A Selective Guide to the Arts in Los Angeles

Photo of Laurel Jenkins and Chey Chankethya courtesy of the artists

REDCAT’s 13th annual New Original Works Festival opened this past weekend and is doing its thing! Selecting nine of the region’s more adventurous artists’ yet fully realized works and presenting them in shared weekend-long programs over three weeks, the theater opens its doors to our local sung and yet-unsung performance heroes. The festival runs Thursdays through Saturdays, with shows at 8:30 p.m., through Saturday, Aug. 6.

Exploring envelope-pushing ideas in music, dance, theater, performance and multimedia, the highlighted projects often go onto national and international exposure after this run in LA. REDCAT’s Artistic Director Mark Murphy and Programs Manager Edgar Miramontes oversee this experimental laboratory that weaves unique combinations of theatrical elements into often-uncharted territories.

Program 2, July 28-30, includes three new original works from Laurel Jenkins and Chey Chankethya, Rebecca Pappas, and NoodleRice Studio artists Yao Zhang and Liang Guo.

Postmodern mover Laurel Jenkins and Cambodian classical dance specialist Chey Chankethya present a collaboration that creates a physical dialogue and new meaning from the two traditions in “Soma Path.”

Melding contributions from lighting designer Christopher Kuhl, sound designer Joe Court, visual artist Claire Anna Baker and geologist Carolyn Dowling, choreographer Rebecca Pappas confronts global themes of survival using sculptural paper, fabric and constantly changing environments in “Plastic Flow.”

Constructing a ceiling of large bubbles over the stage, NoodleRice Studio (artist/designers Yao Zhang and Liang Guo) creates a surreal collage of otherworldly scenarios in “Untitled.” This inventive theatricality dives into ideas of transformation in identity, gender and species.

If the past 12 years of NOW suggest anything about this year’s incarnation, hold onto your hats! These are risk-taking artists moving their respective art forms from the here and now and into the beyond.

—Benn Widdey, Culture Spot LA

REDCAT is located at 631 W. Second St., LA 90012. Tickets are $14-$20 and are available for purchase in person at the REDCAT Box Office, by phone at (213) 237-2800, or online at https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/961085. For more information, visit https://www.redcat.org/event/new-original-works-festival-2016-0.