The women of Helios Dance Theater in a scene from The Lotus Eaters. Photo by Melissa Painter.
By Victoria Looseleaf
When I travel to dance and music festivals around the world (Holland, Cuba, France, Italy, Argentina and Abu Dhabi, to name a few), I beseech the artistic directors to look to Southern California for choreographic and performing talent. In effect, I consider myself an arts activist and de facto ambassador for dance. Case in point: Helios Dance Theater, under the artistic directorship of Laura Gorenstein Miller.
Victoria Looseleaf and singer-songwriter Grant-Lee Phillips at the afterparty for The Lotus Eaters. Photo by Josie Walsh.
Gorenstein Miller, who recently came out of a self-imposed hiatus (she took time to help raise her two sons), triumphed with her full-length opus, The Lotus Eaters, in an evening at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica. The engagement was to be a two-night run, but the Broad’s a.d., Dale Franzen, got cold feet and cancelled one of the concerts. A pity, as Helios’ newest work is a beautiful amalgam of choreography, performance, costumes (Project Runway finalist, Rami Kashou), set design and music. Indeed, one of the composers was named a 90’s Rolling Stone singer-songwriter of the year, Grant Lee-Phillips, whose music absolutely seduced and whom your faithful scribe met after the performance (in spite of her then-ailing ears). This work needs to be seen, but barring that, please check out my Dance Magazine review of the company.