Songs and Dances of Imaginary Lands

Pretend that you are a 5-year-old at an art museum: The concepts of line, perspective, medium and tone mean nothing to you. In fact, if imposed on your experience, they would only detract from it. But despite your age, on a visceral level you are seduced by the vibrancy of color and the familiarity of shape. In the same way, this site-specific contemporary opera, developed by director and co-choreographer O-Lan Jones, resonates with sight, sound and spectacle, despite the difficulty in imposing traditional meaning on it. Where once Mazdas were sold, now theater is happening, and Jones serves up a feast for the senses, along with musical director David O, set and costume designer Snezana Petrovic, and a cast and crew of dozens of artists. The feast consists of a series of songs, dances, short scenes and videos that thematically interweave elements of both human history and the stages of our lives. Depending on the price of their tickets, audience members can either ride in “trains” or walk and carry their folding chairs between performance venues in the 25,000-square-foot space. In addition to the obvious commentary on social class, this unique seating arrangement never lets you become restless. And though the vignettes are uneven, what impresses most are Petrovic’s imaginative use of the space and the coordination required to keep so many moving parts working together harmoniously. 8810 Washington Blvd., Culver City; Thurs.-Sun., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; through July 18. (323) 655-2410,
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: July 8. Continues through July 25, 2010


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