The Los Angeles Dance Project spends a lot of time bringing its high-profile, critically acclaimed artists to foreign soils. The 4-year-old contemporary dance company is a highly sought-after addition to international stages and festivals. This weekend, however, on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 29 and 30, at 8 p.m., the company will share its wealth with us, its hometown audience, at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills.
Presenting the U.S. premiere of Belgian choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s “Harbor Me,” along with New York City Ballet’s Resident Choreographer Justin Peck’s “Murder Ballades” and LADP’s Founding Artistic Director Benjamin Millepied’s “Hearts and Arrows,” the eight-member company of high-octane performers unleashes the creative energies of these dancemakers from across the globe.
Since the LADP’s inception, Millepied has gone on to become the director of the prestigious Paris Opera Ballet, but stays connected to SoCal and the company through dances like this one. The three-part music visualization is set to String Quartet No. 3 by Philip Glass and is filled with kinetic propulsion from one side of the stage to the other. On another hand, San Diego native Peck’s inspiration comes from 1930-40s American murder ballad folk songs. These are tunes that describe a murder and, possibly, the events leading up to it or its aftermath. Though physically and aurally abstract interpretations of the stories in these songs, composer Bryce Dessner has created an original soundscape and the sextet is performed in front of a visual installation by Sterling Ruby. On yet a third hand, promotional materials describe Cherkaoui’s work as an “exploration of shelter and protection” and it is accompanied by new music by Korean-born Woojae Park.
Perhaps only LA-connected in name and in its genesis, the company offers a welcome glimpse into the international scene.
—Benn Widdey, Culture Spot LA
The Bram Goldsmith Theater is located at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills 90210. Tickets are $39 to $99 and can be purchased at http://tickets.thewallis.org/single/PSDetail.aspx?psn=5517. For more information, visit http://www.thewallis.org/showinfo.php?id=76.