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In a downtown parking lot on Oct. 27, a couple of grey cars pulled up from which dancers emerged. They proceeded to enact a rave party scene mostly in slow motion.
A work by Franco-Austrian choreographer Gisèle Vienne, the 90-minute dance performance, titled Crowd, was a vivid tableau, the slow motion effectively amplifying the urges on display: to feel a sense of abandon and freedom while never quite being able to escape the ennui of one’s circumstance. It felt a bit as if the characters of Euphoria had been asked to choreograph a Super Bowl halftime show with intriguing results.
The dance work was one of three presented in Los Angeles as part of Van Cleef & Arpels’ arts initiative Dance Reflections, which supports dance companies and institutions around the world. Earlier in the evening, the L.A. Dance Project, founded by choreographer Benjamin Millepied, performed Be Here Now, a joyful abstract piece set to music by Caroline Shaw and Andy Akiho inside its downtown studio, while two days earlier, choreographer Dimitri Chamblas showed his work, Slow Show, at the Museum of Contemporary Art.
The trio of performances was capped on Saturday night, Oct. 29, with a gala fundraiser celebrating the 10th anniversary of Millepied’s L.A. Dance Project, held at the Beverly Hills estate of philanthropist and Hyatt Hotels heir Anthony Pritzker.
Nicolas Bos, the president and CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels, told THR that the luxury brand has supported L.A. Dance Project for its entire 10 years of existence.
“We started to work together when Benjamin [Millepied] started his project here in L.A. The connection actually formed through a member of the Arpels family and some of colleagues because Benjamin knew them,” said Bos, adding that his initial meetings with Millepied (the husband of actress Natalie Portman) were about doing a project focused on legendary choreographer George Balanchine. “Benjamin had danced the ballet Jewels by Balanchine a lot and Jewels was originally inspired by Van Cleef & Arpels. At the time, Benjamin was thinking of starting his own company and this is how we embarked on a journey.”
At the gala, guests — who included Warner Bros. co-chair and CEO Pamela Abdy, actors Alia Shawkat and Alicia Silverstone, models Elsa Hosk and Sara Sampaio, and producer Lawrence Bender — enjoyed a sampling of short performances by L.A. Dance Project during the fundraiser. The night raised nearly $1 million to support L.A. Dance Project; additionally, it was announced that Van Cleef & Arpels is establishing the Van Cleef & Arpels Fund for L.A. Dance Project, a $1.5 million gift to support the company over the next four years.
Said Bos of the luxury brand’s long-term and ongoing commitment to the dance company, “I would say this is the way we worked and the way we look at pretty much anything we do, including collaborations. It’s long-term. We love to see things develop and grow over years and decades. In art, in collaboration, in design, in craftsmanship, pretty much everything we do is long-lasting.”
Scroll on for more pictures from the L.A. Dance Project 10th-anniversary gala:
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