“The choreography and music are gripping, the company is impressive, and the uses of mixed-media are meaningful.”—Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times
Immersed in the dark world of the Brothers Grimm, Sugar Houses is a new dance theater work that employs the tale of Hansel & Gretel to explore the dynamics of scapegoating, and the complexity and complicity of looking the other way. Created by celebrated choreographer Rosanna Gamson, this adult retelling of the tale exposes hidden histories and finds contemporary resonances in the familiar story, recounted in bold imagery informed by the horror genre. The audience joins a cast of six dancers/singers/actors on stage in an evening filled with gallows humor, choral singing, athletic dancing, arcane rites, and spooky incantations. Traditional American songs arranged by Fahad Siadat and Tomasz Krzyzanowski and witches’ spells by famed horror writer Brian Evenson are performed live with sonic sampling by Simon Greenberg.
The presentation of Sugar Houses by Rosanna Gamson/World Wide was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
“Shattering dance/theater.”—New York Times
Choreographed, written, and directed by David Roussève, Halfway to Dawn is an evening-length work weaving dance, music, sound, video, and text to uncover the deeper ”truths” of African American, gay jazz composer Billy Strayhorn’s life (1915–67) while also creating a dialogue on urgent social issues of our own time. The work is danced to a score of Strayhorn and Duke Ellington songs, from raise-the-roof jazz anthems to emotion-laden ballads. Halfway to Dawn intersects fact, conjecture, comment, abstraction, and fantasy to create an abstract portrait of Ellington’s most important, though largely unknown, collaborator.
Founded in 1988, David Roussève/REALITY creates expressionistic dance/theater works that combine the accessibility, grit, and passion of African American traditional and pop cultures with the challenging compositional structures of avant-garde dance and theater in order to explore socially-charged, immensely relevant, and often spiritual themes.
No Blue Memories: The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks brings to life the story of one of Chicago’s most beloved figures. Brooks was an icon, a poet laureate, and a Pulitzer Prize winner, but she was also a treasured educator and mentor to the countless writers and children who knew her as their very own “Miss Brooks.” Weaving together poetry, storytelling, original music performed by a full jazz combo, and striking visuals, No Blue Memories is an exploration of Brooks’s beloved city and a story of how she navigated identity, craft, and politics over the course of one of the most remarkable careers in American literary history. A Chicago-based performance collective, Manual Cinema uses vintage overhead projectors, multiple screens, puppets, actors, live feed cameras, multi-channel sound design, and a live music ensemble to transform the experience of attending the cinema, imbuing it with liveness, ingenuity, and theatricality.
“Art is a game between all people of all ages.”—Marcel Duchamp
Music is a tool to create and consolidate a totality, a community of reflections on our daily lives.
A bare hands is a sound performance, focused like a magnifying glass on an object that we know well. With my “bare hands,” I will look at … a car. We’ll have an intimate encounter that will reveal the joys of rhythms and sounds.
From the time we were children we have played with and in cars. We travel in them, for sure, but we also talk, take shelter from the rain, eat, and make love in them. Sometime we even live in them…a sad fact too often the case today.
The car as object will live through sound. It is not mute but its language is secret. It is the secret of all secrets. It contains all the worlds. It is our history; it is.
Part of San Diego Symphony’s It’s About Time festival.
“ . . . elegant and bold, inventive and joyful.”—Times Union
Following their 2014 U.S. debut in a sold-out run in New York City—which garnered high praise from the New York Times—Malpaso have continued to play a prominent role in the renewed artistic dialogue between America and Cuba. Representing Cuba’s expanding cultural life, Malpaso—whose name, jokingly, means “misstep”—skillfully blend unfussy ballet, their native Afro-Cuban traditions, and intensely physical modern dance. Since being established in 2012 by resident choreographer and artistic director Osnel Delgado, Malpaso have quickly become one of the most sought-after Cuban dance companies. Emphasizing a collaborative creative process, they are committed to working with top international choreographers while also nurturing new voices in Cuban choreography.
For their San Diego debut, Malpaso will perform Indomitable Waltz, choreographed for the company by ArtPower alumna Aszure Barton; Ocaso by Osnel Delgado; and Why You Follow by Ron K. Brown.
Malpaso Dance Company is an Associate Company of Joyce Theater Productions.
Recognized as one of Europe’s most distinctive choreographers, Hervé Koubi draws creative strength from his Algerian roots and Mediterranean culture. His company makes its San Diego debut with What the Day Owes to the Night (Ce Que le Jour Doit à la Nuit), a highly physical, stunningly fluid work for 12 French Algerian and African male dancers. The piece combines capoeira, martial arts, and urban contemporary dance, and is packed with backflips, head spins, and powerful imagery evocative of Eastern paintings and Islamic architecture. What the Day Owes to the Night is danced to an eclectic score that features Johann Sebastian Bach, Hamza El Din & the Kronos Quartet, and traditional Sufi music.
The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company was born out of an 11-year collaboration between Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane, who passed away in 1988. During this time, the two dancers redefined the duet form and foreshadowed issues of identity, form, and social commentary that would change the face of American dance. The Company has performed worldwide in over 200 cities in 40 countries on every major continent, and is recognized as one of the most innovative and powerful forces in the dance-theater world.
The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company returns to UC San Diego with Play and Play: An Evening of Movement and Dance, which includes two works—Ravel: Landscape or Portrait? and Story/. Both are accompanied by live music performed by Quartet Nouveau.
Founded by choreographer Park Soon-Ho, Bereishit is a Seoul-based dance company that approaches the Korean traditional culture from a contemporary perspective. The company explores the issues of identity and transformation with a dance style that merges the control and full-body excitement of break dance with sleek artistry and urban cool.
Bereishit’s West Coast debut includes two works—Bow, an athletic duet inspired by the tradition of archery, explores the boundaries of sports and dance; and the intensely physical Balance and Imbalance, which features brilliant and fun interplay among five dancers, a pair of Korean traditional drummers, and one traditional pansori singer.
“The street style in dress and movement disguises finely honed skill in balancing bodies at extraordinary angles and in extraordinary configurations.”—Critical Dance