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Bella Lewitzky's former dancers build her legacy

Choreographers John Pennington and Yolande Yorke-Edgell pass on the distinct intricacies of the late company founder's masterpieces.

November 28, 2011
(Gina Ferazzi / Los…)

We all know what happens when great composers, writers and artists die: Their work lives on. But what about groundbreaking choreographers — say, Martha Graham, José Limon, Merce CunninghamAntony TudorAlvin Ailey,George Balanchine — those creators whose inspiration floats on a flashing moment, an instant image, a looming structure, perhaps never to be recaptured?

A question of survival follows. Because, unlike music (written in scores), art (hanging on museum walls) and books (housed in libraries), dance is lost without person-to-person transmission from the designate to the next-generation dancer who is learning a part.

Fortunately, though, there are keepers of the flame who can pass on those masterworks. John Pennington and British-born Yolande Yorke-Edgell are such guardians. Alums of the Bella Lewitzky Dance Company, they've staged a number of the modern dance choreographer's classics and are joining to present "Across Connections," an homage to their beloved mentor.

-- Donna Perlmutter, Los Angeles Times

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