Man Walking Down the Side of a Building (Really)

One dancer is set to stroll down the side of UCLA building. Yep. The side.

By Alysia Gray Painter
|  Monday, Apr 1, 2013  |  Updated 1:18 PM PDT
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Man Walking Down the Side of a Building (Really)

Man Walking Down the Side of a Building

A dancer will walk down the side of the Broad Art Center at UCLA on Friday, April 5 at 6 p.m. The performance is free.

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Contemporary and experimental performance is sometimes satirized for different reasons, but very often the jokes come at the expense of naming conventions.

We've all been to or heard about works with various Roman numerals in their names and lofty concepts that don't necessarily reflect the meat of the piece. With that in mind, what do you think the performance piece "Man Walking Down the Side of a Building" is all about?

Ready? It's indeed a man walking down the side of a building. And while we love a mysterious handle, there's something beautiful about this clarity. Equal in beauty, though, is actually seeing a performer do just that: Walk vertically from roof to ground along the side of a multi-story structure.

That's going to happen on Friday, April 5 at the Broad Art Center at UCLA. The 6 p.m. performance is free.

Trisha Brown Dance Company is the engaging outfit behind the literally lofty work. But the celebrated artist who heads up the troupe tends to thinks lofty: Her "Roof Piece" is set to sprawl across the tippy-top of the Getty Center on Saturday, April 6. Look for the dancers in red (sure to be a striking sight against all of that light-colored stone).

Several institutions around Southern California are feting Ms. Brown this month; the Hammer is also staging one of her performance pieces, which involves dancers moving in and out of clothes hung on lines.

As for the man set to step over the edge of UCLA's Broad on April 5? "Specialized rigging" is involved. So even as he walks merrily toward the ground, gravity will indeed be thwarted.

And as for vertical dance pieces? Clearly LA is a town that likes them. Remember the fire escape dances along the Emser Tile Building in West Hollywood a few years back, courtesy of Heidi Duckler and company? We must be a place that likes to look up.

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