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Dance the summer days away in L.A.

June 26, 2010 | 11:00 am
Lux Summer becomes eclectic when some 20 dance troupes – mostly local – take to the stages of the Ford Amphitheatre and the Hollywood Bowl from now through October.  The range of styles is akin to a terpsichorean tasting menu:  folklorico, Brazilian and Israeli dance to tango, contemporary and hip-hop.

And though concerts under the stars may hold abundant pleasures for audiences, they occasionally present challenges for performers.  The Ford, for example, has terraced steps, lush trees and vegetation, and a bi-level performance area that includes a raked stage.

Jacob “Kujo” Lyons is artistic director of Lux Aeterna, a local troupe that fuses break dancing and contemporary dance.  Together with Antics’ Amy “Catfox” Campion, they’re on a bill of 10 troupes appearing in J.U.I.C.E., the third annual hip-hop dance festival at the Ford, on Oct. 2.

Says Lyons:  “The slanted stage has made it near impossible for our b-boys or b-girls to successfully pull off a decent head-spin without falling, but the oddly-shaped upper stage has offered all kinds of creative possibilities.  Every piece I’ve done at the Ford has been tailored to that stage.”

Adds Campion:  “Both Kujo and I fell off the stage doing a back spin.  The physics of the raked stage means there is less of you in contact with the ground.  But,” says Campion, “we love the Ford and I will forever be grateful to them for putting us on that first year, 2007.  I was fresh out of grad school and had never done anything on that scale before.  They took a chance on us, and we got a standing ovation.”

For a closer look at summer dancing in the area, click here for the Arts & Books section story. And here's a list of summer dance in L.A..

-- Victoria Looseleaf

Photo: Jacob "Kujo" Lyons of Lux Aeterna

Credit: Yuri Hasegawa