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Odyssey Theatre Ensemble to Present the 5th Annual Dance at the Odyssey Festival

Kicking off the festival with two weeks of performances from June 2 through June 12, L.A. Contemporary Dance Company presents the world premiere of Dancing in Snow.

Odyssey Theatre Ensemble to Present the 5th Annual Dance at the Odyssey Festival

Odyssey Theatre Ensemble will present the fifth annual Dance at the Odyssey festival, a seven-week celebration of contemporary dance featuring new work by cutting edge companies and choreographers including L.A. Contemporary Dance Company; Primera Generación Dance Collective; choreographer Teresa Toogie Barcelo; Galiana&Nikolchev's The Useless Room; Hannah Millar's Imprints; and German choreographers deufert&plischke.

Kicking off the festival with two weeks of performances from June 2 through June 12, L.A. Contemporary Dance Company presents the world premiere of Dancing in Snow. The poetic title is a metaphor for those who have had to assimilate into a society of White America. Choreographer Roderick George expands upon his previous work, Tainted, a solo piece that premiered at the Odyssey in 2020. In Tainted, dancer Jamila Glass viewed her existence as the only Black woman in White spaces. For this new work, Glass is joined by LACDC dancers Kate Coleman, Nicole Hagen, Colleen Hendricks, JM Rodriguez and Ryan Ruiz and guest artists Edgar Aguirre, Sam McReynolds and Dave x to offer a sophisticated and thoughtful statement about Black and Queer experiences, and how cultural appropriation and tokenism separate Black dancing and culture from Black bodies. George's movement vocabulary combines the strict lines and courtly rituals of ballet with the precision and dynamism of hip-hop and club dancing. His choreography is known for its ever-shifting play of contrasts and extremes, and for encouraging dancers to explore the edges of what they think may be physically possible.

The following weekend, June 17 through June 19, Primera Generación Dance Collective presents the world premiere of Nepantla, a series of movement-based explorations and rasquache (resourcefully tacky) play used to reflect, generate, question and re-imagine the Mexican American experience. Highlighting Gloria Anzaldúa's theorization of nepantla, a messy in-between space, the collective oscillates between brown memory, remembering, sorrow and alegría (joy) to manifest the affective embodiments that locate and situate what in-between-ness looks, feels, smells, sounds and tastes like. Choreographed, performed and designed by collective founding members Alfonso Cervera, Rosa Rodriguez-Frazier, Irvin Manuel Gonzalez and Patricia "Patty" Huerta, Nepantla navigates culturally iconic images, stories, songs, stereotypes and rituals to visibilize the harsh realities, imaginative potentials and pleasure of mexicanidad(es) in the U.S. and beyond.

June 23 through June 26 brings a collaboration between internationally acclaimed choreographer and movement director Teresa Toogie Barcelo, composer Joe Berry of the renowned electronic band M83, and fiber sculptor Mimi Haddon. The world premiere of Metanoia is a visual, sonic and philosophical rumination on transformation that combines puppetry, dance and music to explore why and how our hearts change. Berry's original score blends orchestral choral music, woodwinds, synthesizers and vocals. Acting as vessels of sound and movement, Barcelo and fellow performers Lenin Fernandez, Reshma Gajjar, Jillian Meyers, Genna Moroni, Ryan Walker Page and Alyse Rockett illustrate how transformation is the only universal commonality among us, the only absolute truth.

Next up, Galiana&Nikolchev's The Useless Room presents Insula from July 1 through July 3. Ínsula is a man in a suit, a table, a hurricane of childhood from an island left behind. The meeting of freedom and loss. A table, shoes, black, white, colors. The sea, childhood's best and scariest friend. The metaphoric space of lost memories that return to transform us is found in the body-an engine of words not pronounced, a generator of memories that relate and unite us. The body holds the conflict of struggling or enjoying daily life, confined to patterns we have tried to escape by regaining our lost memories, adrift in the minuscule space we call home. Choreographed and directed by Gema Galiana and performed by Gabriel Jimenez, with text by Anthony Nikolchev after Calderon de la Barca, Peter Handke, Karl Ove Knausgaard and a hurricane survival booklet.

From July 8 through July 10, Imprints, the company founded by choreographer Hannah Millar, presents the world premiere of Let Us Bleed, Then Heal, a story-driven work about Millar's healing journey following the death of her mother in 2014. Voiced recordings of Millar's journal entries portray the hurt and loss, as well as the love and growth she experienced over the course of seven years. The story reflects deep questions about our humanity: how can we move through life more seamlessly, without allowing our wounds to choose our paths, communication patterns and relationships? We all experience pain that feels impossible to overcome, but do we ever pause to think how to heal this hurt? The presence and awareness that Imprints dancers Halie Donabedian, Julia Gonzalez, Bailey Holladay, Jordyn Maxfield and Nao Aizawa carry throughout the story is palpable, and their connection to intentional movement was integral in creating the piece. Let Us Bleed, Then Heal is emotional, vulnerable and captivating, and will leave audiences feeling contemplative of their own journeys through this life.

Finally, German choreographers deufert&plischke present The Eerie Atlas-A Worn World, a series of free, public happenings and labs-including audio walks, somatic practices, writing workshops, choreographic exercises, clothes swaps and costume ateliers-exploring the idea of clothes. The series will culminate with a final "ball" on Saturday, July 16, where participants will join with an audience to show off their costumes, exchange stories, and move and dance to the beats of a local DJ. Clothes protect us and our bodies; they are loved, thrown away, replaced, gifted and collected. They carry memories of people and places, define economic conditions, are culturally significant, have historically dictated gender, reflect our manner of thinking about society and are just plain fun. The Eerie Atlas is a collaboration of deufert&plischke and the Odyssey Theatre with the support of the International Coproduction Fund of the Goethe-Institut.

The 2022 Dance at the Odyssey festival is curated by Barbara Mueller-Wittmann. Beth Hogan and Barbara Mueller-Wittmann produce for Odyssey Theatre Ensemble.

All performances take place on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets to each performance are $25. The Odyssey Theatre is located at 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90025.

To purchase tickets and for more information, including up-to-date Covid policies on the day of each performance, call (310) 477-2055 ext. 2 or visit

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