Carnival Choreographer's Ball - Wizard of Odd Takes Dancing to a Masterpiece!

Hip Hop Dancers with a twist

There are veins that course through a city; just like a human body, the city has energy, passion, and also with pain, it bleeds.  This blood, these veins are not as, we necessarily think, of liquid.  They are made up of the people that toil away for a better existence.  They are the emotions that the people have.  It is the traffic, the pedestrians, and the night.  As we toil and work, we wait for the night- To meet friends and catch up on gossip, to rendezvous with our lovers and cherish the night.  Dance the night away, dance all the frustrations, the angers at work, and completely give into the music.  This is the energy that makes Los Angeles, the city it is.

There is a place where people gather and come together as dancers.  They come together like a gathering of tribes at a midsummer's night to celebrate the fires.  And just like a gathering, different techniques are presented on this fiery dance floor. There are break dancers, salsa dancers, poppers and so many more.  They come together with no distinguishment of race, gender, or age.  The only thing bearing weight is the skill of the dancer and their art. 

Paulette Azizian

I was lucky enough to witness the Carnival Choreographer's Ball at the Key Club.  It was a feast of dancers, artists, and lovers of art.  This Ball is a compilation of choreographers from all over the city of Los Angeles.  They come together and introduce new experimental dance techniques and the dancers come to let there hair down and participate in an explosion of art.  Each piece in Carnival is like a mini-musical, with its own theme, costumes, props, and style of dance. Any kind of dance music seems welcome, from techno to pop but, the highlight of the evening is hip hop.  With the help of director Adam Rayner, carnival has an unique approach to music, the choreographers bring a breath of fresh air to all the stuffiness of contemporary dance.

 

Michael Jackson's version of Wizard of Oz

 

Using the Wizard of Oz as the theme of the production, they took it by the hands and just ran off with it.  Aptly named, Carnival Choreographer's Ball- Wizard of Odd, choreographed by Carey Ysis and wife Paulette Azizian and also many other wonderful choreographers; it  is an infusion of hip hop, 80's, soul, and rock n' roll.  If you have watched Michael Jackson's version of Wizard of Oz, Carnival blows it away.

 

 

Troupe of Carnival Dancers

 It is modern, unique, and fresh without all the commercial propaganda that usually comes tied with art. The countless hours and practice is evident in the powerful structure of Wizard of Odd. An all volunteer group, from the director to the smallest dancer, only the unparalleled are allowed on the dance floor to strut their moves and do they strut it!  The most unique character of the Wizard of Odd was unequivocal the wicked witch of the west.  Forget Broadway, this wicked witch is marvelous, stupendous, and full of vitality.  I was laughing so hard that I had tears flowing down my face.   The directors and choreographers have brought together the various dance techniques to blend fluidly in Wizard of Odd. 

Carey Ysis

Having this spectacular show is only possible because of the huge hearts of choreographers Carey Ysis and his wife Paulette Azizian.  They have such a intense desire for their art and the young dancers in their community.  Without carnival, all the dancers and choreographers would not have an outlet to express themselves nor be picked up by talent scouts that do regularly attend this show.  This show is soon on its way to becoming a major production and hopefully it will soon be made into a theatrical movie.  It is a raw, inspiring show, full of energy, bundled together on a small stage.  The talent and the innovativeness of the choreographers and dancers transport the audience once a month to a place where there are no lines, no boundaries, no color, just skill and intensity.  Carnival is an intense ride that takes the art of dance to another stratosphere.

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