Friday, April 2, 2010

Ford Amphitheatre Summer Season opens May 24




Vicki Torres, VTC2, 818 997-4180, 818-941-7043 (cell),


Linda Chiavaroli, Dir. of Communications, Los Angeles County Arts Commission/Ford Amphitheatre, Tel. 213 202-5935 (office),



See the end of the release for links to more info, photo information and a Ford fact sheet.


For Release April 1, 2010




The 17-event dance series offers aerial ballet, modern, flamenco, martial arts, circus, hip hop and dances of Brazil, Hawaii, Israel, Korea, Mexico, the Philippines and Tahiti


Rex Reed, Lucie Arnaz, Tom Wopat, Linda Purl and Polly Bergen celebrate Ira Gershwin


Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet marks the 100th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution


Perla Batalla headlines a benefit for Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural


“The Ford’s lineup is typically diverse and unpredictable” – L.A. Times, 2009


LOS ANGELES — The 21-week season opening in May at the Ford Amphitheatre, L.A.’s oasis, is the place to meet the artmakers and producers that create L.A.’s vibrant cultural landscape. On May 24 patrons can move side by side with members of L.A. Contemporary Dance Company and experience the Ford for free at the interactive J.A.M. (Jazz and Motivated) Session; “Dance in the Making” which reveals the craft of creating dances. On May 29 the band Huayucaltia (why-you-cal-tee-ah) opens the evening performance series; twenty-five years ago the five musicians met in LA and started to make music drawing on their Peruvian, Mexican, Colombian, Argentinian and American roots.


Other highlights include:


- The L.A. Jazz Institute brings from New York to LA “Ira without George: the Lyrics of Ira Gershwin,” narrated by film critic and unabashed Ira fan Rex Reed and performed by Lucie Arnaz, Tom Wopat, Polly Bergen, Linda Purl and Kurt Reichenbach (June 4 & 5).


- Flamenco dancer Maria Bermudez, a L.A. native who lives in Spain, not only dances with her company but sings, expressing her love of African-American blues, in the Chicano Gypsy Project portion of her show (July 23 & 24).


- Hollywood–based Mantra Siam Performing Arts melds Thai martial arts and dance in “The Art of Weaponry,” featuring 25 martial arts practitioners chosen by competition in Thailand (August 29).


- The Celtic Arts Center presents the Irish band The Fureys and Davey Arthur in their U.S. West Coast debut (September 12).


Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, whose Third District is home to the historic outdoor amphitheatre, said that “The Ford offers an intimate setting where patrons can sample the entire spectrum of arts and culture, but even more importantly, it also gives L.A.-based arts organizations a higher profile and exposure to potentially new audiences through its partnership program. The Ford’s support of County arts is critically needed in these challenging times for artists and patrons alike.”


The Ford Amphitheatre season is a program of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and is produced in partnership with Los Angeles County-based arts organizations. The partners for the summer season, chosen through a competitive application process, receive significant presentation support and assistance for their productions.


Tickets for the Ford Amphitheatre 2010 Summer Season are now on sale at or by calling the Ford box office, 323 461-3673 (GO 1-FORD). The Ford Web site home page now features easier access to news about Ford programs, background on the season artists and social networking connections. The site is available in both English and Spanish and in mobile device friendly formats.



The 17-event Dance Series represents a wide range of movement genres in addition to flamenco from Maria Bermudez and martial arts-dance from Mantra Siam Performing Arts. The series opens with the first of two shared bills focusing on Los Angeles-based modern dance companies. On June 18, “Made in L.A.” brings together L.A. Contemporary Dance Company premiering “Gods and Marionettes,” inspired by the Greek tragedy Electra and featuring the a cappella group SONOS; and BODYTRAFFIC reprising  “Transfigured Night” (2009), set to the Schoenberg score of the same name. On September 16, “Fracture” unites IN/EX Dance Project, Invertigo Dance Theatre and Method Contemporary Dance, each premiering an original work about breaking apart.


The fusion of contemporary and traditional influences marks the presentations of Kultura Philippine Folk Arts (July 2 & 3), Born Dance Company (July 30) and DreamDance Contemporary Arts (September 3). In “Mabuhay,” Kultura collaborates with the Philippine Chamber Singers and, for the first time, the Filipino-American Symphony Orchestra to illuminate the brew of Western and Asian trends that have shaped Filipino culture. Born’s “New Breath: Korean Dance Fusion” juxtaposes the work of traditional dance masters from Korea with the blend of Korean and Western dance of the Born company. DreamDance’s “Falling Petals” features contemporary dance inspired by Chinese philosophy and poetry, Butoh and European paintings.


Athleticism and aerial work are characteristic of Luminario Ballet of Los Angeles (August 6), Catch Me Bird (August 13) and Troupe Vertigo (September 10). One of Luminario’s selections combines ballet and aerials with music of Led Zeppelin. The Catch Me Bird duo of Nehara Kalev and C. Derrick Jones combine smart dialogue and explosive movement — on the ground and in the air — in their continuing reality series about their relationship. Troupe Vertigo’s “Swinging on Air” is a retro circus floor show accompanied by a live swing band.


Two evenings spotlight dance and music of the Pacific Islands. On August 15 “AlohaFest! Songs & Dances of Paradise” brings together Tahitian dances by Nonosina Polynesia, traditional hula and chants from Hula Halau O Lilinoe and the vocals of Natalie Ai. The October 8 “AlohaFest! Rhythm of the Islands” features Hawaiian dances by one of the few mainland schools invited to Hawaii’s premier hula competition, Hula Halau Keali’I O Nalani, and Maui native and master guitarist Willie K.


A sense of place inspires Viver Brasil (July 31) and Keshet Chaim Dance Ensemble

(October 9). Viver Brasil’s “Alaafia” (Harmony) evokes the Afro-Brazilian culture of Bahia, Brazil, through dance, Portuguese and African vocals and live percussion. Keshet Chaim collaborates with Israeli singer David D’Or, Israeli choreographer Kobi Rozenfeld and Agape International Choir to express the essence of “Jerusalem Soul.”


Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet captures the spirit of the Mexican Revolution (August 28, see México 100 series section below).


Hip hop is represented by Culture Shock Los Angeles Dance Troupe (August 20) examining homelessness in “The Soul Survivors: Seeking Refuge” and by the Third Annual J.U.i.C.E. Hip Hope Dance Festival (October 2) including top dancer-choreographers Amy ‘Catfox’ Campion and Jacob ‘Kujo’ Lyons.


More dance series information:



In honor of the 100th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution, five season events focus on the culture of Mexico. The artists of Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet have immersed themselves in the revolutionary period and the art it inspired to create “Revolucion: Tierra y Libertad

(August 28). Latin American art expert and former Director of the Museum of Latin American Art Gregorio Luke blends advanced digital technology and theatrical flair in “Frida, A New Look,” featuring recently discovered color photographs and rare film clips of Frida Kahlo (June 11 &12). Producer Raul Ruiz presents “Concierto El Rey,” a salute to Jose Alfredo Jimenez, the foremost composer of ranchera music, (August 14) and the eighth edition of his “Fiesta Mexicana” of music, dance and song (September 25). Movimento Jaranero de California presents “Noche Veracruzana” featuring the son jarocho and huasteco music traditions of Veracruz, Mexico (September 4).

More Mexico 100 information:



In addition to the pan-Latin American music of Huayucaltia and the Celtic sounds of The Fureys and Davey Arthur, the series has a strong Mediterranean tone this season. “Element Band Live” (June 6) performs in French, Greek, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Bulgarian as well as Armenian, Farsi, Arabic and English. “(H)IT Week Los Angeles: Unexpected Creative Italians” offers rock and pop from Italy (October 14). Percussion takes center stage as TAIKOPROJECT (July 10 & 11) marks 10 years of creating their own brand of Japanese drumming and Olodum, the group that created samba reggae, headlines the 17th Annual Brazilian Summer Festival (September 26). Musicians and dancers recreate the origins of tango in “Fiesta Argentina 2010: Tango, Cancion de Buenos Aires” (August 21).

More Global Soundscape information:



Grammy-nominated vocalist-composer Perla Batalla headlines “Fire & Soul: LA Women Unite for Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural” (August 1); the show also features National Book Award finalist and poet Wanda Coleman, singer Ceci Bastida and performance artist Kristina Wong. An Evening of Independence: A Celebration of Singers, Songwriters and Music offers a chance to discover the hottest new artists (August 7). Kollaboration’s Acoustic 4 produces an evening part American Idol, part open mic, featuring original music from the Asian and Pacific Islander communities (August 27).

More Inventive Voices information:



Filipino-influenced music meets American jazz in “Jazzmopolitan: Filipino Gentlemen of Jazz” (September 11) spotlighting crooner Mon David, sax-man Ner de Leon and guitarist Raffy Lopez. In its second year at the Ford Angel City Jazz Festival (October 3) continues to explore new and provocative avenues of creative jazz, presenting 20 artists including saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, trumpeters Ralph Alessi and Wadada Leo Smith, guitarist Nels Cline and reedman Vinny Golia.

More Jazz information:



In addition to L.A. Jazz Institute’s salute to Ira Gershwin, who worked on Broadway and in Hollywood, Los Angeles Jewish Symphony recognizes Jewish film composers in “Cinema Judaica” (August 8), performing scores by Jerry Goldsmith, Elmer Bernstein, Ernest Gold, Steven Schwartz and Charles Fox.

More Broadway to Hollywood information:



The Big!World!Fun! Family Series encompasses eight Saturday morning hour-long performances for children ages 4 to 10 and their parents and grandparents. Programs include a behind-the-scenes look at the circus with Troupe Vertigo (July 3), an American spin on Japanese drumming from TAIKOPROJECT (July 10), Celtic revels by the Wicked Tinkers (July 24), Afro-Brazilian dance and percussion from Viver Brasil (July 31), harpist Alfredo Rolando Ortiz relating his Latin American odyssey (August 7), Filipino folk dances from Kayamanan Ng Lahi (August 14), the story of Prince Rama & the Monkey King staged by Boxtales Theatre Company (August 21) and artists from LA Opera in “Sing Out Loud!” (August 28). Children are admitted free to family shows and adults pay $5.

More Big!World!Fun! information:



Los Angeles Film Festival presents premieres, interactive screenings and live musical performances under the stars. The festival’s 2010 programming, including the June 23-26 Ford screenings, will be announced by June 1. OUTFEST 2010 Under the Stars, L.A.’s oldest continuous film festival showcases a range of films depicting the LGBT experience as well as the beloved annual sing-along (July 14-18). Film information will be available in June.

More Film information:


J.A.M. (Jazzed And Motivated) SESSIONS

The FREE interactive J.A.M. Sessions, guided by 2010 Ford season artists, offer 11 Monday nights between May 24 and September 13 centered around movement and drumming. The “Move to the Beat” series, in addition to L.A. Contemporary Dance Company’s “Dance in the Making” opener, includes Israeli and Mexican folk, swing and Korean traditional dance as well as hula and samba. The “Slam that Drum” series features taiko drumming and Afro-Peruvian and Afro-Cuban percussion. Multiple sessions in the same discipline enhance the experience for participants interested in learning more about these art forms. A painting session, “Self Portrait a la Frida Kahlo,” is a bonus event.

More J.A.M. Sessions information:


The Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Laura Zucker, Executive Director, provides leadership in cultural services of all disciplines for the largest county in the United States, encompassing 88 municipalities. The Arts Commission, in addition to programming the John Anson Ford Theatres, administers a grants program that funds more than 300 nonprofit arts organizations annually; provides leadership and staffing to support the regional blueprint for arts education, Arts for All; oversees the County’s Civic Art Program for capital projects; and supports the Los Angeles County Cultural Calendar on The Commission also produces free community programs, including the L.A. Holiday Celebration broadcast nationally, and a year-round music program that funds more than 40 free concerts each year in public sites. The 2009-10 President of the Arts Commission is Araceli Ruano.

For more information please consult the Arts Commission online press kit:




Season at a glance:


Monthly chronological listings of season events start with:


Downloadable 2010 season postcard:


Photos of the Ford in the press room:


High resolution images of season artists can be emailed to you upon request at







Ford Amphitheatre – outdoor, 1,200 seats

[Inside] the Ford – indoor, 87 seats



2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood, CA 90068

Just off the 101 Hollywood Freeway across from the Hollywood Bowl and south of Universal Studios




Phone: 323 461-3673

In Person: Ford Box Office, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood, CA 90068

Box office hours:

Through May 1: 12 noon-6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday

May 4 - October 15: 12 noon-5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday

On show days, Box Office is also open 2 hours before start of show.



On-site, stacked parking:

$5 per vehicle for evening shows

$1 per vehicle for morning family shows

FREE, non-stacked parking & FREE shuttle to the Ford (evenings only):

Universal City Metro Station lot at Lankershim Blvd. and Campo de Cahuenga

The Ford shuttle stops in the “kiss and ride” area and cycles every 15 to 20 minutes.



Grounds open for picnicking two hours before show time.

A wide variety of food and drink is available for purchase on site.

For more information, visit and click on “Visit,” then “Dining.”



The Ford is disabled accessible. Portable wireless listening devices are available upon request.



The Ford Amphitheatre 2010 season is a program of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission with core support provided by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.


The Boeing Employees Community Fund (Big!World!Fun! family series)

City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs


KPFK Radio, 90.7 FM

L.A. Weekly

LA18 (Asian-themed events)

National Endowment for the Arts (J.A.M. Sessions)

The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation

SONY Pictures Entertainment (Big!World!Fun! family series)

Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky (Big!World!Fun! family series)

The James Irvine Foundation (J.A.M. Sessions)



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