Corina Kinnear received her Bachelor of Fine Arts with Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet and Dominican University in the Bay Area, and she has choreographed throughout the US and Europe. She has performed with Invertigo Dance Theatre, the Deutche Oper Ballet, and created work in residencies at the PARTS in Brussels, the Centre National de la Danse in Paris, and TanzFabrik in Berlin. Most recently, she has divided her time between Los Angeles and Berlin, Germany.
Currently, Kinnear is presenting a powerful evening entitled NAKED which is performing through March 25 at the Pico Union Project in Los Angeles. Beautiful photographs by Lilly Lawrence and Andrew Grace, and illustrations by C.W. Moss are in the lobby, around the multi-faith sanctuary and on the walls of the upstairs balcony. There is a gorgeous installation throughout by visual artist Tina Teichert that drapes the rooms with white gauze-like material, giving the feeling of water cascading overhead.
The Pico Union Project was originally built as the first Sinai Congregation in Los Angeles (1909 – 1926), which quickly outgrew that space. It was sold to the Welsh Presbyterian Church in 1926 and the building was declared a Historic-Cultural Monument in 1977. Craig Taubman bought the building in 2013 and created the Pico Union Project. Among the building’s highlights are stunning stained-glass windows and the pipe organ located inside a narrow-loft.
NAKED is separated in four parts: Naked Art, Naked Dance, Naked Talk, and Naked music. For the first half hour one is free to walk around and look at the artwork. There is nothing that might be conceived of as offensive. There is a closeup of an arm and elbow that focuses on skin texture and wrinkles, a pair of legs, and a woman’s breasts. The full nudes of the dancing are very artful; some blurring the figures, while others do not.
Naked Dance begins with five performers, three women and two men, walking into the performance space fully clothed. They stand, walk around and then begin to undress onstage. These performers are then fully nude, and the lighting sculptures their bodies into beautiful works of art as they sit on the floor in repose. A slow circular moving solo leads into all five moving individually with an original electronic score by composers Alina Cutrono and Theo Karon .
The dancers line up facing the audience. We see them without any outer defenses of costumes or clothing. Suddenly they break into very fast solos, each designed for their individual abilities. This is repeated several times and as it does, we begin to see each individual tire, regain her/his breathe and resume at full tilt. The sweat soon glistens in the light and the five different skin tones become clearer. As a dancer and teacher, I found myself observing on the dancers’ muscularity; how their back muscles looked as a torso twisted, extended an arm, etc. I watched how did their muscles changed as they went from standing to dancing or jumping; or landed in a sculpture-like pose on the floor.
The dancers then lay on the floor facing upstage, away from the audience, as Kinnear entered to sit at the edge of the space. She asked each dancer questions; questions that they had not previously heard. Their answers were honest and occasionally humorous. Naked Dance finished with a lovely and peaceful unison phrase that would speed up, abruptly stop and then proceed again. It came to rest with the dancers standing still like glistening sculptures as the light slowly fading.
Throughout Naked Dance, the dynamic score SILENTSHORT, was both driving and exhilarating, with the deep rumbling sounds adding a layer of unrest. The lighting remained constant, draping the performers in half shadow except when they stood still facing the audience. This semi-darkness helped increase a sense of sculpturing that Kinnear’s movement and design had offered.
The talented cast of dance artists included Khristina Cayetano, Roger Gonzalez Hibner, Amanda Masongsong, Ryan Ruiz, and Keon Saghari.
The audience was then directed upstairs into the balcony for Naked Talk during which Kinnear asked a series of questions to individuals. She explained that NAKED is an artistic research project about nakedness, and that our responses were being recorded. Only one person had an issue with that, and Kinnear did not ask that person a question. I will not list the questions, as Kinnear wants quick and honest responses from the audience.
The evening resumed in the sanctuary with Naked Music. On this night the band was The Love Language: Stu McLamb. Each performance will present a different band.
NAKED continues through March 25 at the Pico Union Project at 8pm. For specific dates, information and tickets, click here.
Feature Image: Part of the Installation by Tina Teichert – Photo by LA Dance Chronicle
To view the LA Dance Chronicle Calendar of Performances, click here.