A Selective Guide to the Arts in Los Angeles

Michelle Ellsworth / Photo by Ian Douglas

Bringing highly acclaimed, yet locally unknown movement/theater artists to the Southland audience, our very own Show Box L.A. is serving us a pair of treats this week at the Bootleg Theater in Silver Lake. On Thursday and Saturday, June 18 and 20, at 8 p.m., the venue will host the collaborative team of dancer/choreographer Milka Djordjevich and musician/composer Chris Peck in their West Coast premiere of “MASS.” On Friday, June 19, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, June 21, at 3 p.m., Michelle Ellsworth will present her “Preparation for the Obsolescence of the Y Chromosome,” an exploration that follows the what if of the title.

These artists have received plaudits for their respective work and the ways that they combine movement, text, image, sound and environment. They are greatly divergent. Whereas Ms. D highlights the body in a slow, concentrated and abstract arena, with sound score emanating from the trio of performers themselves, Ms. E layers text and humor, thought-provoking DIY science, multimedia and an almost-cartoonish physicality with a rapid-fire presentation. A fantastic pairing for a week of new ideas within the art form.

“MASS” premiered in New York City just this past May at the esteemed hotbed of innovative theatrical ideas, The Kitchen. It is described in promotional materials as “a song and dance in a black box . . . a trio of voices tuning, their bodies objectified and recomposed through gradual processes in motion and sound.”

“Preparation . . .” draws its structure from an interactive website that allows each performance to be unique and unscripted. Previous productions have been seen across the country, gaining tremendous praise from audiences and critics alike.

The two shows remind us, again, that we’re no longer in Kansas. Each evening offers a cutting-edge perspective of what dance is and what it can be.

—Benn Widdey, Culture Spot LA

Bootleg Theater is located at 2220 Beverly Blvd., LA 90057. Tickets for all shows are $20 and can be purchased at https://www.artful.ly/show-box-l-a/store/events/5603.