A Selective Guide to the Arts in Los Angeles

Jasmine Orpilla: “TALGED, Her Body She Cares for, Her Soul/s (She) Guards.” Photo by Ian Byers-Gamber.​

Concluding its three-week festival of New Original Works, REDCAT showcases three of Los Angeles’ boundary-breaking interdisciplinary artists in dance, music, theater and multimedia. This weekend, Thursday, Oct. 21, through Saturday, Oct. 23, at 8:30 p.m., choreographer Jobel Medina, sonic artist Jasmine Orpilla and movement explorer Amy O’Neal unveil their latest creations.

Described in promotional materials as a performing arts laboratory, this 18th edition of an annual event showcases artists investigating their subject matter as well as the structure within which it is housed. The art form’s conventions and traditions and the proscenium theater in which it is encased are all up for grabs. Surprises abound.

In “David, My Goliath,” dance maker Jobel Medina’s trio plays with finesse and amateurism, excess and minimalism, melodrama, romance, queerness and humor. Tinikling (Filipino folk dance), hip-hop and ballet also infuse the stage with a resultant theatricality.

Jasmine Orpilla dedicates “TALGED, Her Body She Cares For, Her Soul/s (She) Guards” to Filipino caretakers and fellow survivors of violent hate crimes. Grounded in pre-colonial combat systems and Ilokano witchcraft practices of the Philippines, this piece is a multi-lingual counter-operatic solo sound installation. The artist sings, moves and speaks to decode white supremacy and reject the patterns of desensitization that quietly haunt the Fil-Am body today. 

Previously created choreography, concepts and costuming are re-imagined and rearranged in Amy O’Neals’ “There Is No Other (The Remix).” Raising questions about gender and race, the artist combines African-American social dance forms from house and hip-hop cultures with contemporary dance and experimental theater. She asks, “Can we be a post-gender society when we are far from being a post-race society?”

Sounds like a powerful evening of performance work. Saturday’s performance is also live streamed.

—Benn Widdey, Culture Spot LA 

LOCATION:    REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., LA 90012

TICKETS:        $10-$20 https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/1076217

INFO:               https://www.redcat.org/event/now-2021-week-three