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Celebrate Dance - Bringing Culture To Los Angeles

by Pete Allman

Jamie Nichols, the Executive Producer of Celebrate Dance has brought dance companies together, in an effort to showcase their expressions of dance for the last 10 years. Their mission statement is simply to present accessible concert dance as a leading art form to the Los Angeles population.

Jamie Nicholes speaking with young dance students
Photo by Gabriela Simich - Jamie Nicholes speaking with young dance studentsPhoto by Gabriela Simich - Jamie Nicholes speaking with young dance studentsPhoto by Gabriela Simich - Jamie Nicholes speaking with young dance students
Photo by Gabriela Simich - Jamie Nicholes speaking with young dance studentsPhoto by Gabriela Simich - Jamie Nicholes speaking with young dance students
Photos By: Gabriela Simich

Celebrate Dance, the show which was recently in concert at The Alex Theater, located in Glendale was superb. It featured 8 different dance companies. The first, Brother, making its World Premiere featured a visual message about dance as part of the quality of life. That without it, there would be violence and all would be lost. The Artistic Directors and Choreographers, Nicole Hogg and Jason Gorman believe dance is a form of communication which can educate the audience on what is going on in our society. The costume design was created by Pedestrian Atire and the lighting design handled by Eileen Cooley. Music was provided by Greatest speech ever made by Charlie Chaplin-Near Light by Olafur Arnalds- Cataracts by Andrew Bird.

Photos By: Leonard CoutinPhotos By: Leonard CoutinPhotos By: Leonard Coutin
Photos By: Leonard Coutin

The dancers in this production were, Brigid Benson, Kelly Browning, Sara Carter, Cat Cogliandro, Jill Dean, Gaby Hernandez, Tess Hewlett, Juliette Irons, Kristen Lorello, Kenzie Mclure, Sammi Nussbaum, Megan Oleary, Alexa Palmininteri, Loren Picciarelli, Wyatt Rocker, Vickie Roan, Ryan Spencer Erica Sobal, Maggie Wade, Destynee, Witzel and Rachel Zacrep.

The Levy Dance Company presented one of their pieces entitled "Holding Company" which made its Los Angeles premiere. The Artistic Director and Choreographer, Ben Levy, a former student of Janet Roston, recently stated, "the unconscious spaces we fall into when habit and programing kicks in, Holding Pattern is woven with our personal narratives-the loops that keep us from going where we know we are meant to be." The concept here opened with dancers coming forth stage left and right from darkness to overhead light bulbs giving this presentation a unique flavor of contemporary dance, jazz technique and other forms of dance.

Photos By: Leonard CoutinPhotos By: Leonard CoutinPhotos By: Leonard Coutin
Photos By: Leonard Coutin

Dancers included Scott Marlowe, Yu Kondo Reigen, and Sarah Dionne Woods. The costume design was provided by Jhia Louise Jackson and the lighting design was accredited to Eileen Cooley, based on the original design by Greg Emetaz.

Lollie Works presented "Interval," making its World Premier. Lindsey Lollie, who got her exposure through Jamie Nichols be-lives her piece takes a look into dancers' conscience in a time of overwhelming sensations and accumulation of thoughts. How to make sense of it of the time that is passing and how to keep track of the present, is her interpretation through her dance sequences. This was an intricate part of the presentation which was quite interesting. Linsey Lollie is the Artistic Director and Choreographer of Lollie Works. Her dancers for this piece included Erica Carpenter, Cameron Davis, herself, Andrew Pearson, Jordan Saenz, Kerrie Schroeder, Jose Louis Trujillo, and Stephanie Zaletel. The costume designs where by Linsey Lollie and lighting by Eillen Colley.

Photos By: Leonard CoutinPhotos By: Leonard CoutinPhotos By: Leonard Coutin
Photos By: Leonard Coutin

The Commonality Dance Company, who accredits its success to Jamie Nichols, has Artistic Director Adam Parson, who also choreographed NeXuS 4/6. This piece is also rather unique in that it exposes the elements of many different nationalities which are basically all in one. His theme,"we are one in many in many of one," was an uplifting piece.

The dancers featured were, Rike Aizu, David Contreras, Andrew Diolata, Jazz Dillingham, Donte Essien, Jerrell Johnson, Lachlan Mc Carthy, Cheresse Mackay, Shannon Novak and Jessi Rohr. The costume design was by Micheele Uberreste and lighting by Eillen Coley.

Photos By: Leonard CoutinlPhotos By: Leonard CoutinPhotos By: Leonard Coutin
Photos By: Leonard Coutin

Act Two begun with Tin Soldire presented by Mizerany Dance. The Artistic Director and Choreographer was Michael Mizerany. The presentation here was one of complete control and what seemed to be a form of Martial Arts combined with the various styles of dance. Justin Viernes, the dancer performed exceptionally well, showing what the body can accomplish through the proper training. The music was by Henryk Gorecki [Symphiny #3, The Sorrowful Symphony] with lighting by Eileen Cooley.

The Sole Vita Dance Company's presented Divine In Nature, which was their World Premiere. Joelle Martinec, the Artistic Director and Choreographer applied the following statement, "the great mother gave a gift to woman that is not known among men, and this is the secret of blood"-Anita Diamont.

Photos By: Leonard CoutinPhotos By: Leonard CoutinPhotos By: Leonard Coutin
Photos By: Leonard Coutin

The first movement, 1 was somewhat abstract in some dance forms making its statement, while movement 11 :Vir was more in the classical tradition of dance. The dancers in the first movement were, Alexa Diaz, Amber Dupay, Lindsey Fletcher and Courtney Ozovek. The dancers in Movement 11: Vir were Alex Diaz, Amber Dupuy, Linsay Fletcher Isaac Huerta and Courtney Ozovek.The music was by Phillip Glass and Nosaj Thing and Pleasures [Ghosting Season Remix] by Max Cooper and Braids. Joelle Martinec designed the costumes and Eillen Colley the lighting design.

Ate9dANCEcOMPANY made its Los Angeles premiere with Exhibit a. Daniel Agami, the Artistic Director and Choreographer choreographed a very nice ensemble, with the theme of "what we have in communication, the things we miss, the things that get old, and the gaps in-between.

Photos by: Tim AglerPhotos by: Tim AglerPhotos by: Tim Agler
Photos Copyright Tim Agler / Celebrate Dance 2014

Dancers were Sarah Butler, Adriana Daub, Margot Gelber, Rebecah Goldstone, Sarah Lyman,David Maurice, Scott McMabe and Genna Moroni. Music was by Radiohead, with costume design by Ariana Daub, David Maurice and Danielle Agami. Lighting design by Eillen Colley.

Photos by: Tim AglerPhotos by: Tim AglerPhotos by: Tim Agler
Photos Copyright Tim Agler / Celebrate Dance 2014

The closing of Celebrate Dance was a tap dance and band presentation by BPM beats per minute. This surprising piece was choreographed by Artistic Diector Glyn Gray and Nathan Sheens. The presentation was one of tap dance technique, comedy and live musicians. The cast consisted of Brooke -Paulson [Tap Dancer], Christopher Lee Rutledge [Tap Dancer], Glyn Gray [Tap Dancer], Jim Briggs [Guitar], Linsay Hough [Vocals] Marc Gasway[Bass] and Sean Rainey [Drums]. The music director was Brett Canning. Costume design was by Glyn Gray and Anh Dillon with lighting design by Eileen Colley. In essence, Celebrate Dance was not only a celebration of dance, chorography and music, but it was also a message of bringing people together. Celebrity Scene News congratulates Jamie Nichols for exposing upcoming talent and bringing the art form of dance to the Los Angeles community.

Celebrity Scene News

Pete Allman
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