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NOW Festival Makes its 6th Return to Downtown
Ayana Hampton | Photo: Blackantphotography
The 6th Annual New Original Works Festival opens this week and runs for three weekends at REDCAT, the theater at the basement of Disney Hall downtown. Programming an assortment of dance, theater, and music events to share a single performance, the festival’s history has been adventurous and the LA Weekly calls it "one of the city's more eclectic and vital performance festivals." The mission of the festival isn’t to get traditional and conventional work onto the LA stage, but to offer an opportunity for local artists to experiment and take some risks, using all the finery of this state of the art facility.Previous seasons have made space for choreographers, composers, new media explorers and directors to create work that has traveled from its presentation on 2nd and Grand Streets to locations across the country and across the globe. This year's selections bode exciting new ways to think about theater, music, dance, media and any combination of those arts and more!
The first week of the festival showcases choreographer/performer Sheetal Gandhi presenting Bahu-Beti-Biwi (Daughter-in-Law, Daughter, Wife) wrapping North Indian music traditions and family characters into a contemporary tour de force that glides between humorous portraiture and active resistance. Early Morning Opera will present Abacus, a large-scale multimedia work staged under the direction of Lars Jan. This piece features a solo performer interacting with projected video and a chorus of choreographed Steadicams to explore R. Buckminster Fuller's vision of a Geoscope--a data visualization device that could almost perfectly model the future. Finally, vibrant performer Ayana Hampton rocks a portrayal of stardom as she headlines her own wildly sexy and overtly subversive music-theater cabaret, The Ayana Hampton Show. Backed by The Lustrous Black Up Dancers and live music by Mark Mendelson and Brian Barrale, Hampton's song stylings range from raunchy to reverent as she testifies to the obsessions that fuel her iconic ambition--from prolific fornication to roiling heartbreak
Something for everyone in this first episode and a cool way to spend a hot summer night! Check it out!
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