Again With the (End-of-Year) Lists

By Victoria Looseleaf

It’s become a tradition (of sorts, as we haven’t listed in several years), so here’s ours for the Best Dance of 2013, fashioned after our, er, beloved Los Angeles Times Tweet-centric style. And why the hell not, as we realize our last few postings could have rivaled War and Peace in length. The following, btw, is in no particular order…

Nederlands Dans Theater. The world’s greatest troupe graced the stage of the Pavilion for three days in October. Our tw0-word review? #fu*****brilliant. All hail Paul Lightfoot, Sol León & Medhi Walerski. We also loved doing the 3 pre-concert talks; merci #RenaeWilliamsNiles #MichaelSolomon #MsGloryaKaufman

Diavolo: Architects of Motion, L.A.’s most traveled troupe completed its commissioned L.A. Phil at the Bowl trilogy w/Fluid Infinities: #exquisite #profound #daring! Shame on Mark Swed for saying the company, directed by Jacques Heim, “played it safe.” Read our LAT article to bone up on the little troupe that could – and does. Diavolo, btw, is at Germany’s Movimentos Festival in May, performing the world premiere of said trilogy, L’Espace du Temps. #keepontrucking

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty: A dazzler w/vampires, a recalcitrant princess who looks like she dozed for a century courtesy of #propofol, & Bourne’s  always fascinating steps & staging at the Ahmanson. #wewantmore

Wim VandekeybusUltima Vez #blewminds at CAP UCLA. Reviving its 25-year old masterpiece, What The Body Does Not Remember (below), made this body pine for time spent w/Wim in Venice (our LAT story is here).





Diana Vishneva: On the Edge #anotherworldpremiere at Segerstrom, & it was #nothingshortofmarvelous. That it also led to our latest foray – Monaco, ici nous venons – didn’t hurt, either. Brava #LaDivinaDiana. (Read our LAT review here; our Fjord Review here.)

Einstein on the Beach (at the Pavilion), rates musically and dance-wise, as Lucinda ChildsField Dances #astonished. Elated this work finally made it here courtesy of #LAOpera & #KristyEdmunds of CAP UCLA. (Click here for our KCET Artbound story.)

Another dancey opera: Yuval Sharon’s thrilling Invisible Cities. Staged at #UnionStation, the first #headphoneopera w/music by Chris Cerrone & choreography by Danielle Agami (Ate9), performed by L.A. Dance Project was #technologyandtalentsquared. Click here for our KCET Artbound story.

Martha Graham (left) at the new Wallis: #informative  #relevant #perfectfit with this gorgeous space in our very own hood, Beverly Hills. Kudos to Lou Moore and MGDC‘s Janet Eilber! (Click here for our LAT story.)

Sarah Elgart’s site-specific Everywhere Nowhere, at LAX’s outdoor courtyard on #ArrivalsLevel between Terminals 1 and 2. #YuvalRonScore  #StephenGlassman visuals & Elgart’s #ebullientdancing & #intriguingchoreography proved #addictive.

Susan Marshall’s Play/Pause at CAP-UCLA (cover photo): #wittymashup of unconstrained movement, David Lang‘s live music and #clubdancegestures. Hello #Twerking #rockedthehouse (click here for our Fjord review).

Heidi Duckler Dance Theater’s The Groundskeepers: #sweptusoffourfeet. The site-specific queen made use of an abandoned hospital. We’re only glad we weren’t locked in #thepsychward. Also loved the #creepyandcunning Boiler Room scene. (Our LAT review is here.)

Josie Walsh’s Texture of Time, w/Jealous Angel‘s radical score performed by husband Paul Rivera. Festival Ballet dancers #workedtheirbuttsoff in Walsh’s #cuttingedgechoreography. Look for the debut of the pair’s troupe, #BalletRED in 2014. And check out their latest YouTube video #boundtogoviral.

American Contemporary Ballet‘s entire season! Choreographed by artistic director Lincoln Jones, it featured ten dancers, including #primaballerinaassoluta & associate director Theresa Farrell (photos below by Lauren Ward). Works were #gorgeous #fastidious #exciting. (Click here for our NYT story, also spotlighting Los Angeles Ballet, another best-of contender. LAB‘s 7th season, a #BalanchineFestival shone w/the little-seen La Somnambula and a breathtaking La Valse, which were but a few of  Mr. B‘s gems presented. (Yours truly also gave several pre-concert talks.) We love #Colleen Neary & #Thordal Christensen #YES

Barak Ballet had an #auspiciousdebut, w/Melissa Barak showing #mettle in Danielle Agami’s #barefootonthefloorsolo. The concert also featured a revival of Pascal Rioult’s Wien, #gritandgrace & 2 works by the erstwhile City Ballet dancer. Our LAT story is here.

This year being the centennial of the ground-breaking Rite of Spring, we also loved the Joffrey Ballet performances of the Nijinsky/Stravinsky #riotinducer. Ergo, in closing, it’s been a swell year for dance (and we’re not even counting our quick April jaunt to Aix-en-Provence for Ballet Preljocaj‘s world premiere, Les Nuits, which the troupe brings to the Music Center in June (and for which we’ll also be doing the pre-concert talks). And: a special shout out to David Roussève, whose work, Stardust, we reviewed for the LA Times, calling it a ‘revelation.’ Roussève’s troupe launched the piece at REDCAT, one of our favorite venues, and we’re really glad he’s making dances here!

In essence: Dance is good for the soul and even better for the heart, so thanks to all you #terpsichores #dancemakers #presenters #audiences #dancelovers & #fabulouspeeps who kept the art form alive in 2013. Here’s to even more great dance in 2014!

About Victoria Looseleaf

Victoria Looseleaf is an award winning arts journalist and regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times, KUSC-FM radio, Dance Magazine, Performances Magazine and other outlets. She roams the world covering dance, music, theater, film, food and architecture. Have pen - and iPad - will travel! Her latest book, "Isn't It Rich? A Novella In Verse" is now available on Amazon. Thank you for reading! Cheers...
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