BWW Reviews: 8th Annual CELEBRATE DANCE 2013 Presents Premiere Performances
Since its bold beginning in 2006, Celebrate Dance has presented 40 dance companies to over 10,000 enthusiastic audience members in the annual event and has served as a platform for artists to enhance their craft, develop a foundation of support and propel their careers locally, nationally and abroad. Each participating dance company can also boast being part of critically acclaimed, seamlessly produced productions at the historic Alex Theatre in Glendale.
From its inception, Celebrate Dance has always reached out to community youth, inviting them to the yearly event without expense. Thus far more than 2,000 students from local schools and studios have seen the production. Each year Celebrate Dance's annual dance production grows in applause and accolades from both dancers and audience alike. More information at www.celebratedance.org and on Facebook.
This year Executive Producer Jamie Nichols engaged the following diverse and electrifying dance talent from the greater Los Angeles area:
The Los Angeles premiere of "Human Flotation Devices" by the Lux Aeterna Dance Company, choreographed and performed by Jacob "Kujo" Lyons and Teresa "Toogie" Barcelo. The piece offered a peek at their creative process as depicted by two people who apparently don't get along very well, and let us see why nothing ever gets done in rehearsal when dancers cannot agree on what to present.
"Ooh Child" by JazzAntiqua Dance Ensemble was created in 2012, choreographed by Artistic Director Pat Taylor. For those that sometimes lose their way on this journey, the nine dancers reminded us there is always hope. Just keep moving, believing, trusting, and each step will bring you out of the darkness and into the light. Especially moving was their encouraging the audience to join in their rhythmic clapping at the end of the piece.
Inspired by Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company's Artistic Director and Choreographer Kate Hutter's travels in the Middle East where she observed many women shroud in Burkas, "Identity Theft" presented dancers with their faces covered in red cloth to embolden and focus attention on their body and its movements.
The Los Angeles premiere of "The Walk West" by SoleVita Dance Company, choreographed by Artisitc Director Joele Martinec, offered four Movement journeys across the plains of America into a new life where family is necessary and hard work is the way of life. Special praise to replacement lead dancer Dave Birr whose shining spirit lit up the stage.
Next up was the World Premiere of "Enkindled" by Nickerson-Rossi Dance, choreographed by Artistic Director Michael Nickerson-Rossi who created the piece with a voracious desire to arouse and inspire while showing how dance sustains ones ability to "live' through loss or death. The final moment with the dancers on their knees looking up into the light was especially inspiring to the soul.
The World Premiere of "After It Happened" by Invertigo Dance Theatre, choreographed by Artistic Director Laura Karlin, was set in the aftermath of a natural disaster as a community rebuilds their lives, homes and society. The group may have experienced loss and pain, but I was mesmerized watching dancer Carole Biers create a dress made out of blue trash bags and then celebrate great joy dancing to My Brightest Diamond's version of "Feeling Good."
The abstract "Lithium" was a World Premiere presented by Artistic Director and Choreographer Lydia Zimmer with dancers Lindsey Lollie and Sara Silken. The piece was generated by improvisation and like the mineral when oxidized, the piece was described as "dripping in silver and burning crimson bright, we dance to rid ourselves of their fright."
The final World Premiere performance was "Concentric Harmonies" which was also the formal debut of the Colabo Youth Dance Collective, choreographed by Artistic Director Francisco Gella. The six young women dressed in black with a splash of sparkle were all stunning dancers, creating complex movement with extraordinary coordination that expressed the two essential elements of being - the mind to process information and the heart to remind us of our passions. It was a stunning ending to a wondrous evening celebrating dance.