#SoManyFeels: Look Up and Let the Stardust Fall on Your Skin

• Radar_L.A._Logo_0By Armando Huipe

Staff Writer

Stardust opened Tuesday as part of the Radar L.A. festival, which includes work from companies around the globe alongside some of L.A.’s most innovative artists. In all, the festival includes 18 productions in venues from historic Downtown L.A. Broadway theaters to the Getty Villa in Malibu. In the vein of its New York City counterpart and namesake, Under the Radar, Radar L.A. features pieces by, and attracts audiences of, the layer of a theater in Los Angeles that exists under the “popcorn blockbuster” fare such as The Book of Mormon and the like. This is theater-maker’s theater for those who are willing to follow the lead into new forms of theatrical expression.

As such, Stardust by Alpert Award winning director-choreographer David Roussève and his company REALITY weaves together dance-driven movement with projected unanswered texts in text-speak to tell its story. The dancers move in almost-unison and form loose tribes, but ultimately bare the souls of their characters alone, as if to express the nature of personal tweets in the void of the Internet.

Video Art by Cari Ann Shim Sham and dancer Nguyen Nguyen. Photo by Steven Gunther

Video Art by Cari Ann Shim Sham and dancer Nguyen Nguyen. Photo by Steven Gunther

Note: This pLAywriting in the city staff writer sends this review into the boundless vastness of the Internet to readers, some of whom he will never meet, but whom he intends to engage with in discourse on L.A. Theater.

The textual story sinks the audience into the consciousness of an adolescent African-American boy who is trying to come to terms with his sexuality and never makes an appearance onstage. As adolescent urges mount, the audience witnesses a new coming-of-age story of the Twitter generation, told and felt in short spurts of intense movement and emotion. The piece utilizes the gamut of dance movements from ballet and hip-hop to postmodern and vogueing in the way that the often-talked-about millennial generation navigates their own cosmopolitan identity politics.

Stardust gives the sense of intimacy in the anonymity of the Internet. The ease of a Facebook status and the brevity of a Twitter post, although incredibly public, are the platforms to express some of one’s deepest desires and demons, daily banalities. It is rare in this piece that the dancers congregate in uniformity or even touch. In those moments when they do engage each other, it is in an experimentation of a foreign physical connection.

Radar L.A. is, as well, a rare opportunity for a certain kind of theater-maker to meet and mingle with others who relish in testing the boundaries of the common definition of “theater.” Like the festival itself,  Stardust brings together a group of performers, who are diverse in age, gender, and ethnicity, to straddle the intersection of theater and other disciplines. Although many of the faces in Radar’s rooms and venues are familiar ones in L.A.’s vibrant theater scene, the festival provides a nexus for the international contemporary theater community and our local one. Leading the charge is often isolating, but this week we can mix, mingle, and immerse ourselves in the company of the global community

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By David Roussève/REALITY

Performance Dates and Times:

9/28 2:00 PM

9/29 8:30 PM


REDCAT, Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater

631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Parking: $9 event parking in the Walt Disney Concert Hall parking garage off 2nd Street.

For ticketing information of Stardust and other festival shows visit the Radar L.A. festival page: http://www.redcat.org/festival/radar-la-festival-2013

Single tickets can be purchased online at redcat.org, or by calling REDCAT’s Box Office at 213-237-2800.

The following venues have their own box office, pricing and policies. Contact the venue directly for single tickets.

Kirk Douglas Theatre

213-682-2772 | centertheatregroup.org

The Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater

The Getty Villa

310-440-7300 | getty.edu

Freud Playhouse at Macgowan Hall, UCLA

310-825-2101 | cap.ucla.edu