talents UCLA fosters. It is, in the words of it’s Facebook event, “an eclectic evening of dance, film, spoken word, and visual art by the undergraduate students of the department of World Arts and Cultures.” The event is free for all and right on campus in the Gloria Kaufman Dance Theater (That gorgeous building between Anderson and the SAC. A word to the wise, the bathrooms in there are the best on campus.)
There are four performances:
- Friday, February, 20 at 8pm
- Saturday, February 21 at 2pm
- and 8pm Sunday, February 22 at 6pm
Tickets are available from CTO or at the door. Check out the Facebook event page: