I have been to to the westside’s Theatre Raymond Kabbaz on several occasions over the past few years, and I have never saw it so packed as it was for last week’s performance by Kybele Dance Theatre!!! I’m always happy to see Angelenos supporting dance, and the full house made the appreciation of the art very special.

Photo by Shawna Sarnowski, as is the big one at the top of the page.

Photo by Shawna Sarnowski, as is the big one at the top of the page.

I like when dances are about something, as opposed to just movement.  And all three of this local contemporary dance company’s presentations had a meaning. They were all outlined in the program, which was a big help.

My friend Diane and I are both major dance fans, so we see a lot of the shows on offer in Los Angeles throughout the year, which means that  we can often be a bit jaded.  But we both enjoyed this show.

There were a trio of pieces, all choreographed by Seda Aybay, who also danced in all three, along with a cast of six other talented dancers.  The first was a forty-minute number, inspired by a poem about living each minute to the utmost.  I didn’t get that from what I was seeing, but it did not matter at all—the movement was all so beautiful that it kept me interested.

After a long intermission, (most likely to give the dancers a much-needed blow,) the second piece had a film noir theme, which definitely came through, loud and clear.  It was very entertaining.  There was some talking on the soundtrack, and Diane said that one of the sentences uttered really blew her mind. It was something to the effect of, “The chase is worth the taste, in spite of the hangover.” So I guess she learned more from this dance performance than just the beauty of it. Actually, this art form, in general, is really always about what you take from it.

Photo by Shawna Sarnowski.  (By the way--None of these photos show any of what I saw that night, but they're all I have, so sorry about that.)

Photo by Shawna Sarnowski. (By the way–None of these photos show any of what I saw that night, but they’re all I have, so sorry about that.)

Kybele Dance Theatre finished their presentation with a dramatic number about “fundamentalist Islamic pressure over women.” Since the program and press release both stress that the choreographer is from Turkey, I have a feeling that this one is near and dear to her heart.

As you know by now, I’m a fashionista, and Diane always dresses in black, so we were agreed in our admiration of the wardrobe for all three numbers, which were all different fashions in black.  I can’t even believe that someone’s mind can come up with so many different styles of wardrobe, (that can be successfully danced in!,) in that one shade for one production!

And, as usual with Theatre Raymond Kabbaz, a lot of the goodness of the event has to do with the venue itself.  Although Diane is somewhat of a theater person, she had never even been aware that this place even existed, until she started reading my reviews of their shows.  So she was very curious about it.  She knows that I always refer to it as “the easiest experience,” so she couldn’t wait to see if she concurred.  And, of course, she was as impressed with it as I always am.

The outdoor art exhibit.  Photo by Karen Salkin.

The outdoor art exhibit. Photo by Karen Salkin.

The venue also always entertains us visually over the entire premises with different types of artwork displayed on boards in the courtyard. Those images are always related to the program inside.  So this time we were treated to beautiful oil paintings of dance scenes by artist Sebastien Montel.

I adore that the majority of TRK’s shows are one night only, which makes them more special.  I’m really looking forward to two that are upcoming in the next couple of months. First up in November is The Real Story of Van Gogh, which, despite this being a French theatre will be performed in English, (heureusement pour moi,) and then in December, there’s comic artist Tomáš Kubínek , who is billed as a “Certified Lunatic and Master of the Impossible.” How inviting is that title?! Now that I had to cancel my Fall trip to New York, (for good reasons, so don’t feel sad for me,) I hope to see both of them.  I also hope to see you all there!

Theatre Raymond Kabbaz  10361 W. Pico Blvd.  310-286-0553


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