Tag Archives: Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA (CAP UCLA)

FOUR QUARTETS — TANOWITZ, MARDEN, SAARIAHO

If I am right to think this is the greatest creation of dance theater so far this century, we’re fortunate that FOUR QUARTETS will travel to other stages. I long to become more deeply acquainted with the many layers of its stage poetry.Alastair Macaulay

In great demand and at the height of her powers, Pam Tanowitz creates work that bridges contemporary dance and ballet. Her FOUR QUARTETS—the most acclaimed dance work of the past two decades—is a collaboration with Brice Marden, who created the set images, and composer Kaija Saariaho.

The title refers to T. S. Eliot’s poetry cycle, which provided the inspiration and text for the work, read in performance by Kathleen Chalfant.

This weekend, CAP UCLA presents two performances of FOUR QUARTETS at Royce Hall. Dancers include Kara Chan, Jason Collins, Dylan Crossman, Christine Flores, Zachary Gonder, Lindsey Jones, Victor Lozano, Maile Okamura, and Melissa Toogood.

The scenic and lighting design is by Clifton Taylor, the costume design by Reid Bartelme and Harriet Jung, and the sound design by Jean-Baptiste Barriére. Saariaho’s music will be performed by The Knights.

PAM TANOWITZ, BRICE MARDEN, and KAIJA SAARIAHO—FOUR QUARTETS

Saturday, February 15, at 8 pm.

Sunday, February 16, at 3 pm.

Royce Hall, UCLA

10745 Dickson Court, Los Angeles.

Pam Tanowitz, Brice Marden, Kaija Saariaho, Four Quartets, in performance. Photographs by Maria Baranova. Images courtesy and © the artists, the dancers, the photographer, and CAP UCLA.

MICHAEL KEEGAN-DOLAN’S SWAN LAKE

Matthew Bourne, with his aggressive male swans and nightclub scenes, took Swan Lake in one direction. Michael Keegan-Dolan’s short, Tchaikovsky-free take—LOCH NA HEALA (SWAN LAKE)—goes somewhere else altogether. Inspired by a number of folktales, including “The Children of Lir,” and updated to present-day Ireland, Keegan-Dolan gives us predatory priests, suicidal depressives, and Mikel Murfi as a goat, leading up to an exhilarating, shambolic climax.

This dance-theater-performance art hybrid—performed by Keegan-Dolan’s company, Teaċ Daṁsa, and co-presented by UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance and the Ford Theatres—will be at Royce Hall for one night only. The trio Slow Moving Clouds will perform their score onstage.

LOCH NA HEALA (SWAN LAKE)

Saturday, November 9, at 8 pm.

Royce Hall, UCLA

10745 Dickson Court, Los Angeles.

Michael Keegan-Dolan / Teaċ Daṁsa, Loch na hEala (Swan Lake), November 9, 2019, Royce Hall, UCLA, from top: Rachel Poirier (left) and Alex Leonhartsberger (foreground); Michael Murfi, (left) Leonhartsberger (sitting), Erik Nevin, Zen Jefferson and Keir Patrick; Leonhartsberger (left), Patrick, Murfi, Nevin, Jefferson, and Dr. Elizabeth Cameron Dalman; Murfi, Nevin, Dalman, and Patrick; Poirier, Latisha Sparks, Carys Staton, and Anna Kaszuba. Photographs by Reed Hutchinson, images courtesy and © the photographer, the choreographer, the artists, and CAP UCLA.

THE DAY AT ROYCE HALL

THE DAY—a performative investigation of the diurnal rhythms of life and what comes after—is a superlative collaboration between avant-garde cellist Maya Beiser (who conceived the work), dancer Wendy Whelan, composer David Lang, and legendary choreographer Lucinda Childs.

When [Childs started] choreographing dances, in 1968, it was with the predilection for keeping the movement vocabulary relatively simple, seeking complexity elsewhere—in the intricate design of spatial forms and in timing. But in the music-based works choreographed since 1979, which propose a much more complex movement vocabulary, Childs has broken radically with the anti-ballet aesthetic of the other ex- or neo-Duchampian choreographers with whom she has been grouped.

Of all the adepts of the rigorously modern among contemporary choreographers, she has the subtlest and most fastidious relation to classical dance… Childs does not feed balletic movements and positions into an eclectic mix but wholly transforms and reinterprets them. In this, as in other matters, she is adamantly anti-collage.Susan Sontag*

THE DAY was commissioned by Théâtre de la Ville in Paris, Carolina Performing Arts at the University of North Carolina, Jacob’s Pillow, the Joyce Theater, and CAP UCLA, and will be performed by Beiser and Whelan twice this weekend at Royce Hall.

THE DAY

Friday and Saturday, October 18 and 19, at 8 pm.

Royce Hall, UCLA

10745 Dickson Court, Los Angeles.

*Susan Sontag, “A Lexicon for Available Light,” Art in America, December 1983. Collected in Where the Stress Falls (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2001). Reprinted in Susan Sontag: Later Essays (New York: Library of America, 2017), 364–379.

The Day, Maya Beiser, Wendy Whelan, David Lang, Lucinda Childs: Beiser and Whelan in performance, photographs by Nils Schlebusch. Images courtesy and © the artists, the photographer, and CAP UCLA.

217 BOXES OF DR. HENRY ANONYMOUS

I am homosexual, I am a psychiatrist. I, like most of you in this room, am a member of the [American Psychiatric Association] and am proud of that membership. However, tonight, I am insofar as it is possible, a we.— Dr. John E. Fryer, aka Dr. Henry Anonymous

So began Dr. Fryer’s 1972 speech at the APA convention in Dallas. Wearing a rubber mask and speaking through a voice-altering device, Fryer anonymously addressed a panel titled Psychiatry: Friend or Foe to the Homosexual? A Dialogue.

(Since 1952, the APA had classified homosexuality as a “sociopathic personality disorder”—a diagnosis, paradoxically, welcomed at the time by many in the gay community, who saw it as a step up from the then prevailing view of queerness as a criminal perversion.)

Dr. Fryer was convinced he needed his disguise to keep medical license, but his courageous speech struck the convention like a bolt of lightening, and the following year the APA removed homosexuality from its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Writer-director Ain Gordon went through Dr. Fryer’s personal papers to create 217 BOXES OF DR. HENRY ANONYMOUS, onstage this weekend at UCLA’s Freud Playhouse. This conceptual theater piece focuses on three people in Dr. Fryer’s life: his secretary Katherine M. Luder (played by Laura Esterman), his father Ercel Fryer (Ken Marks), and one of his patients, Alfred A. Gross (Derek Lucci)—a fascinating character who, among other things, assisted doctors working with the Selective Service System to weed out potential gay troops leading up to World War II, during which time Gross was accused of “fraternization” with a number of his interlocutors.

217 BOXES OF DR. HENRY ANONYMOUS

Friday, October 11, at 8 pm.

Saturday, October 12, at 3 pm and 8 pm.

Freud Playhouse, UCLA

245 Charles E. Young Drive East, Los Angeles.

Ain Gordon, 217 Boxes of Dr. Henry Anonymous, from top: Derek Lucci; Dr. John E. Fryer (right) at the 1972 APA convention in Dallas; Lucci; Laura Esterman(2); Ken Marks, with rear projection of Dr. Fryer. Lucci (top) and Marks photographs by Paula Court. Images courtesy and © the performers, the photographers, and CAP UCLA.

ADAM LINDER AT REDCAT

Playwright Bernard-Marie Koltès (1948–1989)—a key figure in French postwar drama—believed that dramatic action is always transactional because, writes stage director and Koltès scholar Fabrice Conte, “characters can only interact within the context of a form of negotiation.”

The relationship between the Client and Dealer in Koltès’ play Dans la solitude des champs de coton was the impetus for Adam Linder‘s contemporary opera THE WANT—at Redcat this week in its premiere Los Angeles engagement.

THE WANT will be performed by Jess Gadani, Justin F. Kennedy, Jasmine Orpilla, and Roger Sala Reyner.

Ethan Braun wrote the music and the lighting design is by Shahryar Nashat. The Los Angeles production is co-presented by CAP UCLA.

Working on projects in which our roles interweave, we don’t start with Shahryar as the maker of sculptures or of moving images. Because he’s worked in those mediums, his way of thinking has a particular texture. And because I’ve worked in performing arts and with liveness and theater, my way of thinking has a specific texture.

What interests us is how these textures either complement or productively resist each other. It’s not about the formal outcome of these mediums being combined. And that’s where I would ontologically separate our way of working together from the notion of the “interdisciplinary.” We don’t care about disciplines meeting, but about our sensibilities crisscrossing.Adam Linder

The reason why Adam and I say we never collaborate and are not interested in doing so is that we don’t really make work together. When he comes to me asking if I would do the stage design for a piece he’s making, I’m happy to work within his concept and apply my skills to his vision. For an artist, it can be playful to have these limitations—in an applied arts versus visual arts kind of way. Adam becomes a bit like my client. — Shahryar Nashat

ADAM LINDER—THE WANT

Thursday through Saturday, September 19, 20, and 21, at 8:30 pm.

Sunday, September 22, at 7 pm.

Redcat

631 West 2nd Street, downtown Los Angeles.

Linder and Nashat quotes are from their 2018 Bomb interview by Aram Moshayedi.

Adam Linder, The Want, 2019. Images courtesy and © the artists, performers, and videographer.