Herb Alpert Award-Winning Choreographer Julia Rhoads at CalArts, REDCAT

The Herb Alpert Award in the Arts is an annual unrestricted prize of $75,000 given to five risk-taking mid-career artists working in the fields of dance, film/video, music, theatre and the visual arts. CalArts has been administering the prize since 1994 with Herb Alpert Award winners visiting campus to work with students for week-long residencies.

In October, Herb Alpert Award-winning choreographer and performer Julia Rhoads taught several dance classes at CalArts and presented during the Choreographers Performance Lab.

Rhoads, founding artistic director of the Riverside, Illinois-based Lucky Plush Productions, also spent her time on campus rehearsing students for the Winter Dance Concert. Held annually in December at both CalArts and at REDCAT, the concert last month featured the piece Memory Mash, an excerpt from Rhoads’ 2009 Punk Yankees. The work was re-envisioned for Winter Dance to include elements of the student dancers’ experiences.

From Lucky Plush Productions:

Punk Yankees is a provocative and entertaining dance theater work that combines live performance, video, and the internet to unpack ideas about authenticity, originality, and the ownership of dance in the digital age.  With the controversial nature of dealing with issues of intellectual property, the work takes on challenging topics including sampling, mash-ups, stylistic referencing, impersonation, unconscious theft, lineage, cultural appropriation, and ideas about “fair use” in dance.

We posted several photos from Memory Mash at Winter Dance, above, and a short video of Rhoads in a workshop with CalArts students.

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