By Terelle Jerricks, Managing Editor
The ever-evolving SP TriArt Festival–now transformed into the San Pedro Festival of the Arts–appears to have found a home at Ports O’ Call Village, which during the weekend of Sept. 19 will once again be the place where Southern California’s most incredible top dance troupes perform their most incredible moves.
Actually, the most interesting part of this year’s festival is the close linkage of yoga and contemporary dance forms. Dance theaters such as CyberYoga and manGO Dance Theatre are headed by professional dancers, who also teach the physical and mental discipline of yoga.
CyberYoga is headed by Lamonte Tales Goode, a self-taught dancer whose style draws from break dance, hip-hop, acrobatics and yoga. According to his website, http://cyberyoga.la, Goode created a signature fusion style of gravity-defying balance and dance moves that captivate audiences. The evidence is Goode’s performance at the 2014 Los Angeles Zouk Congress, two minutes during which Goode executed moves requiring a great deal of balance, strength and flexibility, while creating tension with his speed.
Diana Cummin, the head of manGO Dance Theatre, is an award-winning artist, educator and choreographer, who teaches dance and yoga in the Kinesiology and Dance departments of Los Angeles City and Pierce community colleges.
Comprised of a diverse and multi-age ensemble of dancers, manGO Dance Theatre’s mission is to connect communities through dance in traditional and nontraditional spaces. For manGO, this translates into performance art in alleys, lobbies and beaches, as well as stages. The wide range of venues means video is the best and main way to appreciate what they do.
The Torrance-based ArteLuta Capoeira derives from capoeira, the Afro-Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatic movements and hand-to-hand combat, and serves as a reminder of the inter-connectivity of art disciplines.
Capoeira was developed in the 16th century, mainly by West African descendants who incorporated native Brazilian influences. The dance and playful nature of the form was deployed at the time to disguise the training of its practitioners so as to appear non-threatening.
Varal, the one-named founder of ArteLuta Capoeira, learned the art form from masters in his home country of Brazil. He has continued training and passing on knowledge and tradition to new generations in Southern California.
The San Pedro Festival of the Arts is increasingly turning Southern California into a hot spot for cutting-edge choreography, according to Louise Reichlin, who took the helm four years ago, after the death of founder Joe Caccavella in 2012.
Reichlin explained recently that the festival’s new name change is partly about better reflecting the festival’s change in direction. She said that after five years of pulling off increasingly success events at Ports O’ Call Village, she was looking to create a clean slate to impress potential donors and create a new identity in the minds of festival goers.
And she has. A couple of years ago, Festival of the Arts formed a partnership with Alvas Showroom, which has booked stellar bands for the live music component.
Unlike the first year, when the festival’s musical lineup was a laundry list of styles, including tribute bands and local combos playing covers, this year’s festival has just one headlining band each day: Identity Crisis from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday and Lisa Haley and the Zydekats from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Sunday.
Time: 1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sept. 19 and 20
Venue: Ports O’ Call Village, 1199 Nagoya Way, San Pedro,