News May/June 2005


The Music Center announces the third season of the Dance at the Music Center series. The season opens Oct. 5 with the Kirov Ballet production of The Sleeping Beauty, followed by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for six performances in Feb. 2006 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.. Three companies make their Music Center debuts--Limon Dance Company (at the Ahmanson Theatre, March 25-26), Nuevo Ballet Espanol (April 22-23) and Miami City Ballet (June 30-July 1 & 2), both at the Chandler.

For ticket information call (213) 972-0711 or visit


Merce Cunningham Dance Company performs SPLIT SIDES, with new music by Radiohead and Sigur Ros, both 2004 Grammy nominees in the Alternative Music category. SPLIT SIDES was originally presented in Oct. 2003 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music as the finale of the company's 50th anniversary celebration. It will be seen locally for four performances, June 2-5.

The ballet features decor by photographers Catherine Yass and Tobert Heishman, costumes by James Hall and lighting by James F. Ingalls. The choreography and each collaborative element of the 40-minute work have been developed in two distinct parts, meaning that for each performance the order of each element will change depending on a roll of the dice. SPLIT SIDES continues Cunningham's long history of integrating chance in the presentation of his work.

Merce Cunningham Dance Co. came into being in the summer of 1953, when Cunningham took a group of dancers who had been working with him in New York to Black Mountain College, the radical liberal-arts school in North Carolina. The group included Carolyn Brown, Viola Farber, Remy Charlip and Paul Taylor. John Cage was music director, David Tudor the company musician.

From 1954 to 1964 Robert Rauschenberg was the company's resident designer. He was succeeded by such illustrious artists as Frank Stella, Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns.


Elfman Ballet Company will unveil the West Coast premiere of ANNA KARENINA at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, June 23-June 26.

Founded by Boris Elfman in 1977 as the St. Petersburg Ballet Theater, Elfman Ballet has revolutionized the concept of classical dance in Russia by taking the art of ballet to its highest level of expression. Elfman trained a new generation of dance-artists and -actors who use the foundation of classical ballet as a launching pad for innovative, modern choreography. The company's provocative style fuses avant-garde dance with the methods of 20th century theater and film.

Unable to tour internationally during the first ten years of its existence because of political reasons, Elfman Ballet became famous in the West in 1988, thanks to its sensational debut at the Champs Elysees Theater in Paris. The company did not dance in the USA until 1998, when it dazzled audiences and critics in its first New York appearance.

Since then Elfman Ballet, joined by only three other dance companies, has enjoyed the status of a constituent company at City Center, becoming the first non-American company to receive this honor.

Merce Cunningham Co. and Elfman Ballet appear at the Chandler as part of the Dance at the Music Center 2004-2005 series. For tickets and information call (213) 972-0711.

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