CSULB Modern III – Concert response #1

Please share your comments on concerts you have seen so far this semester (Contemporary, MFA or Ultimate Vez). 


23 thoughts on “CSULB Modern III – Concert response #1

  1. Last weekend, I had the opportunity to see both the MFA Concert as well as the performance by Ultima Vez entitled “What the Body Does not Remember.” So now, I take this opportunity to discuss some of my impressions of both performances.
    To start, I would to like to talk about the MFA concert, Shadows and Echoes. Overall, the show was very interesting and I was surprised at how diverse it was. To start the show off was “The Wrecking Project,” and I really enjoyed this entire piece. I found it interesting that I could distinctly see the bits and pieces of Gerald’s work throughout the piece being he has very distinct movement and movement qualities. I could see the incorporation of spirals and PNF in the movement, and I enjoyed how the MFA students broke down the structure of the piece to create something with a completely different meaning. Another piece that really struck me was Panties and Pathologies. Although the piece was outspoken in showing its intent, I found it interesting that Alison chose to desexualize the intimacy of underwear and skin bearing by explicitly emphasizing it in the piece. There was no way of avoiding or missing the point behind her piece and I liked the fact that it was so “in your face,” so to speak.
    I had the opportunity to see the show by Ultima Vez entitled What the Body Does not Remember, and I have to say that is was probably one of the greatest shows I have ever seen. The physicality of the show, the coordination of the dancers and the strength behind what they were doing was incredible. One of the moments that stood out to me in the show was when the dancers had varying sizes of blocks of chalk and they balanced on the pieces to move across the stage. Some dancers even went as far as stacking the blocks in precarious positions and balancing on top of them. That in mind, on top of the extensive contact work this company did, Ultima Vez really showed a great demonstration of body mind centering and having full awareness of one’s body and its surroundings. Although I saw this show before we started on the works of Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, in retrospect, I could see how they applied many of the ideals behind this somatic practice. There was extensive floor work, in which the dancers had to be fully aware of weight as well as maneuverability in floor positions, similar to that of those we did in class. (creeping on the floor, crawling, homo-lateral movement etc. )

  2. This past weekend I was able to see Bebe Miller Company at the REDCAT. To me, this was more than just another dance concert in L.A. I am currently doing research and preparing to write a paper on Bebe Miller for Dance History with Colleen so I had a different perspective while watching. The piece was titled ‘A HIstory’. She incorporated videography, props, and vocals by the dancers. From my research I knew she was a huge fan of collaboration so it was no surprise. I was very surprised, however, that there were only two dancers dancing for more than an hour on stage! It was very impressive. The two made a lot of contact, whether it was with each other, the floor, or a prop (table and chairs). The movement was very thrash-y yet controlled. Now that I think about it, it kind of reminded me of our master class with Nick Strafaccia from Trisha Brown Dance Company. When they contacted it was a natural flow that seemed to be endless. It made me want to do contact improve!!!!!!
    Since I am currently in Dance History it had me looking for her influences in her choreography. I could see some African Aesthetics in her choreography with articulate spines and loose pelvises. Particularly leading with the pelvis.
    The story or message I took away from this piece wasn’t really a definite one. The dancers were telling verbally of the history of the company and how things work amongst all of them and Bebe. But there were also moments where it was clear that she wanted the audience to take a look at their personal history. It was very individual.
    I really enjoyed it!

    • I also saw Bebe Miller a couple of weekends ago. I was really interested in all of the the contact movement in the piece. I think I was paying close attention to the contact movement because that is something I really want to explore some more. To me, it is so interesting that two completely different people can come together and make such beautiful movement and build such an amazing connection that even the audition could feel. I could tell that the couple was very comfortable with each other and have worked with each other a lot. Their connection to each other was amazing. I thought that picking the two dancers that she picked to dance the piece was perfect since the piece was about the history of her company and they have been dancing with her for a while. It looked comfortable and free. I really enjoyed it and it really didn’t feel like I was watching an hour long duet.

  3. I also saw Bebe Miller’s company perform at the REDCAT. Like Madison, I’m researching Bebe Miller for Colleens history class. I have been analyzing Millers choreographic style and where her movement originated from. I had seen the piece “History” on videos and it displayed everything I have been learning about her style. I loved watching it first hand and actually understanding some of the concepts ahead of time! Her movement is almost pedestrian at times and mixed with a slight European aesthetics and a majority of West African. The grounded movement and isolated body was demonstrated through out the piece. A major concept Miller works with is involving each dancers experience to life and dance and incorporating that with her choreography. So that everyone contributes to the art. I saw this when each dancer was verbally speaking through out the dance. I had a great experience watching this concert and it definitely helped me understand more for my paper.

  4. I also saw the Ultima Vez concert at UCLA. I found this show to be unlike anything I’ve seen before. Like Jessie said, the performance was very physically demanding, and there was no intermission, just an hour and a half of constant dancing. Each section of the show was unique, and it began without music, but then a live drummer came to the stage to play. For another section, they tossed around big blocks of chalk, and moved across the stage walking on them. Their timing had to be absolutely perfect at all times because if not, then they would drop the blocks, or get hit with them. They used this same technique and timing for another section where they through towels to each other as well, so when the music sped up, there was a blur of dancers running, throwing towels, and catching towels. The girls had to do just as many tough movements throughout the performance, such as throwing and catching things, as the men did. At one point, the women even dressed as men. Seeing this relationship was different then the typical man vs. woman relationship that I have seen in other shows. Overall, I think these dancers were very kinesthetically aware of themselves as well as spatially aware of others to be able to pull off this whole performance. I really enjoyed the show, and am glad I had the opportunity to see it!

  5. It was a weekend of dance when I saw Ultima Vez on Friday and the MFA show on Saturday. After seeing both performances, I started asking myself, “What is dance?” I still think about this whenever I’m in class or just walking down the street. Anything can be used as dance. It does not have to be stylized movement, which is what a lot of people think dance is.
    I knew nothing of Ultima Vez before I saw them. By just the name alone, I thought they were from South America possibly. But to my surprise, they are from Belgium, which I thought was neat since I have not really seen companies from different parts of Europe. They performed at UCLA’s Royce Hall on March 15 and 16, performing What the Body Does Not Remember. On the way to see them, I got lost with the people I was with, making us 15-20 minutes late for the performance. So, majority of the information about Ultima Vez was learned after the show (it was 90 minutes long with no intermission).
    Throughout the work, there were many different sections that did not always seem linked together. While watching this piece I began to wonder. Is a dance just a set piece of choreography? Is it stylized movement? Is it people moving about, making patterns? In reality, it is all of this and more. Majority of the movement the company was doing was more pedestrian and simple. It was amazing to see the physicality that the performers had. They must have been extremely strong to be able to hurl their bodies throughout the space while still being present in the dance.
    Their movements seemed tasked based, yet playful. In addition to my questioning of dance theme, I also realized that there was this theme of sexuality between the 2 concerts. In one of the sections for Ultima Vez, some of the female performers were manipulated by some of the male performers in a way similar to an invasive TSA pat down. The men were touching the women in intimate places while the women either stood there or tried to almost fight back at one point. I do not know if there was a point to this. My interpretation of this is that the choreographer was making a statement about the objectification of women by men.
    Going off what I said earlier about “what is dance?” I thought that the MFA Concert was very thought provoking. There were some pieces that I did not understand after only seeing them once. Watching Gerald and the grads’ piece, I was somewhat confused. I did not understand the piece. When in Colleen’s class a few weeks later, I was able to see some things a little more clearly like the reference to the Rite of Spring. (I was working the concessions for Off 7th and did not get a chance to read the program beforehand or to sit and relax before the performance which usually helps me to take in the show more.) I think that if I had seen this piece a second time I would have understood it more. Seeing Alison’s piece made me instantly think of Ultima Vez from the night before. It was dancing and not dancing at the same time, while looking at how women view themselves and how men view women. It was almost as if her dancers were being put up against a mirror and told to critically look at themselves. To say what is “wrong” and what is “right” on their bodies, and how they can change that to look desirable to men. The fact that she used “Love to Love You Baby” by Donna Summers was what made me see where she was going.
    Overall, this performance was good. I really enjoyed it. Even when I did not always understand what I was seeing, it was nice to see dance from someone else’s approach and background. We all do not come from the same place or study all of the same things. Yet, sometimes we think that college has leveled the playing field and everyone is the same. I would not have necessarily created a dance like Alison’s because we are different people. By watching how someone else does it differently, it can open your eyes and allow you permission to do the same.

  6. At the beginning of this month I had the honor to see Trisha Brown’s Dance Company at Royce Hall. I still am thinking about what I saw today. There is something to say for the beauty in clarity. The movement wasn’t virtuosic but it was defined, coordinated and full of texture. Ironically the piece that spoke the most to me was a male duet, featuring Nick Strafaccia. I found it interesting when he spoke about the effortless/fluid quality the company so beautifully mastered. As he explained, it comes from the connection to the floor. Of course this is something I’ve heard time and time before, but when he instructed us, using the idea of the triangle in the foot and finding that perfect place between the toes and heel, I FELT the connection he spoke of. In fact, I think about it every time I dance now, especially in ballet class. I feel so blessed to have not only been able to witness Trisha’s work on stage but then to also get one of her dancers to explaining her methods, was truly something I will always cherish

  7. Last week I saw the Faculty Concert. It was my favorite concert I have seen at CSULB so far, which is saying a lot. I was blown away with the level of technique, maturity, and artistry that was shown on stage. The strongest pieces in my perspective were Sophie’s piece and Gerald’s piece. Sophie’s piece although it had similar movement motifs that she has used before, was very different than other pieces of her’s that I have seen. The piece and a grounded strength that was beautiful to watch. Although it was ballet and the movement had a very graceful quality, there was also a sense of resistance behind it. The strength of the dancers was apparent throughout the piece in the physical demands of the choreography and also the immense amount of partnering the piece had. Both dancers were in control of every molecule in there body, and every movement looked natural and easy for them (even though it wasn’t).

    Gerald’s piece fascinated me. It truly took me on a journey that I felt I was able to completely relate to. We are all humans, I just kept thinking. The relationships. The interactions. The problems. The laughs. The songs. The good days. The bad days. The freak outs. The repetition. The aloneness. The togetherness. All are aspects of our lives that make us all so different yet so the same. I was able to see all of these things in Gerald’s piece which is why I think I related to it so well. I loved seeing the combination we have done in class so many times on stage! I was doing it discretely in my seat. I think that repeating a movement phrase as many times as they did in Gerald’s piece could get repetitive/uninteresting in another piece, but because every time it was done by different people/partners in a different area of the stage it remained very interesting to watch. I thought that incorporating the voices of the dancers was unique. Dancers always have to communicate with their bodies and I loved being able to hear all of the different voices the dancers have while they were still dancing. This piece touched me. I couldn’t stop thinking about it for a while. The relationships the dancers had with each other seemed sincere and real. I loved watching the way they looked at each other. It didn’t seem forced or planned but instead completely natural and organic.

  8. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater was an evening of dance that highlighted an impressive performing range from virtuosic technique to soulful expression. The show began with Kyle Abraham’s full work Another Night, which I am currently researching for Traditions. I could identify this work as filled to the brim with many of his personal choreographic tendencies, including both balletic and Africanist aesthetics amidst a high energy, jazzy, and complex piece, yet balanced well with technique and honest expression. Jiri Kylian’s work Petite Mort seems to be aesthetically pleasing because of the abundant use of ballet vocabulary, fused with obscure shape-making and addition of geometric poses; the work stands out in part, though, because of his unique integration of comical moments like the striking musicality and subtle character of the women dancing around and with their props of mobile dresses. Ailey’s artistic director Robert Battle’s relatively short duet, Strange Humors, captured two passionate and powerful male dancers enveloped in a scene of pure combat and test of strength. Throughout the show, and especially in this duet, I was drawn to the frame and musculature of the dancers’ bodies. I could watch a whole piece several times, paying attention only to the foot once, then only to the head or pelvis, and so on. The Ailey company closed with the classic set of pieces, Revelations, that enabled the audience to celebrate, take part and contribute to the energy of the performance. I hadn’t seen this work before, and what I enjoyed about it was it’s honesty about human struggle and celebration, without cluttering it too much with the structure of pirouettes, tricks, or complex phrasing.
    The performers in Thursday evening’s cast of our own faculty concert provided a fantastic show that demonstrated beautiful technique, quality of movement, and personal expression in all five performances. Conceptually, each piece was something quite different from the next, and though I could name which faculty member produced each piece without a program, they were compositionally and theatrically different from one another, which was nice overall to be able to showcase a great deal of variety with which the department consists. I really enjoyed watching the same phrasing that we had done in class in Gerald’s cinema-satire The Humans, because it put forth material that I knew in a classroom, studio setting onto the stage and I could really identify each individual’s movement quality and how it changed the phrasing. I think the students that studied the somatic explorations in this modern class were particularly adept in this piece because I could see a clearer intention and application of somatic practices in their bodies. I noted Mark and Quetta being two bodies that I didn’t want to look away from, simply because it was so fascinating to witness the dexterity and knowledge of their own body. Not to take anything away from the other performers, everyone was beautifully full and expressive and I think the choreography allowed for that. In all, it was nice to see a range of the ideas we’ve been introduced to, from spirals and orbits, to integrating PNF, to remaining calm and centered in performing, as a sort of combination platter of dance onstage in a concert setting. More than that, it was interesting to watch how each dancer used these principles in their performance, I think, successfully.

  9. Quite honestly I have been so busy this semester that I have neglected writing this. I have forgotten much about what I was going to write about, and my memory fails to bring me specific examples from the concerts I have seen. Regardless, what is most pronounced in my mind about the concerts I saw (all of the CSULB concerts, Bebe Miller, and Trisha Brown) was that I was drawn to the same aspect of the performances. I strongly resonated with the intention and clarity of the performers.
    Having studied some somatic practices in this class – as well as LMA and Bartinieff Fundamentals in Movement Analysis – I definitely resonated with how subtlety and detail were addressed so thoroughly. There is such elegance to working with the body instead of imposing ideas upon the body that for me personally watching such harmony between the mind and body was gratifying. What resonated with me mostly was total body connectivity, body patterning, spatial support, economy of movement, use of the floor, and clarity of effort qualities and shape qualities. I have found that studying this somatic work allows me to better see how people use their body and how they inhabit and interact with the world.

  10. I got the opportunity to see Doug Varone and Dancers perform “Stripped/Dressed” on January 25th. This concert was not like most, because Varone was actually onstage in the first act. The whole idea was to show what rehearsals were like and what goes on behind the scenes of a concert. The audience got to see the dancers on the sides where the wings would usually be and they were stretching and such. Doug Varone even pulled up audience members to do an improv score to show how he set his choreography. This was very interesting to me because at the same time of the show, I was rehearsing with Liz Curtis for the MFA concert. She took an intensive with him so we did some of the scores he was showing, which really helped me see a tool that is useful for choreography. The second half of the show was like a usual concert. They had stage lights, costumes, and no Doug Varone onstage. I really liked seeing this, because the contrast between rehearsal and a show is so drastic. I never really realized how much those little details affect a performance!

  11. I attended Trisha Brown Dance Company’s performance at Royce Hall on Sunday April 7th. I have mixed thoughts about this performance. There were pieces that I did not necessarily enjoy in this program, but that I have an appreciation for and others that were interesting to view. I have not seen a modern company like this before. The first piece, Les Yeux at l’ame, had an ease and flow to it that was beautiful to witness. In all of the pieces, I found a strong connection to and use of the floor which became even more apparent after taking class from one of the company’s dancers. This connection and stability reminds me of the Klein/Mahler technique that we have learned. The sitz bone to heel connection and base of the foot to the floor is evidently important in this kind of work. The work seemed to inhabit more of a pedestrian like quality with nothing too virtuosic, but containing detail and precision. I found the dancers to be vertical in their torsos, not articulating through the spine as much as I expected, but they were also very loose in their movements. The Spanish dance did not include anything technical in terms of dancing, but the intent and choreographic ideas were clear. It was interesting to see something so simple onstage, but recognized as art and choreography. The entire program relates to art in a different way than I am used to seeing, but in a way that is captivating and appealing in itself. The choreography, movement qualities and dancers all exemplified a rawness and organic feel. The last piece was entitled Newark and was probably my least favorite work of the performance. Music was not used in this piece, only intermittent sound and silence. I can see how dancing in silence draws the attention of the audience members in, but also requires their focus since they cannot be distracted by music, elaborate costumes or sets etc. I did not understand the intent of this piece, but I found a lot of dynamics, varied use of tempo and duration, and many shapes and inversions involved. In terms of artistry, I found that the dancers used their bodies to interpret and represent, but did not utilize a whole lot of emotion in their faces. I definitely saw the incorporation of spirals and three-dimensionality in the work especially important since the body is the main tool to expressivity in this instance, I believe. I found the movement quality to be rich and fluid and the dancers seemed to be able to glide easily through the movements without putting strain or pressure on their joints. As I was watching, I also thought that an internal body- mind connection and clear center was needed for the external process that we are seeing. I saw the work as more of a process rather than a finished product packaged up for the audience to be entertained by. The performance exposed me to Trisha Brown’s work and modern dance in general. I did not necessarily enjoy all of the pieces because I am not used to this kind of work, but I did find them interesting and unique. I found that although the pieces did not always seem clear in their theme or intent to me, they evoked a sense of wonder and inquiry. I appreciate this style of movement and the creativity and originality that goes into making these pieces of art.

  12. I had the pleasure of seeing the Trisha Brown Dance Company perform “Astral Converted,” at the UCLA Sunset Canyon Amphitheater in the beginning of April. This piece was performed outdoors, in the moist evening air. I was a bit nervous for the dancers, because the stage was definitely moist. Although, the crew spent a great amount of time trying to dry the stage off, it was never completely dry. I’m not sure if the company anticipated this issue, but despite the circumstances, the dancers performed beautifully, with such grace. Much to my amazement, the movement still seemed to be of full range and energy. There were a couple of times when the some of the dancers slipped a little, but for the most part they executed the supple, geometric choreographic style, with excellence and ease. The mind body connection was completely evident in their movement. The reason that they were able to perform so beautifully, to what seemed like the full extent, was because they have a great awareness of their bodies. I sat in awe of how technically beautiful, yet free-flowing the movement was. After researching Alexander Technique, I can say that Trisha Brown Company dancers exemplifies movement that is not forced, but in complete agreement of the natural rhythms of the body.

  13. CSULB’s Faculty Dance Concert was absolutely amazing! It was filled with great choreography and every piece had it’s own spark to it. The pieces included contemporary ballet and modern styles and were very entertaining. My favorite pieces were Gerald and Keith’s dances. Gerald’s choreography had such fluidity and was eye catching so I found myself getting lost in the piece and not wanting it to end. I also thought the dancers did such an amazing job, they looked like they could have been a part of a professional company. There was a great energy among the dancers and it looked like they worked hard together and enjoyed being in the piece. Keith’s dance took me completely by surprise because I have never seen him do a dance that was so relaxed and full of humor. I wish I could see every cast member in all the pieces, it seemed like every dance was double casted, but I’m sure everyone did a fabulous job. I cannot wait to see more work from the faculty and students of CSULB!

  14. Two weeks ago I was lucky enough to see Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater perform for the second time. I saw the pieces titled Grace, Minus 16, and Revelations. All three pieces differed greatly and showed the diversity in movement, energy, and emotion the dancers of AAADT are able to perform with. I would describe the choreography in general as strong, powerful, dynamic, technical, and fluid. What stuck out to me were all of the dancers backs. All of the Alvin Ailey dancers had spines that seemed to move like jello, and they all were able to articulate movements in their back and torsos perfectly because of this. Although the choreography was obviously modern, there was still an impressive amount of ballet vocabulary throughout each piece. It was as if the dancers had the soul, energy, and groundedness of a modern dancer, with the flexibility, agility, and grace of a ballet dancer. In the past ballet dancers could get away with only being amazing at ballet, and modern dancers could get away with only being good at modern. That is no longer the case in the dance world. Companies and choreographers expect dancers to be phenomenal at many styles of dance which requires every dancer to train and perfect their technique in all areas.

    All of the dancers seemed to have an intense connection with each other. It wasn’t a group of people on stage trying to look good for the audience but instead a very skilled and talented group of artists expressing themselves as “real” people showing their relationships with one another. Sometimes I feel insecure when I’m dancing and everything around me starts to blur. But then I remember that it is important to not dance with blinders on, but to instead open up your heart and focus on both the dancers around you, and your audience. That is exactly what Alvin Ailey dancers do.

    Dance is about so much more than just the movement. It isn’t about all of the individual steps separately, but instead about the steps or movements in relation to each other. It is so much more enticing to watch the interactions between individual dancers with each other and with the space around them than it is to watch a bunch of dancers dancing by themselves in their own worlds. When I was watching AAADT I was astounded with the musical complexity of the movement. I could almost see the music through the dancers bodies and that was a beautiful thing to witness. It was as if the dancers were not moving to the music but with the music. The grace and power each one of the dancers moved with showed that it really is possible for a dancer to perform with both of those qualities without one overpowering the other. I felt so inspired after seeing this performance. And I still do!

  15. For my second performance I had the pleasure of watching the Trisha Brown Dance Company’s performance of “Roof Piece” at the Getty Museum in West LA. This was a surreal experience. The entire performance was mind blowing. First off, there could not have been a better location. Surrounded by the beautiful Getty Museum artwork, I was able to have my favorite form of art there as well, live! The dancers were dressed in red and scattered in various locations on the roof tops of the museum. There were ten sites of performance and I found that the most effective viewing points were those that exposed multiple dancers. This is because I was able to see the dancers together as one unit. Now here is the most incredible part… there was no music – just the sounds of Los Angeles – and the dancers could not see each other but they were perfectly in sync with each other. This image will forever stick in my mind: As I watched one dancer perform a “clap” with her hands, I heard the clapping noise that should have gone with it, however I heard it from another dancer who was about ten feet away from me. They were perfectly in time with each other almost as if they could see, hear and feel each other. This taught me how important it is to be in tune with yourself and your own body but also with other dancers around.

  16. CSULB’s Spring 2013 Faculty Concert was a fantastic show! Since being in the previous two shows this semester it was different to be in the audience this time. Of course I was itching to run up on stage, however, it gave me a different perspective. I didn’t realize how close the stage is and how clear you can see everything! I always had a feeling that I could hide my little quirks but you can literally see everything.
    Back to the actual concert now. Lorin Johnson’s piece was a lot for me to take in. I felt like there was so much going on on stage that it was not clear of where I should be looking. The focal point was a bit confusing. I found myself looking at the projection on the screen instead of the dancers. But when I did watch the dancers they were all very graceful and eloquent. It did have a very powerful message, but there was just a lot going on.
    Keith Johnson’s dance was one of my favorites. It was very different from what I usually see with his work. It wasn’t as powerful, strong , and athletic. This time it was light and humorous, and I loved it! But you could still see roots of grounded-ness and strength. I usually will always love his work.

  17. The Ailey Dance Company was as phenomenal as always. The program that I attended was comprised of four pieces: Another Night, Petite Mort, Strange Humors, and Revelations. Each piece demonstrated significant passion, beauty, strength, and complete body awareness. In Kyle Abraham’s Another Night, the dancers executed energetic, fast-pace choreography that exhibited a combination of modern jazz and Africanist aesthetics. In relation to class, I was able to identify a great amount of movement in which spiraling, body-half, and head-tail connection was incorporated. It was evident that these qualities, along with their body awareness and connection to the floor allowed them to move frictionlessly and effortlessly, into and out of the floor at such a rapid pace. Jiří Kylián’s Petite Mort, was more of a contemporary ballet. His staging, choreography, and use of props created beautiful optical illusions. I especially loved the mobile, formal black gowns that represented the woman’s armor. In one section the dancers effortlessly executed stunningly, gorgeous partnering and lifts. After researching the meaning of the title, I was amazed at how cleverly elegant it was expressed, with exceptional finesse. It made it easy to watch without being uncomfortable. Robert Battle’s, Strange Humors, was a strong modern duet. What stood out most to me about this piece was the unsupported, straight fall backwards to the ground. It was, and still is, difficult for me to wrap my mind around how the two guys accomplished this task without hurting themselves. I wondered if it was due to the extent of body awareness. The whole time that it was happening, because it began in slow motion, I kept thinking to myself, “Are they really gonna fall straight backwards!?” I almost want to try it, just to see how they did it, but then again, it seems quite scary. The show ended with the famous Revelations, choreographed by the late Alvin Ailey himself. This contemporary modern piece took the audience through the struggle, redemption, and joy of the African American culture. Again, and throughout the entire show, the dancers were phenomenal!

  18. I went to see the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater perform at the Music Center in LA. In Traditions right now we are discussing how the Africanist aesthetics play an important role in the choreography of many historical dancers. It was interesting to see full works that clearly utilize this aesthetic, and also compare the difference of works such as “Revelations” and “Petite Mort.” The performance that I attended had four works by different choreographers. The first was “Another Night by Kyle Abraham, the second was “Petite Mort” by Jiri Kylian, the third was “Strange Humors” by Robert Battle, and the last was “Revelations” by Alvin Ailey. This was probably the best show I have ever seen. The four pieces that they just happened to be performing that night were all so different from each other, it really displayed the company’s versatility. When I saw that they would be performing “Petit Mort” I immediately got really excited. It is one of my favorite works, and I thought it would be really interesting to see this specific company perform it. Since I had seen this work on other companies I could compare the performance qualities, and it was cool to see that each company brings something different and fresh to the same work. I was also really excited to see “Revelations” again. It is another one of my favorite pieces of work, and I will literally never get tired of seeing it on stage. Overall the show was extremely diverse, and the dancers were absolutely beautiful. They transformed on stage from piece to piece, yet still added their own personality to the works.

    The second show that I went to see was the MFA Concert. It was interesting to see the pieces of Gerald’s choreography in “The Wrecking Project” since we have had his class all semester. I could see a lot of the motifs that we learn in class implemented in the work. I also really enjoyed “Panties and Pathologies” by Alison. The piece really struck me because I almost brought my roommate to the show, who is not affiliated with dance or any type of art for that matter. Throughout the entire work I just kept wondering what she would have thought of this piece. She is extremely closed off when it comes to the body; she is really uncomfortable in her own skin in a way. Dancers, and other artists, have an acute awareness of the body that other people do not. This awareness allows for a sense of comfort in one’s own skin, and therefore an understanding of the body in a different way. The way that a dancer would view this piece, is completely different from the way that a random person would. I wish I would have brought my roommate to see her reaction to it, and to discuss her thoughts on it.

  19. Friday April 5, I got to see Trisha Brown at Royce Hall on the beautiful campus of UCLA. This night, the Trisha Brown company was performing Program A which included “Set and Reset”, “Watermotor”, “Foray Foret”, and “I’m going to too my arms – if you catch them they’re yours”. Of the four pieces in the show, “Foray Foret” was my favorite. The movement flowed so perfectly together, and was in complete silence until about halfway through. I wasn’t sure if I was hearing things at first, but as part of the piece, the Hamilton High School Marching Yankee Band began to play their marching band songs right outside of Royce Hall. The music was faint at first, but as the band got closer, the music got louder and louder, until the band finally marched through the theater. On stage, the dancers continued their movement; who knew you could do modern dance to marching band music you would normally hear at any football game! Each of the dancers had such an immense amount of technique, it was mind blowing.
    Having the master class the week right after the show was definitely a treat. After watching the company perform and being in complete awe, it was nice to see that the company members were dancers like us at some point in their lives. It made it seem more real, and it helped me better understand what the company is all about.

  20. Another show that I saw towards the beginning of the semester was the MFA concert on campus. Though it was one of our dance departments shortest concerts, I thought that each piece was very different and unique. “The Wrecking Project” was very different, and I found that it was interesting to watch work that was deconstructed and put together in a piece with all of the MFA students dancing together, which isn’t seen very often. This piece was very abstract and broken apart and it was interesting to see how it all connected and somewhat fit together. I thought that Allison’s “Panties and Pathologies” piece was very bold. I think she intended to make a statement with this piece, and she definitely did, however it didn’t really come across as what her thesis is actually about. I personally wouldn’t have made such bold choices for a piece of my own, but I respect her for doing so. I think having Maggie’s piece close the show was great to watch because a big group number is always appealing to the audience. It was interesting to watch a piece without really focusing on who is who since their faces were covered. Overall, this show was not one of my favorites, but there were lots of unique and interesting choices that were made, and it made for a very entertaining show.

  21. This past Faculty Dance Concert is the most diverse that I have seen, during my time here at CSULB. Words cannot express how honored I am to have been in Gerald’s piece. The choreography, as well as the process was completely inspiring, and has embedded a lasting impression on my use of self, as well as my use of dance. In addition, we had a wonderful cast! Thank you Gerald for that opportunity! Lorin’s mixed media piece addressed some of the issues that pertain to social media. In my opinion it was a little distracting as I was trying to decide which to watch, the dancers or the video. I’m not sure if this was Lorin’s intention, but it definitely impressed upon me the way in which social media itself can be distracting. Sophie’s ballet duet was quite elegant, yet strong, and the incorporation of live music added a nice quality to it. I loved the combination of energy, fun, physicality, and everyday human quality, in Keith’s piece. There were some specific instances in the piece that were most striking to me. First, there was Jessie & Joey’s duet. Their individual movement and contact improv were beautifully articulated. They had a substantial connection to the floor, the space, and to each other, and the conversation between the two of them flowed effortlessly including any necessary punctuation. They consumed every bit of the language with their movement. The second instance was when the trio closed their eyes and slowly rose to an elevated position with their hands placed in front of them. Something about that moment drew me into their world. Although strange, yet pleasant, I’m not exactly sure what it was. Another part in the piece that was extremely striking was Jobel’s mesmerizing solo. His full body awareness, connection to his center, and the floor allowed him to move with strength in various levels and planes. Joey’s performance as “Happy” (the dog) was hilarious and very well done. Even though the concert is over, I still occasionally catch myself unconsciously singing the song. Keith’s piece generated and overall feeling of joy and appreciation for the everyday moments in life. The joy exuded in the facial expressions of the cast was minimal, yet it added such great strength to the mood of the piece. It was interesting to see how the different casts in both Sophie’s and Keith’s pieces each created a slightly different atmosphere. The show ended with Andy’s energetic jazz piece, in which the dancers rocked! The dynamic lighting intrigued me. Overall, the entire show was great. The engagement of the core, not the bracing, is essential for the success all fundamental movement and balance principles, and it was evident in each piece.

  22. I went to see Ultima Vez at the Royce Hall , UCLA. They performed “What the Body Does Not Remember”, a full evening length work that was full of physical and athletic movements. It was a non stop, no intermission dance that kept my attention with each section of the dance changing to something new and interesting. There were thrashing moments in the dance with a couple of guys that I felt like they are going to pay for it later. It looked painful but was very interesting to watch. The towel exchange section was really cool to see. All the different ways the towels were exchanged. The two male dancers that danced to the drumming of the table was so exciting as I am a musician. I love rhythms so it was so fun to watch.
    I also went to watch the Faculty Concert this semester, working for the concession stand to get in. Each dance was different from the other and really developed well. I really love your piece, not being biased, the way it developed into that 25 minute piece within one semester is amazing. I’m curious to know how your process went since you worked with two separate groups. I have choreographed a group piece with two separated groups at a different time and it was interesting to finally put it together. There was so many different variety of dance, who could get bored from watching. I have enjoyed both works from you Gerald and am sad to see you leave this wonderful school. You coming here made it that much more wonderful and am hoping to work with you more in the future. Oh right, the concert. Wonderful concert, live music, costumes, multimedia, etc.

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