Los Angeles Dance Preview: BODYTRAFFIC (The Broad Stage in Santa Monica)

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by Tony Frankel on October 25, 2016

in Theater-Los Angeles


BODYTRAFFIC, the contemporary dance outfit headquartered right here in Los Angeles, has smartly scheduled three performances of its upcoming showcase of exciting new works–including a preview and a World Premiere–at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica. The last two times I saw this exciting company at the Broad, patrons were turned away in scores, so it’s highly recommended that you nab seats in advance for this exciting full-length program, October 27-29, 2016.

Founded by Lillian Barbeito and Tina Finkelman Berkett in 2007, BODYTRAFFIC, unlike many modern companies, offers distinctive new works that clearly are born of non-conformal, creative thinking while remaining wholly accessible.


“3 Preludes”
This new work on George Gershwin is presented by renowned dancemaker Richard Siegal, founder and artistic director of The Bakery. Expect a nostalgic work that captures the essence of Gershwin’s sophistication and BODYTRAFFIC’s vivaciousness. The music will be played live by special guest pianist Inna Faliks.

“Private Games: Chapter One”
This preview work by Anton Lachky uses high-octane movement and penetrating imagery to bring the audience into a mysterious and explosive world (the photos below, from BODYTRAFFIC’s site, are the work-in-progress). Lachky is co-founder of Les SlovaKs Dance Collective. “Mind a Gap” (2013) was his first autonomous creation and it toured all over the world. He has also created choreographies for the Biennale of Venice, for Scottish Dance Theater, and The Royal Opera.

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joseph-kudra-in-death-defying-dances-a-world-premiere-by-arthur-pita-photo-by-joshua-sugiyama“Death Defying Dances” (World Premiere)
Choreographed by Arthur Pita, this is a colorful and soulful piece inspired by the persona and lyrics of singer/songwriter Judy Henske, who recorded six folk/rock/blues albums in the 1960s. This body of work earned her the title, “Queen of the Beatniks.” Rock critic Dave Marsh called Henske “a talent so diverse in what she’s good at that she’s beyond all categories except legendary and great.”

Portuguese choreographer Arthur Pita, who has compared his style to that of filmmaker David Lynch, was born in South Africa and is known for eclectic dance theater works that blur the lines between genres. He began dancing ballet and modern dance in Johannesburg, where he won the World Disco championships in the under-14 category. In 1991, at age 19, he moved to London to attend the London Contemporary Dance School for his master’s degree. Six years later, he joined Matthew Bourne’s dance company, New Adventures.


In 2003, he transitioned to a more choreographic role, working in opera, musicals, plays, and film. From 2002-04 he was an associate artist at The Place, where he launched Open Heart Productions and premiered Boomshe SheBoom and Bugger, a Fairy Tale in 2003. “A choreographer of rare dramatic flair and considerable originality,” (The Stage), Pita has staged works for The Royal Ballet Principal Dancer Edward Watson–The Metamorphosis (2007)–and international stars Ivan Vasiliev and Natalia Osipova–Facada (2014), a theatrical comedy. Pita’s film work includes: Sunshine on Leith and Ex Machina.

photos of “Death Defying Dances” by Joshua Sugiyama


The Broad Stage
1310 11th St. in Santa Monica
Thursday, October 27, 2016 at 7:30
Friday, October 28, 2016 at 7:30
Saturday, October 29 at 7:30
for tickets, call 310.434.3200 or visit The Broad
for more info, visit BODYTRAFFIC

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