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L.A. choreographer Barak Marshall, the accidental choreographer

April 9, 2011 | 10:30 am

Barak Barak Marshall never intended to be what he is -- a choreographer whose works are winning prizes and plaudits. But the native Angeleno could hardly stave off the maternal influence of Margalit Oved, former star of Inbal Dance Theater.

"Dance?" he asks quizzically, "That was something my mother did. Not what I did."

The tune has changed somewhat. "OK," he says, "You can call me an accidental dancer."

Minutes later he launches into a rehearsal at a studio on Pico Boulevard and leaves no doubt of what he does and who he is. The piece is "Monger." Its narrative concerns the master-servant relationship and is based on the wife of a British general in Aden, Yemen who holds her servants in contempt.

But it's also about what the unfortunate do to survive. "They sell their souls. In that sense we're all mongers of one sort or another -- selling fish or gossip or war or peace."

Marhsall brings his company to UCLA Live this week. For the Arts & Books profile of the accidental choreographer, click here.

-- Donna Perlmutter

Photo: Marshall, dressed in black, working on the choreography with his dancers at Minoda Studio in Los Angeles; Credit: Barbara Davidson/Los Angeles Times