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Arts and Entertainment

New York Troupe Brings Experimental Gothic Dance Performance To L.A.

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Most of the time, the out-of-town contemporary dance that visits us in L.A. has a pretty deep line of credits to sponsor its appearance in the Southland. There are only a couple of local presenters that risk a little and bring lesser known artists into our midst. Show Box LA, an artist-run relatively young organization, has been doing this in its own shoestring way for a few years now and this weekend, it is hosting the arrival of the highly acclaimed Luciana Achugar to the theater at the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles. for shows Friday and Saturday nights.

Performing the Bessie Award-winning "PURO DESEO" in its Los Angeles premiere, the choreographer and longtime collaborator Micheal Mahalchick uncover what promotional materials describe as "the darkness of a theater's cavernous black box and its inherent magic and mystery." With inspiration said to be "drawn from paranormal phenomena, the occult, and representations of monstrosity in Gothic film and literature," the two create their incantation into what one online reviewer labeled as a "focused ritualistic exploration of haunting and the haunted."

Whoa! This doesn't sound like anything the Disney empire is getting behind too quickly.

Despite the Uruguayan-born and Brooklyn-based artist's relative obscurity to local audiences, her work has been seen both nationally and internationally. The Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery on New York's Lower East Side defines Achugar's aesthetic as an "attempt to infiltrate her viewer's world with sensation and tactile reflection as they witness the choreography." The recipient of several prestigious awards from progressively-minded dance and art organizations, she seems to be sharing a language we all speak, but which lies buried underneath our everyday conversation.

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