LOS ANGELES — The exclusive West Coast premiere of Colleen Thomas’ “light and desire,” a Bessie-nominated dance production centered on how women artists cope under oppressive power structures, opens at Loyola Marymount University as part of the LMU College of Communication and Fine Arts’ Lydia Hao Emerging Artists Series on Friday, Sept. 1, with an additional performance on Saturday, Sept. 2.
Conceived and directed by Thomas, “light and desire” is a 55-minute multimedia project that uses movement, text, theatrical masks, and film to tell and uplift the narratives of women who have resisted oppression by creating their own forms of radical expression. Thomas, a Barnard Columbia professor, will perform alongside an international feminist cast that includes Rosalynde LeBlanc Loo, chair and professor of Dance. LMU students will join the show’s chorus.
“LMU is fortunate to share the stage with world-class choreographers and performers, who through this powerful performance, address important questions about how women hold, embody, and express power,” LeBlanc Loo said. “This production offers an invitation for the Los Angeles community to experience dance at LMU while providing vital opportunities for our students pursuing dance careers.”
The ethnically diverse cast of women leaders in the arts also includes performer-filmmaker Carla Forte (Venezuela); dancer-choreographer Ildiko Toth (Hungary / Germany); dance curator, critic, and choreographer Joanna Lesnierowska (Poland); and filmmaker, dancer, and choreographer Ermira Goro (Albania/ Greece).
“The LMU College of Communication and Fine Arts is honored to host this performance as a part of our Lydia Hao Emerging Artists Series,” said Dean Bryant Keith Alexander, Ph.D., of CFA. “While each of these phenomenal artists are established in their own right, the work they present is emerging in that it foregrounds the empowerment of women through the arts, and the power of the arts for all of us to perform both resistance and resiliency. The fact that some of our LMU Dance students will be a part of the performance marks their emergence into the world of a professional dance ensemble.”
A Q&A session and reception with Thomas, LeBlanc Loo, and the “light and desire” cast will follow the opening night performance on Sept. 1.
All shows are open to the public, and take place at 8 p.m. in LMU’s Thomas P. Kelly Jr. Student Art Gallery. Tickets cost $35 and are available for purchase here. Student tickets cost $10 with a promo code.