Monica Bill Barnes & Company: The Running Show

USC Vision & Voices in Conjunction with USC Kaufman School of Dance Presents the West Coast Premiere of Monica Bill Barnes & Company: The Running Show at Bovard Auditorium in Downtown Los Angeles.

Monica Bill Barnes and Company
PHOTO: Paula Lobo | South Pasadena News | Monica Bill Barnes and Company: The Running Show

USC Vision & Voices in conjunction with USC Kaufman School of Dance presents the highly anticipated West Coast premiere of Monica Bill Barnes & Company’s (MBB&CO) The Running Show, a humorous and thought-provoking work melding dance and theater that portrays dancers as sports heroes propelled by an inner force that keeps them moving against all odds, on Thursday, September 29, 2022, 7 PM, at Bovard Auditorium on the USC campus in Downtown Los Angeles. The engagement marks the celebrated New York-based company’s first Southern California appearance in more than seven years. Admission is free but tickets are required.

According to creators Monica Bill Barnes (choreographer/performer) and Robbie Saenz de Viteri (writer/performer), the company, noted for its razor-sharp choreography and insightful humor, teams with local artists ranging in age from 12 – 80 years old to develop a new iteration of The Running Show for each performance. For the USC edition, they will collaborate with students from the USC Kaufman School of Dance, a young local ballet student making her solo debut, and seventy-seven-year-old Gerri Houlihan who will join Barnes in performing rigorous athletic movement to witty play-by-play commentary and narration delivered live by Saenz de Viteri from his “press box” on stage. He will interview the cast through the course of the week leading up to the performance and incorporate their stories and voices into “a marriage between dance and persuasive essay” (Chatham Life & Style) that uses details about their lives as dancers to “create a glorious and touching metaphor” (Arts Air) for all audiences. The result is “full-throttle, humor-infused dance-theater” (Dance Magazine) that skews traditional notions of dancers while also serving as a “kinetic love letter” to dance.

MBB&CO premiered The Running Show in July 2022 at The American Dance Festival in Durham, NC. It was commissioned and generously supported by Jody and John Arnhold/Arnhold Foundation. Additional support came from Howard Gilman Foundation, Bossak/Heilbron Charitable Foundation, Emma Sheafer Foundation and The Harkness Foundation for Dance. It is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, by the NY State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the NY State Legislature and by the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Monica Bill Barnes & Company is a contemporary dance company recognized for bringing dance where it does not belong. It creates and produces each work entirely from its own rulebook—dancing to radio interviews on the biggest stages in the world, hosting a weekly show in a crowded office party, or leading a choreographed exercise routine in an art museum. Within each of these new contexts and borrowed environments, the company constantly finds humor in awkward, everyday human triumphs and failures.

Following the USC Visions & Voices engagement, in October, Saenz de Viteri and Barnes will be in residency at Berkeley Rep, through the Ground Floor program, developing a new work they describe as “a physical version of a memory play.”

Free tickets are available at For information call 213-740-0483. USC’s Bovard Auditorium is located at 3551 Trousdale Pkwy, Los Angeles, CA 90089.