Los Angeles-based BODYTRAFFIC contemporary dance company performed to a full-house audience at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica. The very well received program included three unique works: “3 Preludes,” a preview of “Private Games: Chapter One,” and the world premier of “Death Defying Dances.”
See image: Melissa Bourkas & Guzman Rosado from “Death Defying Dances,” photo by Joshua Sugiyama
“3 Preludes” was performed to the music of George Gershwin with live accompaniment by pianist Inna Faliks. The dancers, wearing street clothes and moving with a range of fluidity and chaotic rhythms, evoked bustling cityscape scenes and interactions. “3 Preludes” was choreographed by Richard Siegal with lightening design by Burke Wilmore and included performers Tina Finkelman Berkett, Joseph Kudra, Matthew Rich, and Guzmán Rosado
“Private Games: Chapter One (preview),” choreographed by Anton Lachky, integrated the tribal beats of Drums of the World with the classical music of Joseph Haydn, N.J. Zivkovic, B. Biskupstungna, Johann S. Bach. We were transported into a strange and confusing alternative reality by the dancers as they evoked frenetic fleeting moments as they became immersed in interpersonal games and changing roles being played out in wonder and amusement through a cacophony of intense physical and verbal expression. Costumes were designed by Raquel Barreto, Anton Lachky, and BODYTRAFFIC with stage lighting by Burke Wilmore, and featured performers Lillian Rose Barbeito, Tina Finkelman Berkett, Joseph Kudra, Lindsey Matheis, Matthew Rich, and Guzmán Rosado.
See image: Tina Berkett & Joseph Davis from “Death Defying Dances,” photo by Joshua Sugiyama
The program concluded with the world premiere of “Death Defying Dances” with choreography and costume design byYann Seabra and lighting design by Burke Wilmore and featuring the music of L.E. Freeman / Mann Holiner, J.C. Johnson and inspired by Judy Henske and her persona as “Queen of the Beats.” Henske’s recorded provocative narration, song lyrics and bluesy vocal styling dominated the piece as the dancers, wearing colorful and fanciful costumes, portrayed and acted out the characters in her fabled story-lines.
BODYTRAFFIC exemplifies the best in a need to appreciate and support bringing live performances to the LA stage and call further attention to and nurture what is clearly a thirst for dance of all forms that helps us experience how to live and move together as our city life continues to be redefined and reimagined.