After filing out of Walt Disney Concert Hall this past Sunday after the second and final performance of Benjamin Millepied’s “L.A. Dance Project,” I couldn’t help but think that I had witnessed the real L.A. Dance Project the previous evening at the Fifth Annual J.U.i.C.E.Hip-Hop Dance Festival at the Ford Amphitheatre.
Saturday evening’s fest was an exciting showcase of street dance from local companies. Powered by grants and community support, producer Emiko Sugiyama has pulled together a night of hip-hop dance for the past three years to benefit the nonprofit weekly hip-hop arts program called J.U.i.C.E., Justice by Uniting in Creative Energy. The collective meets every Saturday afternoon at the MacArthur Park Recreation Center and every Thursday evening at Chuco’s Justice Center in Inglewood and provides instruction in the four elements of hip-hop: MCing, DJing, B-boying and graffiti writing.
While Millepied’s Project boasted beautiful dancers and playfully intricate choreography, there was nothing particularly L.A. about the performance, except for the costumes designed by Kate and Laura Mulleavy of L.A.’s Rodarte. …
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