REDCAT, CalArts’ downtown center for contemporary arts, recently announced its Fall/Winter 2018 season, which features a compelling range of performances and screenings from international and Los Angeles-based artists—including a number of CalArtians.
One of the season’s opening performances is a world premiere from Alpert Award-winning choreographer David Roussève, whose multimedia dance work Halfway to Down is inspired by the life and spirit of Billy “Sweet Pea” Strayhorn, a relatively unknown African-American gay man who co-wrote some of Duke Ellington’s greatest works. Halfway to Down runs Thurs. Oct. 4-Sunday, Oct. 7.
The following weekend (Oct. 12-14), the Angel City Jazz Festival takes the stage at REDCAT with multiple concerts by critically acclaimed jazz musicians Noah Preminger and the Myra Melford Tiger Trio, and former CalArts music faculty Wadada Leo Smith.
Smith, a composer, trumpeter and multi-instrumentalist, is presenting his Civil Rights Movement-inspired work Rosa Parks Oratorio, with dancer/choreographer Oguri, video artist Jesse Gilbert (Music-Integrated Media MFA 02), experimental vocalist Carmina Escobar (Music MFA 10), and an ensemble of musicians including CalArts alums Ashley Walters (Music MFA 07), Mona Tian (Music MFA 13) and Andrew McIntosh (Music MFA 08).The concert takes place on Sun. Oct. 14.
Another REDCAT season highlight is the immersive concert, Machines and Strings, which features premieres from internationally acclaimed artists and CalArts faculty Amy Knoles, Ajay Kapur and Ulrich Krieger. Created as an interdisciplinary project, the concert is a collaboration between CalArts alums from Music, Theater, Critical Studies and Integrated Media. Works by artists including Chrysanthe Tan (Critical Studies MFA 14), Stephanie Smith (Music MFA 11), Music faculty Sarah Belle Reid (Music MFA 15), April Gerloff (Music BFA 18) and Jules Gimbrone (Music MFA 13) are performed in collaboration with interactive lighting and projection by alumni artists from the 2018 CalArts Expo creative team. Machines and Strings is curated by the Isaura String Quartet, which includes CalArtians Madeline Falcone (Music MFA 13), Emily Call (Music MFA 13), and Betsy Rettig (Music MFA 13).
On Sat., Oct. 27, the Broad presents School of Art faculty Sharon Lockhart’s film Pine Flat. Made in 2005, the 16mm film is a portrait series composed of 12 10-minute takes of children living in the rural town of Pine Flat, California.
Another notable film screening is Wild Relatives by CalArts alum Jumana Manna (Critical Studies MA 11), which Artforum described as having a “subtle, slow-burning intelligence.” Wild Relatives explores connections between two contemporary issues: the war in Syria and the need to protect biodiversity. It’s filmed in Lebanon and Norway after the closure of a seed bank in Aleppo.
Additional music performances of the season by CalArtians include Escobar’s concert Pura Entraña, the world premiere of Ellen Reid’s (Music MFA 11) opera Prism and Rivers of Time by CalArts faculty Vicki Ray and Carole Kim (Film/Video MFA 03).
Pura Entraña, which is happening Fri-Sat. Nov. 9-10, is a collaboration between experimental vocalist Escobar, Jeronimo Naranjo, Carlos Chinchillas and the Mexican improvisation ensemble Der Bauch. The performance is centered around an elaborately prepared piano suspended above the stage.
From the program:
A magic sonic/visual surrealist realization, Pura Entraña (Pure Gut) follows a route of perceptual narratives in a performance that seeks to connect the audience to the essential sounds/gestures from the bodies and voices of the performers, and the piano and its entrails.
Presented by LA Opera, Prism is haunting new work composed by Reid, featuring choral and orchestral manipulated music. The theater-opera is about a sickly child Bibi and her devoted mother Lumee who are confined to a sterile room. The world premiere is set for Thurs., Nov. 29 with performances continuing through Sun., Dec. 2.
On Wed., Jan. 16, pianist Ray joins visual artist Kim to present two new works for piano, electronics and projections. Rivers of Time features the world premiere of Ben Phelps’s Sometimes I feel like my time ain’t long, based on the Alan Lomax recording of the eponymous tune, and the Yellowstone-inspired piece, 1000 Streams, by Daniel Lentz.
One of the season’s closing events is the theater performance Non-Western by the collective My Barbarian, founded by Jade Gordon, Malik Gaines (Critical Studies MFA 99) and Alexandro Segade. The quick-change musical fantasy about characters in a live rock band plays with the tropes of the Western genre. Performances will run Thurs., Dec. 13 to Sun., Dec.16.
Check out REDCAT’s website for the full program and ticket info.