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Matt’s Movies, KCRW
Interview for Bombay Beach
October 2011

La Frontera
Interview (view the article)
February 2007

LA Magazine
Top Ten (view the article)
October 2005

Interviews with DancePlug (Video 1)  (Video 2) (Video 3)
March 2010 / May 2011

"The choreographer Paula Present has a gift for creating memorable body sculpture (particularly with groups) and for shaping a sophisticated, contemporary movement vocabulary into fine-grained meditations on important current issues...her award-winning, mostly female PTERO Dance Theatre provides a satisfying look at her artistry... Present's "In the Forest" artfully develops a conflict between sensual needs and religious repression...the process of transforming the news of the day into thoughtful, committed dancing represents the kind of positive action that's needed on the widest possible scale right's heartening to find a constellation of skillful Los Angeles artists making work that's something more than their oh-so-sensitive souls, their last love affair, their fabulous technique, their devastating sex appeal or their beautiful feet."
LA Times, July 2007

“...isn’t it refreshing to find an artist with a positive political activism?  (Sarandon Cassidy) Vincent’s solos of longing in a sand pile, in which she roiled dust clouds, were among the night’s most poetic moments.  Club Fais Do-Do made a terrific, funky, in-the-round dance venue.  (Paula) Present made excellent use of the space.”                                                                                 -LA Weekly, June 2011

“The second weekend of Wild Dancing West presented three companies at VSA North Fourth Art Center... and the breathtaking PTERO Dance Theatre from Los Angeles.  PTERO's seven short, brilliant dances brought the evening to a new level of dance performance and design. The three dancers of PTERO Dance Theatre were an astonishing trio of dancer / artists revealing beauty of line and shape with clarity and sharply focused intention.  Present's fluid extension of arms and legs sustained each breath of phrase as it grew from the body's center. Wieland performed "SOS"...with superb physical articulation, changing level and direction. Lunges across the floor, executed with her serpentine, rippling spine, were breathtaking. Harris created the dynamic dance "Dichotomize" using a pole prop as the initiator of movement, and as a totally integrated fifth limb."
- Albuquerque Journal, June 2009

"'Holding Up the Sky,' with an all female cast. Strongly demonstrates the idea that some themes, such as peace, are universal. Responding to violence against women, the devastation of war and other issues of the day, 'Holding Up the Sky' offers a strongly crafted hour of dance theater...with artful dance sequences choreographed by Paula Present...Evan A Bartoletti's multi level set helps separate such large-scale passages, but Present's choreography always makes its purpose unmistakable...a mimed and danced antiwar conference in a semi circle of chairs displays the specificity of Present' talent to the utmost, while the power of the ensemble reaches maximum impact in her percussive war quintet."
LA Times, April 2003

"Symbolism in dance can often get lost in the very movements created to express it.  Ptero Dance Theatre's newest performance, including "The Frame of Mind" with two other pieces, instead resonates its statements with graceful precision...Present, who has received praise for both her choreography and her own dance abilities, draws from myriad sources of her own and observed experience to craft her work.  Hers is an intelligent approach, one not content with aesthetics alone..."The Frame of Mind," Present's imagery reflects - and questions - the mind as well as society.  While her use of props remains limited, blindfolds, sticks, and a freestanding doorframe aptly conveys her message...The focal point, a powerful duet in the shifting doorframe, speaks of the battle for open thinking...Present delivers fully on her mission: to make a bold statement on society and ourselves...Indeed each movement not only had a purpose in itself - it managed to remain unpredictable...."Frame of Mind" surprises you at times. Especially if you let yourself get lost in it.", July 2007

"In fact, Helios has proved a seedbed of local talent. Dancer-choreographer Paula Present is another former member who has gone on to success with her troupe, Ptero Dance Theatre."
LA Times, Oct 2008

"One of Five Dance Companies to Watch: PTERO Dance Theatre - "this relatively new contemporary dance company has truly taken flight."
Dance Spirit Magazine, Nov 2007 

""A real treat".  That's the way I'm going to describe last night's experience with the Ptero Dance Company...all three (dance pieces) are danced beautifully by a shimmeringly talented dance company...two dancers are brilliant working in and around a doorframe...contain both wonderful solo work and equally pleasing ensemble work...Paula Present, whose choreographic voice is a strong one.  As I said up top, the whole evening was a treat for me.  The Ptero Dance Theatre Company presents jeweled visions here and I thank them for a glorious evening...put Ptero on your calendar immediately.", July 2007

"Powerful dancing proliferated. Sarandon Cassidy and Rogelio Lopez G. agonized effectively in Paula Present's "Orpheus and Eurydice" dance drama for Ptero Dance Theatre."
LA Times, June 2006

"Dancer-Choreographer Paula Present, artistic director of locally based Ptero Dance Theatre, has something to say."
LA Times, October 2005

"...stellar dancing."
LA Times, October 2005

"In her 2004 duet, "Scrape," Present plumbed the territory of grief...As if pushing pain away with her hands, Present would then hunch over, head to knees, before offering a keening, chest-beating motif. Soon joined by Shannon Harris, recruited to assuage hurt, the duo swayed spoonstyle, their crossed legs and arms becoming a cipher for raw emotions."
LA Times, October 2005

"The same feeling of unity in crisis dominated Paula Present's intense septet 'Breath Among Ruins,' with its full-out body lashing, moments of private anguish and depictions of women being battered by unseen forces but always moving forward."
LA Times, October 2003

"Spectrum Dance #17 proved that this town's dance scene sparkles with choreographic bling bling. Solos of various stripes were particularly captivating... a goddess-like Paula Present offered her work in progress "The Unfolding," punctuated by outstretched arms and languid backbends."
LA Times, November 2003

"Spectrum No. 18 also boasted two accomplished, emotional solos: ...and Paula Present's fresh, endearing coming of age study, "Diamond Dance"."
LA Times, February 2004

"This piece (OmPaHdEnLeIsAs) is imaginatively choreographed with meaningful gesture and interesting lifts...In Scrape, Present ­ who is a wonder of movement, musicality, and passion-suffers a nearly unbearable misery until set on a new path by the lithe Shannon Harris. Where the Body End reflects our inner and outer beauties, danced by Sarandon Cassidy, Nicole LaCour, and Harris. Woman in There Somewhere again reflects an unfolding of the human body and soul, danced by the technically and dramatically powerful trio of Chelsea Gilbert, Present, and (Lillian) Bitkoff...Present reflects youthful, dreamy optimism ­ again beautifully rendered- in 'Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon'."
Backstage West, August 2004

"In 'Beloved, be loved,' Paula Present showed this relationship at it's most life affirming. Dancing lyrically around and over a boom box, she reminded everyone of how recorded music can inspire a sense of connection even when we are most alone. "We will keep each other safe from harm," the lyrics promised, and Present responded with utter devotion."
LA Times, January 2002

"The melding of East and West has been tried innumerable times in dance, but perhaps because of world events and more likely because of the talents involved, the mix is aesthetic and heartwarming in this celebration of international femininity and sisterhood. Conceivers and choreographers Madeline Leavitt and Paula Present combine mainly "modern" dance and Bharata Natyam - South Indian classical dance - for an evening of visual beauty and sweet storytelling."
Backstage West, April 2003

"PTERO Dance Theatre proves there's indeed lots new under the sun...The new PTERO company, under young, but already admirably credentialed artistic director/choreographer Paula Present delivers to us, though dance, the universal truth that reaching for your "LIGHT" is worth risking burned fingers or toes presenting an inventive stirring dance Recital...gracefully heart-based freeform creative movement, punctuated by staccato bursts of a more dance-theatre nature...deeply moving and frequently captivating...rather enchantingly explores many aspects of life, love, personal dreams, and endless search for meaning and freedom. ...Diamond Dances shows a welcome, more carefree, fun-loving whimsical view of life (thank goodness life isn't all struggle). With minimal creative lulls - always a danger in an evening packed with many feelings to convey - the production proved a pleasing experience, leaving us expecting to see more of Ms Present and PTERO in the future."
Easy Reader, August 2004

"Contemporary dance theatre burns brightly in Paula Present's 'Candle in the Sun.' This five sequence show presents different motifs that move each piece through the show's central theme of how darkness and light work together to convey a sense of finding oneself through wisdom, appreciation and guidance. For the most part the show takes on different nuances of womanhood, but it also suggests a more universal reflection of individuality in a fluid and changing world. Overall, the dance is inspiring and intriguing, and combines both contemporary dance and multimedia for thought provoking and entertaining evening. The dance's eclectic mix of music- from pop to classical-is the driving force behind the theatrical dance narratives, and guides its dancers through consistent movements that are both graceful and provocative...At one point Ophelia and Hamlet compete against each other in a theatrical boxing match, which is both interesting and original. The three dance sequences that follow definitely hold merit by conveying a sense of womanhood, which reaches out to the mind, body, and soul...You don't have to be a dance theater aficionado to appreciate the representations of theater, art, and life that this show has to offer."
KXLU Radio-Center Stage, August 2004

"The group is under strong, artistic direction of Paula Present, a uniquely talented choreographer, as well as dancer...a must see production with the feel of more, more, more, evident with exceptional performers", August 2004

"Believe it or not, Paula Present's evening of dance at the Ivy Substation in Culver City is worth missing the Olympics over...Indeed, Present's choreographic strength lay in narrative dances based on literary sources...In OmPaHdEnLeIsAs, Present offers superbly crafted work with fully integrated theatrical elements...A tale of deliverance, the profoundly emotional 'Scrape' begins with only Present onstage at the moment of descent into darkness. Radiating from her center, Present stokes the fire in her belly in preparation...The finale, Diamond Dances, is pure showstopper bliss...", August 2004

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