Huck Finn Meets Japanese Dancers and a Jazz Quartet

Wadada Leo Smith and Oguri in "Notaway: A Quest for Freedom." Photo by Roger Burns.

Wadada Leo Smith and Oguri in “Notaway: A Quest for Freedom.” Photo by Roger Burns.

March begins on Friday. Cue another round of the popular block party in Venice called First Fridays. This month, besides mingling in a stylish crowd and eating from a flurry of food trucks or high-end restuarants, jazz and dance fans may want to walk half a block east of Abbot Kinney Boulevard. At the solar-powered Electric Lodge, longtime collaborators dancer/choreographer Oguri and composer/trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith present the premiere of Notaway: Quest for Freedom.

Joining the duo for the weekend run are Japanese choreographer Yasunari Tamai and Smith’s Golden Quartet, featuring Anthony Davis on piano, John Lindberg on bass and Pheeroan akLaff on drums. Notaway: Quest for Freedom is part of the Flower of the Season 2013 series, produced by Arcane Collective and Body Weather Laboratory (BWL), a forum Oguri uses to teach contemporary movement known as Butoh, which utilizes the study of nature as source material for dance. BWL planted roots at Electric Lodge in 1997 and has continued to host workshops and productions there.

The Notaway cast has been consumed with rehearsals since Saturday. That was the first day the Japanese dancers heard Smith’s compositions. …

Read full article at LA Stage Times

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