This Weekend at The Music Center

Happy Friday friends!  This weekend we’ve got a very cool assortment of shows, including Music Center debuts and opening nights!  You won’t want to miss a thing this weekend at The Music Center…

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre RICE

Tonight

Catch the 1st of 3 performances of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan in our Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.  Known as Taiwan’s premiere contemporary dance company, Cloud Gate blends a unique and mesmerizing style influenced by Tai-Chi, martial arts and modern dance.  Their production, Rice, tells the cyclical story of the staple crop, set against a backdrop of stunning photography from the region.

Meanwhile in Walt Disney Concert Hall, Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts the LA Phil in a program of Beethoven and Mahler.  And in the CalArts REDCAT theatre, check out Meg Wolfe’s new lushly physical movement workNew Faithful Disco , for a very different kind of dance show!

New Faithful Disco

Saturday

Along with additional performances of Cloud Gate Dance, Beethoven and Mahler, and  New Faithful Disco, treat yourself to the opening night of Center Theatre Group’s hilarious new engagement of  An Act of God, starring Sean Hayes in our Ahmanson Theatre.   Plus, the Los Angeles Master Chorale will be performing a matinee of Verdi’s Requiem in the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Looking for something for the kiddos?  Take them to the latest performance in the LA Phil’s mid-morning series, Toyota’s Symphonies for Youth, at 11 am in the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and enjoy a short performance of Debussy’s La Mer.  

An Act of God

Sunday

It’s the final day to see Cloud Gate Dance Theatre, as well as additional performance of Beethoven and Mahler, Verdi’s Requiem, and  An Act of God.

Have a wonderful weekend Los Angeles!

 

Meet the man behind cloud gate dance

We’re just two weeks away from welcoming Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan to The Music Center for the very first time and we thought we’d take some time to introduce you to the man behind the movement, Artistic Director & Founder Lin Hwai-min  Here’s an excerpt from his bio….Lin Hwai-min

In his homeland, Taiwan, Lin Hwai-min was first known as a critically acclaimed writer. In 1969, at the age of 22 and with two books of fiction published, he went to study in the States and obtained a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Writer’s Workshop at the University of Iowa. He also studied modern dance at the University and in New York.

Lin Hwai-min founded Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan in 1973, the Dance Department at the Taipei National University of the Arts in 1983, and Cloud Gate 2 in 1999. Heralded as “the most important choreographer in Asia, Lin often draws his inspiration from traditional Asian culture and aesthetics to create original works with contemporary resonance, which have made Dance Europe acclaim: “No company in the world dances like Cloud Gate. It presents a distinct and mature Chinese choreographic language. The importance of this evolution in Asian dance is no less profound than the impact of Forsythe’s Ballett Frankfurt on European classical ballet.”

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Among the honors Lin Hwai-min has received are honorary doctorates from six universities in Taiwan and Hong Kong, the Taiwan National Award for Arts, the Ramon Magsaysay Award, the John D. Rockefeller 3rd Award, the award for ‘Best Choreographer’ at the Lyon Biennial Dance Festival, “Distinguished Artist Award” presented by International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA), and the Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters from the French Ministry of Culture. In 2005, he was honored by Time Magazine as one of the “Asia’s Heroes.” In 2013, he was awarded by President Ma Ying Jeou with the First Rank Order of Brilliant Star with Special Grand Cordon. He is the second artist, after film director Ang Lee, to have been bestowed the highest honor from the government of Taiwan.

Honoring Lin Hwai-min with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009, the jury of the International Movimentos Dance Prize, Germany, hails him as “a foremost innovator of dance” and said that “Lin Hwai-min ranks among artists of the century such as William Forsythe, George Balanchine, Birgit Cullberg….”

*************************************************************************************************So you can see why we can hardly wait for Cloud Gate to arrive!  See Lin Hwai-min’s work in action January 29-31st in our Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.  Tickets and more information on our website.  

Allow us to clue you in on Cloud Gate Dance Theatre

Our next dance engagement of the 2015/16 season of Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center is with Taiwan’s premiere (and first) contemporary dance company, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre.  Here’s some background on the company and why everyone should jump at the chance to see them here in LA…

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre

Founded and led by the prolific choreographer Lin Hwai-min in 1973,  and named after the oldest known dance in China, Cloud Gate blends Asian mythology, folklore, and aesthetics with a modern sensibility.  Their style draws from such diverse movement disciplines and artistic approaches as t’ai chi, meditation, martial arts, modern dance, and classical ballet, resulting in a totally unique form of contemporary movement and story-telling.

The company tours extensively and is extremely popular in Taiwan and beyond.    They’ve even had an asteroid named after them, as well as a street in Taipei… Suffice to say, they are highly regarded in the cultural landscape of China.  Founder Hwai-min’s work as a choreographer has been likened to that of William Foresythe and George Balanchine.  He’s been heralded as “the most important choreographer in Asia,” and has received numerous awards and honors for his innovative creativity.

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre

This innovative style certainly comes through in Rice, the piece they will present during their 3 performance run here at The Music Center.  Rice was inspired by the landscape and story of Chihshang in the East Rift Valley of Taiwan, a farming village that was tainted by the use of chemical fertilizer, but which has now regained its title as the “Land of Emperor Rice” by adapting organic farming methods.  The piece is rooted in the fragility and importance of rice, a staple in the Asian landscape and culture.

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre

This January marks the first time Cloud Gate Dance Theatre will be at The Music Center, and we can hardly wait to welcome this renowned company to our Dorothy Chandler stage.  It’s an honor and a production you don’t want to miss!  More information and tickets are on sale now.

 

Mariinsky Behind the Scenes!

This week, we’ve played hosts to the legendary and remarkable Mariinsky Ballet as they performed Alexei Ratmansky’s charming version of Cinderella in our Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.  The company simply dazzles on stage, and if you managed to see one of the performances, we’re sure you’ll agree that having such a world-renowned company come to LA is a real treat!  But now here’s a behind the scene glance at all the other things these brilliant dancers were up to during their stay with us at The Music Center…

Costumes, pointe shoes, bobby pins and boxes.  All backstage essentials!

The Mariinsky Ballet Behind the ScenesThe Mariinsky Ballet Behind the ScenesThe Mariinsky Ballet Behind the ScenesThe Mariinsky Ballet Behind the Scenes

Rehearsals and company class are just part of the routine!

The Mariinsky Ballet Behind the Scenes The Mariinsky Ballet Behind the Scenesball from the wings

Prima Ballerina Diana Vishneva found time to help us out with our security rounds….

The Mariinsky Ballet Behind the Scenes

Image via @ardanig

Company director Yuri Fateyev gave a master ballet class for the BFA students for the new USC Kaufman School of Dance…

The Mariinsky Ballet Behind the Scenes

Photo Credit: Carolyn DiLoreto

See more pics on our Facebook page!

We celebrated with the dancers at our post-opening night reception…

post opening night reception Post show cheers

And on days off, the dancers took in a few of LA’s fabulous sights….

The Mariinsky Ballet Behind the Scenes

Huge thank you to all the dancers, musicians, and artistic staff of The Mariinsky Ballet for bringing a bit of your magic to us!  Come back soon!

Ready for Ratmansky!

Alexei Ratmansky

Photo Courtesy of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation [CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

#ICYMI Alexei Ratmansky is one of the biggest names in dance right now.   He’s one of the most sought after choreographers in the world, and currently works as the Artist in Residence at American Ballet Theatre.  He was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2013, and has been awarded the Prix Benois de la Danse for choreography,  as well as the National Dance Award for his work  The Bright Stream.  

One of the many things that makes Alexei Ratmansky so remarkable, is his ability to bring new vibrancy to classical story ballets which have remained mostly the same for decades.  His choreography in this traditional format has truly reinvigorated the story ballet; bringing it into the 21st century in a way that seemed somewhat impossible.

Here at The Music Center, we’ve presented several Ratmansky works as part of our Glorya Kaufman presents Dance series, including The Bright Stream (performed by ABT)  and Romeo & Juliet (performed by National Ballet of Canada.)  But this season, we’re thrilled to have our series book-ended with works by Ratmansky – starting with his Cinderella this October, performed by The Mariinsky Ballet and Orchestra, and ending with his Firebird next July, performed by American Ballet Theatre.

Watch the video below to hear more about Alexei Ratmansky’s works and choreographic process, then be sure to join us at Cinderella to see his remarkable work live!

Make Way for Mariinsky!

The Mariinsky Ballet Cinderella

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – The time when all the new seasons for dance, theater, music and opera kick off and there’s a sudden slew of amazing shows to see!  Round these parts, we are particularly pumped about the start of our new season of Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center, which gets going on October 8th with The Mariinsky Ballet & Orchestra.

Based in St. Petersburg, Russia, at the Mariinsky Theater, The Mariinsky Ballet (formerly known as the Kirov Ballet, and before that, the Imperial Russian Ballet) is world-renowned for their technique, artistry and lustrous history in the ballet world.  The company was founded in the 1740’s, following the formation of the first Russian dance school in 1738.  That school would become the predecessor of today’s Vaganova Ballet Academyfrom which some of the greatest and well known dancers would emerge, including Rudolf Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov, George Balanchine, and Natalia Makarova (just to name a few.)

Students at Vaganova School

Students at the Vaganova Ballet Academy

The historical importance of this ballet company is hard to pack into a single blog post, but to add some additional perspective on just how cool this company is,  factor in that for a number of years, Marius Petipa was their ballet master.   You may recognize that name as the choreographer of  such classics as Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, La Bayadere, Raymonda, and The Nutcracker.  In other words, he’s like the Godfather of classical story ballets.  Iconic to the artform.

With just five shows this October, The Mariinsky Ballet brings Alexei Ratmansky’s Cinderella to our Dorothy Chandler Pavilion stage.  Set to Prokofiev’s haunting score and performed by Mariinsky’s own orchestra, Ratmansky reinvigorates this classic story-ballet with vibrant choreography, feisty humor, and a glamorous 1930’s twist!

Diana Vishneva Mariinsky Ballet Cinderella

Cinderella_photo V.Baranovsky (4)

The cast list alone (which you can peruse on our website) is reason enough to snag seats to this show.  But throw in this company’s legacy, the orchestra, the enchanting music, the charming story and Ratmansky’s brilliant choreography, and well, this show is sure to be  one you’ll never forget!

Get your tickets and more information on our website, at our box office, or by calling us at 213.972.0711.