As the weeks and months of California’s Shelter-In-Place order brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak around the globe, individual artists, educators, arts institutions and performance venues are inventing unique methods of reaching, educating and yes, entertaining those of us who need and love what they provide. Schools are continuing to educate students online, dancers are taking Ballet, Tap, Contemporary, Flamenco, Hip Hop, Bollywood and Pilates classes via ZOOM or Facebook and Instagram Livestream. Dance and film makers are offering ways to stay creative and stay connected while still observing physical distancing. You can go to LADC’s website to see a list of online classes and learn about dance on film projects such as Shut In Dance Fest and Dare 2 Dance Film Festival’s Six Foot Distance Dances.

On Sunday, April 19, 2020, The Music Center, which has long been considered one of Los Angeles’ cultural hubs, launched The Music Center Offstage, a virtual arts experience that offers “an insider look into the world of the arts featuring exclusive interviews and compelling performance with international leader in the dance community, plus interactive programs hosted by L.A.-based artist and online workshops appropriate for all ages. With newly curated presentations for at-home entertainment, including some in Spanish.” – The Music Center Press Release April 17, 2020.

Inside Look - Courtesy of The Music Center

Inside Look – Courtesy of The Music Center

While joining the growing online activites was a team effort at The Music Center, one of The Music Center Offstage‘s main themed programs, Inside Look, was initiated by Senior Advisor for Dance Presentations, Martin Wechsler. Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch (presented on Sunday, April 19th) offered an exclusive interview with German Set Designer Peter Pabst on his working relationship with the world renown choreographer Pina Bausch. This exciting debut also included an opportunity to view Bausch’s Neoexpressionist Masterpiece, Palermo Palermo. Also offered on The Music Center’s digital platform are on-demand interactive workshops led by master teaching artists and presentations by local Music Center On Tour artists.

New contents will be added weekly for both on-demand and scheduled presentations. Available today are The Music Center’s Artivities, featuring two “how-to” workshops led by Music Center Teaching Artists. Andrew Grueschow, a percussionist, and faculty member at CalArts, hosts  “Making Rhythms,” an interactive discovery of creating rhythmic compositions by utilizing household items and hand clapping. Animation and visual arts specialist, Lynn Okimura demonstrates how one can develop and learn to draw their own characters in “Character Design Turnaround.”

Emma Barrowman in "Palermo Palermo" Tsai Chin Yu and Ensemble in "Palermo Palermo" Scott Jennings, Julie Shanahan in "Palermo Palermo" Pina Bausch Peter Pabst
Scott Jennings, Julie Shanahan in Pina Bausch's "Palermo Palermo" - Photo: ©Evangelos-Rodoulis courtesy of The Music Center

If you are in search of more dance related experiences, The Music Center’s Digital Dance Experience is here to help fulfill those needs. It will offer some of the best dance performances from around the globe as well as from right here in Los Angeles.

As their press release so beautifully states: “With the mission to deepen the cultural lives of every Angeleno through multidisciplinary arts experience, The Music Center’s new platform continues to share the healing power of the arts through online formats.”

Two of the main themed-sections of programming include The Music Center’s Digital Dance Experience, and The Music Center’s Artivities. The third, Special Events, features scheduled special events such as Grand Park’s Our L.A. Voices and the virtual performance of the center’s 32nd annual Spotlight Grand Finale (details to be announced).

To learn more about The Music Center Offstage, click here.

Written by Jeff Slayton for LA Dance Chronicle, April 2o, 2020.

Feature image: Ensemble in Palermo Palermo Choreography by Pina Bausch – Photo:©Oliver Look courtesy of The Music Center