Ryan Heffington smacks my hands in a double-high five, then hugs my slimy body. Sweat is oozing out of every pore, but that’s the norm here. We’ve just concluded an hour-long session of “Sweaty Sundays,” Heffington’s weekly class that mixes ballet and jazz moves with constant motion – plus palpable enthusiasm in the form of shouts (“Oh yeah!” and “Oui oui!”), gestures (the slimy hug) and fashion (‘80s-style neon spandex galore).
I was one of 50 or 60 dancers busting moves in a spacious studio on Sunset Blvd. in Silver Lake – the aptly named “Sweat Spot” that Heffington opened just a year ago. Continue reading
“What do you see?” asks Amanda, our guide at MOCA. This is my kind of art tour, I think. Simple and direct, a quick way to appreciate art, based just on what I see. “Heart shapes,” says a girl in a canary yellow sweater and sparkly silver shoes who is maybe six years old. “Your eye is … Continue reading
With “Nissan” painted in big, gray letters on its outer wall, a massive, bulky warehouse on Washington Boulevard in Culver City reveals nothing of its new identity as experimental performance. Only upon entering the venue is there any indication of the unusual experience that awaits inside the drab abandoned building — 21 distinct sets spread across 25,000 square feet of space, meant for an audience to traverse scene by scene on a “train” or on foot as the production unfolds…. Continue reading
The audience holds its breath: Melissa Barak is balancing on the toes of one foot while sweeping a long blood-red velvet cape around her thigh. The leg alone is a sight – sculpted, thin muscles bulging even under the thick white tights. A miniscule skirt of thin white pleats covers the bottom of her leotard. … Continue reading