First of all, today is my half birthday, so Happy Half Birthday to me!  (I’ll take any occasion to celebrate myself.  Don’t you all know that by now?  Why should I wait for anyone else to do it for me?  We all have got to take responsibility for our own happiness, everybody!  Don’t leave it in someone else’s hands; that’s a surefire avenue to disappointment.)

I actually celebrated it last night by seeing the last dance presentation of the season at The Wallis in Beverly Hills. The world premiere of Ezralow Dance’s Primo Passo is actually a selection of dances that have already been performed by his troupe over the years, but they were all new to me. The reasons for them being put together in this grouping are available for you to read elsewhere, so I’m just going to get straight to my review of the show. [Note: The picture above was the one on the opening night invitation, but it has nothing to do with this show.  I’m sorry I don’t have any others for you, but there are none to be had at this time.] [Note #2: The bottom two pix came in too late to be included here orignally, but we decided to still add them later.  But I’m still sorry the visuals are not up to my usual standard.]

I loved it! And I especially loved it in this theatre! As I’ve mentioned many a time now, The Wallis is the perfect theatre, especially for dance. When they were performing a number where they slid across the stage the whole time, I was thinking about how much dancers must love to perform here.

This is the best contemporary dance company I’ve seen in a long time. I couldn’t even avert my eyes from the stage to take notes during the show! All the dancers are excellent, (which is not usually how I feel about dance companies,) but I was particularly taken with William Clayton, especially in the number entitled Super Straight Is Coming Down. (I know—I don’t get these titles, either.)

The hoop skirt/lampshade number. Photo by Dan Steineberg.

The hoop skirt/lampshade number. Photo by Dan Steineberg.

Being a girly-girl, I enjoyed Foreign Tails because it’s somewhat about hoop skirts. At least, that’s what it’s about to me. For all I know, it may really be portraying lampshades come to life.

That brings me to a complaint I have about many dance companies; I implore them to please let us know what we’re seeing! Just put a sentence or two about the purpose of the choreography in the program, for goodness’ sake! I hate guessing what’s going on when there appears to be a story involved.

The only story involved with the number SF, where the dancers literally jump half of the steps, is that it’s more exercise than I do in a year! I was exhausted just sitting in my seat watching it! Combined with the jazzy music (by Leonard Bernstein,) and the sometime-colorful lighting, it reminded me of great dances from ’60s movies, like Bye Bye Birdie.

 Photo by Dan Steineberg.

Photo by Dan Steineberg.

The last number, Chroma, turned-out to be the perfect choice for them to end on. The wardrobe is colorful modern outfits, and it includes screen tricks, (like we see on America’s Got Talent,) and led right into the best bows I’ve ever seen in my life! People always loved that I hip-hop danced at the end of my former TV show, Karen’s Restaurant Revue, but these bows have my endings beat by about ten thousand percent! I actually wish they had been even longer. If I had seen just those bows for the whole night, I would have been happy. And they left the opening night audience on a perfect high.

Choreographer Daniel Ezralow did a Q-and-A session after, followed by a champagne toast in the lobby, but I had to miss all that because I had to rush home to write this review for you, so that you have the opportunity to see the same show tonight, the only other night it’s at The Wallis. And I would have been disappointed if the assemblage did not sing Happy Half Birthday to me, so I had to get back before midnight so I could force Mr. X into doing that Mr. X could sing it to me of his own accord.

No matter what you’re celebrating tonight, even if it’s just life, (as we all should always do!,) I heartily suggest that all you Angelenos go see Primo Passo. If I had the time, I would be happy to take a secondo passo at it tonight myself!

And, let me be the first to wish myself a very Happy Half Birthday! (Hey–someone’s got to do it!) [Note: So, be sure to mark you calendars for six months from today, to wish me a fabulous real birthday!]

Primo Passo running tonight only, January 14, 2017 (My half birthday! Or have I already mentioned that?)
Wallis Annenberg Theater For The Performing Arts
9390 N. Santa Monica Boulevard  Beverly Hills  310-746-4000


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