San Pedro Tri-Arts Festival Builds Dance Mecca in Los Angeles

  • 09/25/2014
  • Reporters Desk

By Terelle Jerricks, Managing Editor

Louise Reichlin is bringing back the San Pedro Tri Arts Festival for its eighth year, on Sept. 27. But after three years since taking the helm of the festival, it’s becoming clearer that she is attempting to turn this festival into vehicle that can add dance to the Los Angeles clout as cultural center.

Since the founder, Joe Caccavella ,died in 2012, the festival has been growing, evolving and drawing in top flight performance arts partners in the community. In previous years, one could expect to see a lot of different artists that were similar to each other and little different from previous years.

These past two years we have seen more high quality and more diverse talent than has been seen in San Pedro. Reichlin said as much.

“In terms of diversity, we have grown,” Reichlin said. “ We have added a dance troupe and have one less music group this year.”

Reichlin brought back some top shelf dance troupes such as the widely known Lula Washington Dance Theatre and the Ruby Karen Project/Orange County Aerial Arts. But she has also invited some new companies such as the APA Repertory Ensemble and Ballet Folklorico Pasion de Mi Tierra/Gabriel Avila.

APA Repertory has been racking up accolades since its founding in 2004, becoming six-time finalists and two-time grand prize award winners in the Dance Under the Stars Choreography Festival in Palm Desert.  In the past eight years, they have traveled to New York City on five separate occasions, where they danced with members of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the José Limón Dance Co., and Parsons Dance and more.

Perhaps one of the most exciting of the new additions this year is the Underground Street Dance Co. which was founded by Marquisa “Miss Prissy” Gardner or was profiled in the 2005 documentary, Rize. The documentary chronicled the lives of some of South Central Los Angeles’s top krump dancers. Miss Prissy, who at the time was just 13 and a classically trained dancer, was one of those who were profiled.

The film captured the sharp, aggressive spirit of hip hop in the moves of South Los Angeles youth at the time. The dance form of Krumping had been around since the 1990s, but following the documentary, Miss Prissy has turned the dance form from the streets to the stage into high art.

This year, Reichlin put on previews of the upcoming festival at the Tall Ships Festival and most recently at Alvas Showroom. This marked the second year in a row that the festival hosted a preview at Alva’s. Reichlin noted this past week’s preview brought in significantly more attendees.

“It has been growing in terms of attendance,” Reichlin said. “But for it to continue to grow, it has to be seen by the community.”

As the thinking goes, the more community support the festival receives, the easier it is to get financial support from government, nonprofit and private sector organizations.

The festival has always operated on a shoestring budget, depending heavily on grants from the Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe’s Music in Public Places program, Los Angeles Council District 15 office, and support from local business such as Ports O’Call restaurant and Spirit Cruises president Jaime Wilson and others.

The live music component of the festival will be split between Ports O’ Call Village site of the festival from 4:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. and San Pedro Brewing Co. from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. The festival is free and for all ages.


Festival Program:

Sept. 27 Dance Performance Times:

  • 1:00 p.m. -Degas Dance Team
  • 1:15 p.m. -San Pedro City Ballet
  • 1: 25 p.m. -Dance Department / Idyllwild Arts Academy
  • 1:35 p.m. -Rubans Rouges Dance Company/ Noelle Andressen
  • 1:45 p.m. -Gulistan Dance Theater
  • 2:00 p.m. -Kenneth Walker Dance Project
  • 2:15 p.m. -Navarasa Dance Theater /Aparna Sindhoor and Anil Natyaveda
  • 2:35 p.m. -The PGK Dance Project/ Peter G Kalivas
  • 3:05 p.m. -Tap Overload
  • 3:25 p.m. -The Underground Street Dance Co
  • 3:45 p.m. -Peoples Place


Sept. 28 Dance Performance Times:

  • 1:00 p.m.  -Ballet Folklorico Pasion de Mi Tierra/ Gabriel Avila
  • 1:15 p.m. -APA Repertory Ensemble
  • 1:20 p.m. -Jrick and the Hot Flashers Post Pros
  • 1:30 p.m. -ENCORE Dance Company
  • 1:40p.m. -Lula Washington Dance Theatre
  • 2:15 p.m. -Grupo Folklorico Tzintzuni
  • 2:30 p.m. -Louise Reichlin & Dancers/LA Choreographers & Dancers
  • 3:05 p.m. -Hiroshi Hamanishi
  • 3:30 p.m. -Ruby Karen Project/ Orange County Aerial Arts


Musical Schedule

Sept. 27 Outdoors at Ports O’Call:

  • 4:30 p.m.  to 5:20 p.m.  – Blue Eyed Son (Rock)
  • 5:30 p.m.  to 6:30 p.m.  – Prestige Worldwide (Rock, covers)


Sept. 27 San Pedro Brewing Co.:

  • 10 p.m.  to 1 a.m. – Warehouse One (Rock/Ska)


Sept. 28 Outdoors at Ports O’Call:

  • 4:30 p.m.  to 6:30 p.m.  – The Black Tongued Bells (Blues / Rock’n Roll)
  • 6:30 p.m.  to 7:15 p.m.  – US 99 (Blues)
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