100 Seconds to Midnight

Blue13 Dance Company presents 100 Seconds to Midnight
$10-$65    |  Sep 28, 2024  |  8:00PM - 9:45PM

Blue13 blends contemporary and traditional dance forms with everything from hip-hop to Bollywood and ballet, challenging perceptions of South Asian American dance. In 100 Seconds to Midnight, a new contemporary dance project choreographed by Achinta S. McDaniel, the company delves deep into the complexities of the human experience, drawing inspiration from the infamous Doomsday Clock. Made famous by J. Robert Oppenheimer, Albert Einstein, and other concerned scientists, the clock measures how close the planet is to global catastrophe, marked as midnight. McDaniel turns the metaphor inward to examine the notion of “doom” as it pertains to South Asian communities. Repeatedly erased but resilient, these communities often grapple with cyclical trauma and the unrelenting anxiety of impending loss. Through a triptych of movements, 100 Seconds to Midnight confronts misogyny, unpacks the generational effects of colonization, and scrutinizes the expectations placed upon women regarding duty, tradition, and assimilation.

Blue13 Dance Company presents American dance through performance, outreach, and education. For over 20 years, Blue13 has connected audiences through the power of live, aesthetically and culturally daring dance, performing in the U.S. and abroad in its highly energetic and theatrical modern dance style that is inspired in part by the classical and cultural art forms of the Indian subcontinent.
A first-generation South Asian American, Blue13’s Artistic director, Achinta S. McDaniel pulls precision, humor, and deep emotion from her ensemble to create work as rebellious and unconventional as its architect. Storytelling through dance is central to the company, as is a continual exploration of technique with its cast of dancers of many backgrounds. The work is moody, rhythmic, and charged, presenting the audience with an intelligent experience of performance that turns the cultural stereotype of Indian dance on its head.
A pioneer of contemporary Indian dance in the United States, a prolific choreographer, performer, and instructor, McDaniel’s powerful and fresh style draws from diverse techniques including ballet, jazz, tap, modern, hip hop, Bhangra, Kathak, and Bollywood, to create spectacular and theatrical dance. She is known for her experimentation with international styles and for inventive staging of her signature contemporary Indian forms. Her choreography is highly dramatic and a real reflection of her upbringing: Eastern and Western, exotic, mysterious, wild, rebellious and unconventional. McDaniel’s work is fearless and inventive, ever exploring the boundaries of contemporary dance as a first-generation Indian woman. McDaniel is also a Professor at the Glorya Kaufman School of Dance at the University of Southern California. Achinta has expanded Blue13 for over fifteen years, creating one of the country’s first professional contemporary Indian dance theatre ensembles and touring on stages around the world. McDaniel also lectures and teaches contemporary Indian, Bollywood, and Bhangra styles internationally, and works as a choreographer in the film and television industry when not touring with Blue13.