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Anthology: Ten Years of TQ – Dance

Halfway to Dawn, Written, choreographed and directed by David Rousseve and performed by Reality

 
Alan Berman and Sean Hughes have been the chief contributors to the performance of dance for the last decade. Both bring a distinctive voice to coverage and context of Dance in the Los Angeles area. Due to the truly diverse nature of such venues as REDCAT, MOCA Grand Avenue or Highways Performance Space, Angelenos have never been bound by geographic confines. Nor have these confines constrained the imaginations of the performers to which we have held witness, nor have the local constraints hindered the insights of these two accomplished writers.

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Alan Berman —
When I came to Times Quotidian, I think the original idea was that, since I’m a musician, I would write reviews of music concerts; fortunately, some dance performances came my way and I wrote about those almost exclusively, with much enthusiasm. Because I have no formal dance background or critical training, I suppose my reviews were atypical. I never had any sense of how many readers we actually had, but I made a habit of sending links to each company I reviewed. One day I received an email from New York choreographer Tere O’Connor, for whose work Wrought Iron Fog I had created my second review. His note was so gracious, thoughtful, and complex that I had to double-check it was in response to my writing. He thanked me for my review, because “it engages in real critical thinking. There are so many examples in this writing where you suggest that questions arise and then you complete the anatomy of the question. This is at once temporal, revealing the progression of your thinking, and informative as it invites/teaches the viewer to think in these ways around dance.” (He was also grateful for my “bitch-free” tone.) Of course this response from someone for whose work I had developed deep respect propelled me to continue writing for T.Q., during which time I did considerable research into each company’s history and the development of contemporary dance in general. This work increased my love of movement and my joy in sharing my experiences of committed, imaginative, and authentic choreographers and performers. I am ever-grateful to Nancy Cantwell for the opportunity to be part of T.Q. and to all the companies whose dancing I witnessed all over Los Angeles. 

 

The Commitment to Witness 

Wrought Iron Fog, Tere O’Connor, REDCAT –

 

In Contact

Undone: androgyne, gender and humanism
Choreography and Direction: Stephanie Nugent
Highways Performance Space, Santa Monica –

 

Alan Berman_Related Posts:
In From the Cold: Winter Dancing at REDCAT, Three To Get Ready, Inventing Awareness, Revisiting Faith, Ageless Deliberations in Space, Containing Multitudes, Movement Over Time

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Sean Hughes — 
My interest in dance, as well as most of the fine arts, was instilled by my mother. She  took me to a production of the classical ballet “Giselle”, probably at L.A.’s Shrine Auditorium, when I was twelve or thirteen.  My backstage job at the Hollywood Bowl , beginning a few years later, gave me intimate access to dancers, at rehearsals and in performance, during weeks-long visits by England’s Royal  Ballet and Russia’s Bolshoi and Kirov. In later decades, my mother accompanied my siblings and me to see virtually every ballet company that came to town; we treasured the choreography of George Balanchine, Martha Graham, Alvin Ailey, Roland Petit and many more. As a writer for Times Quotidian since 2013, I’ve enjoyed a pleasant return to modern dance, most often at the avant -garde offerings REDCAT brings from around the world.  I’m neither a trained dancer nor musician, but my reviews try to describe exactly what I’m seeing on stage, with the addition of historical background about the creation of the work. French poet Charles Baudelaire wrote: “Dance can reveal everything mysterious that is hidden in music, and it has the additional merit of being human and palpable. Dancing is poetry with arms and legs.”  

 

Last Dance: Tanaquil Le Clercq

Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq (2013), directed by Nancy Buirski —

 

Mr. B …and the A.B.T.

ABT, Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at the Music Center, Los Angeles  –

Sean Hughes_Related Posts:  Beyond Category, Death Defying, Body at the Center, Dancing with Kafka, Exit/Exist, “Rites” of Passage
 

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