It’s not every DAY that a college class project turns into a passionate career—but that’s just what happened for Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company co-founders Kate Hutter and Michelle Mierz. The two first met in an arts management course at The University of Southern California, and in what most dancers would view as the “best homework assignment ever,” they were asked to create a professional non-profit dance company for their final project. “The idea was that we would create a unique institution that would serve L.A. dance artists,” says Kate. “The project we developed on paper became the basis for LACDC.”
In a thrilling case of vision becoming reality, that original five-year plan has blossomed into a thriving dance company. Since its first season in 2006, the 12-member LACDC has helped put a fresh face on concert dance in the City of Angels. Along with its trademark, high-energy blend of “contemporary meets modern” choreography, the company (made up of both concert and commercial dancers) is known for its daring improvisations onstage. Up to three-quarters of each performance is totally off the cuff, keeping both the audience and the dancers on their toes! Dialogue and music made up on the spot are also key in many LACDC performances, making each show feel like a new adventure.
So where can you see them perform? Along with twice-yearly original shows at the hip downtown Diavolo Dance Space, LACDC has performed at the Los Angeles Contemporary Museum of Art (LACMA) and the prestigious Ford Amphitheatre. And, true to Hollywood form, members of LACDC were featured in a national commercial for American Apparel colored tights (filmed from above, Busby Berkley-style) in 2008.
Photo: Steven Barston