L.A. Dance Project, the company launched in 2012 by former New York City Ballet principal dancer Benjamin Millepied, announced it’s launching a new festival this fall featuring six world premieres from choreographers including 2013 MacArthur fellow Kyle Abraham, Jacob Jonas and Janie Taylor — plus collaborations with noted artists on sets and costumes.
L.A. Dances, a Festival of 13 Dance Works will combine contemporary and historical works. Running Sept. 26 through Nov. 24, the event will be performed at the studio on the edge of downtown that has been L.A. Dance Project’s home since 2017. Ten of the works will be new to L.A.
With the company nearing its 10-year anniversary, “we’re really now creating a repertory of works that are very much connected to this city and community,” Millepied said. “And that’s why we’re putting on this festival.”
It’s a celebration and “commitment to dance, dance in Los Angeles and its future,” he added.
Millepied said he commissioned the work from “some of the most interesting American voices.”
One of those commissions went to Charm La’Donna, a commercial choreographer from Compton who has created dances for rapper Kendrick Lamar and Spanish pop star Rosalía. For the festival, she will be collaborating with celebrated L.A.-based, Nigerian-born painter Njideka Akunyili Crosby (a MacArthur fellow) for a piece inspired by West African movement.
Other choreographers include the elusive Berlin-based Tino Sehgal, who describes his work as “constructed situations,” and New York-based contemporary choreographer Madeline Hollander, who recently choreographed a creepy pas de deux for Jordan Peele’s thriller “Us.”
Millepied will show two of his own works, 2014’s “Hearts and Arrows” and 2018’s “Homeward.”
The festival also features “Kinaesonata,” a 1970 work created by late L.A. modern dance pioneer Bella Lewitzky. “Kinaesonata” is one of the only pieces Lewitzky “consciously choreographed to music,” Millepied said. “It is not conventional, constantly changes patterns in an unexpected way. ... It’s just a very strong work of art, and I really wanted to revive it.”
Artists whose work will be featured in the festival include:
Njideka Akunyili Crosby