Kathy Leonardo

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LA Art Party Newsletter

LAArtParty is an arts and entertainment website. Established in 2010, it is an online go-to guide for what's happening in and beyond the LA area - this includes dining, travel and more.

Founded by journalist, and "Blues Mama" Kathy Leonardo (a longtime performer), the campy site has an unusual slant which will keep you entertained. Leonardo has been writing for the past 15 years about various subjects for the Huffington Post, THRIVE GLOBAL, LA Weekly, etc.

Each month the LAArtParty staff, led by Kathy Leonardo decides which events will be featured. Posted at noon on the Thursday prior to the last week of the month, LAArtParty.com features the Top Ten Art Parties, plus other fun events each month. VIP subscribers find out ONE week prior to the public and receive discounts and invites to VIP parties throughout the year.

See Contact Page to find out how to become a VIP subscriber so you don't miss any more great ART Parties!! See Contact/Rates Page to find out how submit and promote your own events!

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Paul Taylor Dance Company at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

The Paul Taylor Dance Company presented three classic high energy works from their extensive repertoire that captivated and uplifted the audience's spirits.
Paul Taylor, who retired as a performer in 1974 to then turn exclusively to choreography, has and continues to represent the lineage of modern dance from his performances with Martha Graham's company in the 1950's and bridging the foundational work of Isadora Duncan, Ruth St. Denis, Ted Shawn and Doris Humphrey through the 21st century through his initiative at New York's Lincoln Center.

The evening began with the 1987 work, Syzygy with a commissioned score by Donald York, costumes by Santo Loquasto. and lighting by Jennifer Tipton. In this high velocity performance, dancers dash limberly across the stage like celestial bodies orbiting and eclipsing each other, that at times I began to visualize the movement patterns as if viewed from above the stage.

The Word, first performed in 1998 with a commissioned score by David Israel, lighting by Jennifer Tipton, and costumes by Santo Loquasto, Setup in the program with the biblical phrase, "For our God is a consuming fire," we see the performers dressed as prep school students, showing their lack of individuality, seemingly blindly confirming in a series of rigid movements and soon joined by the presence of a mysterious nude female who intervenes to disturb their environment to a finale with the pious youths marching off in lockstep followed the nymph.
Esplande, performed to two Johann Sebastian Bach violin concertos, costumes by Santo Loquasto, and lighting by Jennifer Tipton, was Taylor's first choreographed work in 1975, is a masterwork based on pedestrian movements of standing, walking, running, sliding and falling. The piece begins with eight dancers bursting with youthful energy, followed by them becoming disconnected and more somber, then couples engaging in romantic interplay and concluding with dancers chaotically rushing across and finally off the stage with one lone female remaining front and center with a beaming smile.

Check out more about the Paul Taylor Dance Company at http://www.ptamd.org
Dance at the Wallis continues with Here and Now (May 8 and 9), Matthew Bourne's Early Adventures (May 17-21), Ezralow Dance: Primo Passo (July 13-14). For full schedule and tickets, go to http://www.thewallis.org

Review: Jose Limón’s Dance Company at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts!

New Artistic Director Colin Conner, brought to the stage the vitality, passion and energy of the Jose Limón Dance Company that celebrates its 70th anniversary and the enduring memory of its founder and namesake who passed away in 1972. In discussion with the audience after the performance, Conner spoke of the challenge and joy of maintaining the company's legacy and being the only of the five Artistic Directors over the years who did not personally know Limón.
March2017-Review-LimonDanceCompany photo-MelanieFutorian
Jose Limón Dance Company, photo by Melanie Futorian

He also described his intent to make repertory choices that are committed to producing and presenting programs that balance classic works of American modern dance with commissions and acquisitions from contemporary choreographers.

At core to this focus is honoring Limón's own interests and creative themes that include -- going beyond the personal to how he felt about the world, delving into the varied "texture" of society, grappling with the "outsider" experience, and exploring the boundary between being public and private. These themes show up as dancers move to "fight through" obstacles and difficulties as they also seek to express joy -- experiences of the timeless quality of the human condition.

 The works that were featured spanned time from Limón's 's own choreography in the elegant and warm Concerto Grosso (1945), the powerful solo Chaconne (1942), and Limón's acknowledged masterpiece work, The Moor's Pavane (1949) that portrays interpersonal interaction variations on the theme of Shakespeare's Othello, to the very contemporary and intensity of Corvidae (2016), choreographed by Conner, and the dramatic Night Light (2014), choreographed by Kate Weare, that exposes the vulnerability and strength of each dancer.
Still from video - courtesy of Jose Limón Dance Company

A thread that seemed to create a continuity through each piece was the sound of the violin, from Vivaldi, Bach and Purcell to Phillip Glass, and, with that, the costumes that set us into the specific mood and style of each work -- from the fanciful to the elegantly Renaissance to the bare.

Go to www.limon.org to learn more about the company, the Limón Foundation, and view video of their performances.

Dance Performances coming to the Wallis include Paul Taylor Dance Company (May 5-7), Mathew Bourne's Early Adventures (May 17-21), Ezralow Dance: Primo Passo (July 13-14) and Dance Sundays with Debbie Allen and Friends 12-2pm on the Promenade Terrace -- FREE (April 9 - August 27).

Theater Review: Elevator at the Coast Playhouse!

What happens when seven strangers get stuck in an elevator together?

Elevator, written and directed by award-winning filmmaker and playwright Michael Leoni returned to Los Angeles for a special limited engagement at the Coast Playhouse in West Hollywood. The play originally premiered at the Hudson theaters during the first annual Hollywood Fringe Festival. After a wildly successful run, the smash hit expanded to the Hudson Mainstage Theatre and then the Macha Theater, receiving 11 nominations including "Best New Work" from Broadway World as well as "Critic's Choice" and "Best Bet" from the Los Angeles Times.
March2017-Review-Elevator1 MicheleYoung-photo
Elevator at the Coast Playhouse. Pictured (l-r): Deborah Vancelette (CEO Woman), Devon Werkheiser (Musician), Karsen Rigby (Hot Girl), David Abed (Business Man), William Stanford Davis (The Maintenance Man), Kristina St. Peter (Goth Girl) and Erica Katzin (The Temp). Photo credit: Michele Young.

Elevator is the story of seven strangers who are almost cliché archetypes: a CEO woman, a businessman, an office temp, a hot girl, a musician, a maintenance man and a goth girl find themselves stuck in an elevator together. It's a small, cramped and intimate space that they all must share and endure, like it or not. All their preconceived notions and judgments are challenged as the play unfolds and we learn the truth about each character. As audience members, we are also challenged to understand and learn about each of them without judgment. Elevator is at times hilarious, moving, tragic and surprisingly poignant. It is a story of transformation, acceptance, hope, connection and growth. The stellar cast features Devon Werkheiser (Nickelodeon's "Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide"), William Stanford Davis (Showtime's "Ray Donovan"), Deborah Vancelette (FX's "Terriers"), David Abed (Blue Man Group), Karsen Rigby, Erica Katzin, Kristina St. Peter and Tyler Tanner.
March2017-Review-Elevator2 MicheleYoung-photo
Elevator at the Coast Playhouse. Pictured (l-r): William Stanford Davis (The Maintenance Man) and Kristina St. Peter (Goth Girl). Photo credit: Michele Young.

With a sparse set consisting only of an elevator interior, I found it extraordinary, entertaining and touching. Musical sequences, dramatic lighting and sound kept me completely engaged. Kudos to scenic and lighting designer David Goldstein and original music and sound designer Mario Marchetti. Elevator has been extended through June – don't miss it! For more info about the play, Click Here!  http://www.coastplayhouse.org/

Review: Venice Arts Annual Speakeasy Event!

This past Saturday (March 18, 2017), Venice Arts held its annual speakeasy fundraiser at the Townhouse in Venice. The event brought out many locals and supporters filled with community spirit.
See image: (from left to right) Mike Newhouse, 
Lynn Warshafsky, and George Francisco, photo by Kathy Leonardo

The evening was officially hosted by Ruthie Seroussi & Mike Newhouse, Brandell Davis, Venice Arts, The Del Monte Speakeasy. If you've never been to the Del Monte Speakeasy, located just below the Townhouse, be sure to check it out. It has a rich history dating back to the prohibition days. 

Venice Arts is entering its 25th year, which is an amazing feat for any nonprofit. It offers a variety of transformative programs for low-income youth. Classes provided include photography, filmmaking, and multimedia, which ultimately end with a gallery exhibition or screening of a completed documentary created by the students. Art mentoring has been key to the success of this organization. Venice Arts serves 60% of local children and teens, and draws about 40% of new students from surrounding areas as far as Norwalk.
See image: 
Lynn Warshafskyf, photo by Richard Bilow

Founder Lynn Warshafsky stressed the importance of the community's continued commitment to the organization during this political climate. Setting a great example, she revealed that she will be doubling her own donation to the nonprofit this year.

The food, as always, was bountiful...featuring tasty cuisine from Larry's, Simmzy's, Venice Whaler, and Whole Foods Markets. Whiskey tasting was also a big part of the event. The silent auction and raffle featuring photos by Venice Arts' students, as well as goods and services from local businesses including Fork in the Road, Pitfire Pizza, ProSup Shop, Spa Sophia, Superba, Turning Point Pilates, and Wallflower. 

Venice Arts recently moved to a new location. Elysa Voshell, Associate Director, Gallery & Public Programs Director filled me in on all the details. "Earlier this year, Venice Arts moved to a beautiful, new two-building campus that doubles our size, which will allow us to expand our award-winning Art Mentoring & Education programs—including reaching the more than 150 low-income youth we currently turn away. We are grateful for the support of our community in helping us reach this point, and ask for their continued support as we expand to make a deep and lasting impact on even more of Los Angeles' low-income young people through the arts."
See image: Attendees bidding on artwork created by Venice Arts students

If you did not make the fundraiser, there is still time to make a chritable donation. Venice Arts is a wonderufl nonprofit that is truly making a difference in many young lives. For additional info about this fantastic organization, visit 

Review: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

The acclaimed and beloved Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater returned to The Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for a five day engagement (March 8-12, 2017). The performances included the West Coast premieres of r-Evolution, Dream., Untitled America, and Deep. I attended Friday night that showcased the more classic pieces, The Winter in Lisbon (1992), Masekela Langage (1996), In/Side (2008), and Revelations (1960).
Image: The Winter in Lisbon, photo by Christopher Duggan

The audience reveled in the uplifting and transformational beauty, grace, sensuality and passion of these works that connect with the human spirit and the historic struggles of the African American community. Says Rachel Moore, president and CEO of The Music Center, "With the vision of Artistic Director Robert Battle and courageous storytelling of choreographers like Hope Boykin, Kyle Abraham and Mauro Bigonzetti, the company's performances present audiences with important perspectives on issues that our communities continue to grapple with, providing us a platform for dialogue and offering a message of hope."

Beginning the program was The Winter in Lisbon a sensuous and smoky hot high energy ballet that celebrates the birth centennial of jazz legend with choreography by Billy Wilson, music by Dizzy Gillespie and Charles Fishman, lighting design by Chenault Spence and costume design by Barbara Forbes.

Following an intermission was a new production of Alvin Ailey's rarely-seen choreographic masterwork Masekela Langage, which is theatrically set in a South African beer house and dramatically danced to the driving score of South African jazz composer and trumpeter Hugh Masekela with lighting design by Chenault Spence and costume design by A. Christina Giannini.

After another intermission, Robert Battle's bold, unrestrained In/Side created and solo performed by Samuel Lee Roberts to Nina Simon's haunting rendition of the Oscar-nominated song 'Wild is the Wind,' Robert's describes the piece as "one of the most exhilarating, exhausting, and frightening things I have ever done. I had never had to be so completely vulnerable in such a public space."
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Image: Masekela Langage, photo by Paul Kolnik

A pause, and the evening concluding with Ailey's iconic three part masterpiece Revelations (Pilgrim of Sorrow; Take Me to the Water; and Move, Members, Move) with lighting design by Nicola Cernovitch, costume design by Ves Harper and various traditional music including songs, Fix Me, Jesus, Wade in the Water, and Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham.

The audience consistently showed their appreciation for individual dancer's prowess by clapping and giving ovations during the company's bows and encore moves after each piece and clearly demonstrating that people were transcending just watching by also being fully engaged and participating in a collective experience.

Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center continues it's season with Scottish Ballet: A Streetcar Named Desire (May 19-21, Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg: Tchaikovsky (June 23-25), and BalletNow (July 28-30). For additional info, click here. http://www.alvinailey.org

Review: Jessica Lang Dance at the Music Center

Though dance may be experienced as an ephemeral art form, New York-based choreographer Jessica Lang presented a series of performance pieces that took the audience on a tangible and memorable journey through conceptual, personal and socially conscious environments. The program flawlessly integrated accomplished modern and classical dance movement, evocative costumes and stunning architectural objects in abstract and timeless spaces amplified by mesmerizing sound tracks and video backdrops that involved an expansive assembly of creative collaborators.
Image: Tesseracts of Time, photo courtesy of Jessica Lang Dance

The first work, Tesseracts of Time, conceived by architect Steven Holl in collaboration with Lang and Architectural Director Dimitra Tsachretia, consisted of four segments, during which dancers moved in typically angular form "under," "in," "on," and "over" the fragments of "tesseracts," which are 'geometrically the four-dimensional analog of the cube; with a cube consisting of six square faces, the hypersurface of the tesseract consists of eight cubical cells.' Music by contemporary composers David Lang, Morton Feldman, John Cage, Iannis Xenakis and Arvo Part. Costume design by Brandon McDonald, lighting design by Nicole Pearce, Artistic Assistance to Film, Kenji Segawa, Technical Assistant for Filming Dancers, Milan Misko, and Stage Set Construction by Paper Mache Monkey.

Next was The Calling, a solo dancer wearing an exquisite long flowing white dress and moving in a slow meditative manner evoking a sense of personal inner reflection. Costume conceived by Lang and designed by Elena Comendador and performed to the transcendental music of Trio Medaeval, Thousand Yard Stare brought us into a stark scene -- the stage stripped of any scenery or backdrop exposing the lightening fixtures and industrial back wall. The dancers in military-style uniforms marched in formation, dragged themselves over the floor and carried each other portraying to the music of Beethoven in what Lang clearly acknowledges as a vision of war and an homage to courageous veterans.
Image: The Calling, photo by Komaru

The final two pieces fully integrated the use of video/film projection. White created with Director of Photography Shinichi Maruyama took to us into an abstraction of time and space with dancers layering over each another and moving in variations of real time, slow motion, fast forward. The final work, i.n.k., presented a production of images, sound and movement, with video art by Maruyama, original score by Jakub Ciupinski, costumes by Elena Comendador and lighting by Nicole Pearce and teams of video editor/compositors. The black and white design of the moving splashes and globs of fluid on the screen, the shapes and shadows of dances and the created a perfectly synergistic and immersive viewing experience.

Dancers in the company are: Clifton Brown, Patrick Coker, Julie Fiorenza, John Harnage, Eve Jacobs, Kana Kimura, Laura Mead, Milan Misko, and Jammie Walker.  http://www.jessicalangdance.com/

Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at the Music Center continues with Alvin Ailey's American Dance Theater (March 8-12), Scottish Ballet: A Streetcar Named Desire (May 19-21), Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg: Tchaikovsky (June 23-25), and BalletNow (July 28-30). Visit the website for more details. https://www.musiccenter.org/

Review: Art Los Angeles Contemporary 2017!

Art Los Angeles Contemporary is an annual contemporary art fair held at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica. The air was brimming with exciting new energy that we felt the moment we stepped out of our cars. An installation of white shoes greeted us in the lot. We politely stepped over a performer laying on the red carpet in a red bodysuit, an appropriate camouflage.
1-ALAC-Jan-2017-RedGuyinstallation-RobbyGordon-byMarkAllenSee image: Dr Robby Gordon gets into the act with a performance art peice

Breezing through the booths to get a feel for the fair in it's entirety, Shulamit Nazarian stood out amongst the crowd. As a Venice local, I am familiar with this hip gallery and their youthful exuberant programming. I got the chance to speak with gallerist Shulamit and she informed me on their new location opening in Hollywood in less than a month. “We're opening a new space, it's about 3,500 square feet. It's in Hollywood just south of Melrose on La Brea – used to be a car garage and has really been transformed. It has a buttress ceiling with a large exhibition space that we're very excited about.” - Shulamit Nazarian.

I asked her about the changing LA art scene and the strategic decision behind opening the new location in Hollywood. “I feel that a lot of cutting edge, really contJan2017-ALAC-2-Shulamit.MarkAllenemporary art galleries are moving into Hollywood and that area. With the issue of traffic, it is nice for the art audience to be able to hit as many galleries as they can in one day. We feel that can help us all.” - Shulamit Nazarian. I was curious to hear more about Shulamit and her background in art. “I am an architect and Iranian transfer to America. I always thought it was nice to learn about people through their history, heritage, and culture. I felt contemporary art was the best medium to be able to expose your ideas and your thoughts – whether they are futuristic or looks to the past. I felt these were important messages to be given through the medium of art.” - Shulamit Nazarian.

See image: Gallery owner, Shula Nazarian

We finished the conversation talking about her roster of artists and the qualities they share. She explained her interests in her artists and the inaugural exhibition opening at Shulamit Nazarian Hollywood. “Most of our artists are interested in their identity and politics. They all share that in one way or another and carry those ideas out in their work. February 18 is our new opening. It's called “Escape Attempts” curated by Kathy Battista. Our inaugural show of seven female artists that are talking about feminism and minimalism and how artists are looking back at minimalist history and how it has been primarily male dominant. These women are taking these ideas and the identity - how they feel it. It's going to be a very dynamic show - seven women from very different backgrounds – New York, LA, Germany – and yet they share a vision.“ http://www.shulamitnazarian.com/

Walking around the fair was both exhilarating and highly stimulating. We strolled the white-walled labyrinth in quest for the visionary best. Honor Fraser made for the best utilization of space with their colorful minimalist installation by Victoria Fu. Dan Levenson's installation at Susanne Vielmetter schooled us on the history of art. Yautepec from Mexico City streamlined their artist roster in two digital touch screen catalogues, almost like an Amazon for expensive art.

Mixo3-Jan-2017-Ed Ruscha-ALACmixografia-photobyMarkAllengraphia Print Gallery showed off their faux-metal multimedia paper prints by Ed Ruscha, "CASH FOR TOOLS."

See image: by Ed Ruscha  http://www.mixografia.com/

Los Angeles gallery Michael Benevento Gallery gets the award for strangest sight with the work "Nude Shoe" by Martin Solo Clement. Jamie Warren, the gregarious goofball of the art world made an appearance at The Hole Gallery from NYC. Jenny Holzer's words cut like swords in an auspicious print edition on display at Alden Projects from NY. 

Luis De Jesus gallery from Los Angeles pushed conceptual boundaries while still exhibiting work that is aesthetically beautiful and reminds us that painting is not dead, and neither is craft. The large cyanotypes by Lia Halloran were both impressive in scale and technique.

Using cyanotype chemicals, one of the oldest photographic techniques, 4-Jan2017-ALAC-LiaHalloran-LuisdeJesusgalleryshe created prints from her paintings on vellum that honor women's achievements in astronomy. Her celestial cyanotypes not only honor female scientists, but also reference Anna Atkins - the first major female photographer who created a series of cyanotypes of her fern collection.

See image: Simply Beautiful, Lia Halloran's large cyanotypes at Luis de Jesus Gallery, https://www.luisdejesus.com/

Cyanotype is a process of using chemicals that are photo sensitive such as Potassium Ferricyanide and painting them to paper in the dark. Once dried, the paper is then exposed to sunlight with a negative of some kind, and the resulting print is revealed by washing the paper in water. Halloran's work honors the sun, the photographic process, and the history of female achievement in a cohesive and captivating aesthetic.

David Lynch's small works on paper lined the booth walls of Kayne Griffin Corcoran's booth like a neo-classical French salon. Using watercolors, graphite, and other drawing mediums, he creates hauntingly beautiful scenes that flow together to create dark and mysterious storyboard. Genevieve from KGC gave me a brief history of David Lynch's art practice: "We have a solo presentation of David Lynch's works on paper from the past decade and also two sculptures. He went to art school in the 1960's and created a works on paper, paintings, sculptures, and photography simultaneously with his film career.
See image: David Lynch's small works on paper lined the booth walls of Kayne Griffin Corcoran's booth; http://www.kaynegriffincorcoran.com/

In fact, it predates his film career. He wanted to create a moving painting and so he created a painting and overlapped a film on top of it and that kind of began his film career - 3-dimensional painting. He thinks of them as separate activities but they are all in the same world, the same language."

Ever Gold Projects, based out of San Francisco, exhibited a duo show by artists Petra Collins and Petra Cortright. This Petra-fying display brought simple and colorful imagery to the fair, creating a meditative space amongst the cacophony of the crowds. It was a pleasant surprise to see Petra Collin's photography in person, she is quite the Instagram celebrity and I have been following her work for years now. Not only were the images serene, by the large printing and framing was museum grade quality.

Pr6-Jan-2017-ALAC-PetraCollinsesentation was key and further enhanced the work. I spoke with Andrew from EVP and he gave me the run down on the Petra/Petra duet: "This is a two-person booth of Petra Collins and Petra Cortright, two artists that I have been working with for a while. We though it would be fun to do a Petra/Petra booth, they're both friends and their work is reminiscent of each other. They both have an interesting aspect of their career working in fashion: Cortright has done videos for Stella McCartney, Collins has worked with Gucci and Adidas."

See image: by Petra Collins; http://evergoldprojects.com/

I was especially interested in Collins work and wanted to hear more about her art career. "She is a 24 year old artist originally from Toronto. She started working for Richard Currin when she was 15 and then started working for Ryan McGinley when she moved to New York. Through that, she has always been involved with fashion and editorial but also art too, obviously. So, for her, everything else is an extension of her art practice. It's a very contemporary outlook, everything comes together. The traditional boundaries got broken down, and its great to work with two really incredible young female artists."

All images provided by Mark Allen; For additional info about Art Los Angeles Contemporary, visit  https://artlosangelesfair.com/

Review: Jacob Jonas The Company at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts!

Jacob Jonas The Company at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Bram Goldsmith Theater In Beverly Hills - January 13, 2017
 by Michael Baroff
The youthful, energetic, and highly skilled Jacob Jonas The Company delighted the audience with an evening of four dance works including two world premieres at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.  This wonderful venue celebrates the classic and the modern as it is the restored original 1933 Beverly Hills Post Office now housing the 150-seat Lovelace Studio Theater and the contemporary 500-seat, state-of-the-art Bram Goldsmith Theater.
JacobJonasTheCompany-WallisAnnenbergCenterforthePerformingArtsPhoto by Kevin Parry for The Wallis

The first work on the program, In a Room on Broad St., is an extended multi-scenario piece inspired by Jonas' ideas about how society views competition. During 30 minutes, the nine performers, wearing street clothes, move through the bare space pushing, pulling, configured as a mob, as small groups, pairs and individuals and maneuvering on and and around folding chairs in often enigmatic tableaus. Most striking about the piece, and the company itself, is the integration and synergy of the unique skills of the individual performers that  blends modern dance, ballet, hip-hop, gymnastics, acrobatics, partnering, parkour, and cyber-yoga.
After a brief interlude, the first half of the show included the premier performance of f l y, which references the Swedish word for escape, that Jonas describes as being birthed through watching a heartbeat monitor as it flat-lined and which explores the themes of endurance and deceleration where the dancers move on and off across the stage in a series of formulaic repetitive and seemingly erratic gestures,
After the intermission, we were shown Grey, also a premier, a large screen video presentation featuring five dancers moving through the marble walled environment of the J Paul Getty Museum to original music by Chris Westlake and for which cinematographer William Adasheck captured striking close-ups and overhead shots
The last work, Obstacles, to the music of Phillip Glass, featured a duo between Jonas and Marissa Labog, who choreographed the piece with Jonas through an improvisational process.  The work was inspired by Jonas' friend Mallory Smith who provided a voice over narration of her experience and  perseverance overcoming a life-long health challenge
JacobJonasTheCompany2-WallisAnnenbergCenterforthePerformingArtsPhoto by Kevin Parry for The Wallis

At the end of the performance, Paul Crewes Wallis Artistic Director, was joined on stage by Jonas and the company for a conversation with the audience. Jonas, who is 24 and a graduate of Beverly Hills High School, talked of his early beginnings doing street performances in Venice and current desire to bring dance to a wider audience to through social media. The conversation highlighted the group's ability to portray raw emotion and connect with each other through sharing energy. Members of Los Angeles-based troupe are Jill Wilson, who is also company manager; Anibal Sandoval, with a background in break dancing and martial arts; Brooklyn Reeves, a graduate of Chapman University; Charisa Kroeger, graduate of Loyola Marymount; Jacob "Kujo" Lyons, with 20 years experience on the global b-boy/break-dance scene; Jeremy Julian Grandberry, trained as a member of the NYC Joffrey Ballet School's touring company; Kimberly Bridgewater, graduate of University California Irvine; Lamonte "Tales" Goode, showcases a fusion-style of gravity-defying balance and dance moves; Marissa Labog, dancer, actor and stuntwoman; Nic Walton, acrobat, free runner and parkour; Renee Stewart, graduate of London Contemporary Dance School; William Adasek, lighting designer and cinematographer.  http://jacobjonas.com