News March/April 2014:


L.A. Dance Project, the youthful and chance-taking company headed by Benjamin (Black Swan) Millepied, recently put on a three-part program at The Theatre at Ace Hotel. The dance pieces were new, the venue was old and historic. Built as the United Artists Theatre in 1929, the 1600-seat house has an ornate Spanish Gothic design and a vibe that is pure Hollywood kitsch. Long shuttered, the theatre retains its authenticity and charm--and proved to be the perfect place for L.A. Dance Project to strut its stuff.

Millepied (and five of his dancers) choreographed the first piece on the bill--REFLECTIONS, a high-flying exploration of the rites of courtship. Featuring a piano score by David Lang (performed by Gloria Cheng) and blood-red backdrops by Barbara Kruger ("Stay" and "Go" they exhorted the dancers), REFLECTIONS ran thirty minutes and captivated from beginning to end.

PERIPHERAL STREAM followed. With choreography, sound and visual design by Hiroaki Umeda, it was danced by Julia Eichten, Morgan Lugo, Nathan Makolandra and Rachelle Rafaeledes to an ear- pounding electronic score. The rapidly morphing lighting effects and elaborate video projection (jittery digital lines) turned the piece into a high-tech exercise that often detracted from the dancers' high-flying work.

Justin Peck's MURDER BALLADES closed out the always-challenging evening. With music by Bryce Dessner, the piece explored the nature of violence in America in a fearless and provocative way. Six dancers took on the theme of murder and found their way to the human heart of it.

In 2014 L.A. Dance Project will perform in New York, Paris, Lyon and Moscow, as well as in Los Angeles again. For information visit

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