It takes a place like REDCAT to discover performance that is just as much out there on the margins — wild and crazy, unexpected, unique — as it is important and significant in today’s dance and performance world. Bringing acclaimed New York-based choreographer Trajal Harrell into its theater for a weekend of performances Thursday through Sunday, April 3-6, at 8:30 p.m., we get to engage with a very interesting inquiry.
After the West Coast premiere of “Antigone Sr./Twenty Looks or Paris Is Burning at the Judson Church (L),” the audience experience may never be the same. Exploring the question of what might have happened had the vogue-ing movers in Harlem ventured into the fervent postmodern downtown dance world of the 1960s, we witness an array of answers. The show incorporates spoken text, popular music, dance, performance throughout the theater and, in keeping with the postmodern convention, a very loose definition of the artist/audience relationship. Promotional materials claim that the work is “a genre-bending exploration of race, gender, sexuality, culture and history, [with] the resulting Antigone Sr. much more than a fierce, all-male take on the classic tragedy.”
Labeled a “thinking choreographer” by The New Yorker, Harrell has been making conceptual, thought-provoking work since the early part of the century and has performed in prestigious venues across the globe. In this piece, it sounds like there is a firsthand experience of joy, wonder and theatrical appreciation, followed by cerebral musings of the information dramatically portrayed in the piece.
—Benn Widdey, Culture Spot LA
REDCAT is located at 631 W. Second St., LA 90012. Tickets are $20-25 general ($16-20 for students/members). To purchase tickets, visit https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/931260.