Magazine article Dance Magazine

Debbie Allen's Academy Scatters L.a.'S Conjunctive Points

Magazine article Dance Magazine

Debbie Allen's Academy Scatters L.a.'S Conjunctive Points

Article excerpt

In a controversial move that surprised students and teachers alike, the landlord of Conjunctive Points Dance Center in Los Angeles closed down the studio in January and reopened it as the Debbie Allen Dance Academy.

Located in a former aerospace factory in Culver City, Conjunctive Points had been home to a consortium of dance instructors offering classes in jazz, tap, tango, flamenco, salsa, modern, release technique and ballet. Owners Frederick and Laurie Samitaur Smith also provided reasonable hourly rates to three resident companies--American Repertory Dance Company (ARDC), Jazz Tap Ensemble and Helios Dance Theater--and dedicated a 6,000-square-foot studio to ballet master and former Royal Ballet principal Stanley Holden.

According to many who taught and danced there, the center provided two things Los Angeles sorely lacked--a school and performance space for professionals, and a hub for L.A.'s far-flung dance community. "Los Angeles has always presented the enormous challenge of creating synergy," says ARDC Artistic Director Bonnie Oda Homsey. "CPDC was a gathering place, and for a brief while fulfilled a great need."

This changed in December when the tenants were informed that "due to a planned reorganization of the Dance Center," their monthly use agreements would not be renewed. In their stead, the Smiths negotiated a three-year lease of the entire facility to Emmy Award-winning dancer-choreographer Debbie Allen.

Allen, an artist in residence at the Kennedy Center for the past seven years, enlisted Adrienne Dellas Thornton, formerly of the Kirov Ballet Academy in Washington, D. …

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