How BODYTRAFFIC and Micaela Taylor turned pandemic stillness into a creative explosion at the Wallis
Choreographer Micaela Taylor, left, and Bodytraffic artistic director Tina Finkelman Berkett work with dancers preparing for the premiere of “Love.Lost.Fly.”
(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)
BY STEVEN VARGAS
Choreographer Micaela Taylor sits on the marley floor next to Bodytraffic Artistic Director Tina Finkelman Berkett, watching as company dancers perform Taylor’s new work, “Love.Lost.Fly,” during rehearsal in Koreatown this week. Dancers’ quick, sharp movements clash against one another, embodying the tensions between worlds in a piece loosely based on Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly.”
One moment they swing their heads back with mouths wide open in painful frustration, while another moment is nearly silent as Jordyn Santiago continues moving around still dancers — the only score to her performance being her breath. As she suddenly returns to the ensemble, everything erupts again — bodies flying into one another in continuous movement.
Tears swell in Taylor’s eyes as she witnesses her ideas come together in front of her.
“Seeing the finished work, going through the process, going through the ups and downs questioning, ‘Oh, my gosh, will this be received? Will this even come to life?’ and seeing all of those moving pieces coming together at the end and saying, ‘Wow’ — that’s really great for me,” Taylor says.
“Love.Lost.Fly” is set to premiere Friday at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills alongside the West Coast premiere of Baye & Asa’s “The One to Stay With” and Matthew Neenan’s “A Million Voices.” Although Taylor is not new to Los Angeles — or the world stage — her latest collaboration with Bodytraffic is her first as a resident choreographer with an international dance company.