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First appearing at The Music Center in 1998, Alvin Ailey® Dance Theater continues to be a Los Angeles audience favorite. From its debut performance in New York City, the 56-year-old dance company and its eponymous artistic director, Alvin Ailey has been called “a vital American cultural ambassador to the world,” one that celebrates the uniqueness of the African-American cultural experience and the preservation and enrichment of the American modern dance heritage. In this engagement, the company presents mixed repertory from among its favorites.
Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella is the Tony Award®- winning Broadway musical from the creators of The Sound of Music and South Pacific that’s delighting audiences with its contemporary take on the classic tale.
This lush production features an incredible orchestra, jaw-dropping transformations and all the moments you love — the pumpkin, the glass slipper, the masked ball and more — plus some surprising new twists!
Be transported back to your childhood, as you rediscover some of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s most beloved songs, including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible” and “Ten Minutes Ago,” in this hilarious and romantic Broadway experience for anyone who’s ever had a wish, a dream... or a really great pair of shoes.
Buckle your seatbelts for our most offbeat presentation ever! Hercules vs. Vampires combines opera and midcentury pop culture, synchronizing live music with cult fantasy film Hercules in the Haunted World, a 1961 sword-and-sandal epic starring three-time Mr. Universe Reg Park. When the actors projected on the silver screen open their mouths to speak, the audience will hear their linessung by our cast of singers from the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program, accompanied by a 26-piece orchestra.
Directed by the great Italian filmmaker Mario Bava, the film itself is fantastic in every sense of the term, swaddled in glorious early-1960s Technicolor. Action-packed and wildly operatic in scope, the film follows Hercules on a heroic journey to rescue his beloved from a fiendish mastermind of terror (played onscreen by horror legend Christopher Lee). Fresh and full of fun, an atmospheric new operatic score by L.A.-based composer Patrick Morganelli provides the perfect accompaniment to Bava's gorgeously gaudy world.
Presented in association with American Cinematheque and the Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles.
Known as the most important singer-songwriter-storyteller in the history of Chile, Violeta Parra sang about struggle, defiance, and triumph. Her songs were the basis for Chile’s New Song (Nueva Canción) movement, which spread throughout Latin America and beyond. The 2004-2005 Orange Revolution in Ukraine, for example, used Parra’s classic “Gracias a la Vida,” which has been covered by artists ranging from Joan Baez to Plácido Domingo.
Come for: Chile’s leading artists paying tribute to a rebel legend.
This engagement of Gracias a la Vida: The Rebel Spirit of Violeta Parra is made possible through Southern Exposure: Performing Arts in Latin America, a program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation.
The Bryant family reunion becomes an occasion for comic collisions over race and sexuality in this “timely and important American play” (Chicago Tribune), directed by Phylicia Rashad.
"Emmanuel mesmerizes us with her emotional fervency and sly, stealthy felinity." – Stage and Cinema
"Poor Dog [Group] has emerged as a polished, professional and visionary presence on the international avant garde theater scene." – LA Weekly
With a volatile mix of desire, jealousy and emancipatory yearning, Poor Dog Group's latest movement-based work—first staged at REDCAT’s New Original Works Festival—gives forceful physical life to Jelly Roll Morton's legendary 1938 recording. Originally performed in the brothels of New Orleans’ steamy Storyville district, Morton's song revels in the nastiness of its heroine’s voice, embodied here by Jessica Emmanuel, whose feral physical energy lays claim to the violent impulses of a woman betrayed. Directed by Jesse Bonnell, The Murder Ballad (1938) delves into the myth of female madness and racialized representations of sexuality.
This exhibition highlights ABT's vibrant seventy-five year history with objects drawn primarily from the American Ballet Theatre Collection at the Library of Congress, as well as from the Library's extensive dance and music collections. In 1939, a group of dancers, choreographers, and producers associated with Russian-born Mikhail Mordkin's ballet company joined together to establish a new, innovative dance company they called Ballet Theatre. The company premiered in New York City on January 11, 1940, to great critical acclaim. Early in its organization, Ballet Theatre-renamed American Ballet Theatre (ABT) in 1957-began to tour, representing the United States both domestically and internationally.
Bassist/vocalist/composer Esperanza Spalding has always charted her own course. Now the Grammy®-winner brings her ensemble to Walt Disney Concert Hall for the first time.
“A masterpiece of folk cinema that has scarcely lost its power to astonish.” – Village Voice, March 2008
Spencer Williams (1893–1969) was among the very first African American independent filmmakers, and his great cultural morality tale, The Blood
of Jesus (1941, 57 min.), is a landmark of American cinema. Still known primarily as a radio and screen actor (Andy in Amos ’n’ Andy), Williams made more than a dozen films with all-black casts. He traveled the South to show his work in church basements, and The Blood of Jesus was a huge hit with African American audiences for years. A story of sin and redemption, the film’s vivid depiction of spiritualism and folk beliefs has a power that few big-budget movies have ever achieved. Scholar Jacqueline Stewart, who is preparing a biography of Williams, introduces the work.
In person: Jacqueline Stewart
Piano Spheres continues its new Satellite Series of emerging pianists with Nic Gerpe, Los Angeles-based concerto soloist and chamber musician who has performed throughout U.S and international festivals. Nic’s performances have also been heard nationally on 91.5 KUSC and classicalkusc.org.
Strauss certainly had fun with his tone poem Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life), mocking his critics and depicting his wife with a rapturous violin solo. “A monstrous act of egotism,” one of those critics wrote after the premiere, but as novelist Romain Rolland noted, “the well-bred public was beside itself” at the work’s instrumental thunder and dramatic intelligence.
Come for: The captivating Lise de la Salle performs Beethoven’s vigorously heroic Third Concerto.
And more: Webern’s early idyll for orchestra displays full-blown Straussian Romanticism.
One of the most internationally revered pieces that introduces kids to the orchestra, Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf tells the story of a boy, his forest friends, and a scary wolf.
Come for: Each TSFY concert is a dramatic presentation, led by a Dudamel Conducting Fellow and staged by theater artists.
And more: Prior to the concert there are interactive art workshops related to the program's musical themes.