Review: Backhausdance New Works

The Orange County contemporary dance company Backhausdance celebrates its 15th anniversary this year and artistic director Jenny Backhaus is taking a bit of a break from creating the bulk of the group’s repertory. This strikes me more as an evolutionary development than a major sea change. I’ve been watching the company’s development almost from its …

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Not a review: Thoughts on Miami City Ballet & George Balanchine’s ‘Nutcracker’

The Music Center last week presented “The Nutcracker” for the first time in five years. The two-act ballet premiered in Russia in 1892, but, as we all know, it ended up becoming a holiday obsession here in the U.S. instead. (Read Jennifer Fisher’s excellent book “Nutcracker Nation” to find out how that happened.) Rachel Moore, …

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Review Contra-Tiempo in ‘Agua Furioso’

Now 10 years old, Contra-Tiempo is one of Los Angeles’ most ambitious and accomplished home-grown dance companies, but your average resident would be hard-pressed to know about this striking group. It gets most of its gigs on the road, away from L.A., which is a loss for us. Artistic director Ana Maria Alvarez gives her …

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Review: BodyTraffic at the Broad Stage

Is there a more fabulous pairing on the LA dance scene than whip-smart, oversized Andrew Wojtal  and the physically omniscient Guzmán Rosado in Richard Siegal’s “The New 45”? Naw, I doubt it. Not quite a couple, but something closer to buddy-movie material, Wojtal and Rosado slip in and out of one another’s orbit, wiggling body …

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Review: New repertory from Barak Ballet

I think Melissa Barak is one of our most talented and skillful ballet choreographers, one of the increasingly rare dance-makers who still believes in classical dance as a medium of artistry.    I also find that the qualities that attract me to her work—its orderliness, romance, effortless flow, and her insightful use of the ballet …

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Commentary: “Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host”

The first thing you'll want to know, naturally, is if Ira Glass--the radio host of the title--can dance. As a matter of fact, he moves very nicely, thank you very much. He's tall and slim, has very good rhythm, and an unselfconsciousness about his body that makes him engaging just to watch, even when he's …

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