Arts + Culture

Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA announces 2014-15 season

Subscriptions go on sale May 7; individual tickets available Aug. 13

'The Old Woman'
Lucie Jansch

Willem Dafoe, Mikhail Baryshnikov in Robert Wilson's "The Old Woman," Nov. 14-15.

The Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA has announced its 2014–15 program, featuring complex and collaborative work from renowned contemporary artists in music, theater, dance and spoken word. In the coming season, CAP UCLA also will explore the intersection of visual art and music, with a broad slate of presentations that highlight artists who create, collaborate and perform in both mediums.

Program highlights include a new Robert Wilson theater production; 50th anniversary performances from revered Israeli dance company Batsheva, the West Coast exclusive engagement of Matthew Barney’s "River of Fundament"; the Los Angeles solo debut of Japanese sound artist Ryoji Ikeda; and a John Zorn marathon that marks the composer’s first L.A. performances in 25 years.

The 2014–15 theater program represents an adventurous exploration of scale, from intimately intricate works to large-scale collaborative productions. Iconic American theater-maker and CAP UCLA Artist Fellow Robert Wilson returns to the program with "The Old Woman" (Nov. 14–15), which stars Mikhail Baryshnikov and Willem Dafoe in a surreal and abstract piece of storytelling based on a darkly comic 1939 novella of the same name by Russian avant-garde author Daniil Kharms.

World-renowned puppeteer-provocateur Ronnie Burkett returns with the 25th anniversary of his unique theatrical performance concept "The Daisy Theater" (Nov. 11–15), featuring a cast of 30 disarming and elaborately realized marionette characters performing new, outrageous and raucous sketches each night of the show's run at The Actors’ Gang theater in Culver City. Leonard Nimoy’s "Vincent" (April 17–18), performed by French actor Jean-Michel Richaud, is Nimoy’s thoughtful portrait of Vincent Van Gogh, crafted based on letters written between the famed Impressionist painter and his brother.

CAP UCLA also presents a collaboration between the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and Ann Bogart’s SITI Company, with the Los Angeles premiere of "A Rite" (March 6–7), a thrilling work of dance-theater constructed around Igor Stravinsky’s "Rite of Spring" that seamlessly joins minds, bodies and voices in a riveting reflection on the groundbreaking score.

One of the most important dance companies in the world, Batsheva returns to Royce Hall as part of its 50th anniversary tour with the latest work from renowned choreographer and Batsheva artistic director Oded Naharin, titled "Sadeh 21" (Nov. 1–2).

The center takes a deep mid-career look at the work of Bessie Award–winning Kyle Abraham, presenting two distinct programs from his evocative company Abraham.In.Motion. "The Watershed" (Feb. 12) is an all-new evening-length work centered around the concepts of freedom and emancipation, referencing post–Civil War history and the ongoing civil rights struggle in America, with scenic design by Glenn Ligon and a score ranging from a contemporary cello suite to the sound of Otis Redding. "When the Wolves Came In" (Feb. 13) is an evening of multiple new repertory works that explore the historical legacy of the Emancipation Proclamation and the abolition of apartheid in South Africa. Abraham drew inspiration from the iconic 1960 protest album “We Insist! Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite.”

Canadian choreographer Louise Lecavalier brings her enigmatic and transcendent duet "So Blue" to the U.S. for the first time (Jan. 16). Mexico’s Delphos Danza Contemperanea returns to Los Angeles with the lyrical and intensely physical Cuando Los Desfraces Se Cuelgan" (When the Disguises Are Hung Up) on April 14.

This season, CAP UCLA investigates the compelling intersection between original music and visual art in various forms, including film, graphic art sound sculptures and performance art. The center is proud to present the West Coast premiere and exclusive West Coast engagement of "River of Fundament," a film by visionary artist Matthew Barney with original music by composer Jonathan Bepler; the film uses narrative cinema, live performance, sculpture and opera in a radical reinvention of Norman Mailer’s novel “Ancient Evenings.”

The Los Angeles debut of sound artist Ryoji Ikeda comes with his latest sonic treatise, superposition, a conceptual exploration of quantum theory that employs a spectacular combination of synchronized video screens, real-time content feeds, digital sound sculptures and — for the first time in Ikeda’s work — human performers.

Postmodern quartet Ethel returns to CAP UCLA with "Documerica" (April 17), a multimedia concert that juxtaposes an original score with multiple screen video projections of manipulated vintage footage from the Environmental Protection Agency’s 1970s Project Documerica photographic archive. Pulitzer Prize–winning graphic novelist Art Spiegelman has teamed with acclaimed jazz composer Phillip Johnson for "WORDLESS!" (Oct. 15), an innovative hybrid of visual art and live music that articulates Spiegelman's personal belief in the power of the graphic novel and highlights the masters who influenced his own beloved work “MAUS."

In collaboration with the Andy Warhol Museum and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, CAP UCLA co-commissioned "Exposed: Songs for Unseen Warhol Films," featuring a rare collection of footage Warhol filmed in the early 1960s. Five songwriter-composers who reflect the generational trajectory and musical influence from the post–Velvet Underground '70s to today — guest music curator Dean Wareham (Galaxie 500, Luna), Tom Verlaine (Television), Martin Rev (Suicide), Eleanor Friedberger (the Fiery Furnaces) and Bradford Cox (Deerhunter) — perform live original scores to these previously unseen celluloid gems.

The center has also co-commissioned work from two Los Angeles–based artists — Gabriel Kahane and Sussan Deyhim. With "The Ambassador" (Feb. 27–28), Kahane expands upon his previous work, "25 Addresses," in a theatrical and sculptural work that draws inspiration from a multitude of sources to tell intimate, human stories against the backdrop of Los Angeles architecture and popular culture. Deyhim was a CAP UCLA artist-in-residence during the 2013–14 season, and her recently completed work, "The House Is Black" (Jan. 23), officially premieres on the upcoming program. Set to an original score by Deyhim and Golden Globe–winning composer Richard Horowitz, the work features a series of nonlinear tableaux inspired by the writings of Forugh Farrokhzad, one of Iran's most influential poets, weaved together with archival images and footage in a profound rendering of an artist.

In a comingling of music and art, CAP UCLA partners with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to feature legendary avant-garde composer-saxophonist John Zorn in his first Los Angeles performance in 25 years. The marathon day (May 2) begins as Zorn and a cadre of performers, including Kenny Wollesen, Dave Lombardo, William Winant and others, harness and explore sonic connections to paintings, sculptures and architecture, moving through galleries at LACMA, performing 12 sets of compositions and improvisations (one each half-hour) in multiple configurations. That night, Royce Hall plays host to a power-packed triple-bill rock show featuring New York quartet Abraxas, instrumental rock band Secret Chiefs 3 and Zorn’s own frenetic trio Bladerunner, featuring Bill Laswell and Dave Lombardo. Zorn closes out the epic day with a solo set of organ improvisations on Royce Hall’s iconic Skinner Organ at midnight.

Pianist-composer Vijay Iyer returns to Royce Hall for "Music of Transformation" (Dec. 5), a multiprogram evening of music that showcases his boundless energy and versatility. Iyer and the International Contemporary Ensemble, conducted by Steven Schick, will perform Iyer’s original score for celebrated filmmaker Prashant Bhargava’s "RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi." Iyer’s score builds on the fundamental structure of Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring." Part Two of the program will feature Iyer's "Mutations 1-X," his first release under a classical rubric on ECM records.

The 2014–15 music lineup traverses styles, cultures and sounds, featuring the joyful sambas of the one-and-only Gilberto Gil (April 18); a thoughtful pairing of two leading American composers, mandolinist Chris Thile and bassist Edgar Meyer (Sept. 20); soulful performances from Rosanne Cash (Oct. 2) and guitarist-composer Marc Ribot (Nov. 21), whose two-part concert will also include New York party band Los Cubanos Postizos; jazz from Grammy-winning vocalist Gregory Porter (Jan. 17); jazz from leading trio Plic Moutin Hoenig (March 6); an evening featuring the godfather of Ethio-jazz Mulatu Astatke, plus special guest Ethopian singer-songwriter Meklit (Feb 21); glorious music of Mali from father and son performers Toumani and Sidiki Diabaté in an exclusive co-bill with singer-songwriter-guitarist Rokia Traoré (Sept. 26); Dr. John and the Nite Trippers, who bring the soul of the Big Easy to the Royce stage (Dec. 6); and solo flutist and founder of the International Contemporary Ensemble, Claire Chase (April 4), who will perform a program based on her latest album, "Density," and bring together dozens of migrant flutists for a unique work of aural theater — Salvatore Sciarrino’s immersive "Cerchio Tagliato dei Suoni."

The 2014–15 season marks the center’s third year of partnership with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, which brings seven performances to Royce Hall, with a repertoire ranging from Mozart and Beethoven to the world premieres of works from contemporary composers Cameron Patrick and Ted Hearne.

A series of spoken word performances illustrate the art and power of archive. The multimedia performance experience Basetrack (Oct. 10) is adapted from the wildly popular Facebook page and website of photographs and videos taken in Afghanistan by embedded journalist Teru Kuwayama. It draws on the power of individual stories to examine the collective experience of those who have served in America's longest war. The ever-growing archive of anonymous secrets compiled by the world’s most famous blogger, Frank Warren, takes living shape with "PostSecret Live" (Jan. 28).

Actor, author, photographer and arts philanthropist Leonard Nimoy (April 10) joins the program for a spoken-word event; in conversation with CAP UCLA artistic and executive director Kristy Edmunds, he will talk about his theater work "Vincent," his personal practice and the value of art in the world.

Actress Victoria Tennant (Oct. 18) shares insight into the treasure trove of materials she discovered chronicling the life and artistry of her mother, Irina Baronova, one of ballet’s most glamorous stars; she discusses her forthcoming book, "Irina Baronova and the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo." Two creative visionaries celebrate the ties that bind in the worlds of music recording and live performance, as famed theater director (and UCLA professor) Peter Sellars and Bob Hurwitz, longtime president of the eclectic label Nonesuch Records, come together to uncover their shared history of artistic intersection (Feb. 7).

Throughout the season, CAP UCLA will announce additional community-engagement events and activities related to season performances. The center also continues a series of "Dig Deeper" activities and installations curated by staff from UCLA Library Special Collections.

The center’s ongoing K–12 educational program, Design for Sharing (DFS), will offer a series of free performances on campus for students from across Los Angeles, featuring artists Batsheva, Vijay Iyer, Plic Moutin Hoenig, Gabriel Kahane, Kyle Abraham, Delfos Danza Contemporena and Ethel, as well as other programs and workshops.

Series Ticketing Information
Season subscriptions are on sale starting May 7 in Theater, Dance, Spoken Word, Jazz, Music + Art and the interdisciplinary series Royce Choice, Mavericks, plus a Create-Your-Own (CYO) series option of five or more events. Multiperformance series subscription prices run from $102 to $315. Series subscribers save 15 percent off individual ticket prices. (CYO subscribers save 10 percent). Individual tickets go on sale Aug. 13. UCLA student ticket prices are $15. UCLA staff & faculty ticket prices are $25. Orders may be placed online at, by mail, by phone (310-825-2101) or in person at the UCLA Central Ticket Office at the UCLA James L. West Alumni Center.

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A full chronological season calendar is available at

Hi-res images are available for download at

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For more information on CAP UCLA’s Design For Sharing Program:

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