Upcoming Dance Season: REDCAT

Downtown L.A.’s Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater is not the only place in Los Angeles to see international, cutting-edge artists, but it’s the most comfortable venue and the most advanced technologically to fit that bill.

The details:

  • Nan Jombang, Oct. 10-140
  • Studio Fall 2012, Nov. 3-4
  • Chris Cochrane, Dennis Cooper, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Nov. 15-18
  • Mark Bamuthi Joseph/The Living Word Project, Jan. 31-Feb. 3, 2013
  • Hiroaki Umeda, Feb. 14-16, 2013

The lowdown:

I’m relying here on information from the theater and from the internet because I have not seen these artists myself. Nan Jombang is a dance-theater company from Indonesia who are all family members of choreographer-director of Ery Mefri. They will present the U.S. premiere of “Rantau Berbisik” or “Whisperings of Exile,” which mixes traditional dance forms from West Sumatra, martial arts and Western movement. The piece explores how hard it is for young men to find work and what happens when they are forced to leave home and family forever to make a living.

Studio Fall is part of Redcat’s quarterly series devoted to presenting experimental and works-in-progress performance. The artists will be announced later this month; chances are it will be a mix of theater and dance performers.

Composer Cochrane, writer Cooper and choreographer Houston-Jones have recreated their seminal stage piece ‘THEM,” a hard-hitting work from 1986 about male identity in the time of AIDS. The three original performers are joined onstage by six younger artists, “amplifying themes of youth and survival.” This will be the West Coast premiere.

Joseph is an Alpert Award-winning theater artist and educator who is the director of performing arts at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center. He and his collaborators will be presenting “red, black & GREEN: a blues,” a multi-media (theater-film-art-installation) dance project. It’s themes: the environment, climate change and public responsibility.

Umeda is a Tokyo based choreographer and video artist, whose distinctive movement vocabulary combines ballet, butoh and hip-hop. Photographs of the two pieces on the Redcat program — “Haptic” and “Holistic Strata” — suggest that he transforms the stage space into a visual art/movement installation.

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