The Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theatre (REDCAT) has just released its fall season 2020 lineup of streaming performances, exhibitions, screenings, and more. The performances and films include several works by dance artists or sections within the work that was choreographed. This marks the 17th annual New Original Works (NOW) Festival and the first time it will be held in the fall rather than the spring. Celebrating Los Angeles artists, the NOW Festival will feature new contemporary performance works with three artists being represented on each weekends. The dates are October 8-10, November 5-7, and December 10-12, 2020 and performances will represent dance, theater, music, and multimedia performances from artist Davia Spain, Simone Moore, Alex Alpharaoh, Primera Generación, Xiaoyue Zhang, randy reyes and Bapari, DaEun Jung, Maria Garcia and Samantha Mohr, and Genna Moroni. An exciting element of the virtual festival is that it will be streaming live from the REDCAT stage.

NOW Festival 2020 was organized by Edgar Miramontes, Deputy Executive Director & Curator at REDCAT, with artists in the community, including Carole Kim, Jasmine Orpilla and taisha paggett.  “The NOW Festival creates opportunities for artists that are all too rare. This year, the Festival takes on greater opportunity and urgency: supporting and keeping artists working safely in these uncertain times,” said Miramontes. “It is especially important to have artists lead us and move us forward using this vital initiative of experimentation and development where artists share their unique perspectives, giving us an opportunity to view this changing world in real time and in different and imaginative ways.”

REDCAT’s fall 2020 season that includes dance or dance/theater are:

Links are highlighted in blue

Sept. 26, 2020

Beatriz Santiago Muñoz

A selection of films by the 2019 recipient of The Herb Alpert Award in the Arts in Film/Video Beatriz Santiago Muñoz—including Nocturne (2014), Playa Negra (2014) and Gosila (2018). Santiago Muñoz has created a body of trenchant, poetic work thoroughly dedicated to imagining not only a decolonized Caribbean but alternative modes of vision and representation. Influenced by Boalian theater, experimental ethnography and feminist film histories, she has likened her way of working with non-actors to musical improvisation, ritual, dance and psychoanalytic sessions. Her work has been shown internationally at the Tate Modern, the New Museum, the Whitney Biennial and Pérez Art Museum Miami, among others. In person, via Zoom: Beatriz Santiago Muñoz.

Oct. 8–10, 2020 – NOW Festival Week 1

Davia Spain

This is for Davia

Musician and performance artist Davia Spain takes a deep dive into a journey of self-actualization. She asserts that there is a connection between self-love and ecological justice. Is it ever a good time to say ‘enough is enough’? As the Earth begins its process of breaking up with humans, are we too being forced to look at the cycles we need to break? Will returning to our bodies, our memory, our true power heal our festering wounds; ergo, easing life in 2020? Will the destruction of “life as we know it” lead to a better existence for us all? Spain hopes that by harnessing creative energy she can transmute chaotic energy and find peace in this storm.

Simone Moore

The Divorce Comedy: A spiritual study

Actress and writer Simone Moore’s The Divorce Comedy: A spiritual study is an exploration into the absurdity, isolation, and loss of identity of an Afro-Jamaican immigrant woman’s experience in marriage and divorce. With an original short by cinematographer Arthur Jafa, this excerpt of her one-woman show incorporates video, photography by Barron Claiborne, Afro-Caribbean dance, singing, reggae DJ-ing, and text that conjures the Dance-Hall Queen vs. Proper Church Lady archetypes present in Jamaican culture, indicts colorism within the Caribbean community, rings the alarm bell on our current mental state, and doles out her grandmother’s method for healing the Diasporic soul.

Alex Alpharaoh

O-Dogg: An Angeleno Take on Othello

Performance artist Alex Alpharaoh’s bold reimagining of Shakespeare’s Othello is set in Los Angeles’ Koreatown during the 92’ Uprising. O-Dogg, the Afro-Latino leader of LOKs Crew is preparing to leave the street life behind with his new bride, Desireé Park. When the riots begin, his Father-In-Law’s liquor store becomes threatened. Jay, the owner of Jay’s Liquor refuses to spray “Black Owned” on his boarded windows in spite of O-Dogg pleading. When Eye-G discovers that O-Dogg is handing LOK to Cash-O, Eye-G sets a deadly plan into motion.

Simone Moore Photo by Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine IMG_2833_Credit Alex Alpharaoh and Julianna Stephanie Ojeda DaviaSpain_2020_texasisaiah_la_todv_davia_06 (1) randyreyes_deathbydiscoprelude_CCProject_joseeabad_4 (1) XiaoyueZhang_v3_TLRB_Photo by Yikai (Luc) Wu (1) MariaGarcia_LWCA9_003_WARM_PhotobyWesCardino GennaMoroni_D8A0568_PhotobyLeeGumbs
Randy Reyes - Death by Disco Prelude - CCProject - Photo courtesy of REDCAT

Nov. 5 – 7, 2020 – NOW Festival Week 2

Primera Generación


Through a series of movement-based explorations and rasquache play, Primera Generación Dance Collective’s (PGDC) — Alfonso Cervera, Irvin Gonzalez, Patricia “Patty” Huerta, and Rosa Rodriguez-Frazier— new multimedia work, Nepantla, re-imagines the desmadre (messiness) that reflects, generates, and questions the flux of their Mexican American identities. PGDC strategically navigates culturally-iconic images, stereotypes, and rituals to visibilize the harsh realities and imaginative potentials of Mexicanidades in the U.S.

Xiaoyue Zhang

Little Red Book, or Plural Body

Little Red Book, or Plural Body is an experiment of bodies in performative spaces to look carefully at the interactions in which individual bodies, collective identity, and ideology are connected within the cultural space of China and beyond. Focusing on the practices and disciplines that Chinese bodies assimilate in the process of socialization, modernization and globalization, Xiaoyue Zhang and her onstage collaborators explore the political and cultural pressures and conflicts within their bodies, and how they, as artists and movers, take them in, rebel against them, and move forward with them.

Nov. 20 – 21, 2020

In Conversation with Dahlak Brathwaite: Try/Step/Trip

In advance of the streamed version of Try/Step/Trip, on Friday, November 20, writer and composer Dahlak Brathwaite and director Roberta Uno join choreographers Toran X. Moore and Freddy Ramsey Jr. alongside artist/organizer Dr. Shamell Bell for a discursive conversation about art and activism as a vital component of the work. Inspired by Brathwaite’s own history, Try/Step/Trip layers characters, poetic verse, and dialogue over the content of songs to create a theatrical piece that blurs the lines between hip-hop and dramatic performance. The group will discuss their work in light of the events of 2020 and the Black Lives Matter Movement.

The next night, on Saturday, Nov. 21, excerpts from both Try/Step/Trip and Brathwaite’s solo performance, Spiritrials, presented at REDCAT in 2017, will be screened. An artistic conversation with Brathwaite, Uno, Moore, and REDCAT’s Deputy Executive Director & Curator Edgar Miramontes will follow, discussing the process, approach, aesthetics and collaboration necessary to develop a devise ensemble work (Try/Step/Trip) from a solo work (Spiritrials).

Dec. 4-5, 2020

CalArts Winter Dance: Repertory/Trajectory

In partnership with REDCAT, CalArts Dance presents an ambitious, multi-track, online experience. Synthesizing the embodied memories of our faculty and students, we imagine new dances in new forms through new technologies. Join us for an immersive, digital performance charting our personal and shared histories with fresh insights through cutting-edge cartographies. 20/20 Hindsight and foresight.

Dec. 10-12, 2020 – NOW Festival Week 3

DaEun Jung

Byoul Part 1: 246 at 40

What would happen if the conventional flow of Korean dance is disrupted? Prompted by this question, dancer-choreographer DaEun Jung has built a compositional system inspired by Merce Cunningham’s “chance operation” and the Korean alphabet, Hangul. Assigning the segmented moves of classical Korean dance to each morpho-syllabic block of the alphabet, Byoul Part 1: 246 at 40—consisting of 246 syllables, moves, and beats at 40 bpm—finds Jung, pansori singer Melody Shim, and sound composer Daniel Corral exploring concurrences of rigor upon arbitrary, spontaneity upon rules, flow upon interruption, dependency upon idiosyncrasy, and the conditional upon the absolute.

Maria Garcia and Samantha Mohr

Laocoӧn with Cabiria at 9

Maria Garcia’s Laocoön with Cabiria at 9 is a one-woman show led by Vatican Museums tour guide Cabiria, who in a nightmare, is confronted with a Trojan Soldier sharing her reflection. Brought to life by choreographer and performer Samantha Mohr, Cabiria’s obsession with the story of the Trojan Horse and the priest Laocoön sends her on a liminal journey of humiliation, pain, banishment, death, and love. Stuck between history and myth, Cabiria’s investigation of the Trojan war explores the designation of “foreign” bodies as dangerous, devious, and in need of discipline.

Genna Moroni


Employing unapologetically “ugly,” yet beautiful and raw physicality, dancer, choreographer, and artistic director of G.U.M. collective Genna Moroni’s More invites viewers into the vacuum of female relationships. Slipping between different worlds, stories and perspectives with no clear end in sight, More creates a labyrinth. The audience will have the opportunity to both witness and sense the effort, disappointments and complexities expressed in movement. Layered with music by Adam Starkopf, Moroni and her team of dancers explore the ever-evolving and shifting nature of relationships, inspiring us to find ourselves and leaving a lasting sense that there is still “more.”

For more information on REDCAT’s fall 2020 season lineup, please click HERE.

Written and compiled by Jeff Slayton for LA Dance Chronicle.

Featured image: Primera Generación – Photo by Yvonne Portra, courtesy of REDCAT