Author: Jeff Slayton

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Regales at Segerstrom Hall

The Orange County Performing Arts Center opened with a concert in its Segerstrom Hall in 1986. The new Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall named after the Center’s founding chairman and his late wife, opened in 2006 and the adjacent 500-seat theater was designated Samueli Theater in recognition of a large donation from the Henry Samueli Family Foundation. Appearing this past week at what is now known as the Segerstrom Center for the Arts was the ever-durable Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, now in its 60th year. It was announced that the Thursday night performance was dedicated to the late modern dance...

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DECODE EXPLODE Mostly Fizzles Out at Highways Performance Space and Gallery

Performance art is described as an art form that combines visual art with dramatic performance. There were definitely some of those ingredients at Highways Performance Space and Gallery this past weekend. Several artists joined forces to present their work under the heading of DECODE EXPLODE. One work involved speaking, an array of different sized lamps and two lamp shades. Another included a dining room sized table, three chairs and lots of drama. A third had live music and projections that literally obliterated our view of the performer. The work that commanded my full attention, however, had none of the...

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Aaron Cash Premieres LAST DANCE, the forgotten masters at the Long Beach Playhouse

There are triple threats in the musical theater genre and then there is Aaron Cash whose one man show Last Dance, the forgotten masters sold out and brought the audience to their feet at the Long Beach Playhouse. Born in Australia, trained as an actor, singer, dancer and choreographer, Cash was an original cast member of Tap Dogs, which began in Newcastle, Australia with Olivier Award-winning choreographer Dein Perry. Cash performed with Cher and worked with such dance elites as Twyla Tharp, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Michael Jackson, to name a few. While continuing to work around the world, Cash...

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Review: Benita Bike DanceArt in Concert at the Martha B. Knoebel Dance Theater

Benita Bike DanceArt is in its 36th season and just presented its annual concert at the Martha B. Knoebel Dance Theater located in the Dance Center building at California State University, Long Beach. The program included one work by guest choreographer, Weslie Ching, and five by Benita Bike. As always, Bike’s detail in production values were flawless and her cast of dance artists remain strong. Two works that I had reviewed previously, On Beat 3 and In The Garden, continued to stand out. The three women in On Beat 3 sailed through Bike’s fast paced choreography with ease and...

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Review: L.A. Dance Project Presents Three LA Premieres

Along with Martha Graham Duets, L.A. Dance Project, led by Artistic Director Benjamin Millepied presented three Los Angeles premieres at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. Two of these works, Helix by Justin Peck and Yag by Ohad Naharin were outstanding, but Millepied’s Sarabande brought little that was new or innovative to the stage. All four works, however, were performed by highly versatile and talented dance artists. Coincidentally, I recently had the opportunity to watch a film, The Sacrosanct Accompanist, that highlighted the Martha Graham technique. Although the six dancers in Martha Graham Duets performed with great...

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