Guest Blog by Mike the Poet: Dance Door Opens for Compagnie Käfig

Above the eastern steps of The Music Center, directly across from Grand Park is one of the most iconic sculptures of both Downtown Los Angeles and the city itself. “Dance Door,” is the bronze frame and doorway sculpture originally created by the celebrated late sculptor Robert Graham in 1978. As writer Michael Several wrote in 1998, “The work consists of three sections: small fragments of dancing figures appear in relief in the bottom half; larger fragments of dancers in relief in the next quarter; and a cutout frieze of silhouetted dancing figures on the top.” This elegant artwork frames City Hall on the eastern horizon and has been the site of countless photos for over a generation of Angelenos.

“Dance Door,” is a meaningful sculpture for many reasons. The most obvious is that its’ beauty pays tribute to the many dance events that The Music Center hosts every year. The work was so successful that it also led to Graham creating many more sculptures throughout the city including his “Olympic Gateway” piece at the Memorial Coliseum for the 1984 Olympics and his “Source Figure,” sculpture above the Bunker Hill Steps next to the Library Tower. Graham has also created equally significant works that remain standing in New York City and Washington D.C.

“Dance Door,” was commissioned by the late Frederick Weisman, who was one of the America’s best known art collectors, for installation near his swimming pool at his Beverly Hills home. Weisman donated the monumental sculpture to The Music Center in 1982 where it still stands, greeting pedestrians walking up the steps to enjoy another Music Center production.

On Friday June 17th through Sunday June 19th, Dance Door will be open for three ticketed performances of one of the most dynamic dancing events to ever appear in Los Angeles: Compagnie Käfig.

Choreographed by Artistic Director Mourad Merzouki, this event features the confluence of Hip-Hop, Capoeira, Samba, electronic music and Bossa Nova.  Performed by an all-male cast of 10 Brazilian dancers, the show will fuse martial arts, street dance, acrobatic skills and high energy into an interdisciplinary show that transcends tradition and usual expectations.

Merzouki founded his company in 1996 and the French choreographer has won international acclaim because his Dance Company presents performances that unite South American, European and North American movement into an aesthetic vocabulary that utilizes Hip-Hop and dance culture to bring worlds together and make sociopolitical statements that can be felt on the visceral level.

Walk through “Dance Door,” to witness a new world of movement with Compagnie Käfig.

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Mike Sonksen aka Mike the Poet is a 3rd-generation Los Angeles native that grew up in the LA underground. After graduating from high school shortly after the 1992 Rodney King Rebellion, Mike started at UCLA in the fall of 1992 and from this time he has spent thousands of hours attending Hip-Hop events, performing spoken word poetry and writing record reviews for a wide range of magazines and websites.