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"Insightful & Irreverent" - Ann Haskins, LA Weekly

"One of the strongest, hottest contemporary dancers of his generation" - Dance Critic, Lewis Segal




The Human Swiffer Will Sweep The Stage Of Highways Performance Space
 Mixed Marriages / Homestretch
By Lindsay William-Ross By Romina Rosenow


Mass Transit: A Dance Performance No Wonder It Tastes Like Leather Bootleg Dance Festival Hopes To Display
Inspired By Riding L.A. Buses
By Ann Haskins
Dance As It Has Never Been Seen
By Alissa Walker
   By Rachel Levin
 


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Rudy Don't Fail
Masters of Spontaneity Bring
By Ann Haskins LA Improv Dance Festival to a Close
  By Anna Reid


 
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 Surrender Dorothy!' at Highways Performance Space  Go Metro... - L.A. Public Transit
Dramatized Through Dance
 "Go Metro" at Highways Performance Space
 By Victoria Looseleaf  By Rachel Levin
 By Ann Haskins



Mobile Melting Pot
By Rachel Levin

 

 
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 Shag With a Twist
 Pas De Mort
 Shag With a Twist
By Travis Michael Holder
 By Steven Mikulan
 By Jana J. Manji



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dance, Performance, Theater, Film, Fashion


The Performance Series Mixed Marriages / Homestretch Exploits the Intimate Details
of 2 Long-Term Relationships for Maximum Quirk & Mass Appeal

 

A Decade of Couple’s Counseling is Condensed into 2 Nights of Dance, Film & Funny at Highways Performance Space.


LOS ANGELES, CA – A foursome of couples (1 romantic, 1 platonic) hook-up to expose their secrets at Highways Performance Space with Mixed Marriages / Homestretch, an innocent orgy of dance, film & movement vignettes riffing on life’s many contradictions. In Mixed Marriages, lovers & collaborators of 8 years, Project Runway Designer Andrae Gonzalo & Choreographer Jamie Benson use juxtaposition to exploit the arc of their relationship, dramatizing everything from their servant origins (rich/poor) to their, as of 2 weeks ago, long distance arrangement (NY/LA). Benson will raid classic & barbaric dance techniques to create a vaudevillian performance mash-up. In Homestretch, the unlikely collaborative team of Choreographer Carmela Hermann & Gay Retiree Terrence Luke Johnson, pair odd friendship with choreographic skill & wit to transform the last 5 years of their lives into a riveting “reality dance drama”. Homestretch is hilariously scripted from actual events, while Hermann’s choreography is a careful tossup of dance styles drawn from toddlers, post-modern choreographic strategies & quirky fantasies. Hermann & Benson, both innovative choreographers, make funny, moving & accessible dances that force the audience to run the gamut of human experience.

Title: "Mixed Marriages / Homestretch”

When: 8:30pm, Friday, October 21st & Saturday October 22nd.

Where: Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404 

Cost: $20 General Admission, $15 for Members, Students & Seniors.

Reservations: (310) 315-1459

Gay partners, Andrae Gonzalo & Jamie Benson give it to you straight about relationships in Mixed Marriages. These boys slam together opposing attitudes, objects & concepts from their past & present to reveal universal themes of love & loneliness. The evening will include the debut of United, a short film following romance from the knees down (a collaboration with Actor/Filmmaker Jesse Schoem). A high-stakes game of Rock, Paper, Scissors & introduction to the Human Swiffer (he’ll dance dirty) are also on the agenda. Gonzalo is on hand to bring a theatrical flare & intention to the costuming while Benson’s wry choreographic wit adds lush texture to the event. These guys put their hearts & bodies on the line in this evening of tragic, dance comedy.

Homestretch is a hysterical, poignant, ridiculous & heartbreaking look at real life through the lens of choreographer/new mother, Carmela Hermann & gay retiree & accidental dad/grandfather, Terence Luke Johnson. This non-linear, post-modern soap opera layers vignettes of pregnancy-obsession, parenthood, daddy issues, retirement, homosexuality, late-life sex & death. Lines become blurred as the two play games with identity; the relationship seemingly morphs from friendship to father/daughter, lovers, & at times, becoming one another in the ultimate act of empathy.

Highways Performance Space is in its 22nd year as Southern California’s boldest center for new performance, promoting the development of contemporary, socially involved artists and art forms from diverse local, national and international communities. Artistic Director Leo Garcia continues to affirm Highways’ mission of developing and presenting innovative performance.

For more information, photos or interviews, please contact Jamie Benson, Choreographer @ (323) 704-5287.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dance, Performance, Shameless Self-Promotion


Choreographer Makes Bid to be Swiffer’s Spokesman with

the Dance Piece “The Pick-Up Artist.”

 

Let me Introduce You to The Human Swiffer. He’ll Dance Dirty to Pick You Up.

        

Images By Petra Rajnicova

In an elaborate ploy to be Swiffer’s new spokesman, dancer & choreographer Jamie Benson has created The Pick Up Artist, literally bending over backwards to “pick up” that filth on your floor. Like the Verizon Guy or Flo the Progressive Girl, every good company needs an iconic personality to represent them & Jamie Benson has a plan for Swiffer. Project Runway’s Andrae Gonzalo will create a garment for Benson made of electro-static cloth. Benson's choreography will raid classic & barbaric dance techniques to clean the stage with his own body. Inspired by Swiffer's current ad campaign wherein lonely people are depicted as dirt or mud & hoping to be "picked up" by Swiffer's extraordinary magnetism, The Pick-Up Artist is only one weapon in the arsenal that is Benson & Gonzalo’s new performance series Mixed Marriages at Highways Performance Space. Mixed Marriages will unload a slue of juxtapositions of attitudes, classes, objects & concepts. The Pick Up Artist will be a juxtaposition of occupations, as in “Dancer / Janitor” The evening is shared with Choreographer Carmela Hermann & Terrence Luke Johnson & their work Homestretch. Hermann & Benson, both innovative choreographers, make funny, moving & accessible dances that force the audience to run the gamut of human experience.

Title: "Mixed Marriages / Homestretch"

When: 8:30pm, Friday, October 21st & Saturday, October 22nd.

Where: Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404 

Cost: $20 General Admission, $15 for Members, Students & Seniors.

Tickets: highwaysperformance.org

Reservations: (310) 315-1459

For more information, photos or interviews, please contact Jamie Benson, Choreographer @ (323) 704-5287 or info@jamiebenson.com

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Film, Dance, Performance, Theater

                       

New Short Film “United” Gives a Unique Perspective to a Classic Love Story

Follow Romance From the Knees Down via New Dance Film.

        

LOS ANGELES, CA – Project Runway Designer Andrae Gonzalo, Choreographer Jamie Benson & Actor/Filmmaker Jesse Schoem take a controlled look at love, from the knees down, with the screening of United at Highways Performance Space. At this angle, personalities are expressed through dance & fashion vernaculars. United is one weapon in the arsenal that is Benson & Gonzalo’s new performance series Mixed Marriages, an innocent orgy of dance, film & movement vignettes riffing on life’s many contradictions. The evening is shared with Choreographer Carmela Hermann & Terence Luke Johnson & their work Homestretch. Hermann & Benson, both innovative choreographers, make funny, moving & accessible dances that force the audience to run the gamut of human experience.

Film Title: "United" (as part of Mixed Marriages / Homestretch)

When: 8:30pm, Friday, October 21st & Saturday October 22nd.

Where: Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404 

Cost: $20 General Admission, $15 for Members, Students & Seniors.

Tickets: highwaysperformance.org

Reservations: (310) 315-1459

In United, our shy hero (listed as “sneakers”) strikes out in the world of women often until a chance encounter with our heroine (listed as “untied shoes”). In an unexpected romance we see a guy who is always in control wrestle physically & emotionally with a girl that knows no boundaries. Can they overcome their differences to defy loneliness? United is written, directed & produced by Jesse Schoem, produced & choreographed by Jamie Benson.

See These Feet:         -Play footsie               -Dance the tango              -Shuffle under the covers              -Waltz

In Mixed Marriages, a high-stakes game of Rock, Paper, Scissors & introduction to the Human Swiffer (he’ll dance dirty) are also in the program. Gonzalo is on hand to bring a theatrical flare & intention to the costuming while Benson’s wry, eclectic choreographic wit adds lush physical texture to the event. These men put their hearts and bodies on the line in this evening of tragic, dance comedy.

Jesse Schoem is an actor and a filmmaker.  He met Jamie and Andre in 2005, dancing at LATC’s world premier production of Shag With a Twist.  His last movie, Homeward Bound, can be bought at Amazon.com.  Jesse has appeared on Spike TV’s The Playbook, and on NBC’s Law and Order: SVU.  He can be viewed on Netflix in the feature film The Stranger in Us and, also in one of the shorts from Not|Gay.  Jesse has appeared in commercials for IBM, Asahi, Ebay, and L’Oreal.  He has a degree in cinema from San Francisco State University. For more visit jesseschoem.com

For more information, photos or interviews, please contact Jamie Benson, Choreographer @ (323) 704-5287 or info@jamiebenson.com

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