Los Angeles has really gotten stronger in the arts over the last decade or so. Michael Govan took LACMA to a new level by creating a sense of identity for a museum once fading into irrelevancy, and Gustavo Dudamel gave the LA Phil an exciting new energy that brought back plenty of positive attention to the Music Center. What LA continues to lack in the culture department is a renowned dance company, which will hopefully begin to change with some exciting new developments happening at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in the Historic Core.
The LA Theatre Center hasn’t been without its controversies, but now there could be a brighter future for both the venue and the future of LA’s cultural maturation pertaining to dance. In Nov 2011, a new two-year collaboration, according to the LA Times, was struck between the LA Music Center and Benjamin Millepied, the renowned former NYC ballet dancer and choreographer of Black Swan. This collaboration, called LA Dance Project, moved into the LA Theatre Center in July 2012.
The LA Times called LA Dance Project “the birth of a splashy, blue-chip contemporary ballet company devoted to artistic experimentation.” The LA Dance Project also represents “a major step-up in the Music Center’s commitment to homegrown dance” as the new dance company is underwritten by the Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at the Music Center.
According to the LA Dance Project website: ”It is a program of events headed by Millepied with the goal to create new work and to revive seminal collaborations from the past. LA Dance Project fosters and curates artist collaborations for the theatre stage as well as for specific sites and promotes educational programs. Each project is developed through preliminary think tanks and workshops at Los Angeles Theater Center and subsequently presented throughout the world.”
My hope is that the LA Dance Project will be a huge success — enough to establish a foundation for a permanent dance company to flourish — boosting LA’s “cultural quotient” up a few notches. Having a permanent dance company based in Downtown LA will also continue to help revitalize our urban center, strengthening Los Angeles’ identity.
The first debut performance for LA Dance Project will be held this month at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on the weekend of Sept 22-23, 2012. To buy tickets for the performance and see the full tour list, click here.