In O(h), Liz Casebolt and Joel Smith cross the line between dance and theater in an irreverent exploration of their own limitations as artists. Relying on their friendship and shared sense of humor, the pair reveals their choreographic methods and collaborative rapport to analyze gender and sexuality politics as well as the overly serious traditions of modern dance. They speak directly to the audience, sing while dancing, and layer their performance with pop culture references, creating a theatrical work that demonstrates what they can, can’t – and won’t – do as dancers.
O(h) premiered at Joyce SoHo in New York, and was subsequently performed at the Minnesota Fringe Festival and the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum.
“This piece transcends dance and appeals to a very wide audience,” says Casebolt. “That’s why we’ve decided to give it a six-week theatrical run in a theater space.”
“We want to collapse the pretentiousness with which dance tries to carry itself,” explains Smith. “We have fun, but in a way that illuminates our craft.”
For the Los Angeles premiere, casebolt and smith teamed up with award-winning architects Predock_Frane who carefully deconstructed and mapped out the way the duo interacts with the space, mirroring the genesis of the piece. The result is a TRON-like environment of sleek surfaces and luminescent el wire that will transport audiences swiftly into the world of O(h).
Founded in 2006, casebolt and smith is a contemporary dance/theater duet company that has become known for its unique and innovative voice. Joel Smith’s research on gender and queer representation lives on in his work as a writer of dance, while Liz Casebolt’s choreography reflects her interest in collaboration and community. Together, they are the “the Nichols and May of dance” (Los Angeles Times) whose work is “powerful, compelling and hilarious” (SanDiego.com)
Hadrian Predock and John Frane established Predock_Frane Architects as a collaborative research and development design studio. The work of their practice ranges from small scale installations to large public venues. Seeking to open new territories for locality and specificity, they utilize a process of “generative repetition” - a methodology that focuses on mapping specific existing morphologies, actions, systems, and material conditions, then generating and forecasting new architectural results based upon their findings. Predock_Frane was named one of ten emerging architectural firms by Architectural Record, and one of six emerging international firms by the Architectural League in New York. They were selected to represent the United States in the US Pavilion for the Venice Biennale, participated in the Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial - Design Life Now, and recently had exhibitions at the LA Forum Gallery in Los Angeles, and Pomona College Museum of Art. Sustainability has been a driving force in Predock_Frane's design practice since its inception, and a thorough integration of intelligent environmental strategies underpins all of their work.
Performances of O(h) take place Fridays @ 8 pm, Saturdays @ 8 pm, and Sundays @ 5 pm, Jan. 13 through Feb. 19. Tickets are $30; students and seniors are $22. The Actors Company Theatre is located at 916a N. Formosa Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90046. To purchase tickets, call 800-838-3006 or go to www.caseboltandsmith.com. Join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/