A Selective Guide to the Arts in Los Angeles

d. Sabela grimes will perform at REDCAT / Photo by Jorge Vismara

REDCAT’s 11th annual New Original Works Festival continues in its downtown space with the second of three boundary-bending dance, music, multimedia and theater creations. Selected from an army of LA-based performing art makers, Program 2 includes tabletop puppetry by Marsian de Lellis, a sound and movement exploration by d. Sabela grimes and new work by media maven Carole Kim. Performances run this Thursday through Saturday, July 31 through Aug. 2, at 8:30 p.m. at 631 W. Second St.

On the artist’s website, De Lellis says that “The Object of Her Affection” is a story “centered on seemingly ‘weird’ people that illuminates something essential about contemporary life.” “Object . . .” is driven by a narrative about a human that “falls in love with inanimate objects” — baby blankets and iconic bridges — that director Michele Spears explores through puppets and other props.

In what promotional materials describe as “transcending the realms of Hip Hop and Afrofuturism,” sound and movement artist Grimes mixes poetry, street dance and “otherworldly” aural landscapes to create “Electrogynous.” Raising questions about masculine/feminine stereotypes in Black culture, Grimes is said to engage and implicate his audience as he theatrically explores Black male power, sexuality and vulnerability.

Multimedia artist Kim collaborates with dancers Oguri and Roxanne Steinberg, sound designer Paul Chavez, vocalist Carmina Escobar and bassist Mark Dresser to reveal “The Singing Head.” Using layers of projection surfaces, scrims and sculptural costumes, Kim constructs an “intoxicating” visual world inspired by 19th-century biologist, philosopher and artist Ernst Haeckel’s depictions of microscopic sea organisms.

As usual, this program is uniquely individual, as only the NOW Festival can do here in LA. Having seen Grimes’ riveting performances in the past, the entirety of the evening seems like an awakening of the senses and a true chance to broaden theatrical experience.

—Benn Widdey, Culture Spot LA

For more info: https://www.redcat.org/event/nowfest-2014-week-two

Tickets: $20 general, $16 students and REDCAT members, $14 CalArts students, staff and faculty Buy tickets here: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/936658