The Annenberg Center presents BODYTRAFFIC, the Los Angeles dance company making an international name for itself, April 26 (8 PM) and April 27 (2 PM and 8 PM). Blending contemporary, hip hop, jazz and ballet, the ensemble will perform a program of Philadelphia premieres, including A Million Voices, a work set to Peggy Lee classics by Pennsylvania Ballet resident choreographer and BalletX co-founder, Matthew Neenan, and the world premiere of Resolve by Wewolf. The program also includes Fragile Dwellings by Stijn Celis, George & Zalman by Ohad Naharin, and o2Joy by Richard Siegal. Tickets are available at AnnenbergCenter.org or 215.898.3900.
BODYTRAFFIC has established a worldwide reputation for its Los Angeles-grown, contagious vivacity. The company continues to push boundaries and establish Los Angeles as a city known for its world-class dance. Founders and artistic directors Lillian Rose Barbeito and Tina Finkelman Berkett maintain a deep commitment to keeping BODYTRAFFIC at the forefront of the contemporary dance world. Named “the company of the future” by The Joyce Theater Foundation, BODYTRAFFIC is internationally recognized for its high-caliber work and palpable love of dance.
BODYTRAFFIC is home to an exceptionally versatile family of world-renowned dancers who have trained with the likes of Mikhail Baryshnikov, The Juilliard School, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and more. The company’s diverse repertory includes original works by McArthur Fellow Kyle Abraham, Stijn Celis, Barak Marshall, Ohad Naharin, Matthew Neenan, Arthur Pita, Victor Quijada, Hofesh Shechter, and Richard Siegal, among many more choreographers.
BODYTRAFFIC has performed at prestigious theatres and festivals around the world. In 2017-2018, the company celebrated its 10th season with an international tour to more than 20 cities, including Moscow and St. Petersburg for the CONTEXT Diana Vishneva Festival, and The Hague, Netherlands for The Holland Dance Festival. In 2015, BODYTRAFFIC was selected by the Obama Administration to be cultural ambassadors of the United States to Israel and Jordan via DanceMotion USA, a dynamic cultural diplomacy program that supports U.S. foreign policy goals by engaging international audiences through educational opportunities, cultural exchange and performance. Produced by BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music), DanceMotion USA is a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State. BODYTRAFFIC has also served as cultural ambassadors of the United States in South Korea (2016), in Algeria (2017-2018) and in Indonesia (2018).
Artistic Director Lillian Barbeito has had an extensive performance career that began in Santa Fe, New Mexico and took her to Europe, New York, and then finally to Los Angeles, where she founded BODYTRAFFIC with Tina Berkett. She is passionate about mentoring dancers of all ages and abilities and has taught internationally for organizations such as CalArts, Idyllwild Arts Academy, L’Ecole de Danse de Quebec, Northwest Dance Project, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures and Loyola Marymount University, where she is currently on faculty. Barbeito is one of 32 teachers in the world who is certified in Anouk van Dijk’s ground-breaking Countertechnique. She has choreographed over 50 works for high schools, universities, competitions and professional dance companies throughout the U.S. and Canada. Barbeito has a BFA from The Juilliard School where she studied on a four-year, full-tuition scholarship awarded by Tomorrow’s Leaders of America for her essay on the world dancing together in harmony.
Artistic Director/Performer Tina Finkelman Berkett is a native of New York City and trained under the tutelage of Michele Cuccaro Cain. Finkelman Berkett graduated summa cum laude from Barnard College, Columbia University with degrees in math and economics. Upon graduation, she joined Aszure Barton & Artists and performed with the company throughout the U.S., including at Jacob’s Pillow and Spoleto festivals. She became Aszure Barton’s assistant and taught alongside Barton both in the U.S. and abroad. She was a founding member of Mikhail Baryshnikov’s Hell’s Kitchen Dance, where she also served as the company’s dancer liaison. In 2007, she moved to Los Angeles and founded BODYTRAFFIC with Lillian Barbeito.
Photo Credit: Karli Cadel