Magazine article Dance Magazine

Lewitzky Dance Company, Harriet & Charles Luckman Fine Arts Complex, California State University, Los Angeles, May 17-18, 1997

Magazine article Dance Magazine

Lewitzky Dance Company, Harriet & Charles Luckman Fine Arts Complex, California State University, Los Angeles, May 17-18, 1997

Article excerpt

There were no diva turns, no goddess goodbyes, and not a touch of queenly regalia ending the Lewitzky Dance Company's farewell gala. Why not? Because even though Bella Lewitzky is the beloved grande dame of California dance, and its most widely known international export, she has never acted the part.

As founder of the thirty-one-year-old troupe, Lewitzky stayed in character for its valedictory performance by calling up -- one by one -- all those who contributed to its presence. No, Bella-watchers were not surprised when she quietly stepped before them and began reading off her list of staff personnel, dancers, designers, and others. At roll call's end, with the stage filled with people, came her only flourish. "This," she said, waving an arm toward the throng, "is what it took to create a company."

At no time throughout the evening could Lewitzky be seen basking in glory or turning the spotlight on herself. Inevitably, however, presenters from all over the city gave tributes -- citing her roles as arts activist, civil liberties advocate, community lightning rod, and all-purpose humanitarian. She has been all these, as well as an educator and teacher, striving to bring art to the neighborhood and the neighborhood to art.

The gala performances -- Four Women in Time, inspired by Judy Chicago's The Dinner Party, and Nos Duraturi -- signaled the final time that these or other Lewitzky dances would be seen live, and certainly raised the evening's emotional ante. …

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