The Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT) just announced that it will be resuming live and streaming performances, screenings, and exhibitions, as well as live in-person performances. It will, however, continue to reach out to online audiences around the world. A few of the artists premiering works this fall are choreographer, performer, and educator Milka Djordjevich’s CORPS (Nov 11-13); extreme vocalist, improviser, and intermedia artist Carmina Escobar’s Bajo la Sombra del Sol / Under the Sun’s Shadow (Nov. 18-20) and artist Nao Bustamante’s The Wooden People (Dec. 16-18).

“As we begin to gather together again, this season is guided by the urgency of performance in engaging the complexities of our shared moment. As we move back into the fullness of art’s public life, we are as resolute as ever in our commitment to artists, and to uplifting the voices and perspectives that continue to define experimentation in the present,” said João Ribas, REDCAT’s Steven D. Lavine Executive Director and Vice President for Cultural Partnerships.

I have listed the events featuring dance first.



June 5–Oct. 24, 2021
Aria Dean

A newly-commissioned video and installation by Los Angeles-born and New York-based artist Aria Dean, Suite! stars a chorus line of Kudzu plants set within digitally-rendered versions of the installation as it appears in its presenting institutions. Accompanied by an original score, the work’s choreography combines the artist’s motion-captured movements with online video content, including a range of traditions such as Broadway musicals, 20th-century avant-garde dance, ballet, and pop choreography.

Aria Dean - "Suite" - Photo by Brica Wilcox

Aria Dean – “Suite'” – Photo by Brica Wilcox

Sept.16–18, 2021
jumatatu poe & Jermone Donte Beacham
Let ‘im Move You: This is a Formation

Let ‘im Move You is a series of works choreographed by jumatatu m. poe and Jermone Donte Beacham that stem from their multi-year research into J-Sette performance. J-Sette, also known as Bucking, is a performance style popular in the Southern United States, practiced widely among majorettes and drill teams at historically Black colleges and universities, and also among teams of primarily queer men who compete at gay clubs and pride festivals. Initial research for the series absorbed the artists’ curiosity about the performance of joy and what the artists call “the conundrum of Black joy.” The series began in the summer of 2013 while jumatatu and Donte were at a residency through Germany’s Tanzrecherche NRW, and currently consists of three live performance works and an installation. This Is a Formation is the latest performance work in the series, bringing together a group of seven Black dancers for a multimedia work to be alternately performed at REDCAT, and on sidewalks and in alleyways in predominantly or historically Black neighborhoods. Compelled by J-Sette’s specific rules around formation and order, the new project confronts meanings, real and imaginary, of Black queer bodies in public assembly.

"Let 'im Move You" - Photo by Maria Baranova

“Let ‘im Move You” – Photo by Maria Baranova

Nov. 11–13, 2021
Milka Djordjevich
World Premiere

CORPS explores how labor and gender are addressed under the lens of regimented movement. The work is a continuation of choreographer, performer, and educator Milka Djordjevich’s ongoing questioning of dance practices, preoccupied with producing neutrality and anonymity. CORPS aims to unravel and disorient the militaristic conditioning of groups “keeping together in time.” The work reveals similarities across traditional, combative, ritualistic, athletic, and folk movement forms. Over time, methodical systems of labor and cooperation rally into a procession of distorted collectivity. Moving with a steady urgency, the performers yo-yo between collapsing and rectifying, creating an ever-changing engine on a pathway to unruliness.

Milka Djordjevich - "CORPS" - Photo by Maria Baranova

Milka Djordjevich – “CORPS” – Photo by Maria Baranova

Dec. 3-4, 2021
CalArts Winter Dance

CalArts Dance presents WINTER DANCE: IRL, a return from its groundbreaking exploration of the virtual to in-person performance, intense and intimate collaborations, and ACTUAL physicality. Enjoy new work created by the stellar CalArts Dance faculty with extraordinary and very human students IN REAL LIFE.

CalArts Winter Dance HHUMAN Choreographed by Dimitri Chamblas - Photo courtesy of the artist

CalArts School Of Dance – Winter Dance at REDCAT Outdoor Performance of CalArts Winter Dance HHUMAN Choreographed by Dimitri Chamblas – Photo courtesy of the artist

Dec. 9-11, 2021
What Remains

REDCAT is pleased to present What Remains, a collaboration between world-renowned poet and MacArthur Fellow Claudia Rankine and choreographer and Guggenheim Fellow Will Rawls. Through movement and voice, four performers invite us across the threshold of a historical void produced by anti-Blackness and respond to violence and disappearance with a resonant, ghostly chorus. Inspired by Rankine’s texts on racial violence—Citizen (2014) and Don’t Let Me Be Lonely (2004)—the result is a performance at the edge of dance and poetry that meets and challenges the erasure of Black citizens with its own immersive disturbances. What Remains premiered at Danspace Project (NYC) in 2018 and has been presented at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Yale Repertory Theatre, and Walker Art Center.

"What Remains" - Photo by Ian Douglas

“What Remains” – Photo by Ian Douglas

Film/Music/NOW Festival/Animation/Theater

Sept. 20, 2021
Bill Morrison
The Village Detective: A Song Cycle

REDCAT is proud to present a sneak peek at acclaimed director’s Bill Morrison’s latest work, The Village Detective: A Song Cycle, due to be released later this year. Featuring a hypnotic score by Pulitzer Prize and GRAMMY Award winner David Lang, The Village Detective: A Song Cycle tells of a 1969 Soviet film found in a fisherman’s net off the coast of Iceland. The filmography of its leading actor offers a portal into a history that has endured on celluloid. From the director of Dawson City: Frozen Time, Morrison’s documentary is not to be missed. In-person: Bill Morrison

Sept. 22, Oct. 27, and Nov. 22, 2021
Karrabing Film Collective

The Karrabing Film Collective, an Indigenous media group based in Australia’s Northern Territories, uses the creation of film and art installations as a form of Indigenous grassroots resistance and self-organization. The collective opens a space beyond binaries of the fictional and the documentary as well as the past and the present. Meaning “low tide” in the Emmiyengal language, karrabing refers to a form of collectivity outside of government-imposed strictures of clanship or land ownership. Shot on handheld cameras and phones, most of Karrabing’s films dramatize and satirize the daily scenarios and obstacles that collective members face in their various interactions with corporate and state entities. Composing webs of nonlinear narratives that touch on cultural memory, place, and ancestry by freely jumping in time and place, the Karrabing Film Collective exposes and intervenes into the longstanding facets of colonial violence—such as environmental devastation, land restrictions, and economic exploitation— that impact members directly.

REDCAT presents a comprehensive look at the Karrabing Film Collective’s work surveying their existing films to date throughout the fall.

Oct. 1, 2021
Angel City Jazz Festival
The 2021 Angel City Jazz festival arrives at REDCAT with a double bill: The Mark Dresser 5 and the Jeremy Ledbetter Trio.

Mark Dresser is a GRAMMY-nominated, internationally renowned bass player, improviser, and composer. At the core of his music is an obsession and commitment to expanding the sonic, musical, and expressive possibilities of the contrabass. He has recorded over 150 CDs including his most recent solo LP Modicana (2017).  From 1985 to 1994, he was a member of Anthony Braxton’s Quartet. The Mark Dresser 5 is Chris Speed (clarinet and tenor saxophone), Michael Dessen (trombone), Joshua White (piano), Mark Ferber (drums), and Mark Dresser (bass and composition).

An engaging and fiery performer whose music knows no boundaries, Canadian pianist Jeremy Ledbetter has made a career from travelling the far-flung corners of the globe in search of the most fascinating and unique musical ideas out there, then seamlessly integrating them into his work as a pianist, composer, and producer. Jeremy is the driving force behind Caribbean Latin Jazz powerhouse CaneFire and the longtime musical director and producer for calypso superstar David Rudder. Jeremy’s newest project, the Jeremy Ledbetter Trio, released their debut album Got a Light? in 2018. The Trio features Ledbetter’s unique sound at the piano alongside fellow Canadian jazz heavyweights Rich Brown and Larnell Lewis.

Oct. 2, 2021
Mur Murs, a Film Series

After a pandemic hiatus, “Mur Murs” is back! Taking its name from the Agnès Varda film and inspired by that film’s vitality and diversity, “Mur Murs” is a one-day film series presenting contemporary artists’ cinema in Los Angeles. This edition will consist of two programs of new moving-image works responding to the contemporary moment placed in dialogue with resonant historical works from avant-garde, experimental, documentary, and creative non-fiction cinema. Agnostic in genre and format, it also includes recent archival restorations and (re)discoveries. Excited to return to the physical space of the cinema, “Mur Murs” will include a combination of in-person and streaming experiences. In-person: Curators Rebecca Baron and David Dinnell

Oct. 7-9, Oct. 14-16, Oct. 21-23, 2021
New Original Works Festival  (NOW)

The 18th edition of REDCAT’s New Original Works (NOW) Festival returns to in-person performances with nine new works by Los Angeles artists who are redefining the boundaries of contemporary performance, inventing hybrid artistic disciplines, re-imagining traditions, and confronting urgent issues. Each year, NOW Festival transforms REDCAT into a laboratory for premiering new contemporary dance, theater, music, and multimedia performances. All artistic teams receive free rehearsal space, technical support, and artist fees. Since the first edition in 2004, NOW Festival has presented the work of over 200 L.A.-based artists. The unprecedented 17th edition of the event, held across Fall 2020 and Winter 2021, was a three-week celebration of Los Angeles’ vibrant and resilient community of artists, streamed directly from REDCAT to viewers in over 30 countries around the world.  Back in person, the 18th edition of NOW will unfold over three weekends and feature a triple bill of performances. Each program is premiered on Thursday evening and repeated Friday and Saturday evenings.

Oct. 25, 2021
Me, Between Somewhere and Nowhere: Women Animation Artists from Japan

The commercial film sector in Japan is predominantly male-dominated. According to Asahi Newspapers, only three percent of film productions by major companies are directed by women. However, a quick look at the independent sector, especially in the field of short, animated films, reveals a very different picture. Beginning in the late 2000s and especially in the 2010s, a new generation of women animation filmmakers has boomed. This strong trend in contemporary Japanese film culture is surprisingly neglected by the main cultural discourse. Without a doubt, there is a problem with a system that excludes young, interesting, talented artists creating such smart, energetic, and original works. This selection of films brings together an eclectic mix of films by young female animation artists using a diverse array of techniques to question gender roles and the image of the female body in Japanese society.

Oct. 29, 2021
Macha Colón
Perfume de Gardenias

Perfume de Gardenias, the debut feature by queer Afro-Puerto Rican multidisciplinary artist Macha Colón, comes to REDCAT after its world premiere at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival. Colón knits a whimsical tale of motherly love and sisterhood tinted with black humor and sparkled with lavish doses of Caribbean imagery. Isabel is a loving and witty elderly widow with plenty of caring left to give. Soon after she decorates an exuberant and very personal funeral for her late husband, she’s enlisted by Toña—a power player in the neighborly gossip milieu—into producing custom-made and one-of-a-kind funerals for the local parishioners of a middle-class barrio in Puerto Rico. Perfume de Gardenias puts caregiving at the center of the frame while picturing a candid take on the cycle of life and death, the relevance of mourning rituals, and the importance of companionship. This provocative reflection on death and mourning featuring veteran actress Luz María Rondón in her first movie-starring role, offers a playful and darkly comic perspective on Puerto Rico. In-person: Macha Colón

Oct. 30, 2021
Moor Mother with Vitche-Boul Ra
recognition technology

Philadelphia-based Moor Mother (aka Moor Mother Goddess or MMGz) is the solo outlet for Maryland-born artist, educator, and social activist Camae Ayewa. Moor Mother’s music combines social issues with a visceral blend of hardcore electronics and her intense poetry, as if Saul Williams and Noname joined Death Grips. Ayewa, who grew up rapping and “playing guitar” with broomstick handles, was influenced as much by Patti LaBelle, Public Enemy, and the Beastie Boys as Malcolm X and Maya Angelou. Ayewa’s work has been featured at Baltic Biennale, Vox Populi, ICA Philadelphia, and Bergen Kunsthall, among other institutions and festivals worldwide. Her new album, Black Encyclopedia of the Air, is out September 17 on ANTI- Records.

Oct. 31, 2021
Abraham Castillo Flores
The Pentagram of Mexican Cinema Horror Legends

REDCAT welcomes film curator and historian Abraham Castillo Flores for a one-of-a-kind live celebration at the threshold of Halloween and Día de Muertos. Bursting with bristling film clips and unheard-of stories from the cinematic beyond, this must-see psychotronic performative lecture will invoke the legends of Mexican folklore that have manifested themselves throughout the years in the country’s delirious cinema of fantasy and horror: La Llorona, El Santo, La Momia, La Muerte, and El Diablo. These mythical figures remain deeply ingrained in the Mexican collective psyche. And through cycles of hibernation and euphoric popularity, reflect the paradoxical relationship between the reverence for and mockery of death and the afterlife that Mexican culture is known for around the world. In-person: Abraham Castillo Flores

Nov. 6, 2021–March 1, 2022
Black Quantum Futurism
CPT Reversa

Black Quantum Futurism is an interdisciplinary creative practice between Camae Ayewa and Rasheedah Phillips weaving quantum physics, Afrodiasporic concepts of time, ritual, text, and sound, and creating counter-chronologies, grandmother paradoxes, and envisioning Black quantum womanist futures that rupture exclusionary versions of history and future. Their practice spans writing, music, film, visual art, and creative research with a focus on recovering, collecting, and preserving communal memories, histories, and stories. Through their work and alongside collaborators, Black Quantum Futurism aims to develop and enact a new spatiotemporal consciousness.

CPT is commonly understood as the acronym for “Colored People’s Time,” oftentimes a negative stereotype of Black people as chronically late, but also a cultural understanding that events and experiences do not adhere to strict schedules and linear time. In physics, the same acronym stands for “charge, parity, and time reversal,” a fundamental symmetry of laws that holds for all physical phenomena. Intrigued by this double meaning of CPT, Black Quantum Futurism seeks to examine time and temporality at various scales and dimensions—personal, interpersonal, communal, global, and cosmic time—and their connections and reverberations through new and rearranged videos, collages, maps, sounds, and other visual works. Simultaneously, it aims to make visible the temporal meridians that connect, distort, and mirror each other, depending on one’s arrival or location on the timeline. CPT Reversal serves as a preview to the longer-term research project CPT Symmetry and Violations with the Collide Residency at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research).

Nov. 18–20, 2021
Carmina Escobar
Bajo la Sombra del Sol (Under the Sun’s Shadow)
World Premiere

Bajo la Sombra del Sol (Under the Sun’s Shadow) is a performative hypertextural scenic work by extreme vocalist, improviser, and intermedia artist Carmina Escobar that is staged, makes communion with, and is filmed at the natural landscape of Mono Lake, California. Using the creation of myth, it reintegrates the notion of ecstasy in the social realm to define our ontological principles and communal consecration to social togetherness. Structured in nine chapters, the performance traverses five sites in Mono Lake during five interventions, from sunrise to sundown. The piece is experienced in two ways: at Mono Lake as part of a minimal live audience, and at REDCAT, with an immersive installation that brings the audience on a journey towards its own shadow, including live performances interwoven with film in a multi-screen theatrical environment.

Nov. 29, 2021
Parables of Light and Fire: Recent Works by Haig Aivazian

Methodically weaving together digital images sourced from the internet and footage shot on his mobile phone, Lebanese artist Haig Aivazian reveals the traces of soft and hard power. In Prometheus (2019), fire serves as a transhistorical narrative motif, from the heights of Mount Olympus to its unleashing on the oil fields of Kuwait. The film juxtaposes the dominance of the “Dream Team”—a group of superstar NBA players who flattened competition in the Olympic games in 1992—with a new era of global politics embodied in the technological and environmental assaults on Iraq perpetrated by the U.S. in 1991. In All of Your Stars Are but Dust on My Shoes (2020), Aivazian bridges cloaked narratives of power from whale oil lamps to LED bulbs, and from public lighting to mass surveillance, closely examining new technologies of vision and motion capture used as tools of social control and warfare.

Dec. 16-18, 2021
Nao Bustamante
The Wooden People
World Premiere

Artist Nao Bustamante’s latest work, The Wooden People, layers ancient myths on the familiar melodrama of the telenovela while grappling with ideas of queer existence, love, and a connection to the cosmos. The work expands on a central theme of the Mayan origin story, which tells of pre-humans—“the wooden people—” who were eventually destroyed. The Wooden People is an episodic 360/VR film series being filmed at REDCAT. The theater takes on a metaphorical role in the central narrative. Bustamante brings together luminaries of the Los Angeles performance art world, featuring Ron Athey, Rafa Esparza, Marcus Kuiland-Nazario, Gabriela Ruiz, San Cha, and Dorian Wood, with a musical and sound score by Nick Hallett and costumes by OLIMA.

Following current Los Angeles County Public Health recommendations, and for the safety and comfort of the REDCAT community, all patrons and guests must wear a mask while at REDCAT except when eating or drinking.

In-person events are subject to change as COVID-19 protocols evolve.

GENERAL INFORMATION: For current program and exhibition information, click HERE.

To visit the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) website, click HERE.

Written and compiled by Jeff Slayton from a August 24, 2021 REDCAT press release.

Featured image: NOW Festival 2020 artist Davia Spain – Photo by Steve Gunther