Legendary Martha Graham Dance Company Brings Classic and Contemporary Modern-Dance Creations to Valley Performing Arts Center


Mariya Dashkina Maddux in Martha Graham’s “Appalachian Spring” Photo and copyright by Hubbard Nash Photography

Mariya Dashkina Maddux in Martha Graham’s “Appalachian Spring” Photo and copyright by Hubbard Nash Photography

Valley Performing Arts Center at California State University, Northridge, announces its presentation of the celebrated Martha Graham Dance Company, in its sole Los Angeles appearance in the 2014-15 season. The esteemed and historic dance company, founded by Martha Graham in 1926, will appear at VPAC Saturday, April 18, 2015 at 8pm. VPAC is offering additional related events including educational programs and a photography exhibit in the VPAC Gallery, featuring iconic imagery of the Martha Graham Dance Company taken by photographer Barbara Morgan.

VPAC’s Graham Company program includes a rare staging of Appalachian Spring (1944) set to Aaron Copland’s Pulitzer Prize-winning score. Considered Graham’s great enduring masterwork, Appalachian Spring celebrates its 70th birthday this season. The program also features Lamentation Variations, newly choreographed by three celebrated dance makers: Sonya Tayeh, Kyle Abraham and Larry Keigwin. The works by Tayeh and Abraham are West Coast premiers following their debut at the Joyce Theater in New York. Tayeh is best known to television audiences for her choreography for So You Think You Can Dance.

Valley Performing Arts Center Executive Director Thor Steingraber says, “We are proud to present the Martha Graham Dance Company in Los Angeles, especially for this opportunity to celebrate Appalachian Spring in its 70th anniversary. We embrace the continuing appeal of this treasured American dance company, especially as it bridges some of our nation’s greatest dance history with the “now.””

Says Martha Graham Company Artistic Director Janet Eilber, “We’re excited to bring a program to VPAC that includes amazing, cutting-edge works that resonate with Graham classics like Appalachian Spring. The brand new choreography brings a fresh perspective to Graham’s legacy, and the Graham masterworks give a greater context to the contemporary work. It’s an incredibly powerful interaction that gives our audiences so many new ways to get inside the art.  Graham’s dance career began in Southern California about 100 years ago, and with new works by Sonya Tayeh, Andonis Foniadakis, Kyle Abraham and others on the program, our performance will span almost a century of Graham’s innovation and influence.” Continue reading


The popular Emmy® Award nominated PBS KIDS series Dinosaur Train will come to life on the stage in a big way with Dinosaur Train – Live! Buddy’s Big Adventure at the Valley Performing Arts Center in Northridge on February 7, 2015, at 1:00pm and 4:00pm. Buddy the dinosaur’s world will be created for this live “pre-hysterical” experience as only the Jim Henson Company can.

Dinosaur Train – Live! Buddy’s Big Adventure will bring the beloved stars of the hit PBS series to Los Angeles for the first time. Kids can join Buddy, Tiny, King, Don and more in a fun-filled, interactive and immersive live trip back in time to an age when dinosaurs roamed the earth….and rode in trains! They will be brought to life in an exciting, original, musical story created just for the stage where the audience is always a part of the action. Utilizing lush projected backgrounds and vistas, magical special effects that fill the theatre, a full sized replica of the Dinosaur Train, unique hybrid puppeteered costume characters and an engaging live host, our Dinosaur pals and their adventures will truly seem larger than life. Continue reading

Pianist Christopher O’Riley and cellist Matt Haimovitz Perform as SHUFFLE.PLAY.LISTEN. at Valley Performing Arts Center January 29, 2015

Master musicians Christopher O’Riley and Matt Haimovitz explore the lyrical and virtuosic properties of their instruments in a duet performance as SHUFFLE.PLAY.LISTEN. Bringing a fresh mix of classical and pop genres from Bach to Radiohead to Stravinsky, the duo performs respectively on piano and cello at Valley Performing Arts Center on Thursday January 29, 2015 at 7:30pm.

Pianist Christopher O’Riley and cellist Matt Haimovitz join together to explore the lyrical and virtuosic properties of their instruments in a collaboration that crosses in and out of the classical and pop music genres. The program showcases their talents as collaborators and soloists, defining what it means to be an artist in the 21st Century. Audiences will hear works by J.S. Bach and pioneering film composer Bernard Hermann, Radiohead and Arcade Fire, Piazzolla and Prokofiev. A double CD recording, SHUFFLE.PLAY.LISTEN., was released on Oxingale in the fall of 2011 to rave reviews. Continue reading

Tango Buenos Aires Performs Song of Eva Peron at Valley Performing Arts Center January 23, 2015

Tango Buenos Aires, one of Argentina’s great cultural exports, known throughout the Americas, Europe and the Far East as the most authentic and uncompromising representative of the tango, will perform their acclaimed full length production Song of Eva Peron at Valley Performing Arts Center January 23, 2015 at 8pm.

Tango Buenos Aires was created for the “Jazmines” festival at the famous Buenos Aires cabaret “Michelangelo” by renowned composer and tango director Osvaldo Requena. The company met with tremendous success and was immediately added to the season of the General San Martin Municipal Theatre.

In 1986, the company traveled to the United States in order to represent Argentina at the Latin-American Festival, which took place at the Delacorte Theatre in New York City’s Central Park. This began a whirlwind of international tours and television appearances globally, that continues to the present day, and solidified Tango Buenos Aires reputation as one of the top tango companies worldwide.

The current artistic director of the company is Rosario Bauza and the music director is Fernando Marzan. Song of Eva Peron was created by noted choreographer Héctor Falcón, a longtime associate of Tango Buenos Aires. Continue reading

Valley Performing Arts Center Presents an Evening with Vanessa Williams January 16, 2015

Valley Performing Arts Center presents Broadway, film and television star Vanessa Williams at 8:00pm on January 16, 2015. Williams will be performing all of her hit songs including “Dreamin,” “The Sweetest Days,” “Work To Do,” “Colors of the Wind,” and her signature classic “Save The Best For Last.”

Vanessa Williams is one of the most respected and multi-faceted performers in entertainment today. She has conquered the musical charts, Broadway, television and motion pictures. She has sold millions of albums worldwide and she has achieved critical acclaim as an actress on stage, in film and on television. Continue reading

Liberty Hill Foundation Announces 2014 Fund for Change Grantees

The Liberty Hill Foundation, Los Angeles’ social justice foundation, is pleased to announce their 2014 Fund for Change grantees. The total fund of $864,000 is being invested in 32 of the most effective community organizing groups working on economic justice and LGBTQ justice in L.A. With grants ranging from $5,000 to $40,000, a wide range of neighborhoods and needs is being supported.

Liberty Hill Deputy Director, Grantmaking, Margarita Ramirez, notes, “Choosing from among many worthy grassroots groups in Los Angeles is challenging, but we feel we are supporting some of the most promising social justice organizing work being done in L.A. county and the entire U.S. How do we know? For the past six months, Liberty Hill staff and Community Funding Board members have reviewed applications, conducted site visits and interviews, and met in collaborative decision-making sessions.” Continue reading

American Paranormal Research Association Pilot to run as episode of “The Unexplained Files” October 14

The American Paranormal Research Association team

The American Paranormal Research Association team

Science Channel’s top rated show “The Unexplained Files,” will air a pilot centered around California’s respected investigators, the American Paranormal Research Association (APRA), on October 14 at 10pm.

American Paranormal Research Association (APRA), a scientific paranormal research organization specializing in research and documentation of haunted historical locations, has teamed up with world renowned scientist, Dr. Harry Kloor, PhD to document and classify paranormal phenomena. According to the council of graduate schools, the national research council and US department of education, Dr. Kloor is the only person to earn two PhDs simultaneously in any discipline. He holds PhDs in Physics and in Chemistry. Continue reading

Posted in TV

San Francisco Alt Rockers KiWi TIME Release Video for “Butterfly” Directed by Thomas Mignone, known for his work with System of a Down, Avenged Sevenfold, Otep and more

San Francisco-based, Belarusian-born alt rock group, KiWi TIME, have just released their much anticipated video for single, “Butterfly.” The video was directed by acclaimed music video guru Thomas Mignone (System of a Down, Avenged Sevenfold, Danzig), and can be seen here. “Butterfly” is featured on the band’s debut EP, It’s KiWi TIME. The EP features five standout tracks of dance-infused alt rock that showcase the band’s knack for melody, and above all, their closely knit bond with one another. “The band is like my family,” says KiWi TIME vocalist Anna Makovchik, “the band actually is my family.” Anna describes the new EP It’s KiWi TIME as being “about love, freedom, fighting and hope. We are happy to finally finish this EP and hope all our fans will feel the energy we put into this creation.” The EP is available on iTunes here. Continue reading

Call for Participation: Southern California’s Premier Holiday Event, the Seventh Annual Digital Family Reunion to Honor the socalTECH 50 at the Skirball Cultural Center on December 10

Now a yearly tradition, the seventh annual Digital Family Reunion, Southern California’s most vibrant gathering of technology and digital media industry leaders, issues a “Call for Participation” as it returns to the Skirball Cultural Center on December 10, and again partners with socalTECH.com to celebrate the socalTECH 50.

Working to build community throughout the region, DFR invites professionals from across the spectrum of technology and business to get involved in the following ways:

-      Nominate an executive for the socalTECH 50;

-      Become a sponsor to help their company’s industry profile;

-      Involve their organization or group as a Community Partner;

-      Purchase a $20 advance ticket before October 1.

This is the second year of honoring the SoCalTECH 50 and nominations are now being accepted at www.SoCalTECH.com. The socalTECH 50 list recognizes the influential visionaries, entrepreneurs and others throughout the region who are most likely to create the next breakout company, technological leap, or otherwise influence the industry in a significant way. Nominated and selected by industry peers, the list will be announced in mid-November and the Digital Family Reunion will honor them in person on the night of December 10. Nominations can be submitted through https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2014socaltech50. Continue reading

Joshua Tree returns as UFO enthusiast destination with CONTACT in the DESERT, the community’s premiere event, returning August 8-11

joshuatreestarrysky-sliderWith the popularity of television shows such as “Ancient Aliens,” UFO enthusiasts hunger for more! Once attracting thousands of UFO enthusiasts, Joshua Tree, California, is rejoining the list of top UFO tourism destinations along with Area 51 northwest of Las Vegas, and Wiltshire east of London, England, due to its long history of sightings and the popular CONTACT in the DESERT event now in its second year, taking place, appropriately, during the Perseid Meteor Showers.

Called the “premiere UFO convention” by the LA Weekly, visitors to Joshua Tree who attend the CONTACT in the DESERT event from August 8-11 will be able to enjoy lectures, panels, workshops, and fieldwork experiences with some of the top UFO experts in the world including Chariots of the Gods author Erich von Daniken, “Ancient Aliens” star Giorgio A. Tsoukalos and radio host George Noory of “Coast to Coast Radio AM.” Continue reading