Dance has long found a home at the University of California, Los Angeles, even before the creation of UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance (CAP UCLA). As a performer, I danced at Royce Hall back in the late 1960s and the 1970’s with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and the Viola Farber Dance Company, and with my own dance company in the 1980s at UCLA’s Schoenberg Hall. Dance has also been presented at UCLA’s intimate Ralph Freud Playhouse and at the decorative Theater at the ACE Hotel in downtown L.A.
Making its debut this upcoming season, dance will be seen at the newly renovated venue, the UCLA Nimoy Theater located near the UCLA campus on Westwood Boulevard. The building was once known as the historic Crest Theatre in Westwood which opened in 1940 as the UCLAN Theatre and renamed in 19556 by Robert L. Lippert Theatres Inc. After being owned my numerous other organizations, The venue was purchased in 2018 by UCLA for use as a student arts facility.
For the 2023/2024 season all but one of the CAP UCLA dance performances will take place at the UCLA Nimoy Theater.
Saturday, September 30, 2023, Bessie Award-winning collaborators pianist and composer Conrad Tao and choreographer and dancer Caleb Teicher will present Counterpoint at The UCLA Nimoy theater praised by The New York Times as “constantly extending the sonic aspects of dance.”
“Harmonic, rhythmic, and theatrical, the duo explores the dichotomy of their different artistic practices, expanding their individual expressive capacity through a collective experience.” CAP UCLA press release
Award-winning interdisciplinary artist Ann Carlson and theater company inkBoat will perform These Are the Ones We Fell Among on Saturday, October 7 – 8, 2023 at The UCLA Nimoy Theater. These Are the Ones We Fell Among will be performed by Shinichi Iova-Koga and Dana Iova-Koga of USA/Swiss-based experimental dance and members of inkBoat.
Carlson and inkBoat have “created a dreamscape inspired by the movements, myths, and metaphors of our non-human cousins – ranging from the most endangered marine mammal, the vaquita, to the largest land mammal, the elephant.” CAP UCLA press release
The UCLA Nimoy Theater is the venue for Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana, a company that Dance Magazine calls “The Keeper of Flamenco,” on Thursday, April 11, 2024 at 8 pm. This vibrant company will celebrate the passion and power of flamenco with their new work Tablao Flamenco.
Co-founded by artistic director Carlota Santana and Roberto Lorca in 1983, Flamenco Vivo “channels the exuberant energy of tablaos, Spain’s intimate flamenco venues, to create this spirited, yet intimate piece.” CAP UCLA press release
In celebration of its 40th Anniversary, on Friday, Apr 19, 2024 at 8 pm dance returns to Royce Hall when the innovative Urban Bush Women presents Legacy + Lineage + Liberation. The work is described as being informed by the Civil Rights movement, ancestral wisdom, and the expansion of women’s rights.
Founded by choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar in 1984, Urban Bush Women is now under the artistic direction of Chanon Judson and Mame Diarra Speis. Offering stories that are inspired by the Women+ and African Diasporic experience, the New York Times called this group “Triple threat performers who dance, sing and act with a sometimes searing sense of truthfulness.”
Composer Molly Joyce and choreographer Jerron Herman join forces for Left and Right on Friday, May 3, 2024 at 8 pm at The UCLA Nimoy Theater. CAP UCLA’s website describes Left and Right as “a new cross-disciplinary work combining original music, dance and poetic narration” and inspired by their respective disabilities. Herman has cerebral palsy and Joyce received hers via a car accident. The description goes on to state that the work “is a rumination on the opposing lore of the left and right sides of the body— the left being cursed and dark, the right being healing and beneficial.”
The writer and audio describer of Left and Right is Max Greyson; the director is Austin Regan; accessibility consultant Sandy Guttman; and blind/vision impairment consultant is Andy Slater. Left and Right is an evening celebrating intersectional arts and identities with accessibility at the forefront.
LADC looks forward to the possibility of seeing Los Angeles based dance companies perform at the UCLA Nimoy Theatre.
For more information about CAP UCLA’s entire 2023/2024 music, dance, and theater season, please visit their website.
To learn more about the UCLA Nimoy Theater, please click HERE.
Written by Jeff Slayton for LA Dance Chronicle.
Featured image: Urban Bush Women – Photo by Hayim Heron