L.A. Contemporary Dance is a performance company dedicated to showcasing the artistry of L.A. in live and digital experiences. We curate creative environments that harness the power of the collective, promote a sense of belonging, and champion exploration and learning without judgment. In our programming, we share a restlessness of soul and desire for connection with our collaborators and community.
As a local leader in the Los Angeles performing arts community, L.A. Contemporary Dance Company (LACDC) recognizes the systemic and institutional privileges it has benefited from and will actively work to use all available resources to identify and disrupt those structures. We acknowledge that contemporary dance as currently practiced, produced, and presented has been historically defined as a Western and Eurocentric practice.
As a guiding force, LACDC will leverage specific practices and implement new initiatives that will foster an increase in artistic, shared learning, leadership and other participatory practices by historically underrepresented and under-resourced groups within the dance ecology of Los Angeles. This includes providing opportunity, resources, and spaces for Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, womxn, disabled, and LGBTQIA+ community members of all backgrounds, religions, and ages. We believe in the transformative power of an artistic experience, and seek to engage, educate, perform for, amplify the experiences of, and connect with all people. LACDC will reexamine its own relationship to contemporary dance and will redefine the artform for the community it serves.
We commit to providing a platform for artists to express their unique voices and cultivate their visions in safe and supportive spaces. As an organization, led by the board of directors, we will regularly hold ourselves accountable by maintaining dialogue with affected constituents and key stakeholders to assess if all actions are successful and relevant. We will measure benchmarks against diversity, equity and inclusion goals and report findings consistently.
This environment will enable artists, students and audiences to experiment and grow together as we celebrate our diversity and provide equitable opportunities for all people to move and be moved by dance.
LACDC maintains the same pioneering spirit today that drove its founding in 2005 by a pair of young, female entrepreneurs in an arts management class at the University of Southern California. We create opportunities where they previously did not exist with produced and commissioned work. We do this to answer our own call to foster the unique talent of this city, to develop innovative repertory inspired by Los Angeles, and to celebrate the diverse group of artists, students and fans that we consider our community. Underscoring our mission to primarily support Los Angeles-based artists, we have commissioned over 30 L.A. choreographers (out of 41 total) and hired 102 dancers who have put down roots in this city. We value dance as a critical part of L.A.’s cultural identity to be shared around the world. By working with dedicated collaborators and staff, we demonstrate leadership in our community through the production of professional performances and training programs, and share the gifts of our city on the road as ambassadors of L.A.
Artistic Director (2021-Present): Jamila Glass
Artistic Director (2015-2020): Genevieve Carson
Artistic Director (2005-2015): Kate Hutter Mason
Co-Founders (2005): Michelle Jolly & Kate Hutter Mason
LACDC has presented work at venues throughout L.A. including Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, The Broad Stage, Ford Amphitheatre, L.A. Theatre Center, Odyssey Theatre, Alex Theatre, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Broad Contemporary Art Museum, and Natural History Museum. Other notable performances include Lincoln Center (NYC), Kennedy Center (DC), Newman Center for the Performing Arts (Denver), ODC Theater (San Francisco), Laguna Beach Art Museum, and Palm Springs Art Museum.
LACDC has been in partnership with the Cultural Office of the Embassy of Spain from 2021-2023, commissioning Spanish choreographers to create new work and exchange practices. The company has also toured internationally with sold out performances in Argentina and New Zealand. In 2018, LACDC was proud to be the first American headlining company to perform for Tempo Dance Festival in Auckland.
Additionally, LACDC often expands its reach to collaborate with key artists and brands in the entertainment industry. The company joined indie rock band Foster the People on their 2013 summer tour, which included performing for over 50,000 at the Firefly Festival in Dover, Delaware. The company has also collaborated with major brands for the commercial campaigns of Samsung, American Apparel, and Hikvision USA, music videos for Vitamin String Quartet & K-Pop star Sulli, and was featured in the Netflix television series Dear White People.