Two Cultures are Bridged by Dance | NBC Southern California

Two Cultures are Bridged by Dance

"OMAN... O Man," the musical brainchild of award-winning director and choreographer Debbie Allen comes to L.A.

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    Debbie Allen, award winning director and choreographer

    It took the world of dance by storm, and it had First Lady Michelle Obama singing its praises.

    Now "OMAN…O Man!" -- the musical brainchild of award winning director and choreographer Debbie Allen -- comes to Los Angeles.

    The musical tells the story of two young men, one a Muslim and one a Christian, through military school. The story tries to examine what makes us so different, and what makes us so alike.

    "I had been given this mission to create something wonderful in dance that would use middle-eastern and American artists, and I was left to my own inventions. Something I learned from Steven Spielberg. You can tell a big story, but you have to tell it in a small way," said Allen.

    Along with the help from the best dancers from the "Debbie Allen Dance Academy," the show has finally made it to the west coast.

    Allen hopes it receives the same reaction here that it did in Washington D.C. where First Lady Michelle Obama said, "Every child in America needs to see this.”

    "I had people who wanted to know more. That was the best part, when this wetted their curiosity," Allen said.

    But before the audience could accept the production, Allen had to gain the trust of the cultures she was hoping to celebrate.

    "It wasn't easy. When I was in the middle east I had to get them to trust me with their culture, with presenting their religion on stage," said Allen. "A lot of people did not think it should have been done. But of course the arts, that's what we do. We have to go where you're not supposed to go, or where you don't understand, or maybe where you're afraid to go. The arts can go there and take a look and help you find your way."

    There will be one show of "OMAN…O Man!" performed at UCLA's Royce Hall on Friday and two on Saturday.

    Royce Hall is located at 340 Royce Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90095. Ticket prices range from $18 to $43.

    You can purchase tickets from the UCLA Royce Hall box office at: 310-825-2101, or at the "OMAN…O Man!" website.