Located in Pasadena, California, the Lineage Performing Arts Center was founded in 2010 by the Lineage Dance Company (Lineage) and encompasses Dance, Theatre, Music, and Story. Hilary Thomas founded Lineage in 1999 and has presented over 500 concerts, and created a series of free acting, dance, and voice classes for people with neurological challenges through its Dance For Joy program. Funded in part by grants from the California Arts Council, and the Pasadena Educational Foundation, Lineage is currently in residence at Eliot Arts Magnet, Altadena Elementary, and John Muir High School.

For a limited time, the company is offering the free streaming of two short dance films Gamble Ramble and Refuse that not only include wonderful dance performances, but also take the viewer on an intimate tour of Pasadena’s iconic Gamble House. The Gamble House is an iconic American Craftsman home in Pasadena and a National Historic Landmark. Also known as the David B. Gamble House, it was designed by the architectural firm Greene and Greene and constructed in 1908-09. David B. Gamble was a Manufacturer and a Co-Founder of the Procter and Gamble Company.

Directed by Artistic Director Hilary Thomas, Gamble Ramble begins at the house’s front exterior and moves from room to room as the camera follows the dancers through the front hall, into the kitchen and dining area, up a narrow flight of stairs, through bedrooms, and down hallways.

The highly energetic and sometimes emotional dancing looks improvisational, but highly structured and excellently performed. The one solemn moment is when we see a lone woman performing introspective arm movements while sitting quietly on the edge of a neatly made-up bed.  Composer John Guth’s original score then shifts from a haunting, bluesy style into a jazzier feel and the dancing follows suit ending with Christopher Frazier closing one of the beautifully crafted bedroom doors.

Gamble House Screenshot (409) Lineage Screenshot (413) Lineage Screenshot (417) Lineage Screenshot (418) Lineage Screenshot (419) Christopher Screenshot (422) Lineage Screenshot (426) Lineage Screenshot (427) Lineage Screenshot (428) Refuse Screenshot (406) Refuse by Hilary Thomas - Lineage Dance Company Screenshot by LADC
Lineage Dance Company - Hilary Thomas and Teya Wolvington in "Refuse" Choreographed by Hilary Thomas - Screenshot by LADC

Thomas’ direction of the dancers and the camera – videography by Mike Testin – come together to create an extremely pleasing dance-on-camera experience. The cast of Gamble Ramble include Brittany Daniels, Christopher Frazier, Michelle Kolb, Caterina Mercante, Ericalynn Priolo, Austin Roy, Hilary Thomas, and Teya Wolvington.

Refuse is a duet choreographed by Hilary Thomas for herself and Teya Wolvington. Though it begins mysteriously in front of a gorgeous stained glass interior window, the work is performed primarily outside on a reddish brown tiled patio where it loses some of its mystery but continues with a powerful connection between the two women. The compelling performance by Thomas and Wolvington is enhanced by the  ever-shifting camera angles under the direction of David Hemphill, and the luscious music by composers Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, performed superbly by musicians Connie Sheu and Elise Shope.

Hilary Thomas grew up in Pasadena and trained with The Pasadena Dance Theatre under the direction of Philip and Charles Fuller and Cynthia Young. She earned degrees in dance and psychology from Santa Clara University and continued her dance training with the Joffrey Ballet. Thomas has also performed with Western Ballet in Mountain View and Benita Bike’s DanceArt Company in Los Angeles.

These two films will be available for a limited time, so go there now by clicking HERE.

To visit the Lineage Performing Arts Center website, click HERE.

Written by Jeff Slayton for LA Dance Chronicle.

Featured image: Lineage Dance Company – Gamble Ramble – Screenshot by LADC