Mesmerized, Baffled, and Smitten by the Magic of Dance

A Veteran L.A. Dance Critic Reflects on Her Passion for the Art Form

My career as a dance critic really began when I was six years old, though I didn’t know it. My mom signed me up to take a creative movement class at a local West Los Angeles park. The specific details of this long-ago outing are too deeply buried in my memory to dig up. I do know it was centered not on learning a dance technique, but on imaginative play and natural movement—running, crawling, and whirling about. My sharpest recollection is of a recital performance in a recreation room and …

More In: performance

Spin the Wheel and Land on Community

As a Performer and Arts Consultant, I Learned That Arts Should Serve People—Not the Other Way Around

Recently, as I was walking home and mulling over what to write for this essay on arts engagement, I saw a multi-colored pinwheel stuck to a signpost on a street …

The Drums That Bang Out the Heartbeat of My Community

A 13-Year-Old Explains How Japanese Taiko Drumming Connects Her to the World Around Her

I am 13 years old, and taiko drumming is my life. Taiko are Japanese drums—big ones are the size of a Mini Cooper, and small ones are 15 inches around …

You Can Find My Poetry Tribe in Leimert Park

Wednesday Is Open Mic Night at the World Stage, Where I’ve Been a Regular Since 1992

Most Wednesday nights, you can find me at the World Stage in Leimert Park. The love offering requested at the door is $5, but no one is turned away. The …

Please Don’t Laugh at My Jokes

If You Want to Be a Stand-Up Comic, You've Got to Learn How to Bomb

My heart was beating a mile a minute. Perspiration started to form in my armpits. Soon I would smell like the cab driver who’d brought me here. I was one …

Sometimes Falling Feels Like Flying

An Interview with Ali Prosch

by Stephanie Washburn

Ali Prosch investigates modes of female representation through her work in video, installation, and performance art. A 2009 MFA graduate of CalArts in Valencia, she has exhibited at …