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Highways Has A Birthday Party!

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When you're a teenager, there are several big moments in life--when you turn 16 and you can legally drive, 18 when you can vote, buy cigarettes and get pierced without parental consent and then the next big moment is 21.

Hold On!!

Highways Performance Space and Gallery, one of our local internationally renowned centers for new performance (dance, music, performance art and any hybrid thereof) is turning nineteen this weekend!! And, in this day and age of a crumbling economy, this accomplishment is no small feat! So, they're celebrating with a birthday party of outstanding artists strutting their stuff on stage and reminding us what the US/southern California/art is all about!

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Artistic and Executive Director Leo Garcia is calling this event a "Nervous Breakdown" and has assembled two cutting edge shows that highlight what he calls "the fearlessly brave and uncensored new work" that is happening in our great city.

The Friday night program features an evening of diverse dance that includes Horton Award-winning Rosanna Gamson/World Wide exploring her Polish Jewish ancestors with a bi-national group of eight performers, Blue 13 Dance Company presenting excerpts from Bollywood Cabaret!, DanceGood.Dammit!!!'s Gregory Barnett revealing universal acceptance and lowbrow ideals and Naked with Shoes' Anne & Jeff Grimaldo sloughing, molting, tearing, shaking, and undulating in order to peel away the layers of the psyche. Try to go home the same as you arrived after witnessing that!!

On Saturday, revelers get to savor an eclectic mix of new performance, music, and spoken word by members of Highways' illustrious alumni. American Russian Theatre Ensemble Laboratory (ARTEL) presents an excerpt from their The Legendary Times of Bulgakov; interdisciplinary artist Levan D. Hawkins demonstrates how, after experiencing emotional trauma, a man learns his greatest lesson from Aretha Franklin; Mira Kingsley presents an excerpt from her recently premiered full length piece, Yes is a long time; and Dorian Wood and special guest Killsonic perform "The Pond," a three-part lullaby about an army of children who wander into a dark forest and discover a deep, dark truth. Top this with a new work by the internationally known performance and video artist Neo Bustamante and you'll never be the same again!

Founded by writer Linda Frye Burnham and performance artist Tim Miller in 1989, Highways continues to serve as an alternative cultural center for Los Angelinos as it encourages fierce new artists from diverse communities to develop and present innovative work. Often the ideas and images that surface in this work uncover some of our personal and collective deepest secrets or explode our senses with wide reaching ecstasy. Definitely worth celebrating!

Check out these YouTube Highways artists' moments:

photo of Mira Kingsley by Scott Groller, courtesy of the artist