PHOTOS: Best of Long Beach — RhetOracle

12:30pm | Editor’s Note: This is an expansion on our print coverage of the Best of Long Beach. Given our limited print space, we wanted to further share our experience at these amazing businesses via the many photos we took. We feel it not only allows the reader to better understand why each place was chosen, but provides the chance to spotlight local businesses visually. We will do one business every day until all 30 winners have been covered. Enjoy.

Best Hidden Cultural Treasure: RhetOracle 
Culture is a tricky word because it is seemingly impossible to pin down in a single definition and yet, the moment one sees something of culture, they can easily say, “Culture!” Even more trickier is that it seems to often come out of nowhere, an outta-the-blue type moment — which is exactly the type of moment this little gem seized.

RhetOracle, seemingly, came out of the sky — but we’re overwhelmingly glad it landed in our lap. The perhaps little-heard-of dance troupe whose home has always been Long Beach is the perfect example of that mystery we call culture. One cannot easily tie them down to a single definition – quirky, serious, professional, amused… these are all fitting descriptors – but one can easily see how they contribute to the culture that is our city.

Founded in 2006, RhetOracle practices within donated spaces at MS Studio and Elevation Studio, and  through these donations, can keep their home right here in Long Beach – ablessing that Nate Hodges, choreographer and artistic director, emphasizes. “We’ve been very committed to not being a L.A. company or an Orange County company. People in L.A. say, ‘Oh, that’s Orange County!’ and people in Orange County say, ‘Oh, that’s L.A.!’ We’re based in Long Beach and we’re proud to correct people when they state otherwise. “

Their mission is just as espoused in Long Beach culture. Nate explains it in simple, succinct terms: “We want to speak to the everyday person and dance expert alike. It’s our process and concept to engage people in dialogue – not to dumb down or condescend.”

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Brian Addison has been a writer, editor and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food to politics to urban transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 12 nominations and an additional win for Best Political Commentary. Born in Big Bear, he has lived in Long Beach since college. Brian currently serves as a columnist and editor for the Long Beach Post.