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Arts and Entertainment

Dance Agenda: Lula Washington Dance & Complexions Contemporary Ballet

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Right here in Hollywood, across from the Bowl, is a county-owned structure that offers cultural opportunities for all Angelenos. The John Anson Ford Theater is an outdoor, multi-level stage nestled into the hills that often programs events created and produced by local arts organizations. Sometimes these shows are good and sometimes they are better than good. This weekend, for only one night, hometown hero Lula Washington Dance Theatre is bringing her company and guest artists (from New York) Complexions Contemporary Ballet to present one of the better productions in what they call the Inaugural Zev Yaroslavsky Signature Series. In the series produced by the LA County Arts Commission, this first event celebrates a twenty year anniversary of programming at the venue, where summers are often filled with dance. Complexions Contemporary Ballet’s performance will include a solo choreographed by world-renown dance maker and ex-Alvin Ailey dancer Dwight Rhoden and performed by company co-director with as many accolades as his partner, Desmond Richardson. Their company will dance another Rhoden piece featuring music by pop music's U2 while Lula Washington Dance Theatre performs pieces from their extensive repertory.

Multi-cultural Complexions, co-directed by Richardson and Dwight Rhoden, has received numerous awards including the New York Times “Critics Choice” Award and has appeared throughout the US, as well as in many European dance festivals. Promotional materials assert that "whether it be the limiting traditions of a single style, period, venue, or culture, Complexions transcends them all, creating an open, continually evolving form of dance that reflects the movement of our world—and all its constituent cultures—as an interrelated whole."

Based right here in South LA, in a sterling edifice built solely for dance, the Lula Washington Dance Theatre (LWDT) performs innovative and provocative choreography by Ms. Washington. The company tours internationally, offers instruction and interaction with its community of all ages and promotional materials stress that it is "steadfastly focused on using dance to explore social and humanitarian issues, including aspects of African-American history and culture." From the same sources, we learn that LWDT was founded in 1980 and the company "has risen to become one of the most admired African-American contemporary dance companies in the west - known for powerful, high-energy dancing, unique choreography and exceptional educational residencies.

Need we say more? Tickets for the Saturday, August 10 show at 8:00 pm range from $40-$80.

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