Sarah Elgart has been on the forefront of dance in Los Angeles as a choreographer, director, and producer for many years. Known most recently for her large scale, site-specific productions as well as her dance films, Elgart’s work engages audiences by transforming and catalyzing bus terminals, airports, museums and more with movement, music, and media, to make magic out of the mundane, allowing viewers to see “old places with new eyes”. Sarah Elgar|Arrogant Elbow, she has done site-specific projects and created new works with commissions from organizations including the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles World Airports, The Getty, BodyTraffic and more. Elgart’s productions have been offered up to audiences – at seminal LA sites including The Music Center, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), The Skirball Center, The Bradbury Building, Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara and LACMA, and MASS MoCA, where she did her second collaboration with Nels Cline of Wilco, and first with painter Norton Wisdom as part of the Solid Sound Festival.
In addition to her live work, Elgart has choreographed extensively for film, commercials, and television, working with noted directors including JJ Abrams, Catherine Hardwicke, Fredrik Bond, David Lynch and others. Sarah worked for years in various capacities with Dance Camera West, where she was pivotal in the production of the AFI and LA premiere of Wim Wender’s Academy Award Nominated film Pina, as well as in introducing live site-specific dance to the organization’s annual film festival.
From prisons to hospitals, Sarah Elgart has worked extensively in communities both teaching and creating dance based and film works with populations such as maximum-security women inmates, children facing critical illness, and at risk youth for many years. In the 1990’s she was known for her work with MADRES (Mothers and Daughters Reaching Empowered States) a group of transitional homeless women with whom she collaborated on creating original performance works using gesture and raw movement. In 1990 she founded La Boca Performance Space at the Sunshine Mission Casa de Rosas, one of LA’s oldest shelters, and MADRES works were produced by venues including the Getty, Mark Taper Forum, and the European Culture Capital in Antwerp, Belgium. She continues to be active in “democratizing dance”, challenging the notion of what is and is not a stage, and placing dance in the foreground of community and commerce
Elgart has directed music videos for recording artists including Mia Doi Todd and Angela Luna and in 2011 directed an Emmy nominated PSA for Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles. In 2009, she produced “Put it in a Book”, a short film by award winning director Rodrigo Garcia starring Kerry Washington and Michael Ealy. In addition to her regular choreography and directing work, Elgart currently writes a bi-weekly column called ScreenDance Diaries about the intersections of dance and film for the on-line magazine Cultural Weekly, where Elgart also launched and produced an international on-line, dance film festival, “Dare to Dance in Public Film Festival”.