Dancers to Take to the Getty's Rooftops

Trisha Brown's "Roof Piece" is set for its high-profile -- very high, in fact -- West Coast premiere.

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    Dancers in red will move and shake atop the Getty Center on Saturday, April 6. Both daytime performances are free.

    Dancers frequently take to the rooftops of our cities, at least according to famous musicals such as "West Side Story" and "Mary Poppins." And other art forms play out atop our buildings, too; look no further than The Beatles' 1969 show at the apex of the Apple building in London.

    But performance outside of film and the occasional supergroup concert tends to take place on a stage in front of us, at least most of the time. Trisha Brown's famous "Roof Piece," which sets dancers frolicking and moving and spinning on roofs, thwarts all of that by asking audience members to look up.

    Very, very up.

    And that's just what visitors to the Getty Center will be doing on Saturday, April 6 when "Roof Piece" enjoys its West Coast premiere. (Make that the Southern California debut; it has been performed at Mills College before.) There will be two shows that day, one at 1 p.m. and one at 3 p.m. The performances lasts for thirty minutes.

    What should you expect? It's performance art on a grand scale, and there are likely few pieces where the differential in elevation between viewer and performer is as great. The dancers will be in red, so they'll be easy to spot. We imagine the effect is rather spectacular, what with blue (we hope) sky and salt-colored travertine stone buildings.

    Members of the Trisha Brown Dance Company will be "performing in locations spanning the entire site," says a Center rep.

    Figure that at most dance shows, or at least the majority, that one must remain in their seat. But here? Walk a little bit this way or a little bit that way and get a whole new perspective of the dance.

    The shows are free; parking is $15.

    "Roof Piece" debuted over four decades ago in New York City. It's presented in LA in partnership with the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA. There are other Trisha Brown happenings, too, as part of a larger retrospective: "Floor of the Forest" at the Hammer Museum (starting March 30) and "Man Walking Down the Side of a Building" at Broad Art Center on April 5.

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