The Music Center Announces 2013-14 Season

- Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center to Feature Six Major Premieres; World City Introduces LA to Renowned World Music, Dance, and Theatre Artists; Nationally Recognized Active Arts Gives the Community 25 Different Ways to Engage Directly with the Arts -

- Renae Williams Niles Named New Head of Programming -

Apr 11, 2013, 12:55 ET from The Music Center

LOS ANGELES, April 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Exemplifying its commitment to provide Los Angeles with inspiring, immersive entertainment for all ages, The Music Center announced its 2013-2014 Season, which includes major dance premieres, multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary performances for families and its nationally recognized series of free "do-it-yourself" arts events.  According to The Music Center, this extensive group of performances and arts-making opportunities – which includes engagements at all four of its venues and Grand Park – is The Music Center's most comprehensive, diverse season to date.

At the same time, The Music Center announced that Renae Williams Niles has been named vice president of programming for The Music Center.  Niles was most recently The Music Center's director of programming and responsible for leading The Music Center's highly successful dance series, Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center. 

Stephen D. Rountree, president and CEO of The Music Center said, "This season truly defines The Music Center's role here in Los Angeles as the place where the community can enjoy distinctive yet relevant performing arts experiences.  Our presentations of dance, world arts traditions and participatory performing arts activities complement those presented by our resident companies in theatre, opera, classical and choral music.  Together, we ensure the community that a visit to a Music Center venue or to Grand Park means the opportunity to experience the best in the performing arts."

"I am delighted that Renae Williams Niles, who has so effectively grown our dance programming, will now lead programming for The Music Center as a whole.   Her success has transformed The Music Center into one of the great destinations in the world for ballet and contemporary dance – evidenced by the artists and companies that have made The Music Center and Los Angeles an important place for their work to be seen.  Her vision and expertise will be very valuable to the development of new initiatives, as we lead up to the fiftieth anniversary of The Music Center in 2014," Rountree added.

Niles said, "Programming at The Music Center is about creating distinctive and inspirational experiences for the greater Los Angeles community.  Working with our resident companies– the Los Angeles Philharmonic, LA Opera, Los Angeles Master Chorale and Center Theatre Group– and our Grand Park team, The Music Center celebrates the creative spirit through exceptional offerings and collaborations with internationally renowned artists and the opportunity for individuals to engage with the performing arts in ways that make them smile."

The 2013-2014 Music Center season includes the eleventh season of Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center with six major premieres from renowned choreographers, including Matthew Bourne, Alexei Ratmansky, Ethan Stiefel/Johan Kobborg, Angelin Preljocaj, Medhi Walerski, and Otis Sallid; plus performances by the Paul Taylor Dance Company.

World City at The Music Center, also now in its eleventh season, includes presentations by renowned performing artists from Poland, Ireland, Tuva, the American West, Hip-Hop culture, and the Tex-Mex Conjunto tradition – all presented for free at the W.M. Keck Foundation Children's Amphitheatre at The Music Center's Walt Disney Concert Hall. 

The ninth season of Active Arts® at The Music Center will have people dancing, singing, telling stories, and playing music with more than 25 free do-it-yourself arts events offered throughout the summer and into the holiday season.

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2013-2014 Season Details

Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center

In its eleventh season, the Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center series presents new works from six of the most important choreographers working today, beginning with Alexei Ratmansky, artist in residence at American Ballet Theatre and former director of the Bolshoi Ballet, who has created a new "Romeo and Juliet" (July 10-13, 2014) to the Prokofiev score, for The National Ballet of Canada, led by artistic director Karen Kain.  The company brought its exciting Christopher Wheeldon "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" to The Music Center in October, 2012.  Ratmansky was represented in the 2010-2011 season with "The Bright Stream" from American Ballet Theatre, and his work will also be part of the Opening Night mixed repertory program of American Ballet Theatre's engagement this July.  The National Post in Canada said "Romeo and Juliet" is "a new modern classic … dazzling combat choreography, constantly soaring, and elevated passion putting each member of the company through a jam-packed workout."

Matthew Bourne returns to The Music Center with "Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty" (November 21-December 1, 2013, co-presented with Center Theatre Group), the long awaited completion of his Tchaikovsky ballet series.  The New York Times said, "His dances are simply right for the moment … this 'Sleeping Beauty' looks set for a lengthy reign." "Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty" follows his "Edward Scissorhands" from the 2006-2007 Dance at The Music Center season.

Two of the most known international male dancers of our time, Royal Ballet star Johan Kobborg, and Ethan Stiefel, have teamed to create a new "Giselle" (January 31-February 2, 2014) for Royal New Zealand Ballet.  Stiefel, now artistic director of Royal New Zealand Ballet, and Kobborg were stellar Albrechts throughout their performing careers, and with this engagement Stiefel is returning to The Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion stage in a new capacity, having made many previous appearances as a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre.  The Dominion Post said, "Pitch perfect. The stage is throbbing with talented dancers."  Radio New Zealand Arts said, "A triumph for the company in every way."

France's best-known modern dance company, Ballet Preljocaj, made a striking impression with The Music Center audiences in the 2011-2012 season with "Blanche Neige" ("Snow White") at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.  Now, Angelin Preljocaj, who has been compared to Diaghilev, is bringing his "The Nights," inspired by "One Thousand and One Nights"  (June 20-22, 2014).

A unique offering, Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center is presenting "James Brown: Get on the Good Foot, a Celebration in Dance," co-presented by The Music Center and The Apollo Theater  (February 14-16, 2014) and conceived by artistic director/choreographer Otis Sallid, whose credits include "Smokey's Joe's Cafe" on Broadway, Spike Lee's films "School Daze," "Do the Right Thing," "Malcolm X," and the 2006 Super Bowl half time show.  "Get on the Good Foot" will be performed by the Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO) and will feature new dances from choreographers including Souleymane Badolo (Burkina Faso), Ronald K. Brown (United States), Thang Dao (Vietnam),

Derick K. Grant (United States), Aakash Odedra (United Kingdom), and Abdel Salaam (United States). Tango and Hip Hop will also be featured in the work.

Joby Talbot, who composed the critically acclaimed original score for The National Ballet of Canada's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," has provided another new score for Nederlands Dans Theater 1's "Chamber" (October 18-20, 2013), choreographed by NDT1 dancer Medhi Walerski.  The work, which is inspired by Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring," concludes LA's RITE, The Music Center's festival, which is a tribute to the centennial of "The Rite of Spring" and its composer Igor Stravinsky that began in February.  Nederlands Dans Theater 1 is led by artistic director Paul Lightfoot.

The season's offerings also include the first visit in 10 years of the Paul Taylor Dance Company (April 11-13, 2014) to The Music Center with a program including "Airs" (1978, music by Handel), "Banquet of Vultures" (2005, music by Morton Feldman), and "Gossamer Gallants" (2011, music by Bedrich Smetana.)  The Paul Taylor Dance Company will also be a part of The Music Center's 2014 Blue Ribbon  Children's Festival, where it will be enjoyed by more than 18,000 5th graders.

World City at The Music Center

World City at The Music Center will present performing artists from around the globe in six events from October 5, 2013 to May 17, 2014 at the W.M. Keck Foundation Children's Amphitheatre at The Music Center's Walt Disney Concert Hall.  This free live performance and visual arts workshop series for families, also now in its eleventh year, celebrates cultures from countries worldwide, as well as from indigenous peoples of the Americas.   The 2010 Grammy Award- winning Los Texmaniacs (Saturday, October 5, 2013) honor their roots from Tex-Mex Conjunto, founded by Max Baca, a legendary bajo sexto (12-stringed-guitar-like rhythmic instrument) performer.  Conjunto bands pair button accordions, which were introduced to Texas by German immigrants, with the baja sexto, and the Texmaniacs add blues and R&B to the mix.  Los Texmaniacs are paired with Pacifico Dance Company, California's premier folklorico company, a vibrant ensemble of dancers preserving Mexican dance through the reconstruction of traditional choreographies, incorporating Mexican folklore and religions.

The Warsaw Village Band and Tecza Puppet Theatre (Saturday, November 16) bring Polish culture and family theatre to Los Angeles.  The award-winning Warsaw Village Band was formed to share Poland's rich musical traditions, following the fall of Berlin Wall to Poland's economic growth as the country became part of a new international world.   Their new album, "NORD," is a finalist in the 2013 Songlines Music Awards and Sziget Festival.   

The Warsaw Village Bandis programmed with Tecza Puppet Theatre – the Polish State Puppet Theatre "Rainbow" – founded in 1946 in the village Tuchomie.   In 1969, Sophie Miklinska enlarged the scope of the company, bringing the traditions and folklore of traditional Polish puppet theatre to the company.  In 1991, Malgorzata Kaminska faced the same artistic challengers as Warsaw Village Band with the fall of the Berlin Wall, and brought a new voice to the theatre.  The company will perform selections from their production "Golden Heart," a collection of Polish fables.

From South Florida, World City presents Wilner "Wil B" Baptiste and Kevin "Key Marcus" Sylvester, who are Black Violin (Saturday, January 18, 2014), classically trained viola and violin players who fuse classical with hip-hop, meld highbrow and pop culture and blend in rock, R&B, and bluegrass, backed by ace turntable whiz DJTK (Dwayne Dayal), and drummer Beatdown (Jermaine McQueen).  Black Violin played for troops in Iraq, at the two Obama Presidential Inaugural Balls and at the Kids Inaugural in Washington, D.C., as well as forty shows on Broadway at the New Victory Theatre.  Their "triumph" is the outcome of a decade-long effort that has seen them bridge the gap between the worlds of classical and popular music.  "Black Violin is all about overcoming your obstacles and staying strong," says Wil, something he and Kev have achieved in their decade together.

Atlantic Steps (Saturday, February 15, 2014) is an international-touring adaptation of the phenomenally successful Irish show, Fuaim Chonamara. It tells the inspiring, epic story of Ireland's oldest dance form, portrayed through the music, song, dance and energy of the Connemara region.  Centered around the joyful dance and unbridled enthusiasm of Brian Cunningham, the show continues to move festival and theatre audiences to their feet, bringing sean-nos dance to its rightful place on the world stage.

Huun-Huur-Tu (Saturday, April 19, 2014) from Tuva, a Russian Federation republic on the Mongolian border, brings the internationally known Tuvan throat-singing – in which the singers have been trained to produce two or three notes simultaneously by selectively amplifying voice harmonics – sounding like a flute, a whistle, or a bird, all coming from the human voice.  Tuvan instruments – the igil, khomus  (Tuvan jaw harp), doshpuluur, and dunggur (shaman drum) accompany the singers.  Formed in 1992, Huun-Huur-Tu (meaning the separation of light rays on the grasslands just after sunrise or before sunset) performs music once prohibited to foreigners from a land that is isolated by a ring of mountains, deserts and a forest, where descendants of the aboriginal Siberian forest people still herd reindeer.  Huun-Huur Tu has recorded extensively, bringing their unique sound to a world audience.

Specializing in songs of the Golden West, Daughters of the Purple Sage (Saturday, May 17, 2014) are acclaimed for their smooth vocals and air-tight harmonies.  Named "Rising Star of the Year" by the Academy of Western Artists, they were nominated "Group of the Year" by the Western Music Association.  The popularity of the group's polished blend and nostalgic style continues to grow as audiences are delighted by The Daughters' own signature arrangements of such classics as Tumblin' Tumbleweeds and Shenandoah.  Their music reflects an authenticity that is enjoyed by urban and rural listeners alike.

Joining Daughters of the Purple Sage is Wylie & the Wild West.  Seemingly the coolest cowpoke around, Wylie Gustafson is old-school cool, without being a tired period piece.  A native Montanan singer/songwriter who lives the songs he writes, Gustafson has three decades of writing, recording, and performing under his belt.  He has matured into one of the few authentic voices of the West.  His friendly demeanor is born from his unpretentious life as a working class cow-horseman on the remote rangelands of the American high-plains.  Despite his successful career in music and yodeling, when not touring, he still gets up every day and tends to the livestock on his Quarter Horse ranch near the town of Conrad, Montana.  

For more than 25 years, Gustafson and his band, The Wild West, have performed their refreshing blend of cowboy, swing, folk, and yodeling music worldwide.  They are hugely popular on the festival and theatre circuit.  Stateside, they have performed at such prestigious venues as the National Folk Festival, MerleFest, the Bumbershoot Festival, The Stagecoach Festival, A Prairie Home Companion, The Conan O'Brien Show, and the Grand Ole Opry (with more than 50 guest appearances).  Worldwide, their performances have taken them to Russia, Australia, Europe, South America, and Japan.  Gustafson's top-selling book "How to Yodel- Lessons to Tickle Your Tonsils" is the number one selling book of its genre.  World City will feature a yodeling workshop with Gustafson as a special addition to the season finale.

Active Arts® at The Music Center

Now in its ninth season, Active Arts at The Music Center continues to bring fun, do-it-yourself arts experiences to Los Angeles.  Recreational artists of all skill levels sing, dance, play music and tell their stories at year-round, low-cost or free events that engage participants in the art-making experience by learning to dance under the stars (Dance Downtown), learning to play the ukulele (Ukule-Along), creating and sharing their stories through photos (24/1 Stories), belting out a raucous group rendition of a favorite tune (Friday Night Sing-Along) or celebrating the season under the wintry skies (The Music Center's Holiday Sing-Along).  

Popular on-going events include the Friday night Dance Downtown series on The Music Center Plaza and in Grand Park (May 3 Salsa/Merengue; May 17 90s Night; May 31 Argentine Tango; June 14 Line Dancing and Two-Step; June 28 Bollywood/Bhangra; July 12 K-Pop; July 26 Cumbia; August 9 Disco; August 23 Ondo/Bon Dance; September 6 60s Night; and September 20 Samba in the Park.)  Friday Night Sing-Alongs include June 21 Pop Divas and Divos; July 5 Soul Train Classics; July 19 80s Greatest Hits; August 2 Country; and August 16 Movie Musicals.  Other events include the annual National Dance Day Celebration on July 27 in Grand Park; Drum Downtown in the Park on July 6, August 3 and September 7; Ukule-Along in July, August  and September ; Inside Out: Walt Disney Concert Hall 10th Anniversary Celebration in September; and The Music Center Holiday Sing-Along in December. 

About The Music Center

A leader at the cultural heart of Los Angeles County, The Music Center brings to life one of the world's premier arts destinations by creating opportunities for arts participation, enabling compelling programming and providing first-class venues and services. The Music Center is one of the largest and most highly regarded performing arts centers in the country, creating a cultural hub that is central to L.A.'s status as "the creative capital" of the world. Celebrated for its illustrious dance programming Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center and home to four world-class resident companies– LA Phil, Center Theatre Group, LA Opera and Los Angeles Master Chorale – The Music Center is the place to experience the most innovative and critically-acclaimed performing arts in the nation. In its effort to extend the reach and accessibility of the performing arts, the Music Center is a national model for experiences in which people participate directly through its Active Arts® at The Music Center. As well, The Music Center presents special productions, events and festivals for children and families, including World City at The Music Center. Each year, over one-million audience members delight in the excitement of live performances on The Music Center's stages and enjoy free community arts events all year long across its outdoor campus. The Music Center is also on the forefront of arts education in Los Angeles, providing arts resources to students and teachers in schools and community centers throughout the region. Approximately 500 full-time, seasonal and part-time staff members are employees of The Center and contribute to its operation and success. The Music Center was developed as an unprecedented public-private partnership with Los Angeles County. Through the support of the Board of Supervisors, the County of Los Angeles plays an invaluable role in the successful operation of The Music Center. This relationship has cemented the importance of the arts to the cultural fabric of Los Angeles.  For more information, visit


SOURCE The Music Center