A Selective Guide to the Arts in Los Angeles

Anatomy RiotThe genius loci of modern dance in Los Angeles can certainly be found at Anatomy Riot.  On Monday night, Riot #35 (which was more like a peaceable gathering) brought familiar faces from companies and improv jams alike to MiMoDa, a studio venue in West LA.  There were no programs, and this reviewer took no notes.  These were works in progress in a variety of styles.  Sitting like a sponge, once could soak up the thoughts, feelings, and impulses of the creative community of movers about the big town.

The Anatomy Riots are a series of monthly dance showings, proclaimed in a Facebook page to be “low-tech, do-it-yourself” events.  This absence of elaborate or excessive stagecraft certainly lends itself to exposure.  Two women unhinged their joints in crawls, swings, and patterns laced with suggestive looks.  One man conveyed the consumption of longing while another donned a giant, feathered chicken costume.  It all happened within arm’s reach of the front row of benches.  “What’s on your mind?” gave the evening a theme, but the many directions it took paralleled the range of possible answers.

Carmela Hermann, Kristen Smiarowski and Christine Suarez curated Monday’s event, in lieu of the usual mover-and-shaker commander-in-chief Meg Wolfe.  With the artful whirling of a frenetic soloist alongside the ingestion of pancakes and booze in a duet on a picnic blanket, the program accommodated the startling, pleasing range of intentions and executions in local dance.  Rough sketches and almost-fully-realized dance theater pieces reiterated the “do-it-yourself” feel, and choreographers had the chance to climb out of (or truly nest into) their pigeonhole tendencies.

By the end of the night, Anatomy Riot #35 brought what’s on the mind of dancers in Los Angeles to the table, and left this audience member hungry for the next event.