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LOTUS ENTERTAIN YOU 

Thursday, Apr 2 2009
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An island where it is always a soft, lazy afternoon with beautiful inhabitants bearing mind-numbing lotus fruit -- a 23-line episode recounted in Homer's The Odyssey that Alfred Lord Tennyson's The Lotus Eaters elaborated into a 173-line poem arrives in a 21st-century incarnation with help from choreographer Laura Gorenstein Miller and her Helios Dance Theater . The show was previewed last fall at the Cerritos Performing Arts Center; the choreographer and her handpicked team of collaborators and dancers have expanded and polished The Lotus Eaters for this premiere. With elegantly draped costumes from Project Runway alum Rami Kashou, set design by Alison van Pelt, original music composed and performed by Grant-Lee Phillips plus original compositions from Rob Cairns, this version of The Lotus Eaters is as much intergalactic as Greek mythology. In Homer's Odyssey , sailors sent to explore the island fall under the lotus fruit's dreamlike lethargy, content to languish on the island and abandon the struggle to return home from the Trojan War. As the debate continues on whether to confront or ignore the world's current harsh economic realities, the different resolutions in the poems are striking. Homer's Odysseus hauls the entranced sailors back to the ship to resume the adventure and sail home, while Tennyson leaves the sailors on the island dreaming of home but now both figuratively and literally lost forever. A post-performance benefit features Phillips. Benefit ticket info at www.heliosdancetheater.org. Ann Haskins
Fri., April 3, 7:30 p.m., 2009
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