By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
RUDY DON’T FAIL
This week’s standout event gathers an impressive clutch of dancers and choreographers to pay A Tribute to Rudy Perez. Although he initially made his name as one of New York’s Judson Church postmodern pioneers, Perez soon left the Big Apple for the Big Orange, where over three decades he has been revered for his teaching, choreography and insistence on artistic integrity in his dance and dancers. This program features Alligator Variations,a reconstruction of Perez’s 1964 Judson Church duet, Take Your Alligator With You,and the premiere of Perez’s Surrender Dorothy! — riffing on the witch’s challenge from The Wizard of Oz and drawing on the rapier poems of Dorothy Parker. Perez’s stature can be measured not only in the many accolades he has received, but more importantly in the caliber of talent he continues to attract. The cast here includes several respected choreographers with their own troupes, who jumped at the chance to pay homage to Perez. Look for Anne & Jeff Grimaldo, Stefan Fabry, Jamie Benson, Tamsin Carlson, Sarah Swenson, Courtney Meadows, and Katrina Obarski. An event not to be missed! Cal State L.A. Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Intimate Theater, 5151 State University Dr.; Sat., June 6, 8:30 p.m.; $30. (323) 343-6600.
SUNDAY, JUNE 7
It’s a great weekend for festivals. Here’s one that’s as L.A. as they come — The Lummis Day Festival, a celebration of locally made dance, art, stories and music held at the Charles F. Lummis Home and Garden, built on the west bank of the Arroyo Seco some time around 1900. Hometown sons I See Hawks in L.A. and Ozomatli’s Wil-Dog make beautiful music, and there will be performances of Latino, Tagalog, Native American, Anglo and Nigerian traditions. Such as? Blues and roots music by Carlos Guitarlos, Bomba Chante’s salsa, the Native American “round dance” music of Glen Ahhaitty, plus the hilarious socially and politically charged comic-performance group Culture Clash. What else? Dance troupes, poets, painters and chefs all doing their thing. Poets appearing at the morning gala include Ruben Martinez, Suzanne Lummis and Gail Wronsky. Art by J. Michael Walker, Raoul de la Sota, Luis Villanueva, Julie Nagesh and others at the Autry National Center’s Casa de Adobe. Kiddie stuff includes puppetry from the Puppets and Players Little Theater, storytelling by We Tell Stories, and art projects. Lummis Home, 200 E. Avenue 43, L.A.; art exhibitions at Casa de Adobe, 4605 N. Figueroa St., L.A.; musical, dance and theatrical performances at Sycamore Grove Park, 4702 N. Figueroa St.; Sun., June 7, 10:30 a.m.; poetry gala 12:30-7:30 p.m. (323) 222-0546.
A BROAD CHOICE
Pacific Serenades closes its 2008-2009 season with a concert titled Woven of Many Strands, featuring works drawn from a variety of influences. The highlight is the world premiere of Paul Chihara’s new piano quintet, which promises some surprises. “I don’t want to give too much away,” whispers Pacific Serenades founder Mark Carlson, “but I can tell you that it’s very different from anything Paul has done in the past, and it will include a fugue and what Paul calls ‘a big romantic melody.’” Of course, you never can pin Chihara down to any one musical style — this most adventurous composer has utilized everything from 12-tone and Japanese rhythms and harmonies to jazz and standard lyricism in his works, and is equally at home in the classical/avant-garde and film- and TV-music worlds. So it’s always fun to see what the ever-forward-looking Chihara — who, at nearly 71, seems to get younger instead of older — will come up with next. Violinists Miwako Watanabe and Connie Kupka, violist Roland Kato, cellist David Speltz and pianist Edith Orloff perform the Chihara premiere, along with Dvorak’s Piano Quintet in A major, Op. 81 and Haydn’s Piano Trio in A major, H.XV:9. Private address, Brentwood; Sat., June 6, 4 p.m.; $55. Also at Neighborhood Church, 301 N. Orange Grove Blvd., Pasadena; Sun., June 7, 4 p.m.; $32; and at UCLA Faculty Center, 405 N. Hilgard Ave., Wstwd.; Tues., June 9, 8 p.m.; $32. (213) 534-2424 or www.pacser.org.
THERE GOES THE HOOD
If Retna and El Mac were a team that worked in a more corporate environment, Retna would be the type guy, El Mac would be the photographer. But they don’t make ads or album covers (yet), and they identify as graffiti artists. Retna, one of L.A.’s most prominent writers (and an L.A. Weekly favorite), who has graced most of our city’s billboards and blank walls with stunning hieroglyphic type forms and textures, is now concentrating on legal spaces. El Mac hails from Phoenix and creates beautiful photorealistic portraits of monumental scale, mostly of women. They team up on a regular basis, notably for the towering Buddha murals at the gas station on Marathon and Western, and the long-standing Girl With Headphones at La Brea and Third.
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