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

OHAD NAHARIN / BATSHEVA — VENEZUELA

In VENEZUELAOhad Naharin’s long-gestating double take on perception and the “dialog between movement and the content it represents”—Batsheva Dance Company mixes the intensely physical articulation of its familiar Gaga technique with a détournement of ballroom and tango forms, set to music by—among others—The Notorious B.I.G., Rage Against the Machine, and a selection of Gregorian Chants.*

This weekend, CAP UCLA will present two performances of VENEZUELA at Royce.

OHAD NAHARIN / BATSHEVA DANCE COMPANY—VENEZUELA*

Friday and Saturday, March 15 and 16.

Shows at 8 pm.

Royce Hall, UCLA

10745 Dickson Court, Los Angeles.

Ohad Naharin / Batsheva Dance Company, Venezuela. Photography credit Ascaf, courtesy the artists and CAP UCLA.

CARRIE MAE WEEMS — PAST TENSE

“As much as I’m engaged with it, with violence, I remain ever hopeful that change is possible and necessary, and that we will get there. I believe that strongly, and representing that matters to me: a sense of aspiration, a sense of good will, a sense of hope, a sense of this idea that one has the right, that we have the right to be as we are.” — Carrie Mae Weems*

The timeless themes of political power, social justice, gender oppression, and valiant persistence are brought to life in a modern context in PAST TENSE, Carrie Mae Weems’ multimedia take on Antigone.

Combining music, spoken word, video, and projected images, PAST TENSE—presented this week in Los Angeles by CAP UCLA—includes works by poet Carl Hancock Rux and composer Craig Harris, and will be performed by Weems, Eisa Davis, Francesca Harper, David Parker, Imani Uzuri, and Alicia Hall Moran, who brought the house down at Disney Hall earlier this week in Bryce Dessner’s Triptych.

CARRIE MAE WEEMS—PAST TENSE

Friday, March 8, at 8 pm.

Theatre at Ace Hotel

929 South Broadway, downtown Los Angeles.

*Megan O’Grady, “Carrie Mae Weems,” T: The New York Times Style Magazine, October 21, 2018, 140.

From top: Carrie Mae Weems, Past Tense, in performance; Past Tense production photographs (2) by William Strugs; Carrie Mae Weems, portrait by Jerry Klineberg; Past Tense, in performance with, from right, Alicia Hall Moran, Imani Uzuri, and Eisa Davis. Images courtesy CAP UCLA.

CAROLINE SHAW — ANDREW NORMAN — NADIA SIROTA

“When I wrote Partita for 8 Voices, it was like if you had the little box of eight crayons for a long time, and then you suddenly have the box with 64, with the little pencil sharpener in the back, you kind of go all out.

“I like writing for string quartet because it’s not a wildly new palette, but there’s something constantly exciting about it. I don’t know why we make music, make art, or write… but [there’s] something about it—it’s like you just have to keep carving.” — Caroline ShawPARIS LA, 2017*

Join composer-musicians Caroline Shaw and Andrew Norman, the music ensemble Wild Up, and host (and viola player) Nadia Sirota for an “enhanced concert” featuring live performances of Shaw’s and Norman’s work, and free-wheeling conversations about their process.

This celebration of music creation is presented by CAP UCLA in downtown Los Angeles.

NADIA SIROTA—LIVING MUSIC LIVE!

with WILD UP

featuring CAROLINE SHAW

and ANDREW NORMAN

Saturday, January 12, at 8 pm.

Theatre at Ace Hotel

929 South Broadway, Los Angeles.

*“The Lilt and the Friction: Caroline Shaw in conversation with Anh Do and Eli Diner,” PARIS LA 15 (Spring 2017): 61–69.

From top:

Nadia Sirota, a Live Podcast Event with Wild Up featuring Andrew Norman and Caroline Shaw. Photograph by Shervin Lainez.

Andrew Norman. Photograph by Craig T. Matthew.

Caroline Shaw (left), Norman, and Sirota at the Theatre at Ace Hotel, January 12, 2019. Image courtesy CAP UCLA.

Shaw. Photograph by Kait Moreno.

DIMITRIS PAPAIOANNOU — THE GREAT TAMER

Dimitris Papaioannou started out as a painter and comics artist, but now he does it all—director, choreographer, performer, costumer, and set and lighting designer.

Last year he premiered Since She at Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, the first choreographer invited to do so since Bausch’s death.

THE GREAT TAMER—his mysterious evening-length performance work in its U.S. premiere this week at Royce Hall—is a dreamlike journey through time and the underworld, with references to Rembrandt’s Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus, Michelangelo’s David, the myths of Orpheus and Eurydice, and Kubrick’s use of “The Blue Danube.”

Performers for the Los Angeles and Ann Arbor dates include Pavlina Andriopoulou, Costas Chrysafidis, Dimitris Kitsos, Ioannis Michos, Evangelia Randou, Kalliopi Simou, Drossos Skotis, Christos Strinopoulos, Yorgos Tsiantoulas, and Alex Vangelis.

DIMITRIS PAPAIOANNOU—THE GREAT TAMER

Friday, January 11, at 8 pm.

Royce Hall, UCLA

10745 Dickson Court, Los Angeles.

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

Power Center, University of Michigan

121 Fletcher Street, Ann Arbor.

The Great Tamer. All photographs by Julian Mommert.

BILL T. JONES — ANALOGY TRILOGY

Arnie Zane [and I] built this company out of the same troubled milieu that we’re all living through right now—racism, sexism—and we have been able to make an organization that expressed my belief that art could save us.” — Bill T. Jones

As an innovator of post-modern dance since the 1970s and survivor of the American cultural wars of the ’80s, choreographer Bill T. Jones has endured catastrophes both political and personal. He lived through the disgrace of the government’s non-response to the AIDS epidemic, and lost Zane to the disease in 1988.

With his company—the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company—Jones’ created Still/Here (1994), a mixed-media, performance-art dance piece incorporating videotaped footage of terminally ill patients speaking into the camera. In an infamous attack on a work she declined to see firsthand, the New Yorker dance critic Arlene Croce railed against what she dismissed as foundation-dependent “victim art”:

“By working dying people into his act, Jones is putting himself beyond the reach of criticism. I think of him as literally undiscussable… because he has taken sanctuary among the unwell. Victim art defies criticism not only because we feel sorry for the victim but because we are cowed by art.”*

An uproar immediately followed, with Tony Kushner, Camille Paglia, Hilton Kramer, and Joyce Carol Oates weighing in from both sides. The author and activist bell hooks wrote:

“To write so contemptuously about a work one has not seen is an awesome flaunting of privilege—a testimony to the reality that there is no marginalized group or individual powerful enough to silence or suppress reactionary voices. Ms. Croce’s article is not courageous or daring, precisely because it merely mirrors the ruling political mood of our time.”*

After the publication of “Discussing the Undiscussable,” Croce’s output decreased significantly, while Jones—who recently dropped “dance” from his company’s title: “We are a contemporary performance ensemble”—has moved from strength to strength.**

This weekend at Royce Hall, CAP UCLA will present two complete performances of Jones’ ANALOGY TRILOGY, a durational work “focusing on memory and the effect of powerful events on the actions of individuals and, more importantly, on their often unexpressed inner life.” During the performance, musical accompaniment will be provided by composer Nick Hallett, pianist Emily Manzo, baritone Matthew Gamble, and the dancers.***

The trilogy can be seen in one daylong event, or as separate afternoon and evening performances:

ANALOGY/DORA: TRAMONTANE is based on the World War II experiences of French Jewish nurse Dora Amelan, the mother of Jones’ partner and company creative director Bjorn Amelan.

ANALOGY/LANCE: PRETTY aka THE ESCAPE ARTIST takes as its subject Jones’ nephew Lance Briggs. Art, in this case, could not save a life of promise after Lance quit dancing and turned to drugs and hustling.

ANALOGY/AMBROS: THE EMIGRANT draws from the W.G. Sebald novel The Emigrant to show how “trauma can go underground in the psyche of an individual and direct—consciously and unconsciously—the course of that individual’s life.”

 

BILL T. JONES/ARNIE ZANE COMPANY

ANALOGY TRILOGY

Saturday and Sunday, November 3 and 4.

ANALOGY/DORA and ANALOGY/LANCE begin at 2 pm, with an intermission between parts.

ANALOGY/AMBROS begins at 7 pm.

The event breaks for dinner from 5:30 pm to 7 pm.

 

*Arlene Croce, “Discussing the Undiscussable,” in Writing in the Dark, Dancing in The New Yorker (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2000), 708–719.

Croce’s article was originally published in the December 26, 1994–January 2, 1995 issue of The New Yorker.

The responses by bell hooks and others ran under “Who’s the Victim? Dissenting Voices Answer Arlene Croce’s Critique of Victim Art” in the January 30, 1995 issue of the magazine.

**Gia Kourlas, “Bill T. Jones is Making Room in Dance for More Than Dance,” New York Times, September 18, 2018.

***Dancers performing during the Royce Hall engagement include Vinson Fraley, Jr., Barrington Hinds, Shane Larson, I-Ling Liu, Penda N’Diaye, Jenna Riegel, Christina Robson, Carlo Antonio Villanueva, and Huiwang Zhang.

Color photographs: Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, Analogy Trilogy. Photographs by Paul B. Goode. Image credit: CAP UCLA.

Black and white photograph: Bill T. Jones (left) and Arnie Zane. Image credit: New York Live Arts.