Los Angeles Dance Festival to debut in a busy April
With the goal of highlighting local dance, Diavolo Dance Theater and Brockus Project are co-producing a new Los Angeles Dance Festival, April 14 and 15, at the Brewery Arts Complex just east of downtown.
So far, 16 contemporary dance companies have signed up to participate, including Barak Marshall’s dance company, Oni Dance, Kybele Dance Theater and Lula Washington Dance Theatre. Deborah Brockus, artistic director of Brockus Project, said she is awaiting word from several other groups.
“What I want to do with this festival is somewhat similar to the American Dance Festival in North Carolina,” said Brockus, speaking of the annual summer event that is an international leader for dance training of college students, and for presenting and commissioning contemporary work. For the Los Angeles Dance Festival, “the companies are all going to be doing open classes in the day, and then there are performances in the evening.”
The classes will take place in Brockus Project’s two studios at the Brewery Arts Complex on Moulton Avenue, and the performances will be at Diavolo’s studio space, also at the Brewery, which can seat as many as 150. If the Saturday performance sells out, a later second show would be added, Brockus said. She based her selection on "strong working companies that tour to different places."
“What we’re really trying to do is invigorate the full community,” she said. “There are so many amazing [university] dance programs and they [the students] don’t know there are a component of companies that will hire them.”
Brockus said a complete schedule, class fees and ticket information should be available next week. A festival website, www.ladancefest.org, should be launched next week, too.
The April 14-15 weekend is already a busy one dance-wise, with a similar event, Laguna Beach Dance Festival, taking place in Orange County. And at the Music Center, Ballet du Grande Théâtre de Genève will be performing works by Benjamin Millepied, founder of the new group, L.A. Dance Project.
-- Laura Bleiberg
Photo: Members of the Kybele Dance Theater perform at a Brockus Project Dance Company and Diavolo dance program in 2007. Credit: Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times