Earlier this week, I went to see Benjamin Millepied’s L.A. Dance Project perform four pieces from their repertoire (Reflections by Benjamin Millepied; Duets by Martha Graham; Helix by Justin Peck; and Hearts and Arrows by Benjamin Millepied).
They were all incredibly different, each had, I thought, its own particular meaning.
In ‘Reflections’, it really felt as if you were getting to know the dancers as they went through separation, reconciliation, exploring the connections they had with one another. These connections were definitely a theme throughout the piece, made clear by the discrete line of red the dancers each had on a different part of their costumes (which were contemporary casual wear), perhaps as a symbolism of the links. The details of the hands and arms made the piece all the more intriguing, as well as the subtle injections of humour. The background, bright red with bold white words the lighting played with, was very surprising and original.
The beautifully performed duets by Martha Graham each showcased a range of strengths (flexibility, balance…). The simple black background and costumes made the dancers’ bodies and movements really stand out. Each duet suited the dancers well, they looked impossibly effortless and comfortable.
Justin Peck’s ‘Helix’, my personal favourite, was just breathtaking. I felt this piece was a lot more intense than the previous ones – frenetic and grandiose. The music, often going into crescendos, made the powerful dance captivating, and the once again simplistic black background really showcased the dancers’ amazing performance.
In ‘Hearts and Arrows’, each dancer had their own section in which they led the other dancers, or were in opposition to them – yet at the same time, they were all completely in harmony with each other. The choreography was absolutely remarkable; every single movement, however complex, detailed or subtle, was perfectly chosen. I loved the unexpected monochrome checked costumes and black and white background for this one.
For such a young company, L.A. Dance Project have an outstanding contemporary repertoire, performed by strong, impressive dancers. This show made me excited to see how the company will evolve and what they will create next.
You can find out more about the L.A. Dance Project here: http://www.ladanceproject.com