Dance is a very subjective medium and, just as with any art form, can be assessed, debated and judged differently depending on the audience. However somewhere along the line it’s helpful and interesting to get some insight into what’s out there and then the individual can explore the options. In Los Angeles, more than many other cities there is a diverse and varied array of entertainment, influenced and often fed by the Hollywood presence and eclectic culture attracted to this part of California. Dance companies abound but to be really successful they need to be able to have something relatable to offer and to thrive, to some extent in a commercial environment so that their artistic message can be seen and appreciated.
One such dance company is Body Traffic founded in 2007 by Tina Finkelman Berkett and Lillian Barbeito. Growing steadily in popularity and with a loyal fan base Body Traffic offers a contemporary dance experience that will push the boundaries of acceptance and provide a visual and auditory experience to challenge the thinking. The company has emerged as one of the leading L.A dance groups performing all over North America and gaining increasing recognition on the international scene. Diavolo Dance Theatre situated in Los Angeles is currently gearing up for its 25th anniversary season with performances planned all across North America.
Its newest piece Passengers created in 2016 will be featured as part of a two-part presentation called L.O.S.T exploring human conditions and experience. The company has developed over these past several years to adhere to their mission of exploring the interaction between the body and the architectural environment that surrounds it. The group encompasses a diverse catalogue of talent drawing on contemporary dance and acrobatics. Visually stunning the work of Diavolo will create an instant impression combining grace, skill and excitement. Invertigo a dance company based in Los Angeles aims to not only entertain but educate through the medium of compelling often whimsical material.
Contemporary dance often seems inaccessible to the average person, but the group reaches out to such audiences through a sense of diversity and multinational origins that help them explore wider subjects. Such a focus also takes them into unusual areas of the community with their messages and modes of connection working with inner city children and people who suffer from Parkinson’s disease. What a wonderful demonstration of art truly reaching all people as it surely should! Successfully performing and educating for ten years Invertigo relates absolutely to the thrill of bringing the arts, in this case dance, to the community. Despite the modern vibe of Los Angeles and its reputation as a centre for contemporary dance a consideration of dance companies would not be complete without a look at the ballet there.
The Los Angeles Ballet Company in its present form has been around since 2006 founded by Thordal Chritensen and wife Colleen Neary. Both have extensive experience in their own right with various ballet companies here and abroad. The company is committed to showcasing the styles of its artistic directors and lovingly includes the classic Nutcracker, Swan Lake and Giselle to name a few. In addition, newly commissioned works showcasing the work of Californian choreographers ensures the companies relevance and progression. Ballet in all its forms is surely a main stay of any dance culture and the Los Angeles Ballet Company provides an opportunity for people to enjoy the elements of classical dance so beloved by people of all generations. Old or new, dance in its many forms can communicate emotions, educate us and certainly move and provoke us to thought and feeling. Maybe these or other talented companies will seem like a good place to give dance a try.