Black Swan choreographer Benjamin Millepied’s new artistic collective, L.A. Dance Project, present an evening of dance that is as moving as it is provocative.
LA Dance Project Photo: Ryan Schude
Created with fellow founding member, the composer Nico Muhly, Moving Parts is a cool statement of intent. Millepied’s dancers perform sweeping solos and lyrical duets in front of screens by artist Christopher Wool. Wool’s installation comprises of patterns and abstract shapes that the dancers extend and echo. They curate these moving boards into different configurations, fluidly becoming part of the art work itself. Muhly’s melodic but minimalist score is both playfully modern and classical and the whole piece has a timeless aesthetic.
Merce Cunningham’s sparse Winterbranch is an act of creative dissonance that becomes something remarkable. Created in 1963, this abstract piece is still so controversial it causes booing from some sections of this audience. The choreography is more akin to purposeful positioning than traditional dance. Robert Rauschenberg’s autonomous lighting design often leaves performers in darkness while spotlighting or flooding empty parts of the stage. La Mont Young’s industrial 2 Sounds provides a backdrop of scraping and rumbling. It’s a bracing but hypnotic experience - an artfully curated act of interdisciplinary minimalism.
William Forsythe’s moving Quintett was created for his dying wife, the dancer Tracy-Kai Maier. It is a poignant celebration of movement and life scored by Gavin Bryars’ sorrowful Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet. Forsythe’s choreography fizzes and sparks mischievously against the soulful repetition of Bryars’ composition. It is a delicate end to an enriching evening that triumphs in entwining disparate artistic threads.