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Arts and Entertainment

New Original Works Festival At REDCAT Kicks Off Week 2

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Following last week's opening program of exploratory light, dance and performance work by three innovative Los Angeles artists, the NOW Festival returns for its second sampling of boundary pushing music, dance and theater at its Downtown L.A. headquarters. This week's adventure includes local premieres from Jennie MaryTai Liu, Tyler Matthew Oyer, and Waewdao Sirisook and Ronnarong Khampha.

In "Actress Fury," director, choreographer and performer Jennie MaryTai Liu looks at the idea of ambition and what promotional materials describe as the "conundrum of aspiration, vanity, discipline and fear" attached to it. Three women evoke the essences of Ajax, Nijinsky and Joan Crawford in the body of this one driven character, as collaborators Tanya Brodsky (visual art), Mark Nieto and Julia Bembenek (sound) enrich the work-in-progress.

Debating the written treatises of early 20th century painter and composer Luigi Russolo and that derived from contemporary pop diva Beyonce's Gentlemen's Quarterly Magazine interview, performer/sculptor/philosopher Tyler Matthew Oyer brings his one man "100 Years of Noise: Beyonce is Ready to Receive You Now" to the stage. What inside sources describe as a "dysfunctional dialogue" between the two artists living centuries apart, "'100 Years...' illuminates the politics of aural pleasure, past and present...stark contrast, contradiction and absurdity." Though there's no mention of a soundtrack or score, one wonders if the two will belt it out as in an "American Idol" contest.

Performers Waewdao Sirisook and Ronnarong Khampha open our provincial eyes to Fauwn Leb, the traditional fingernail dance of Northern Thailand in "Fauwn Leb/Identity" as part of this weekend's fare. A duet created by the two contemporary practitioners of the art form, the piece reveals what drew them to Fauwn Leb and the current tensions that exist between their heritage and the divergent global forces they now navigate.

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It sounds like a veritable globe-trekking, time-traveling experience right here in the L.A. basin. And all these artists call our sprawling town some version of home. Purchase tickets for shows Thursday through Saturday nights at 8:30 p.m. and head Downtown.