After 10 years of hosting a variety of dance companies and performances, El Portal Directors Pegge Forrest and Jay Irwin wanted to create a unique dance event that would celebrate the incredibly high level of talent and versatility in the Los Angeles dance community. They approached choreographer Dee Caspary with the idea of a dance invitational/festival. Based on Caspary’s successful creative background at El Portal with his IV Dance Company and his national exposure on shows such as So You Think You Can Dance, they decided to team up and focus the spotlight onto this 21st century, vibrant, and artistically energizing dance population!
The Nvitational will be a series of collaborative events featuring dance from America’s best, boldest, edgiest, and fiercest choreographers including the festival’s Artistic Director, Dee Caspary and notables Marty Kudelka, Mandy Moore, Kitty McNamee, Ryan Heffington, Bubba Carr, Peter Chu, Tabitha and Napoleon, Tovaris Wilson, Kevin Maher, Eddie Garcia, Justin Giles, Scott Hislop, Terry Beeman, Jennifer Hamilton, Dana Wilson, Adam Parson, Nina McNeely, Helene Phillips, Erica Sobol, David Moore, Tessandra Chavez, Mark Meismer, Amanda Leise, Gustovo Vargas, CJ Salvador, Kim DelGrosso, Wes Veldink, and more to be announced.
These choreographers and their work have been seen worldwide on music videos and concert tours; on stage for operas and musical theatre; and the hit American television shows So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing With the Stars, and America’s Best Dance Crew. For the first time, these choreographers will collaborate on world premiere dance pieces with each other, featuring dancers from their own companies as well as 75 hand-picked dancers from across the country.
These 75 dancers are the “invited” artists culled from dance workshops, intensives, master classes, and competitions throughout North America. Each choreographer has been given a limited number of invitations to offer to top dancers the opportunity to participate in this first-of-its-kind event. These selected artists will work with the star choreographers in group classes and individually every day, fully immersing themselves in each specialized dance style. In the afternoons the dancers will study with acting teachers, talent managers, photographers, and image consultants to prepare themselves for the professional life of a dancer. On the weekends, the dancers will then display their technique, artistry, and talent onstage as featured performers in the El Portal Theatre MainStage collaborative performances.
Additionally, the festival will host RARE one-hour “pre-show” performances in the intimate Forum Theatre by the choreographers themselves. For the first time, you can see the dances performed by the people who created them. Weekday performances in the Forum, titled A Night at the Piano, will feature a live pianist in the center of the room with the choreographers improvising in their respective styles to the live music. Because of the unique nature of these performances and the limited seating (99), we anticipate that these performances will sell out very quickly. The artistic vibe will spill over to the Skyy Vodka Lounge in the lobbies, where live musicians, fashion designers, and artists will share ideas, libations, and fun!
Dance Informa is a proud sponsor of The Nvitational.