There’s a kind of freedom that comes from dancing under the open sky. The movements become broader and bolder, influenced by the breath of the breeze and the calls of the birds. The jumps gain buoyancy and elevation, reaching up unconstrained towards the stars.
Indeed, it was such freedom that visionary, playwright and theosophist Christine Wetherill Stevenson explored by staging performances in outdoor settings throughout Los Angeles. It was she who purchased the land and built the original amphitheatre on which the Ford now sits. Remarkably influential in early Los Angeles, Christine was an ardent supporter of dance and rubbed elbows with the likes of Ruth St. Denis, Doris Humphrey and Martha Graham, titans of the modern dance world.
And the Ford’s love affair with dance is still going strong almost a hundred years later: in 2014, LA Weekly recognized the amphitheatre as the best LA venue for summer dance.
Christine would be proud.
Click the images below to explore the Ford’s remarkable place in modern dance history!
Photos curated by Ann Jensen, Assistant Tickets Services Manager.