Today, when democracy, some would say, is being attacked by various forces both large and small, it’s good to know that French choreographer Jérôme Bel is wholeheartedly embracing the democratization of dance. Or is it? In Bel’s 2015 work, “Gala,” which landed at the Theatre at Ace Hotel for one performance on a blustery and rainy Saturday night in Los Angeles, a mixed-ability cast of nineteen locals, including several professional dancers and together known as Company Company, performed a series of moves for some ninety minutes under a constantly leaky ceiling that provided an extra jolt of, well, weirdness.
Company Company perform Jérôme Bel's “Gala.” Photograph by Reed Hutchinson / CAP UCLA
The son of a painter and a set designer, director/choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot was, it seems, destined to have a life in the theater. Born and raised in Tours, in central France, in 1960, he studied dance and piano at the Conservatoire Nacional de Région de Tours before joining the Rosella Hightower International School of Dance in Cannes.Plus
One would think that a dance inspired by the events of the January 6 insurrection—yes, a dance!—would not be the ideal stuff of theater, but the eight members of Laurie Sefton Creates (formerly Clairobscur Dance Company), succeeded in giving life to Sefton’s premiere “Herd. Person?”, while the dance, itself, was occasionally problematic.Plus