A Selective Guide to the Arts in Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Dance Project comes to The Wallis. / Photo by Erin Baiano

Repertory dance companies offer audiences a chance to see a variety of choreographers’ visions in one production. It’s a great way to explore different movement aesthetics, knowing that the next dance in the program may be totally different from the one now on stage. The Los Angeles Dance Project (LADP) is that kind of a company.

This Thursday through Saturday, April 5, 6 and 7, at 7:30 each night, LADP will present four dances in the Bram Goldsmith Theater at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. The ensemble has spent the past year as Company-in-Residence at The Wallis. This performance marks the end of their nesting.

An internationally touring group of top-tier performers, the troupe was created in 2012 and is headed by former New York City Ballet star dancer, previous artistic director of the Paris Opera Ballet and choreographer for the acclaimed movie “Black Swan,” Benjamin Millepied. Its dancers have been described as  “accomplished, unusually vivid and individual” in The New York Times. This weekend’s program includes an impressive roster of dance makers: Ohad Naharin (former artistic director of Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company), Justin Peck (current  New York City Ballet resident choreographer), modern dance icon Martha Graham and Millepied himself.

Naharin’s “Yag” includes storytelling with dance, visual symbolism and imaginative staging for six performers. Set to a score by former LA Philharmonic Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, Peck’s “Helix” combines geometry and motion to reach dynamic results. Drawing from Graham’s extensive library of epic works, LADP will perform  “Martha Graham Duets,” which highlights two-person sections from “Diversion of Angels” and “Canticle for Innocent Comedians.” To complete the evening, Millepied shares his all-male quartet, “Sarabande,” accompanied by music by Bach.

The company has been seen all over the world and will continue to do so. While not quite a prodigal son, it’s good to see what they’ve been doing.

—Benn Widdey, Culture Spot LA

LOCATION: The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills 90210

TICKETS: $45 – $125