Former Ballerina Margaret Qualley Attended the L.A. Dance Project’s Fall Festival
BY NEESHA ARTER
September 23, 2019
Hollywood ventured downtown on Saturday night to celebrate L.A. Dances, the L.A. Dance Project’s (LADP) new Fall Festival. The dance company hosted the intimate event at its studio theater, 2245, where its dancers have been rehearsing and performing since 2017.
“I chose to work with a combination of people that I’m interested in, from newcomers to Tino Sehgal, who is a major contemporary artist. I worked with him at the Paris Opera. I think there’s a lot of people that we aren’t used to seeing,” said Benjamin Millepied, former New York City Ballet principal dancer (and husband of Natalie Portman), who cofounded the contemporary ballet company in 2012.
Guests previewed a selection of performances from L.A. Dances, which featured pieces choreographed by LADP’s principal dancer Janie Taylor. Both she and her partner, David Adrian Freedland, Jr., were outfitted in Cos—a sponsor of the event as part of its continued commitment to supporting the arts. Along with the more traditional ballet composers Mozart and Philip Glass, dances were set to songs by Andrew Bird, Kendrick Lamar, and Outkast.
Margaret Qualley took a night off from the film festival circuit to host the event. Qualley, who grew up practicing ballet, recalls her older sister saving up her allowance to buy her a pair of ballet shoes when she was just six years old. No longer dancing, Qualley now considers herself and her sister a patron of the art. “My sister lives so close to here, so it’s great to come see what they’ve been working on,” she said. “Everything they do is stunning, and it really pushes the boundaries.” As for her admiration of Millepied, said Qualley: “I’ve been a fan of Benjamin Millepied since forever, and I met him in New York a few years ago and we shot a short together. I had a remarkable experience working with him, and I think we’re going to do some more projects together in the future.”
After the preview performance, the attendees—which included Andie MacDowell, Cashmere Cat, Shannen Doherty, Nathalie Love, and Kaitlyn Dever—made their way to the after-party outside in the parking lot, which was called L’After. Cashmere Cat deejayed the event and guests sipped mezcal cocktails while projections of dancers covered the walls of the surrounding industrial buildings. Surprise dance performances continued through the night.
As for what’s next for L.A. Dance Project, Millepied explained, “We’re really a platform for dance—beyond what the company does, it’s the repertory, the programming outside of the company, the residency, the education program, the lectures, and the workshops. The work gets made here, but then it tours. Our company is named after L.A., but we carry that name abroad.”
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