Los Angeles’ streets are famously devoid of pedestrian activity, but those driving or walking down Grand Avenue on a December evening may encounter the controlled chaos of an impromptu dance experience.
On Friday and Saturday, Dec. 15 and 16 at 8 p.m., 70 dancers from the California Institute of the Arts will present a massive ensemble performance on the steps and sidewalk surrounding the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Downtown Los Angeles.
This free outdoor performance is the lead-up to CalArts’s annual Winter Dance Concert at REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater).
The 12-minute outdoor performance is choreographed by Dimitri Chamblas, the newly appointed dean of CalArts’s Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance. Entitled “HHUMAAN,” the piece demonstrates how movement can bring urban, public spaces to life and will feature the entire student body of CalArts Dance.
“HHUMAAN” will activate the streets with groups of seeming pedestrians breaking into dance.
“The performance is about these young dancers, said Chamblas, who joined CalArts in June. “It’s about youth, enthusiasm and pain. At CalArts, we want to transform LA’s streets, and architecture into a stage for dance. This performance is our gift, the first of many public events that we will do in the city. It is our way of saying that dance is here now, our way of connecting the city of LA to our art.”
The performance comes at a time of particular momentum for dance in Los Angeles, as contemporary dance greats Benjamin Millepied, William Forsythe, RubberLegz, Aszure Barton, Lil Buck, Chamblas, and others have, in recent years, chosen to center their work in the region.
World-renowned performer, choreographer, multidisciplinary artist, and curator Chamblas joined the CalArts faculty from his previous position as artistic director of the Paris Opera’s creative digital platform 3rd Stage.
His prodigious international career — which began when he joined the Paris Opera’s celebrated dance school at age 10 — has included collaborations with such acclaimed performers, visual artists, writers and designers as Boris Charmatz, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Jonas Kaufmann, United Visual Artists, Heiner Goebbels, Glen Keane, William Forsythe, and Bret Easton Ellis.
Following “HHUMAAN,” the CalArts Winter Dance Concert, which is a ticketed event, will take place at REDCAT at 8:30 pm on Friday and Saturday, December 15 and 16. Presented by CalArts Dance, the concert features choreography by guest artist Rauf “RubberLegz” Yasit, Chamblas and CalArts School of Dance faculty Laurence Blake, Nina Flagg and Julie Bour.
Ticketing and performance details are available on the REDCAT website.
“HHUMAAN” will begin promptly at 8:00 pm on both days. Attendees can follow and share their experiences of the performance by tagging social posts #HHUMAAN.
Winter Dance Concert at CalArts: on Thursday, December 7th and Friday, December 8, CalArts Dance will present an evening of dance, featuring works by guest artists and current faculty. The ticketed event on the CalArts campus in Valencia begins at 8:30 pm. Click here for reservations and tickets.
The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance at CalArts’s mission is to educate the complete dance artist—agile, intelligent and in command of an expanded skill-set to meet the fast-evolving demands of professional dance. The comprehensive BFA and MFA Programs build high-level proficiencies in performance technique, choreography, dance production technology and critical understanding of the art form, all within a global cultural context. Concentrated production seasons of aesthetically diverse work thrive in an atmosphere of creative exchange between professionally motivated students and a faculty of practicing artists.
California Institute of the Arts has set the pace for educating professional artists since 1970. Offering rigorous undergraduate and graduate degree programs through six schools — Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater — CalArts has championed creative excellence, critical reflection, and the development of new forms and expressions. As successive generations of faculty and alumni have helped shape the landscape of contemporary arts, the Institute first envisioned by Walt Disney encompasses a vibrant, eclectic community with global reach, inviting experimentation, independent inquiry, and active collaboration and exchange among artists, artistic disciplines and cultural traditions.