Benjamin Millepied at MOCA

Benjamin Millepied and Amanda Wells in “Framework,” at MOCA Grand Ave., July 19, 2012. Photo by Christina Edwards, courtesy of MOCA

There is huge anticipation — and some measure of skepticism — about Benjamin Millepied’s dance collective, LA Dance Project. Millepied, a former principal dancer with New York City Ballet and choreographer of the hit film, Black Swan, got about a quarter-million dollars from the LA Music Center to launch the Project. (Here’s my story in the LA Times.) It was a massive and uncharacteristic vote of confidence from the Music Center, especially for a company that does not yet exist. The Project’s official premiere is in September at Walt Disney Concert Hall. But last night, Millepied and dancer Amanda Wells gave a preview performance of the choreographer’s “Framework,” a site-specific work at the Museum of Contemporary Art, inspired by the mixed-media canvases of Mark Bradford (he’s the tallest man, on the left, in the photo above). I reviewed the show for the LA Weekly.

The museum, of course, has been awash in bad publicity surrounding the recent firing of chief curator Paul Schimmel. But Schimmel was there last night, greeting many well-wishers. Museum director Jeffrey Deitch was there, as well, and he, too, paid his respects to Schimmel.

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