Force Majeure, Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company’s latest themed evening takes up where their last series at the Atwater Village Theater, the Vivaldi inspired Four Seasons, left off. Essentially a repertory evening, it featured four new works by four choreographers. The program was remarkably cohesive in its look, coming across as an even more welded together evening than Four Seasons.

The titling means what you think it does, but it was unclear if these works were delivered as kind of choreographic assignment, a reflexive moniker for the company, or as I took it, evidence of women claiming the high ground. Artistic Director Genevieve’ Carson’s opening piece, EBBA, suggested the later with its all-female cast of six dancers and their fierce on stage presence. But the work felt almost one-dimensional, despite its powerful, unison dance moments, and brooding contexts.

Much of the evening gravitated toward theater dance. It’s not exactly new terrain for LACDC but the evening marked a kind of consistency of style and presentation that almost seemed at odds with what you might expect from four dancemakers with different backgrounds. And while the costuming, music, and lighting changed, the movement underpinning it all remained stubbornly the same.

female dancer, head down in a spiraled attitude, dressed in grey, other dancers blurred in the dark background
Photo: Taso Papadakis

The smaller ensembles for Beautyfear choreographed by Gregory Dolbashian and Sporty by Micaela Taylor which followed EBBA looked less energized than Carson’s hard opening act. Neither reached much beyond delivering a glancing blow at the themes suggested by their titles.  The concluding work, Delicate Skins, choreographed for six dancers by Christian Denice was the only work that escaped to a realm where lyricism gained currency. Denice tapped into some of the sameness but also took flight with dancing that was allowed some sense of poetry (for example a beautiful undulating trio with the dancers linking hands) as well as old fashioned togetherness. Suited up in cream colored pants and tee shirts, his dancers seemed to really see and dance with one another, abandoning the edgy, expressionless faces that characterized much of the rest of the program. But even Delicate Skins was touched by the evening’s wearying, generic anxiety. Investing Delicate Skins with the poetry mentioned above was JM Rodriguez whose stretchy, natural dancing stood out and made you want to see more like him.

Force Majeure returns next weekend for an extended series of performances in Atwater. Click here for tickets.

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