All posts by showboxla

si|embra F21

Queride community, Show Box L.A. is pleased to announce our invited artist for FALL 2021:
 Isis Avalos

We are excited to have her on board to lead a community engagement program for residents in L.A. She will lead “si|embra” a community engagement, re-introduction, and performance event between 11/11-11/13. Isis is supported by our SHOW BOX L.A. residency program with funding from the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles
Isis Avalos is a mother, bordercrosser and multidisciplinary movement artist based in Los Angeles, originally from Brownsville, TX. Avalos received her BFA from University of North Texas and has more than 7 years experience touring nationally and internationally as a Teaching/Performing Dance Artist. She is currently a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Facilitator for The Courage Collective based out of Nashville, TN.  Her lived experience growing up undocumented in the South Texas borderland informs her relationship to living in the in-between/identity politics and a somatic approach to anti-racism work.  Her movement aesthetic relating to her Mexican Heritage, street/social dance forms and Modern release training serve as a crossroads to her praxis rooted in exploring a de-colonial approach to movement and art-making.
IG: @morenamover

Please join Isis Avalos on Thursday, November 11th from 11am to 5pm at Jireh Estética Unisex. Communally, we will be building the altar juntes (together) that will be part of the main event on Saturday, November 13th. Please stop by any time. We invite you to share a picture on the altar.

NOTE: Virtual Streaming of the opening event via Facebook and Instagram live

It is with excitement that Show Box L.A. invites you to our first in-person event for this year: si | embra, an in-person, immersive experience of life and death existing inside one space. si I embra is created to honor death through pictures in an activated altar inside a live movement celebration by artist in residence Isis Avalos (creative altar collaboration with Raquel Cabrera).

(please wear masks and abide by COVID-19 safety protocols)

pictures have helped us see parts of us that we no longer recognize -a goodbye that we never had with ourselves only until we see that picture again. How do we continue to cultivate ourselves while in transitions of life that often asks us to let something die in order to invite what wants to be born? The act of bringing life into this realm simultaeneously invites the death of what we once were. How doe continuously exist in this duality? Like the molcajete, how many curaciones have we had before we ultimately are grounded back into the earth?

si | embra invites you to honor the parts of you that have died and exist to remind you, you are alive.

Si la comunidad quiere bailar pues que más, que a bailar!

A part of SBLA’s mission for this year is to work with and highlight local immigrant-owned businesses in Los Ángeles, merging artists from all backgrounds and mediums together. Your donations and contributions go towards this collaboration with local business and ongoing partnership for future performances and projects.


Si|embrando Life and Bailando Death: Isis Avalos’ “si|embra” as a Look at Life-Death Dichotomies and Gentrification

December 6th, 2021

Irvin Manuel Gonzalez

A euphony of polyrhythms, cymbals, harmonicas, and guitars pours out of an agape, rusting white bar door. It fills the cool night breeze of Jefferson Blvd with a palpable heat, one cultivated by the convergence of bodies sudando, grooving, and feeling their way through an open dance floor.  Above the door, a faded banner reads: “Jireh Estética Unisex,” a hair salon I am all too familiar with after having walked Jefferson for most of the spring in 2020 for a dance project I was working on.

Haidee Marin, the owner of the salón that has been on the block since 2007, linked with Show Box L.A. (SBLA) this year to open her space as a performance spot, helping contribute to the organization’s vision of partnering with local, immigrant-owned businesses to house artists and highlight the community, forms of art, and ways of being that already exist in the neighborhood. Since the loss of the organization’s studio, “we live in space,” in 2020 and the takeover of the SBLA by Primera Generación Dance Collective members, Alfonso Cervera, Rosa Rodriguez-Frazier, Irvin Manuel Gonzalez, and Patricia “Patty” Huerta, the mission of the non-profit has focused on integrating more possibilities of putting funds into L.A.’s District 10. 

Upon entering the estética-turned-nightclub/ Zumba dance class party/altar, we are greeted with the setting for “si|embra,” a work that “invites you to honor the parts of you that have died but exist to remind you, you are alive” (Avalos). The event was envisioned by Isis Avalos, a self-identifying border-crossing, brown mother and artivist. She is joined by Raquel Cabrera, another Mexican-American LA-based artist who specializes in storytelling through dance and visual design, and Dennis Guzman a local Zumba dance instructor. 

Inside the estética, the smell of hair dye swirls about the space as neon purple lights compliment the glowing red sign that reads “OPEN.” My body is immediately drawn towards an ornamented altar positioned in the lower, right-hand corner of the space. There, I am greeted by a rainfall of cempasúchil (marigold flowers) that beckons my belonging. The bold, orange blossom is a flower we use in Latine traditions for Día de Los Muertos to help our ancestors find their way to the physical world and join us for a celebration of life and death. The use of cempasúschil flowers follows in the tradition of the Aztec legend of Xótchil, a woman who was turned into a flower as a way of forever preserving her connection and affection for her deceased lover, Huitzilin. Xótchil’s affective bond manifested as these bright, aromatic flowers that we use to this day as a way to maintain togetherness in life and death. Avalos and Cabrera’s ofrenda, adorned in dried corn husks, maiz, candles, and images, situates an intimate environment where the magnificent stretch of the altar that frames one corner of the salon and stands opposite a ritual-in-the-making, implicates our bodies as integral to the ofrenda process, as conduits for life beyond death.

“We go through stages in our life… with different versions of ourselves. That version of you is still in you, but is placed to the side to make room for something else…In reality, death is something to be celebrated.”

Standing next to the salon owner, Haidee, Avalos explained “We go through stages in our life… with different versions of ourselves. That version of you is still in you, but is placed to the side to make room for something else…In reality, death is something to be celebrated.” To help us rejoice in these different versions of growth and death, Avalos invited Dennis to co-lead participants in a movement class of Latine rhythms and movimientos. In these moments of facilitated dancing, si|embra guides our perceptions by tapping into the ways that Black and Brown bodies have learned to move amid moments of joy and loss, provoking the layers of embodied life and death within us, while adhering to the local neighborhood’s call of “queremos una clase de Zumba” (“we want a Zumba class”).

Avalos, Cabrera, and Guzman’s ofrenda experience asks us to consider the ways in which bodies converge daily with ritualistic practices of life and death; how we embody survival and confront our own perceptions of afterlives, beyonds, untimely departures, and nonlinear belongings. From health & lifestyle awareness, Zumba parties as bolsillos/pockets of shared safe space for Latine, middle-aged women, to the corporate grasp of branded fitness programming, to altares/altars with pictures of deceased loved ones, to captured smiles in photographs, to the forceful displacement and unjust killings of Black and Brown communities, the grasp, power, and interconnected messiness was present within a little rinconcito/corner of Jefferson Blvd in Los Angeles, CA. 

Through kinesthetic energy and booming cross-rhythms spilling into the night, the event momentarily adds another layer of joyful breath to a street who is still feeling the ongoing effects of gentrification. Just as recently as August 2021, it was announced that a 54-apartment building project would be developed to replace commercial businesses in the street.[1] The units will be located just 5 minutes from Jireh Estética. Jefferson Blvd residents have seen these continued “development” projects for years. During interviews I conducted in March of 2020, business owners, many of whom are immigrants from Latin America, explained that they had encountered increases in rent prices while seeing a new wave of white residents join the street. 

…Yet this community perseveres; selling pupusas, renting party supplies, cutting hair, and of course, dancing.

Through breathy “hey’s, hah’s, and eh’s,” Avalos and Guzman lead a group of mainly Brown and Black peoples through an impromptu Zumba lesson, beckoning us to locate ourselves through multiplicities of movement as a way to (un)consciously consider death through life. As part of this reflection, Avalos journeys her audience through an encounter with danced pleasure, asking us to move our cuerpos; dipping caderas, shimmying chests, and beating hearts, into a space of layered protection where Black and Brown folx can rely on the familiarity of polyrhythms, cumbias, salsas, and corridos to groove together on the same pulse in the face of adversity. 

At the same time, there is something about Brown and Black people coming together to sweat that transforms space.  We could be in Haidee’s salon, literally getting down with the owner, pressing heels into her purple-and-white tile flooring, but also exist elsewhere, in a future, in a past, in relationship with severed parts of ourselves, by taking in Avalos’ words: that nothing ever really dies. These parts are there but hidden, maybe even forcefully buried. The power comes in how we can visibilize and work with them again. In fostering this space, Avalos reminds us of the powerful ability that BIPOC folx hold to dance life in the face of death, to dance life and death, to dance life into death, and death into life. These ideas are echoed in her ending duet with Cabrera where the two women outstretch their arms towards one another and care for their affective woes and sweating souls. Their bodies beautifully intertwine, deliberately sewing arms into each other’s open space, limbs inching towards spines to cradle torsos. Death meets life.

In many ways, the work rebounds back to the gentrification of Jefferson Blvd, and how something like dancing energy can redirect the painful effects that displacement has on bodies and communities. Brown and Black L.A. is being erased by white hipsters and corporate greed, but as si|embra asks us to question: how do we work with and amongst death in ways that fight back, find resiliency, and redirect narratives of death as the end? How do we go beyond romanticizing death, but rather, get real with it, look at the facts, and do something with and about it? 

Avalos’ si|embra ultimately invites us to position ourselves more palpably in connection with the daily, millisecond-by-millisecond truth that death and life and vida y muerte are not necessarily opposite spectrums but coalesced states of being that teach us how to move in volatile times, giving experience to the old adage, “Nos quisieron enterrar, pero no sabían que éramos semillas” (“They tried to bury us, but they didn’t know we were seeds”). 

And it is here, in the space of social movement, that Avalos leads us to find commonality as a spectrum of bodies entering the experience, guiding a collective knowing that we all live and die. What is perhaps most important, is how we confront this cycle and the realization that we all do not die in common ways. Ultimately, the work reminds us that, like cempasúchil’s layered, persisting aroma and colors, Brown and Black resiliency continuously perseveres in the face of peril. 


Irvin Manuel Gonzalez (he/him/his) is an artivist, scholar, and teacher. He received his PhD from the University of California, Riverside and teaches as an Assistant Professor at Florida State University. Gonzalez’s scholarship analyzes the constructs of brownness, queerness, and mexicanidad(es) within social dancing, looking at how immigrant, queer, and working-class dancers navigate trans/national politics through feeling and creativity. As a dance artist, Gonzalez grounds his art approaches, strategies, and constructions in rasquachismo, a low-brow Chicanx methodology, to generate collaborations and new potentials. He revels in rasquachismo’s “low brow” aesthetics and sensibilities to redefine the intended use-value of materials, connections, and being. In doing so, he seeks to dismantle notions of the “solo artist” based on white supremacy by highlighting how minoritized bodies are always already ancestrally-connected and linked to one another through emotions, experiences, and ways of resisting. Gonzalez investigates these ideas within his collaborative group, PGDC, where he works alongside brown creators and family to define ‘mexicanidades’ as a communal formation and to highlight the complexities of brown joy and loss in the United States.He is a founding member of Primera Generación Dance Collective (PGDC) and a board member for Show Box Los Angeles (SBLA). 

queerings 2021

Queerings is a series of workshops led by LA-based, queer-identifying artists/practitioners/guest speakers who offer their expertise, knowledge, and artistry with the general public. The intention of these teachings is to create larger coalitions between LGBTQIA+ peoples and allies, making space to build community and share in queer learnings/becomings. Workshops are virtual and will begin in April 2021, running every Thursday at 6:30pm PST. Portions of all class donations go to supporting LGBTQIA+ homeless youth in Los Ángeles. 

Stay tuned as we announce our artists, workshops, times/dates!

x-collaborations 2021

Show Box LA 2021 X-Collaboration Artists

x  collaborations is a new series that invites artists from different disciplines to co-create a performance that encompasses their combined artistic practices. The intention of this series is to provide a platform in which artists can network and experiment with the possibilities of what collaboration can create. This project moves outside of only highlighting dance and seeks to be malleable for artists who desire experimentation.

Meet our 2021 X-Collaboration Artists: 

Pavel Acevedo, Oaxaca, Mx. (84)

Screen Shot 2021-02-28 at 8.02.36 PM

My formal art studies began at the Rufino Tamayo Plastic Arts Workshop in Oaxaca City while I was an assistant and student of the Lithography studio. In 2006, I enrolled to complete my Bachelor’s Degree in visual arts at”La Escuela de Bellas Artes/ Fine Arts School of Oaxaca where I studied under the guidance of prolific artists Shinzaburo Takeda and Raul Herrera. 

In 2010 I moved to Southern California and started getting involved in printmaking projects with a social justice and educational awareness in communities of color. In 2015, I opened my printmaking studio by collaboration with “The Desert Triangle Print Carpeta” located provisionally in Riverside. 

I’ve been commissioned to create permanent and temporary murals by the  Wignall Contemporary Art Museum, Chaffey College, La Sierra University, Mission Cultural Center, We Rise, Comalito Collective, etc.

As an independent artist educator I’ve traveled by giving printmaking workshops through California and part of educational projects as “Barrio móvil” by Self Help Graphics, “I Learn America” and Speedball Artist Demo. My artwork has been granted with art residencies at KALA Art Institute, Self Help Graphics, Hornedtoad Print Studio and it’s in public and private collections in Mexico and the United States.

Oaxaca, Mx. (84)

Mis estudios formales en grabado comenzaron como asistente en taller de litografía en taller Rufino Tamayo en la ciudad de Oaxaca, en el 2006 ingrese a La Escuela de Bellas Artes para continuar mis estudios en Artes Visuales con maestros como Raul Herrera y Shinzaburo Takeda.

En 2010 migre al Sur de California donde empecé como impartiendo talleres de grabado en comunidades de color sobre igualdad social. En el 2015  forme mi taller de grabado colaborando con el proyecto “Desert Triangle Carpeta”. He creado murales provisionales y permanentes comisionados por el Wignall Contemporary Art Museum, Chaffey College, La Sierra University, Mission Cultural Center, We Rise, Comalito Collective, etc.

Como educador independiente colaboró con proyectos como “Barrio móvil” por Self Help Graphics, “I Learn America”y Speedball Artist Demo.

He recibido  residencias por KALA, Self Help Graphics y el taller Horned Toad Print studio así como mi trabajo es parte de colecciones públicas y privadas en los Estados Unidos y México .

Diana Cervera 

Screen Shot 2021-02-28 at 8.02.52 PM

Diana Cervera, is a transborder Chicanx artist based in Tijuana and San Diego. Holding a BA in Ethnic Studies from the University of California San Diego, Diana’s work navigates the intersections of art and social justice; she is a filmmaker, storyteller, poet and educator. In 2018 Diana was awarded an artistic grant from the Critical Refugee Studies Collective, a University of California-wide million-dollar initiative of scholars and activists, to develop the Mujer Mariposa documentary through critical refugee studies’ lenses. She also received the Jorge Huerta Spirit Award for creating an original and BIPOC-centered theatre production of students of color voices at UC San Diego. Thereafter she has produced and directed original theatre works in the Bay Area with BIPOC communities and youth where she had the opportunity to work alongside Playwright Cherrie Moraga. 

Diana facilitates identity-based workshops and lectures at universities, cultural centers, and grassroots organizations using poetry and theatre as a point of departure to engage in complex conversations about equity, race, representation and the power of the counter-narrative. She has been invited to present transnational workshops throughout universities and community spaces in California, including UCLA, UCSD, SDU, USD, Clark University in Boston, Puerto Rico, UNAM in Mexico City, and University of Guanajuato, Mexico.


Gabriel Gutierrez 


Originally from Chicago, but now based in LA,  Gabriel is an adult adoptee, first generation street dance artist, founder of MoFundamentals, and artivist dedicated to highlighting the resiliency of foster and adoptee youth. His work centers around disseminating his knowledge of underground hip hop, house, and breaking culture from pioneers, directly to foster youth, to heal traumas caused by placement in the child welfare system. His contributions at the intersection of hip hop, education, and foster care advocacy have earned him invitation to train at intensives hosted by Rennie Harris, nomination for the ACTIVATE Arts Advocacy Fellowship to represent Los Angeles City District 1, and recruitment to pilot reentry programming funded by the California Arts Council. Currently, Gabriel continues to provide adoptee-led arts through his program, MoFundamentals.


BWLogoLACAC             DCA_LOGO

wxpt / Grisha Coleman

wxpt reading and movement lab with guest Grisha Coleman
Saturday November 23, 2019 

10.30 am – 12.30 pm


@ we live in space
2520 W Jefferson Blvd
LA, CA 90018

wxpt reading and movement lab is a series of dance and somatics workshops led by Black artists and practitioners of color. the workshop will be accompanied by a text or two that participants are encouraged to read in advance.

send email here for questions or to receive the texts for this workshop.

Grisha Coleman is a time-based artist working in performance and experiential media. She holds a faculty position of Associate Professor of Movement, Computation and Digital Media in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering, with affiliations in Schools of Dance, Design and Future Innovation in Society (Arizona State University). Her art and research project, echo::system, is a springboard for re-imagining environmental change and environmental justice. Her research in movement and somatic methods supports her transdisciplinary research; she is a member of The International Somatic Movement Education & Therapy Association and works with modalities of Body-Mind CenteringTM and The Feldenkrais MethodTM. Her work has been presented and supported nationally and internationally by numerous grants and awards including: 2014 Thriving Cultures Grant from the Surdna Foundation, 2014 Alpert Award nomination in Dance, 2012 National Endowment for the Arts Arts in Media Grant, Rockefeller Multi-Arts Production Fund, Creative Capital Foundation, Jerome Foundation, and New York Foundation Artists’ Fellowship.

wxpt reading and movement lab is a Show Box LA choreographers’ residency praxis of taisha paggett and the WXPT (we are the paper, we are the trees) and School for the Movement of the Technicolo(u)r People collaborative projects. Additional support comes from the California Community Foundation and UC Riverside Department of Dance.


Show Box L.A./we live in space residency program is supported from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.


Mallory Fabian/fabe dance showing

September 29, 2019
5pm. Showing and discussion at we live in space
2520 W Jefferson Blvd.,  Los Angeles CA 90018

Residency artist Mallory Fabian/fabe dance company
Sept 29, 2019
free studio showing and discussion open to the public
as well as workshops Sept 8,15,22,29

For this showing and discussion, Fabian/fabe dance company will share movement material from their residency in preparation for their full evening performance Drugs Can’t Buy at Highways Performance Space. A new theatrical dance work that explores what love can do to someone. Evocative, dark, and deeply personal, it is an experiment on how love moves and motivates us — for better or worse.

Mallory Fabian, a Las Vegas native, received her BFA in Choreography & Performance at California Institute of the Arts. Mallory, a Los Angeles based freelance artist has had the opportunity to perform for Gob Squad, RGWW, Zoe Scofield, Szalt, No1 Arthouse at the 14th Factory The Assembly, Dance Aegis, Andrew Pearson, & B Dunn Movement. Mallory is Board President and dancer for Rosanna Gamson/World Wide as well as a co-teacher for GO, an internationally toured improvisational workshop with Rosanna Gamson. In January 2017, Mallory started her dance company fabe. fabe premiered Don’t Inhale it, Strictly Mouth, her first evening length work, at MESH, an evening of live performance, immersive experience, and visual art, produced by Mallory Fabian and Bryanna Brock. Their second evening length work, unknow, premiered in June 2018, and Thanks for Asking, choreographed by Mallory and Executive Director, Darby Kelley, had it’s premiere November 2018. fabe has presented work at REDCAT, Highways Performance Space, The Bootleg Theater, The Rose Center Theatre, Civic Center Studios, Electric Lodge, Mimoda, Lula Washington, Brockus Studios, and Diavolo.


These events are part of the Show Box L.A. / we live in space Residency Program, and made possible in part by a grant from the City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs.


• • •





Photo by Nicolett Electra


Residency artist performances

Show Box L.A. / we live in space residency artists present a charrette with Gayle Fekete. This will be an informal discussion and sharing of tableaux, sketches and movement excerpts.

@ we live in space
2520 W Jefferson Blvd
LA, CA 90018

Sat May 4, 2019 at 4pm

anatomy of a bee
In creative collaboration with Manny Macias, JonMarc Edwards and E. Martine Gimenez

This charrette will be an informal discussion and sharing of tableaux, sketches and movement excerpts of our installation which will be presented fall 2019; location TBD.

Gayle Fekete is the Head of Dance/Professor in the Department of Theatre and New Dance at Cal Poly Pomona.  Gayle has been associated with Urban Bush Women NYC as guest artist and consultant on numerous international residencies and summer institutes. She is on the consultant team for Urban Bush Women’s Choreographic Centre NYC. Gayle Fekete presents and produces festival and immersive performance projects in the Los Angeles area, and has produced and facilitated numerous CSU Summer Arts Dance intensives. She is a creative consultant/dramaturge for independent performance practice. Fekete is an active voice regionally and has served on numerous grant panels including NET, DCA, and COLA. Currently, she is exploring site specific, interactive media and interdisciplinary performance collaborations. Her interests include dancetheatre, choreography, installation architecture, and performance practice that challenges class, race, culture and identity. She also is an independent producer and performs with PRISM, Mechanism Dance Theatre, Rennie Tang/Architect, Opera Del Espacio, and The Market Gallery Studio in Los Angeles.

Painting by JonMarc Edwards


This work was developed in part through the Show Box L.A./we live in space residency program, with support from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.


Residency artist performances

Show Box L.A. / we live in space residency artists present showings of work in progress.

@ we live in space
2520 W Jefferson Blvd
LA, CA 90018

Mar 3, 2019, 2-3 pm
DaEun Jung / Byoul 2019
A solo project, Byoul is a dance made by Korean dance vocabulary and chance procedure, in collaboration with pansori singer Melody Shim.

The performance will start from the we live in space studio, and take the guests to a short trip to the outside neighborhood. Then, a feedback/sharing time will follow back in the studio. The admission is free and no ticket or rsvp required.

DaEun Jung is a bicultural dancer-choreographer whose work reveals her past and present body memories. Her works have been presented at performance venues in Los Angeles including Electric Lodge, Highways, The Mortuary, Pieter, and REDCAT. She has been awarded artist-in-residencies from Santa Monica Cultural Affairs at Camera Obscura Art Lab, Los Angeles Performance Practice at Automata, and Dance Resource Center at KYCC Menlo Center. DaEun redefines the principles, form, and context of Korean folk dance in inter/multi-cultural settings as a continuation of her graduate study at UCLA where she received her MFA in choreography and Westfield Emerging Artist Award. She has worked with award-winning choreographers such as Oguri & Roxanne Steinberg, Victoria Marks, Milka Djordjevich, Ros Warby, Wilfried Souly, Jeanine Durning, Shahar Biniamini, and Melinda Ring.



Sunday, March 24th 2019
2:00 pm
Sadie Yarrington / Muscle Memory

Muscle Memory has been developed during Sadie’s choreographic residency with Show Box L.A. / we live in space. It is a solo work that investigates the body’s ability to retain and trigger memory. Please join us to see and dialogue with the artist about her work-in-process. Running time: 15-20min + dialogue. Light refreshments will be served. Please RSVP here:

Sadie Yarrington is a Los Angeles based performer, choreographer, director and educator. Her choreography and direction has been presented at The American Theatre of Actors (NYC), Brand Library & Arts Center, Descanso Gardens, Moss Theater, The Music Center’s Sleepless and Bootleg Theater (LA). An avid educator dedicated to creating safe spaces for students to discover their own connection to movement, Sadie is on faculty at Inner-City Arts (DTLA), New Roads School (Santa Monica) and teaches movement workshops across LA that honor the physical and neurological diversity of each group. Sadie holds a BFA in Dance and BS is Anthropology from the University of Michigan.

This work was developed in part through the Show Box L.A./we live in space residency program, with support from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.








2018-19 Residency Artists

Show Box L.A. / we live in space
2018-19 Residency Program

Show Box L.A. is pleased to announce the seven artists for our 2018-19 Residency Program For Choreographers:  Gayle Fekete, DaEun Jung, Kara Mack/Africa in America, James MahKween, Meena Murugesan, Jillian Stein, and Sadie Yarrington.

Residencies will take place at we live in space, a studio in the Jefferson Park neighborhood of South LA. Over the course of the year, there may be open rehearsals, informal showings, classes, artist talks, or other events where the artists will share their creative process and varied approaches to choreography and dance-based performance work.


Gayle Fekete is the Head of Dance/Professor in the Department of Theatre and New Dance at Cal Poly Pomona.  Gayle has been associated with Urban Bush Women NYC as guest artist and consultant on numerous international residencies and summer institutes. She is on the consultant team for Urban Bush Women’s Choreographic Centre NYC. Gayle Fekete presents and produces festival and immersive performance projects in the Los Angeles area, and has produced and facilitated numerous CSU Summer Arts Dance intensives. She is a creative consultant/dramaturge for independent performance practice. Currently, she is exploring site specific, interactive media and interdisciplinary performance collaborations. Her interests include dancetheatre, choreography, installation architecture, and performance practice that challenges class, race, culture and identity. She also is an independent producer and performs with PRISM, Mechanism Dance Theatre, Rennie Tang/Architect, Opera Del Espacio, and The Market Gallery Studio in Los Angeles. Fekete is an active voice regionally and has served on numerous grant panels including NET, DCA, and COLA.
DaEun Jung is a dance maker, dancer, and dance instructor. Rooted in Korean culture and with a thorough background in Korean dance (including six years of specialized training at Gugak National Arts School in Seoul), DaEun’s dances reveal her body memory of her past and present. Her works have been presented at art and community venues, including Electric Lodge, Highways, REDCAT and the Korean Cultural Center in LA. DaEun is currently experimenting with liberating her Korean classical movement vocabulary from its cultural context.
Previously, she performed in Asia, Russia, Europe and North America as a dancer with the internationally renowned Korean dance company, GPDC. She had also worked for the rhythmic performance group PMC, presenting more than 1,000 shows to worldwide audiences. She recently completed her MFA in Choreography at UCLA, where she received the Westfield Emerging Artist Award and Evelyn and Mo Ostin Performing Arts Award.
Kara Mack/Africa in America   Kara Mack is a star choreographer, and mastermind behind the Grammy’s African dance blowout by rap icon Kendrick Lamar for his 2016 Grammy Performance. The South Carolina-born singer, dancer, choreographer, and producer has blazed stages from the Grammy’s, NAACP Image Awards, BET Awards and has collaborated with renowned choreographers Fatima and dozens of A-listers. Her innovative choreography has earned her many accolades and has been featured in major original productions. Kara Mack is also the Founder/CEO of the brand Africa in America, and has taught at many schools including the Debbie Allen Dance Academy. Africa in America represents as a primary resource for professional African dance, music-based artists and art participants who are interested in the growing culture here in America while blending state-of-the–art visuals and using the cutting-edge fashions of today. These styles include the arts from North and South America, the Caribbean, West, Central, and Southern Africa. Since African-based arts have held a huge part in social justice both in America and the Diaspora, “Africa in America” also is committed to continue this path by keeping our audience aware when it comes to community and organization building, grant and work opportunities, and many other ways that may inspire art locally and nationally.
James MahKween is from Atlanta, GA. He graduated with a BFA in Musical Theater from American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA). After graduating, MahKween has been setting and reaching goals. He has performed with Lula Washington Dance Theatre, JazzAntiqua, and Kouman Kele African Dance and Drum Company,and BrockusRed. Recently, he has been seen at The Hollywood Bowl performing for the Annual Jazz Fest. He also has a dance company called Eternity Dance Theatre. His choreography has been shown at NAACP ACT-SO 2014 & 2015, Highways Performance Space, The Luckman Theater, Friendship Concert, DANCESCAPE, DanceSpot LA, Tri-Art Festival, Sol-Cal Dance Invitational, Carnival Choreographers Ball, and HHII Dance Festival. MahKween has also produced his own choreography showcase REFLECT.
Meena Murugesan is a choreographer, dancer, and video artist based in Los Angeles. Meena creates experimental non-linear narratives with moving images at the intersection of live performance, video art, and activism. Rooted in the movement practices of bharata natyam, improvisation, and somatic bodywork, Meena centers ritual funk, Tamil folk, non-vedic, non-brahmin, melanated consciousness as an ethical and creative practice. Meena is currently dancing with taisha paggett/WXPT, and designing multi-channel video installations for live performance with choreographers Marjani Forte-Saunders, d. Sabela grimes, Embodiment Project, Lionel Popkin and others, and is working on two personal movement and video projects.
Jillian Stein (b. 1982) is a Los Angeles based artist. Her artistic practice stems form the idea of the paradoxical body.  Stein received an MA (2009) and her  professional  diploma for choreological studies and contemporary dance performance (2003) from the Laban Institute in London, UK. She graduated cume laude with a BFA from Arizona State University (2004). She has presented her own work at We Live In Space, Los Angeles, CA (2017), BAMPFA (2016), the Hammer Museum (2016), Pieter Performance Dance Space, Lincoln Heights, CA (2015), REDCAT Theater, Los Angeles, CA (2013), homeLA, Los Angeles, CA  (2013), UCSD Gallery, Los Angeles CA (2011), the PLACE!, London, UK (2009) and LABAN theatre, London (2008). Her work has been included in exhibitions at  L.A.C.E. Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (2012), the LASH, Los Angeles CA 2013,  Top 40, Los Angeles CA (2014), and WOAH Los Angeles, CA (2013). She has performed for several artists including Silvia Palacios Whitman, Flora Wiegman, Simon Vincenzi, Alexandra Bellar, and was an original member of the Sunland Dancers, directed by James Kidd from 2013-2016.
Sadie Yarrington is a Los Angeles based performer, choreographer, director and educator. In 2011, she received a BFA in Dance and BS is Anthropology from the University of Michigan. She trained internationally with Oyu Oro Afro Cuban Experimental Dance Ensemble (Cuba), Ballet Lab (Australia) and Buzz Dance Theater (Australia). Since moving to Los Angeles she has performed works by Dianne McIntyre, Stephan Koplowitz, Grace Phelan and Invertigo Dance Theatre. Her choreography has been presented at the American Theatre of Actors (NYC), Brand Library & Arts Center, Descanso Gardens and most recently during The Music Center’s Sleepless. Sadie is an avid educator and creates a safe space for students to discover their own connection to movement. She is on faculty at Inner-City Arts (DTLA) and New Roads School (Santa Monica), and teaches dance workshops to physically and neurologically diverse groups. Sadie’s most current work, “Muscle Memory”, explores how past experiences live, or can be triggered, in the body. As a choreographer in residence at We Live In Space she plans to engage the community in the development of the work, break the fourth wall and challenge her choreographic process.
The 2018-19 Residency Program is supported in part by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.
photo credits:
Gayle Fekete – photo by photo by JonMarc Edwards
Meena Murugesan – photo by  d. sabela grimes
Sadie Yarrington – photo by George Simian
Kara Mack – photo by Robert Atkins
James Mahkween – photo by Mathias Foley
DaEun Jung – photo by  Ella Gabrial
Jillian Stein – photo courtesy the artist


Djanjoba LA 2018

A Drum & Dance Gratitude Festival
February 23 – 25, 2018promo1Join Souly Dance Arts in honoring the dedicated teachers and culture bearers of Mande culture active in the Greater Los Angeles area!

A very popular public celebration across the Mande Empire (Mali, parts of Senegal, the Gambia, Burkina Faso, Guinea, & Ivory Coast), Djanjoba brings people together to honor a specific person, concept, historical event or civic action. Souly has participated in these festivities since he was a child dancing professionally in Burkina Faso, and is honored to bring the experience to Southern California.

Over 3 days and across 4 venues, festival events include numerous dance and drum classes, a dinner and roundtable discussion to discuss our past and chart the future; and a Midnight Dance Class. On Sunday, Feb 25th, a traditional open-air festival in Leimert Park, as part of the Leimert Park Artwalk will be the culmination of the festival.

Follow @djanjobaLA on Instagram

Visit for the

Sunday, February 25:
2:30 PM Djanjoba Festival Opening with Shine Muwasi
3:30 PM – 5:30 PM Djanjoba Celebration
as part of the LEIMERT PARK ART WALK
4343 Leimert Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90008

Featured Teachers: Jahanna Blunt, Nzingah Camara, Nikki Campbell, Ndella Davis-Diassy, Mareme Faye, Dramane Kone, Aboubacar Kouyate, Kara Mack, Mama René Fisher-Mims, Djeneba Sako, Solo Soro, Willy Souly, Magatte Sow, and Malik Sow.

Djanjoba LA 2018 is presented with the support of Alliance of California Traditional Artists Living Cultures Grant; and in collaboration with RhythmQuest, OCTENATE, Leimert Park Art Walk, and Motherland Music. Souly Dance Arts is fiscally sponsored by Show Box L.A., and a 2017-18 residency artist. The Show Box L.A. residency program is supported in part by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.





Judith Sánchez Ruíz / Encaje

January 12 & 13, 2018
we live in space
2520 W Jefferson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90018

Judith Sánchez Ruíz performs her latest solo, Encaje; plus Cycles Score with Laurel Jenkins, a spontaneous duet honoring the memory of Trisha Brown, with music by Brian Wood.

What can I love? a country, an arm, a doll, a new brand? We scratch our hearts with the patience of a farmer in a glittering landscape. What is it that is me? What is it that is not me? How much freedom or limitation do I endure?
ENCAJE is a work about hypocrisy, and is inspired by Anis Nin Diaries. It is a work concerned in how unbalanced we are in our actions and thoughts.

Limited seating – reserve HERE
$15 in advance/$20 at the door, as available

ENCAJE – The Process
ENCAJE plays with two concepts I have been exploring in my research for a while: «Diary exercise » and « Radio exercise ». The « Diary exercise » is a tool referencing the daily writing practice of novelist Anaïs Nin which she employed all through her life. I have always been inspired and somewhat guided by Anaïs Nin’s writings. Nin was an essayist and memoirist born to Cuban parents in France, where she was also raised. She wrote journals since she was 11 years old and ending shortly before her death as well as novels, critical studies, essays, short stories, and erotica. Her at times raw and blunt accounts of her everyday life as well as the acute observations of her own behavior and that of her peers had a great impact on the development of feminist thought.
«Diary exercises»: is a “Pull-out” to set a short material, exploring mood sensations in the present moment and within it, searching for a fitting at times visceral vocabulary. It collects from the everyday material, a diary of unpredictability, a set of emotions and transformations affected by the minute, the hour, the day. I am interested in a form of recapitulation, an archive that captures the instant. I reinvent the untold, unpublished present of chaos and vulnerability.
In that vein I designed the « Radio exercise » : I am letting radical changes of states, provoking a shift of action in the brain that combine spontaneously preset determined information, making space for complexity and coincidence, thereby empowering a challenge delivery. Very much like turning the dial on an old radio, the body snaps from one state to the next, allowing the collision of contrasting facts to unfold.
The two exercises both influence and structure my solo. « Diary exercise » is choreograph and « Radio exercise » is an improvised solid structure. I start « writing » my entry of the day, looking at it line by line, to then gloss some paragraphs, to remark, reject, re-design.

« My life is not possible to tell. I change every day, change my patterns, my concepts, my interpretations. I am a series of moods and sensations. I play a thousand roles. I weep when I find others play them for me. My real self is unknown. My work is merely an essence of this vast and deep adventure. » Anaïs Nin

Encaje music by ARCA; Costume Design by Beate Borrmann.

ENCAJE Performance History
Work-in-progress at Festival Deltebre Dansa, July 2017, Spain.
Residency award at Choreographisches Centrum Heidelberg in Projekt der TANZAllianz, August 2017, Heidelberg, Germany
Premiere at the 14th Guangdong Dance Festival, November 30, 2017, Guangzhou, China.
Show Box L.A. / we live in space, January 12-13. 2018, Los Angeles, US
Brooklyn Studios for Dance: January 19-20. 2018, Brooklyn, US
Radialsystem, June 9-10. 2018, Berlin, Germany


About the artists:

Director, choreographer, improviser, and teacher Judith Sánchez Ruíz began her dance studies at the age of 11 at the National School of Arts of La Habana, Cuba. After graduating from the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA), she started working in various dance companies in Cuba as well as abroad. From 1999 to 2011, she lived in New York City where she established JSR Company, focusing on multidisciplinary and site-specific performances. Judith Sánchez Ruíz lives and works in Berlin.

Sánchez has been choreographing, performing as well as staging her own work since 1993, whilst being simultaneously employed as a company dancer with DanzAbierta Company, Cuba (1991-1996), Mal Pelo Company, Spain (1997-1999), Trisha Brown Dance Company, New York, US, (2006-2009) and Sasha Waltz & Guests, Berlin, Germany (2011- 2014). She worked with independent choreographers such as David Zambrano (1997), Jeremy Nelson and Luis Malvacias (2001-2002), DD Dorvillier (2002) and Deborah Hay (2012), amongst many others.

For several years Sánchez has strongly been committed to improvisation as a performance format involving live music. From 1996-2009, she collaborated with former long-time partner, 2011 MacArthurFellow composer and drummer Dafnis Prieto on an ongoing investigation into the dynamic interplay between dance and music. She collaborated on several improvisation projects with innovative composers and visual artists, amongst whom Steve Coleman (1997), Henry Threadgill (2002, 2008), Jonathan Cramer (2002), Stephen Talasnik (2010), Sun K. Kwak (2010), Kentaro Ishihara (2010-2011), Burt Barr (2008), Ian Trask (2011) as well as with photographers Anna Lee Campell (US), Anja Hitzenberger (Austria), Octavio Tapia (Chile) and Manuel Moncayo (Mexico).

In 1997, “Un Lugar”, one of her early pieces created together with Cuban Jazz band Columna B, was awarded a Stanford Jazz Workshop Residency, thanks to the support by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. She has subsequently been commissioned to create choreographic work by Aaron Davis Hall – via their Fund for New Work through the Jerome Foundation (2002) – as well as for Danspace Project St. Marks Church NY – within the commissioning initiative supported by NYSCA (2004-2005) and the commissioning initiative from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (2009-2010) – and for the Whitney Museum NY together with composer Dafnis Prieto (2007).

In 2008, Sánchez was awarded a grant through the « Meet the Composer’s Creative Connections Program » with the support from the Department of Cultural Afairs, New York State Council on the Arts, Virgil Thomson Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. In the same year, Sánchez invited performer and media artist Jonah Bokaer to co-create a duet that will later become “Replica”, a multidisciplinary collaboration with renowned American visual artist Daniel Arsham which toured extensively in the US and Europe (2009-2010). “Replica” was commissioned by the Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences (CPNAS), Washington D.C with support from the Harman Center. The collaboration was made possible thanks to the support from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Trust for Mutual Understanding, the New Museum, U.S. Artists International, the Institut Valencià d’Art Modern, Valencia, Spain, and the Musée Carré d’Art in Nîmes, France.

In 2010 Sánchez established JSR Company in New York City to promote her own choreographic activities. As a company, she received commissioning support from the Storm King Art Center, NY (2010) as well as from the Guggenheim Museum’s Works & Process Performing Arts Series (2010). The company was awarded grants by the American Music Center’s Live Music for Dance Program (2010), Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (2010), TheRockefeller Brothers Fund and the Field (2010-11), Baryshnikov Arts Center in the frame of their Martha Dufy Resident Artist Spring Program (2011) and DMAC – Duo Multicultural Arts Center (2011).

In 2008 Sánchez was awarded “Mujeres Destacadas” (Outstanding Women) by “El Diario”, the Spanish newspaper in New York, and was selected by Dance Magazine as one of the 25 Dancers to Watch in 2010.

After her relocation to Berlin, a year later in 2012, Sánchez entered a choreographic collaboration with Berlin-based Mozambican performer Edivaldo Ernesto. “There is a name for it” (2012-2014) was presented at Radialsystem V, Berlin, Germany, at the Tanzfestival im Kulturzentrum Tempel, Karlsruhe, Germany, at OFFestival, Garage 29, Brussels, Belgium, at BOUGE B, deSingel, Antwerp, Belgium as well as at Gdańsk Dance Festival, Gdańsk, Poland. “Noise”, their most recent collaboration from 2016, was premiered at Tanz_House, Salzburg, Austria (2016) and toured to Argentina to be presented in the frame of the Festival EL CRUCE, Rosario, and at El Porton de Sanchez Theater, Buenos Aires (2016) as well as to Notafe Festival, Estonia (2017). Further dates in 2018, Hong Kong and Radialsystem, Berlin, are confirmed. Thanks to their recent exposure in China, Sánchez and Ernesto have been invited to create a choreography for Chinese contemporary dancers from different provinces of China, starting in November 2017, with a tour planned for China and Europe early 2018.

Meanwhile, JSR Company premiered “Micro Revolution” in 2015, a site-specific performance with 11 artists at ACUD art center Berlin, collaborating with sound designer Jassem Hindi, pianist Sebastian Schunke and opera singer Atalyá Tirosh. “Sebastian Schunke Meets Judith Sánchez Ruíz” was a collaboration with German Jazz pianist Sebastian Schunke and premiered at Pavillon Hannover, Hannover, Germany, in February 2016. The improvisational project “Mirror Equation” was performed at Flutgraben, Berlin, in July 2016.

“Encaje”, her most recent work drawing from the diaries of writer Anaïs Nin was presented as a work-in-progress at Festival Deltebre Dansa, Spain, July 17, 2017, and received a residency award at Choreographisches Centrum Heidelberg in Projekt der TANZAllianz, Heidelberg, Germany, the same year. It will premiere at the 14th Guangdong Dance Festival, Guangzhou, China in November 2017. A US tour is planned for early 2018.

Next to her activities as both choreographer and performer, Sánchez has been teaching and creating work for the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, France (2015, 2016, 2017), SNDO Amsterdam, Netherlands (2017), den Danske Scenekunstskole (the Danish National School of Theatre and Contemporary Dance) (2010, 2014), at Norges Dansehøyskole (Norwegian College of Dance), Oslo, Norway (2014), at the Modern Dance Theater School, MTD, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2015) and the University of Music and Dance Cologne, Germany (2014, 2015, 2016).

She has been invited to teach and give summer workshops at Dance Umbrella Festival, London, Coda Oslo International Dance Festival, Oslo, Tsekh Summer School, Moscow, Objectif Danse, Marseille, Summer Melt: Movement Research, New York, Summer Workshop, Guangzhou, China (2016-2017), NYU Summer workshops, Berlin, Festival Deltebre Dansa, Spain.

Laurel Jenkins is an independent choreographer, dancer, and teacher from Vermont.  As a member of the Trisha Brown Dance Company from 2007­-2012, she developed original roles in Brown’s final works.  She continues to perform and restage pieces for the company.  Jenkins has also danced with Sara Rudner, Liz Lerman, and Vicky Shick.  Her work has been presented in Los Angeles by REDCAT, Automata, Highways, the Electric Lodge, the Getty Center, and the Fowler Museum, and in New York by Danspace Project and Dixon Place, and by Berlin’s Performing Presence Improvisation Festival, and Tokyo’s Sezane Art Gallery.  She has been commissioned to choreograph for LA Contemporary Dance Company, CSULB, UNL, and the Wooden Floor.  With the support of the Asian Cultural Council, Jenkins traveled to Phnom Penh, Cambodia in 2016 to work with Chey Chankethya, and Amrita Performing Arts.  In addition, Jenkins recently performed the role of Iseme in Peter Sellars’ opera Oedipus Rex and Symphony of Psalms conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen. This winter she will choreograph Berstein’s Mass with the LA Phil at Disney Hall. She received a BA from Sarah Lawrence College, an MFA from UCLA, and is certified in the Skinner Releasing Technique. Jenkins is an Assistant Professor of Dance at Middlebury College.

Beate Borrmann (Costume Designer) Beate Borrmann was born in Berlin in 1975. She studied Fashion, Costume and Stage Design in Berlin, Saint Petersburg and Krakow. Besides working as an assistant costume and stage designer she has produced her own designs for Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz Berlin, Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin and Kleisttheater Frankfurt/Oder. She has worked with Sasha Waltz since 2003 and created the costumes for Sasha Waltz’s »Gezeiten«, »Dialoge 06 – Radiale Systeme« and »Jagden und Formen (Zustand 2008)In collaboration with Hussein Chalayan and Sasha Waltz, Beate Borrmann designed the costumes for the choreographic opera »Passion« at Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Paris. In 2012 she designed the costumes for Sasha Waltz’s and Mark Andre’s choreographic concert »gefaltet« as well as for the dance project »MusicTANZ – Carmen« within the education program of the Berliner Philharmoniker. In 2013 she created the costumes for Sasha Waltz’s »Dialoge Kolkata« in India as well as for »Dialoge Avignon« in collaboration with the artist GIOM. In 2014 Beate Borrmann designed the costumes for the Opera »Orfeo« of Sasha Waltz, to be seen in Berlin in Staatsoper im Schillertheater in 2015. In 2016 she worked with Ai Weiwei on his installation »Laundromat« at Jeffrey Deitch Gallery, New York City. In 2017 she worked for the first time with Staatsballett Berlin, for Nacho Duato’s production »Erde«. Beate Borrmann lives and works in Berlin and Mecklenburg.

Brian Wood is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, improviser, songwriter, and healer. He uses music and sound to help connect people into deep experiences with their bodies, emotions, and environments and assists people in bringing out their own authentic voice. He is a Radical Aliveness/ Core Energetics practitioner with a private practice and he currently accompanies modern and improvisation dance classes at Chapman University, Cal State Long Beach, The Wooden Floor. He has composed for dance, video, film, and multimedia performance, including collaborations with artists in Japan and all over Southern California. He composed for the Internet documentary series “Group,” and has composed and accompanied live for theater productions in Los Angeles. He holds a degree in music composition from UCSB’s college of creative studies. Examples of his songs and dance compositions can be found at


These performances are made possible in part by a grant from the City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs; and through Show Box L.A.’s /we live in space Residency Program. Encaje Production: JSR Company & Produced and supported by the14th Guangdong Dance Festival, (CH) .


Photo by Albert Vidal.

Class with Papy Ebotani

Saturday, Sept 30, 2017

we live in space
2520 W Jefferson Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90018

$15 in advance/ $25 day of class
Presented in conjunction with performances of Sur les traces de Dinozord  by Faustin Linyekula/Studios Kabako at REDCAT, Sept 28-30, 2017

Papy’s class will progress through a 30-minute warmup/technique, improvisation in solo and group forms, and compositional strategies.

• • •
 is a member of Faustin Linyekula/Studios Kabako and has danced in creations of the company since 2001. He lives and works between Kisangani and Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo). He was a rapper and musician with different groups from Kinshasa, before turning to dance in the company of Jean-Marie Musungayi, Diba dance. He trained and followed workshops with different dancers and choreographers: Céline Bacqué, Toufik Oudhriri Idrissi, Hanna Hedman, Sylvain Prunenec, Pep Ramis, Meg Stuart, Foofwa d’immobilité and Boyzie Cekwana.

Papy has given workshops in Brazil, Brussels, London, Los Angeles and la Réunion ; and teaches regularly in Congo (Kinshasa and Kisangani) and in Rwanda.

Papy has also been invited to make and present work at numerous international residencies and festivals. He has participated in a creative residencies in Douala, Urban Scenographies project;  Kinshasa Urban Scenographies; and in Dakar; as well as Potager du Roi /Versailles à Velizy as part of the program “Les Indépendances” residence, and at the Center National de la Danse in France. His solo work work Na Tempo was presented in Kinshasa, Paris (Cartier Foundation), Berlin (festival Tanz im August), Belgium (Yambi festival), Caen (Danse d’ailleurs) and Reunion; and to Brazil (Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Niteroi, Belo Horizonte, Florianopolis) and London (Dance Umbrella). In 2005, Papy created a duet Ya biso (For us) with Djodjo Kazadi, also dancer of the Kabako Studios, presented in Kinshasa, Berlin, Paris, Bamako, Berne and Mons. Parliament standing (2007), for a dancer and ten locally recruited extras, was presented in Kinshasa, Brazzaville, Brussels, Reunion Island, Salzburg, and Brazil. Engundele (2009),was co-produced by and presented at the Biennale of Charleroi Danse, and the Bamako Dance Biennial Africa Dance. In 2012, he created Jogging Kilometers with Kebaya Moturi,  premiered at the Connection Kin festival. For several years, Papy has been developing projects for non-theatrical venues: his latest creation, Fanfare funérailles, took place in streets and districts of Kisangani and Kinshasa (Connexion Kin 2015), as well as Kigali (Rwanda), Bujumbura (Burundi) and Sharjah Biennial (UAE).

Workshop with Sharon Chohi Kim, Micaela Tobin, and Maria Maea: Healing the voice, for female-identifying people

Sunday, August 20, 2017
FREE WORKSHOP – Healing the voice for female-identifying people
with Sharon Chohi Kim, Micaela Tobin, and Maria Maea
we live in space/ 2520 W Jefferson Blvd / LA, CA 90018

Sharon Chohi Kim, Maria Maea and Micaela Tobin are holding a free voice-healing workshop for female-identifying people as part of Maria’s residency at WE LIVE IN SPACE and their new opera, Unseal Unseam. The aim of this workshop is to help participants discover a sense of self-empowerment through breath, voice and body.
The trauma we experience echoes through our bodies and out into our days, weeks, years, lives. We sit in that space afraid and guarded. I no longer want my pain to be the loudest part of my existence. I want to share, break it down and let go. I want to do this with others and hear their voices and find joy in our collective release.” -Maria
The workshop will cover the basics of healthy vocal production, specifically focusing on releasing points of tension through creative sound exercises and gentle movement, culminating in a structured improvisation with the alignment of body, voice, and sound. All experience levels welcome! Please join us in this practice.
Sopranos Sharon Chohi Kim and Micaela Tobin are composers and teachers that specialize in experiential voice and new opera. Their current piece, entitled “Unseal Unseam” is a feminist response to the misogynistic narratives of traditional opera.

We are part of a creative team of female identifying artists that make new opera. We seek to use our artistic resources to tell stories–unwitnessed and undocumented– through music theatre. Our performances attempt to reclaim and reshape the female narratives that dominate traditional opera. To that end, our current piece ‘Unseal Unseam’ is an electroacoustic opera that examines the too-often invisible world of domestic violence, and hopes to provide a place for healing and solidarity. The opera will be premiering in Fall 2017 at Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica. We want to ground the work in the lived truths of our community, so in conjunction with the opera, we are holding space in the form of an open workshop for healing the voice for any female-identifying people who are interested.

Sharon Chohi Kim is a Los Angeles-based voice artist, educator, and composer. She currently holds a faculty position at the American Music and Dramatic Academy. Sharon recently made her Walt Disney Concert Hall debut as the Mezzo-Soprano soloist in Mozart’s Requiem with the Pacific American Master Chorale Orchestra. She was seen as Lucha in Hopscotch -a mobile opera for 24 cars (dir. Yuval Sharon) with the acclaimed opera company, The Industry, and as a vocalist in the West Coast Premiere of Sila: Breath of the World by John Luther Adams for the Ojai Music Festival. She has also performed with the Los Angeles Opera, El Paso Opera Company and Chamizal National Memorial, Texas; Opera Nova Scotia, and Jang Chun Art Hall and Yeoungdeungpogu Theatre in Seoul, South Korea.

Maria Maea is a Los Angeles based performance artist creating through objects, sound and body. Currently in residency at we live in space, she has focused her practice on mirroring – seeking to hold intentional space to see and be seen, to collectively move healing into a space of joy.
Maria is a member of Taisha Paggett’s experimental dance company WXPT and has performed with the collective at the Hammer Museum, LACE Gallery, and the Bowtie Project.  She is also a participating builder for Rafa Esparza’s adobe galleries that have exhibited group shows for brown artist at The Whitney Biennial and currently at Ballroom Marfa. Maria leads a series of movement and voice workshops GRACELESS LADY with experimental opera singer Micaela Tobin.
She collaborates and performs sound, movement and musings as UNICA and under her name, Maria Maea.

Soprano and sound artist Micaela Tobin specializes in contemporary opera and experimental voice. Micaela currently teaches voice on faculty at CalArts and at the Los Angeles Music and Art School. Prominent voice students include Daveed Diggs (Hamilton: An American Musical). As a collaborator, Micaela premiered a new opera called Body Ship at the 2016 New Works Festival at REDCAT, Los Angeles, and the principal role in the opera, Dada Divas (comp. Jacqueline Bobak), at the XIII Festival Internacional Musica Nueva in Monterrey, Mexico. She also performed with The Industry in their groundbreaking opera, Hopscotch-a mobile opera for 24 cars. Micaela composes and performs her own hybrid of noise music and opera under the moniker, “White Boy Scream,” recently performing at the New Music Encounters Plus International Music Festival in Brno, Czech Republic.

2017-18 Residency Artists

Show Box L.A. / we live in space
Announces the 2017-18 Residency Program For Choreographers
Supported by An Art Works Grant From The National Endowment For The Arts

We are pleased to announce the six artists for our 2017-18 Residency Program For Choreographers :  Jahanna Blunt, Stacy Dawson Stearns, Jessica Emmanuel, Sebastian Hernandez, Maria Maea, and Wilfried Souly.  

The residency program is supported by an Art Works Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and is one of 78 projects nationwide to be awarded by the NEA for Arts Projects in the field of Dance. We are honored to receive this support, particularly at this time when the future of the NEA is so uncertain.

Residencies take place at we live in space, where the artists are provided with free studio space and a stipend. Over the course of the year, there may be open rehearsals, informal showings, classes, artist talks, or other events where the artists will share their creative process and varied approaches to choreography and dance-based performance work.

Art Works grants focus on funding the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with art, lifelong learning in the arts, and strengthening of communities through the arts.

“The arts reflect the vision, energy, and talent of America’s artists and arts organizations,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support organizations in serving their communities by providing excellent and accessible arts experiences.”



Jahanna Blunt, a native of Los Angeles, California, began her dance career as a seven-year-old with Abalaye African Drum and Dance Ensemble. She majored in acting, while continuing to dance throughout her time at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts and in college at UCLA’s School of Theater Film and Television. Jahanna has taught African Dance courses for the Los Angeles Unified School District and for the University of La Verne, as well as workshops and studio classes. She has choreographed for the University of Southern California’s theater department, for the Lower Depth Theater Ensemble, and for the renowned JazzAntiqua Music and Dance Ensemble. Jahanna’s performance credits include Global Soul Night at the Hollywood Bowl, the BET Awards at the Kodak Theater, and various concerts at the Ford Amphitheater. Most recently, she has collaborated with her close friends to create Le Ballet Dembaya, a West African drum and dance company, and one of her proudest accomplishments to date. She feels blessed to be able to pursue her passion as a career and looks forward to a bright future.


Stacy Dawson Stearns is a Bessie Award winning (2000) interdisciplinary performer and director, known for her original works as well as her collaborative work with Big Dance Theater, David Neumann, Hal Hartley, Ken Nintzel, and Blacklips Performance Cult. Over the past 23 years, she has performed in 9 countries and in numerous domestic festivals and venues including Jacob’s Pillow, American Dance Festival, Spoleto USA, Walker Art Center, The Whitney, The Ontological-Hysteric Theater, Classic Stage Company, HERE, Town Hall, City Center, Lincoln Center, Dance Theater Workshop, PS 122, MassMoCA, Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, The Performing Garage, Mother, and REDCAT. Grants/Residencies include: Three-legged Race in Minneapolis, MassMOCA, and CHIME (Choreographers in Mentorship Exchange). Commercially, Stacy has choreographed for pop icons Debbie Harry, Ann Magnusen, and the House of Jackie. Film credits include: No Such Thing, Wigstock: the Movie!, and academy award-winner filmmaker Jonathan Demme’s recent performance film of Big Dance Theater’s Another Telepathic Thing.  Stacy has been an instructor at California Institute of the Arts since 2003 (MFA and BFA performance programs), and has taught at New York University, Marymount Manhattan College, and The George Washington University. Outside of higher education performance training programs, Stacy has taught at the Big Sur Theater Lab, Pilates and Arts, Pieter Performance Space, and Caballero School of Dance. She holds a BFA in acting from NYU’s Experimental Theater Wing at Tisch School of the Arts and and MFA in Interdisciplinary Art from Goddard College.  Stacy’s writings on performance have been published in Native Strategies, Itch Dance Journal, The 53rd State Press Occasional, and the book version of Another Telepathic Thing (pub. The 53rd State Press).
Most recent artistic activity includes: I am the Nude at We Live In Space, (February 2017), The Witch, a collaboration with Jennie Liu/Grand Lady Dance House for Your Motion Says: an Arthur Russel Festival at Pieter PASD (July 2106) B.A.S.E.: a durational rule game with choreographer Laurel Jenkins, performed at the Getty in (August 2016); a rehearsal residency for LOVE GASOLINE! as part of In Real Time: Studio at the Hammer Museum (Jan 3-6, 2017).
Upcoming: Stacy will present her newest work, LOVE GASOLINE!  at REDCAT’s 2017 NOW Festival and at the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe in August with CAFT (Calarts Festival Theater program).


Jessica Emmanuel is a Los Angeles based dancer, choreographer, performance artist, educator and curator. She studied Dance & Choreography at the BOCES Cultural Arts Center in New York and is a graduate of The California Institute of the Arts with a BFA in Performance & Choreography. Jessica is the founder of Human Stages and a co-founder of the theater based artist collective Poor Dog Group. Her work has been presented internationally at the Bootleg Theater, Live Arts Exchange Festival, the New Original Works Festival at REDCAT, Montserrat DTLA, Highways Performance Space, Zoukak Studios (Lebanon), The Getty Villa, Interferences Festival (Romania), Baruch Performing Arts Center, The Curtis R. Preim Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) and The Contemporary Art Museum Santa Barbara. She has choreographed/performed for Poor Dog Group, Heidi Duckler Dance Theater, choreographer Genevieve Carson, Bryan Reynolds, Paul Outlaw and Stacy Dawson Stearns. Jessica has also curated art events at various locations in downtown Los Angeles.


Sebastian Hernandez is an LA native and multi-disciplinary artist who received a B.A. in both Art Practice and Dance and Performance Studies in 2016 from the University of California Berkeley. He makes art that ranges from drawings to paintings and performance art works. Hernandez employs a feminist theoretical analysis, queer theory, browness and notions of collectivity as modes of thinking and generating works that shift and complicate Mexican and Chicano narratives in the contemporaneous social imagination. His art making is influenced by an embedded connection to his indigenous Aztec/Mexica heritage and the history of the brown body in relation to the U.S.-Mexico borderland. Sebastian’s movement based practice is informed by his long standing practice of danza Azteca, Vogue and the more recent wide range of modern dance techniques he acquired at Cal. Sebastian’s work inherently challenges traditional notions of space as he deals with his work’s interdisciplinary nature within both art and dance contexts.


Maria Maea practices mirroring


Wilfried Souly is a choreographer, dancer, drummer and Taekwondo expert, originally from Burkina Faso in West Africa, and based in Los Angeles since 2007. He is dedicated to making works that explore, expand, and explode Contemporary African Dance. He trained in African traditional and contemporary dances in the acclaimed company The Bourgeon du Burkina. Willy co-founded Compagnie Tâ (2000), and co-choreographed many dance works, with one selected as a finalist at the fifth Choreographic Encounters of Africa and Indian Ocean in Madagascar, and presented at the Great Barbican Center in London; as well as collaborations with visual artists on Genies de la Bastille, Paris. Willy has collaborated and performed with Robert Battle (USA), Gerardo Delgado (Mexico); Dole Danle, and the French Hip Hop Company E.Go, directed by Eric Mezzino and Gilles Schamber. In 2007, he joined Baker & Tarpaga Dance Project as an Associate Director, co-choreographer and performer. His own works have been presented at REDCAT New Original Works Festival (2014, 2016), the Ethna Negria Celebration at Teatro Balboa in Panama City (2015). the Barnsdall Theater/“For Our Boys”(2016), and at the third Edition of the festival Africa in America at the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre. He choreographed and produced the dance film Bayiiri (Home Town) in 2011. Willy has collaborated with many local artists, including Maria Gillespie, Victoria Marks, Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre Company, and Viver Brasil Dance Company. He is an Adjunct professor at the UCLA World Arts & Culture/Dance Department since 2009; and also teaches community West African Dance classes at Your Neighborhood Studio in Culver City.


Jahanna Blunt  – photo by Ashley Blanchard
Stacy Dawson Stearns  – photo by the artist
Jessica Emmanuel – photo by Alex Barber
Sebastian Hernandez – photo by Alex Godinez at Human Resources
Maria Maea – photo by Clare Kelly
Wilfried Souly – photo by Drew Mandinach at HomeLA



Sundays with Simone and Friends

Sundays with Simone and Friends

A drop-in workshop with Simone Forti*
and on occasion with Stacy Dawson Stearns and Marbles Jumbo Radio

Sundays 2-4:30pm

 we live in space
2520 West Jefferson Blvd.
Los Angeles 90018

3/26   Simone
4/2   Stacy
4/9   Stacy
4/16   no class
4/23   Simone
4/30   Simone
5/7   Marbles
5/14   Simone

photo: Roberto Borri

Ishmael Houston-Jones: Workshop

Improvisation Strategies

Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017
$25 in advance / $30 at the door
we live in space
2520 W Jefferson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90018

This class is rooted in many different forms of improvisation and will offer students a foundation in diverse techniques of instinctive, intuitive, non-set dances. The class builds upon the principles of Contact and Releasing to give students a strong, personal movement foundation. It teaches students to use senses other than sight when improvising and asks that they allow their dances be guided by touch and sound as well as by narrative and emotion. Another component of the class is the use of both spoken and written text and the use of personal material. Students are asked to use language in an automatic and improvisational way. Then they are instructed to use the resultant text as a prompt to movement. This may lead to short solo or group pieces.

Ishmael Houston-Jones is a choreographer, author, performer, teacher, and curator. His improvised dance and text work has been performed in New York City, across the US, and in Europe, Canada, Australia, and Latin America. Houston-Jones and Fred Holland shared a Bessie Award for their piece Cowboys, Dreams and Ladders. He also revived THEM, his 1985 collaboration with writer Dennis Cooper and composer Chris Cochrane for which he was awarded his second Bessie Award. He has curated Platform 2012: Parallels and Platform 2016: Lost and Found, both at Danspace Project. He is a recipient of the 2016 Herb Alpert, a 2015 Doris Duke Impact and a 2013 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Artists Awards.

This workshop is organized by Luis Lara Malvacias in collaboration with Show Box L.A. and sponsored by the UC RIVERSIDE Department of Dance. Free to the UCR community.

You’re W.o.W. (Working on What?!)

February 25, 2017

we live in space
2520 W Jefferson Blvd
Los Angeles, CA  90018

Audience size is limited, reserve HERE
$10 suggested donation

A studio showing of new dance/performance works by:

  • Jessica Emmanuel
  • Luis Lara Malvacías / 3RD CLASS CITIZEN and Jeremy Nelson
  • Stacy Dawson Stearns
  • Jil Stein, with Pia Vinson
  • Meg Wolfe, with Myrrhia Jade; score by Geneva Skeen



This presentation by Show Box L.A. is made possible in part by a grant from the City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs.


Luis Lara Malvacías – dance class series

Wednesdays: Jan 18, Jan 25, Feb 1, Feb 8, 2017

we live in space
2520 W Jefferson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90018

The studio will be open at 6:30pm.

$15 single class
$50/series of 4, pre-pay here

This class offers an open space for the sharing of knowledge resulting from practice in several somatic techniques. We will focus on breath, internal structure, weight and the body’s articulations and organization, as a way to fine-tune our own needs and our own range of mobility. As the class progresses we look to integrate the parts of the body and the use of the floor. We will move in this collective space through improvisations and set phrase material. The phrase will be provided to be used for individual explorations: to manipulate it, to follow it, to watch it, to reinterpret or to copy it. This class is the result of personal investigations and is influenced by many years of study and work with Jeremy Nelson, Klein-Mahler Technique, Alexander Technique™, BodyMind-Centering® and the Feldenkrais Method.

LUIS LARA MALVACÍAS is a Venezuelan choreographer, dancer, dance teacher and visual artist. He has danced in the work of Jeremy Nelson (1994 – 2004), David Zambrano, Mark Tompkins, John Jasperse, Yoshiko Chuma, and in his own choreography. He has presented his work in New York since 1994, including DTW, PS122, Danspace Project, the Kitchen and Joyce SoHo among others. In the United States he has taught, created and presented work in several colleges and institutions. Internationally, he regularly teaches and present work in many countries in Europe, South America, North America and Asia. He was a 1998/1999 and 2002/2003 Movement Research Artist-in Residence and a 2006 Dance New Amsterdam Artist in Residence. He is the recipient of a 2006 NYFA Fellowship for choreography. Currently he is an Assistant Professor of Choreography and Dance at the University of California Riverside.

Jumatatu Poe and Jermone “Donte” Beacham – BIG BODY J-Sette Workshop

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Presented in conjunction with performances of Let ‘im Move You at Highways Performance Space

we live in space
2520 W Jefferson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90018


Join Jermone “Donte” Beacham and Jumatatu Poe for two FREE dance workshops centered around experiments in J-Sette performance.

Saturday, August 6, at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions
Sunday, August 7, at we live in space

Join Jermone “Donte” Beacham and Jumatatu Poe for two FREE dance workshops centered around experiments in J-Sette performance. J-Sette, also known as Bucking, is a performance style popular in the southern United States, practiced widely among majorettes and drill teams at historically Black colleges and universities, and also among teams of primarily queer men who compete in gay clubs and pride festivals. The workshops will focus on bombastic performance energy, complex relationships to rhythm and music, movement precision, group dynamics, and discovering joy in flesh and community. All bodies are encouraged to participate, regardless of previous training or ability; however, we are particularly interested in preserving the space as a home of empowerment and cultural/historical positioning for queer folks of color.

Workshops will take place Saturday and Sunday, August 6 and 7, from 2 – 5pm. Saturday’s workshop will take place at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, and Sunday’s location will take place at we live in space. Donte and Jumatatu will also perform at Highways Performance Space (Santa Monica) the following weekend on Friday, August 12th. Following the three hour workshop each day, participants who are interested in performing with Donte and Jumatatu (in a short segment of the work) will be invited to stay an additional hour – until 6pm – to rehearse. Please note that participation in the performance would be unpaid. Again, all bodies are encouraged to participate.

– wear clothes that you can move in, and that make you feel good about yourself and your body
– bring water to drink
– wear shoes to dance with, also please note that there will be brief periods each day in which we do small movements without shoes
– each day, we will spend brief periods laying on the floor; you may want to bring something to wrap your hair
– we will be sweating, you may want to bring a towel

J-Sette is a performance form coming out of the Southern US states, namely historically Black colleges and universities. The name J-Sette is a reference to Jackson State University’s majorette line, The Prancing J-Settes. In the late 70’s, they became noteworthy for their dismissal of the majorette baton, and their use of popular music to notably athletic, sensual (sometimes raunchy), and expansive choreographies performed in stadium seats during athletic games. The adoption of popular music and the release of the baton caught on among other Southern HBCUs, and several developed their own respective styles. J-Sette is the popular culture name for these performance techniques, emerging from the majorettes. Parallel to this history, Black gay men in the south also practiced these performance traditions in gay clubs, pride parades, and now even in their own festivals competitions.

Jumatatu M. Poe
I am a choreographer and performer based between Philadelphia and New York City who grew up dancing around the living room and at parties with my siblings and cousins. My early exposure to concert dance was through African dance and capoeira performances on California college campuses where my parents studied and worked, but I did not start formal dance training until college with Umfundalai, Kariamu Welsh’s contemporary African dance technique. My work continues to be influenced by various sources, including my foundations in those living rooms and parties, my early technical training in contemporary African dance, my continued study of contemporary dance and performance, and my recent sociological research of and technical training in J-setting with Donte Beacham. I produce dance and performance work with idiosynCrazy productions, a company I founded in 2008 and now co-direct with Shannon Murphy. Since 2012, I have been engaged in a shared, multi-tiered performance practice with NYC-based dance artist Jesse Zaritt. Previously, I have danced with Marianela Boán, Silvana Cardell, Emmanuelle Hunyh, Tania Isaac, Kun- Yang Lin, C. Kemal Nance, Marissa Perel, Leah Stein, Keith Thompson, Kate Watson-Wallace, Reggie Wilson, and Kariamu Welsh (as a member of Kariamu & Company). As a performer, I also collaborate with Merián Soto. I am an Assistant Professor of Dance at Swarthmore College.
My middle name is Mtafuta-Ukweli, which means “one who searches for the truth”.

Jermone “Donte” Beacham
I’ve been dancing has been in my blood since I can remember. It started off with hip hop dancing for my high school when I began to notice my skill. After doing that for 4 years, I was introduced to the world of J-Setting, but by women. J-Sette historically refers to Jackson State’s University’s female drill team that began in the 1970s. They “created” the dance style, and thus far have made it a distinctive form of dance. I was interested in this type of dance, but not entirely until I saw a group of males performing it. At that point, I claimed the style for myself and perfected it on my body. I began solo and eventually joined and initiated different groups. Currently, I have my own J-Sette line, Mystic Force (initiated in Jackson, MS, currently in Dallas, TX), and plan to increase our renown in this style of dance in our community, and eventually internationally. Previously, I served as co-captain of Dallas’ Texas Teasers. I have participated and competed in several events and competitions, including 2 SetteItOff video challenges, Atlanta Pride 2010, Tennessee Classics 2009, and Memphis Pride 2008. In 2015, I was named New Legendary by the Meet Me On the Dance Floor J-Sette council. Since 2011, I have been involved as an artistic collaborator with contemporary choreographer, Jumatatu Poe, through Philadelphia’s idiosynCrazy productions.


Meg Wolfe: New Faithful Disco

January 28-30, 2016:
Premiere performances at REDCAT Los Angeles, CA

PICA/TBA Festival (Portland) – Sept 10 & 11, 2016
DiverseWorks (Houston) – Nov 11 & 12, 2016
Live & On Stage, NPN/VAN (Austin) – Dec 3, 2016
Z Space (San Francisco) – March 2017

In Meg Wolfe’s new lushly physical movement work New Faithful Disco, belief is made manifest as energy. A trio of dancers—taisha paggett, Marbles Radio, and Wolfe—feel it, generate it and remix it as they prepare to take on something big. Love, faith, impermanence? Pleasure? Power? Soul retrieval? A queer-love power-trio wrought with awkwardness and contradictions, New Faithful Disco builds communal energy into an accumulated whirlwind propelled by nature sounds and disco rhythms. Bodies are the conduit: the site of intersections where dances are generated, transferred, translated and recycled in an attempt to remix revolution. Disco opens up time, triggers fading histories and provides a backdrop that frames who we are, now.

Choreographer: Meg Wolfe
Performers: taisha paggett, Marbles Radio, Meg Wolfe
Music: Maria de los Angeles Cuca Esteves
Costume Design: Gregory Barnett
Lighting Design: Christopher Kuhl
Sound Design: John Coleman
Quilts/Robes: Meg Wolfe

New Faithful Disco is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund Project co-commissioned by REDCAT, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA), DiverseWorks, Z Space, and NPN. The Creation Fund is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Supported by the NPN Performance Residency Program. For more information:
Development support of New Faithful Disco was given through Show Box L.A.’s Los Angeles Dance & Research Residency Program,which is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Donations to Show Box L.A.’s sponsored projects go directly to the artist, in support of the creation of their works.


Fall 2016: Touring to PICA/TBA Festival (Portland, OR); DiverseWorks (Houston, TX); Z Space (San Francisco, CA)

January 28-30, 2016: Premiere performances at REDCAT Los Angeles, CA

January 2016: Week-long Production Residency at REDCAT Los Angeles, CA

February–March 2015: Month-long Creative Residency at Performance Works Northwest Portland, OR

January 2015: In-progress Workshop Performances at FRESH Festival San Francisco, CA

December 2014: Week-long Creative Development Residency at REDCAT Los Angeles, CA

September 2014: In-progress Workshop Performances at Live Arts Exchange Festival Los Angeles, CA

Spring 2014: Creative Research Residency at SkyFish Lake County, CA








• • •

Photo by Steve Gunther.

Road Trip! Ishmael Houston-Jones

Road Trip! Ishmael Houston-Jones

Los Angeles to San Diego
Thursday, November 5, 2015

Our friends, PADL West in San Diego, are presenting a Performance-Lecture by Ishmael Houston Jones. We are taking a road trip.

Join us!

Tickets are $10 –  a seat in the van + the ticket for the event.


Ishmael Houston-Jones (NYC) is a dynamic dance performer and internationally known choreographer, author, performer, teacher and arts activist. He received numerous awards including two Bessie Awards for his piece Cowboys, Dreams and Ladders, and for the revival of THEM (1985), which focuses on masculinity, sexuality and the AIDS epidemic. Recently he was honored with the prestigious Doris Duke Impact Award. Join us to hear Houston-Jones in an evening of talking and dancing — sharing highlights from his career and discussing black choreographers and post-modern choreography.

Co-sponsored by Arts and Lectures, CSUSM Dance Studies and PADL West


We will meet at 3pm (location to be determined, stay tuned)
The van will depart promptly at 3:15 for San Diego
The event begins at 7pm
The van will depart for LA at 9:30pm
California State University San Marcos
333 South Twin Oaks Valley Road
Arts Building Room 111
San Marcos, CA 92078

Thursday, November 5, 2015
from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM


The School for the Movement of the Technicolor People
taisha paggett with WXPT in collaboration with Ashley Hunt and Kim Zumpfe

Exhibition: October 21-December 6, 2015

An artwork in the form of a school, a school in the form of an artwork.

Visit for more information.

Currently on view at LACE,  with a curriculum of free classes and workshops open to the public beginning Saturday, Oct 24

LACE presents The School for the Movement of the Technicolor People, a large-scale installation and performance platform by Los Angeles based artist taisha paggett. This project, which takes the form of a dance school, is shaped by the question, “what is a Black dance curriculum today?” The installation itself, developed in collaboration with artists Ashley Hunt and Kim Zumpfe, serves as a temporary dance school, performance space and home for dance company, WXPT (We are the Paper, We are the Trees).

The core of The School for the Movement of the Technicolor People is WXPT itself — a temporary, experimental community of queer people of color and allies, dancers and non-dancers alike. WXPT was conceived by paggett in early 2015 to expand upon the language and methods of modern and contemporary dance practices, to shift the ways dancers of color are positioned within the contemporary field, and to explore questions of queer desire, responsibility, migration and historical materials that inhabit our cultural imagination. The company consists of Joy Angela Anderson, Heyward Bracey, Rebecca Bruno, Alfonso Cervera, Erin Christovale, Loren Fenton, Maria Garcia, Kloii “Hummingbird” Hollis, Jas Michelle, Meena Murugesan, taisha paggett, Sebastian Peters-Lazaro, Kristianne Salcines, Ché Ture, Devika Wickremesinghe and Suné Woods.

The School for the Movement of the Technicolor People will offer a program of workshops, weekly classes and micro-performances initiated by members of WXPT. The curriculum will be open to anyone, blurring lines between audience and participant, while especially encouraging queer people of color to join. Across the bodies of the company and the members of the public who join the school, the curriculum will build an accumulative performance score in weekly increments, culminating in the performance of a “collective movement choir” at the conclusion of the exhibition.

The School for the Movement of the Technicolor People began as a conversation between paggett, Rodney McMillian and Cauleen Smith.

Curated by Robert Crouch

Image (above) courtesy of Clockshop by Gina Clyne.


The School for the Movement of the Technicolor People is made possible by The MAP Fund, a program of Creative Capital, primarily supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Additional funds come from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Additional support was provided by a grant from the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts.

Development support of The School for the Movement of the Technicolor People was given through Show Box L.A.’s Los Angeles Dance & Research Residency Program, which is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

New Works by Meg Wolfe

November 14, 2015:
7pm. Showing at Paloma Street Studios
1518 Paloma Street, Los Angeles, CA 90021

December 12, 2015:
3:30pm. Showing at Live Arts Los Angeles
4210 Panamint St., Los Angeles CA 90065

Presenting the first showings of two companion pieces.
Both showings are free and open to the public.


November 14: Paloma Street Studios

Prelude – solo
Choreographed and Performed by Meg Wolfe
Music by Maria de los Angeles Cuca Esteves
Props by Gregory Barnett
Quilts by Meg Wolfe

Prelude is an exploration of movement material and physical objects.


December 15: Live Arts Los Angeles

Prelude- trio
Choreographer: Meg Wolfe
Performers: taisha paggett, Marbles Radio, Meg Wolfe
Music by Maria de los Angeles Cuca Esteves
Quilts by Meg Wolfe

NFD – Redux
Choreographer: Meg Wolfe
Performers: taisha paggett, Marbles Radio, Meg Wolfe
Music by Maria de los Angeles Cuca Esteves
Props by Gregory Barnett
Robes by Meg Wolfe

Conjuring the energy of social dance forms, within the structure of a performance work, NFD is experiential, sensational, energy moving work. There is no narrative. Our bodies are the conduit: where we meet with our differences and similarities; where dances are generated, transferred, translated in an attempt to build a recycled and remixed revolution.


These performances are made possible in part by a grant from the City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs; and developed through Show Box L.A.’s Los Angeles Dance & Research Residency Program, supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. These companion works are being developed in partnership with Paloma Street Studios, Live Arts Los Angeles; commissioned by REDCAT and the National Performance Network.

DCA_LOGO     nealogo

• • •




Donations to Show Box L.A.’s sponsored projects go directly to the artist, in support of the creation of their works.



Photo by Gregory Barnett.


Jennie Liu & Andrew Gilbert: House Music

House Music by Jennie Liu & Andrew Gilbert
hosted by Grand Lady Dance House

In House Music, performers Jennie Liu and Andrew Gilbert invite small groups of guests into their stark, movable, ten-by-ten hut, to witness and participate in a commitment ceremony to the creative process. Part travelogue of a creative vision-quest, part biography of an artist relationship, guests are absorbed into an elaborately coded system of interrelating, designed to probe the notion that only within constraints lies the truest freedom. Meticulous live video reveals the personal grounding of this life experiment, supported by a live soundtrack inspired by the socially binding properties of early house music. A container for active meditation on the art of being with each other and with ourselves, House Music offers aesthetic frames to reckon with past mistakes, to examine and deeply feel the transient nature of everything.

Continue reading Jennie Liu & Andrew Gilbert: House Music

Zoe Scofield: Master Class

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Presented in conjunction with performances of BeginAgain by
Zoe | Juniper at REDCAT, March 26–29, 2015

Grand Rehearsal Hall at the Colburn School
200 S Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012

$15 [$20 at door]

Utilizing somatic approaches to technique, Zoe Scofield’s classes are physically rigorous, deep, and kinesthetically challenging—a space where product-orientated results are released, and active experience reins. Inspired by a variety of contemporary dance styles, including gaga, ballet, spiraldynamik and yoga, set exercises are combined with structured improvisation. Scofield incorporates musicality, as well as visual and physical metaphors as a vehicle to surprise and further each dancer’s potential as physical and performing body. She explores the body’s inherent dynamic sensations made tangible and precise in order to foster a body that is available, aware and in command of its senses—intuitive and wise. Class is the space for beginning again with a full understanding of where we come from.

• • •
Zoe Scofield is a dance and visual artist based in Seattle. Born and raised in Gainesville GA, Scofield began ballet at a young age, instilling in her a deep love and interest in structure, discipline and performances’ ability to create a transformative experience. In 2005 Scofield began working with video and visual artist Juniper Shuey on video, photographic and dance collaborations shown in visual art galleries, museums and theaters. She has been awarded residences, awards and grants from Princess Grace Foundation, Mellon Foundation, New England Foundation for the Arts, National Performance Network, Alpert/MacDowell Fellowship and Wesleyan University, among others. Scofield has taught at Walnut Hill School for the Arts, Boston Conservatory, Columbia College, University of Colorado at Boulde. Scofield and Shuey are the co-founders of Lo-Fi Annual Arts Festival and What We Talk About… an in-process feedback session for artists of all disciplines.

Pictured above: Zoe Scofield. Photo by Juniper Shuey.

Milka Djordjevich + Chris Peck: Mass

June 18 & 20, 2015

Thursday and Saturday at 8:00p
Bootleg Theater
2220 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057

“Materials—the body, sound—merge exquisitely in this hourlong dance-song (song-dance?) … the song unravels into something wild, then plain, bodies as they are.” —The New York Times

MASS is a dance, singing and dancing, a song and dance in a black box, a slow dance on a pedestal for three women, with music. It’s also the mass, force, and friction against, around, and inside that box. It’s a trio of voices tuning, their bodies objectified and recomposed through gradual processes in motion and sound. Like a prayer, it proceeds without manipulation, loving the flaw.

MASS was created as a part on an ongoing collaboration between choreographer Milka Djordjevich and composer Chris Peck. Three female dancers execute an interdependent score of dancing while singing live. They are their own musical accompaniment; a choir of voice, action and image. The trio creates hyper-objectified anonymous forms and three-part harmonies that pulse and throb through the black artifice of the theater. The performers oscillate between action and inaction, singing and dancing, chanting and swaying—an engine that evolves through space and generates friction over time. The work aims to unveil the materiality of the moving and sonic female body, unraveling its inherent choreographed code.

Choreography:  Milka Djordjevich
Music:  Chris Peck
Dancers:  Jessica Cook, Kyli Kleven and Djordjevich
Performance Advisor:  Rebecca Brooks
Lighting Design:  Madeline Best
Asst.Lighting Designer/Production Manager:  Cecilia Durbin
Scenic Design:  Sara C. Walsh
Vocal Coach:  Peter Sciscioli
Costumes:  Naomi Luppescu

Presented in association with Bootleg Theater.

• • •
BWLogoLACACCommissioned by the Kitchen, NYC and developed at Abron’s Art Center, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Swing Space, PACT Zollverein, Essen Germany and Workspace Brussels, Belgium. MASS is a sponsored project of Show Box L.A., made possible in part with generous support from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, and the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

• • •
Milka Djordjevich is a choreographer, dancer and teacher based in Los Angeles. Since 2003, her work has been shown at several venues including REDCAT, Pieter, Machine Project and Hammer Museum/REstore Westwood (Los Angeles); the Ktichen, 2010 Whitney Biennial, Chocolate Factory Theater, Danspace Project, Movement Research and AUNTS (New York); Counterpulse and The Garage (San Francisco); Uferstudios (Berlin); Kondenz Festival and Bitef (Belgrade); Locomotion Festival (Skopje); Artdanthe (Paris); WUK (Vienna); Fabrik (Potsdam); Solo in Azione Festival (Milan); Toihaus Theatre (Salzburg); Gateshead International Festival of Theatre (UK). She has received funding from the Suitcase Fund; The Center for Cultural Innovation; a commission from the Danspace Project 2010-11 Commissioning Initiative, with support from the Jerome Foundation; and residencies at Fabrik Potsdam, PACT-Zollverein, Workspace Brussels, UCLA Hothouse, LMCC Swing Space, among others. Djordjevich was a 2006-2007 Movement Research Artist-in-Residence and a 2008/2010 danceWEB Europe Scholar. Her other projects include serving as guest editor for Critical Correspondence and curating Monday Morning Class at Pieter in Los Angeles. In addition to her work with composer Chris Peck, she has collaborated with choreographer Dragana Bulut and has performed for Heather Kravas, Jennifer Monson, Elizabeth Ward, Sam Kim, Sasa Asentic and Ana Vujanovic, among others. She has also assisted choreographer DD Dorvillier in various capacities and is currently Visiting Assistant Professor in Contemporary Choreography at the University of California Riverside. Djordjevich received a B.A. from UCLA and an M.F.A. from Sarah Lawrence College.

Chris Peck is a composer, computer musician, and improviser who often collaborates with contemporary dance and theater artists, including David Dorfman, John Jasperse, RoseAnne Spradlin, Jeanine Durning, Mark Jarecki, Abby Yager, Ming Yang/Dance Forum Taipei, and Beth Gill. Peck performs as an improviser and multi-instrumentalist with Crystal Mooncone along with Jon Moniaci and Stephen Rush. The trio has toured widely since 2006, with performances at CCRMA (Stanford), the Center for New Music in San Francisco, and Spectrum in NYC. Peck collaborated with Deke Weaver and Jennifer Allen on Land of Plenty in 2008-2010, and made music for two installments of Weaver’s Unreliable Bestiary: Elephant in 2010-11 (performing in the premiere at the Stock Pavilion in Urbana, IL as well as subsequent iterations at the Sundance Film Festival and Salt Lake Arts Center) and Wolf in 2013. In addition to his work with Djordjevich, Chris is currently working on a new piece with Brussels-based choreographer Eleanor Bauer and the Belgian new music ensemble Ictus which will premiere in 2016. He is also a Ph.D. candidate in Composition and Computer Technologies at the University of Virginia.

Michelle Ellsworth: Preparation for the Obsolescence of the Y Chromosome

June 19 & 21, 2015

Friday at 8p and Sunday at 3p
Bootleg Theater
2220 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057


“Cheerfully wacky … both hypothetical and very real.” —The New York Times

In an inventive and humorous unscripted live performance, Michelle Ellsworth prepares audiences for the end of men. Her “man archive”—a vast compendium of science, non-science, procedures and possibilities—provides the foundation for a hyper-linked tour through the modern mind and the future of our species. Committed both to conservation and archival efforts, Preparation for the Obsolescence of the Y Chromosome employs web technology, choreography and the latest data from the Whitehead Institute at MIT to ask a random sampling of humans what it might mean if, as some scientists have predicted, men disappear from the scene. Under the steady watch of her male gaze simulator, Ellsworth demonstrates her one-of-a-kind replacement apparati, shares her idiosyncratic research and works to expand an inventory of artifacts that may just become irreplaceable.

Presented in association with Bootleg Theater.

• • •
BWLogoLACACMade possible with generous support from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

Michelle Ellsworth, Preparation for the Obsolescence of the Y Chromosome, 2015. Photo: Ian Douglas, courtesy of American Realness.

• • •
Michelle Ellsworth is a dancer, choreographer, video maker, writer, cartoonist and web designer. In her often humorous and always thought-provoking performances, Ellsworth combines dance with technology, creating performable websites that exist as independent sites as well as live pieces. She is a 2013 Creative Capital and New England Foundation for the Arts’ NDP Grantee and a 2011 United States Artists Knight Fellow and has performed at venues throughout the United States including Jacob’s Pillow, P.S 122, Dance Theater Workshop, On the Boards, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, and The American Realness Festival in New York. She has performed and taught at Brown University, Columbia College, Naropa University, The University of Costa Rica, the University of Colorado, and in Ireland. Her drawings and spreadsheets have been published in CHAIN and her screen dances have been seen around Europe and throughout the U.S.

You’re W.o.W. (Working on What)?!

April 28, 2015

Tuesday at 8:30p
Highland Park Ebell Club
131 S Avenue 57, Los Angeles, CA 90042


W.o.W #001 ARTISTS
Allie Hankins (Portland, OR), Grand Lady Dance House, Nickels Sunshine
Alex Mathews, Barry Brannum, Constance Jaquay, Devika Wickremesinghe, Gregory Barnett, Jahanna Blunt, Justin Streichman with Gustine Fudickar, Los Angeles College

You’re W.o.W.?! is Show Box L.A.’s new low-tech series designed to celebrate the creative spark of L.A.’s dance and performance scene, and to fan the flames of its riskiest endeavours. Each edition features sections from two or three works currently in-progress, interspersed with a variety of ultra-brief presentations in which artists fire off quick sketches, share impulsive ideas and venture on wilder experiments.

• • •
Made possible in part by generous support from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los AngBWLogoLACACeles County Arts Commission.

photo: Allie Hankins, performing Salonathon. 

Milka Djordjevich + Chris Peck: MASS


MASS is a dance. It is singing and dancing. A song and dance in a black box. A slow dance on a pedestal for three women. With music. It’s also the mass, force and friction against, around and inside that box. It’s a trio of voices tuning, their bodies objectified and recomposed through gradual processes in motion and sound. Like a prayer, it proceeds without manipulation, loving the flaw.

Continue reading Milka Djordjevich + Chris Peck: MASS

Gregory Barnett: Edenic Idyllic: I Can Take You To Heaven, Let Me Take You To Heaven

December 27–29, 2014 and January 1–3, 2015

4pm, 5pm & 6pm
Schkapf | 
Los Angeles Theatre and Performing Arts Incubator
6567 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90038

All performances are free, by appointment.

Edenic Idyllic: I Can Take You To Heaven, Let Me Take You To Heaven gathers a small group of people in a state of creative suspension, as each awaits a private, one-on-one performance within a ritualized Technicolor realm, behind a closet door. Heavens are invoked, dances are shared and kindness is made manifest in an altar-like environment that reconfigures dollar-store finds and hand-made crafts into resonant geometric constellations. With Edenic Idyllic, Gregory Barnett launches a series of projects inspired by the teenage party game Seven Minutes in Heaven that explores the potential of intimate, co-imagined states of being.

Creation and Installation: Gregory Barnett
Performers: Gregory Barnett, with Diamondback Annie, Kate Gilbert

• • •
Presented in partnership with Schkapf’s Artist-in-Residence program.

Made possible in part by generous support from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.BWLogoLACAC

• • •
Gregory Barnett creates signs, dances and altars, and believes he is better for it. He wants the things he creates to assure people they are not alone. He wants to further feelings of compassion and trust. He wants everyone to relax.

Gregory Barnett is an interdisciplinary performing and visual artist based in Los Angeles. His recent works include A Home For Wayward Satyrs, presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, as part of Ann Magnuson’s One-Hour Bacchanal, and If This Were Any More Camp You Would Need A Tent / This Is What I Want / Our Technicolor Dream Dance, a VistaVision-inspired public use dreamscape at Human Resources.

Heather Kravas & Milka Djordjevich on MASS

Visibly Difficult

An Interview with Milka Djordjevich
by Heather Kravas

Published in conjunction with performances of MASS at The Kitchen in New York and at Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles.

Heather Kravas:
I thought we could begin by speaking about the work’s relationship to difficulty. When we began this conversation, I asked you to tell me a couple of things about the dance. Your immediate response was, “The piece is hard.” I think often about the space difficulty assumes in choreography and wonder, what is its role in MASS? In what ways is the piece hard and for whom?

Milka Djordjevich:
There’s a practical aspect, which is that we are singing and dancing at the same time as untrained singers. Part of what the piece is about is the fact that we are dancers singing and that it’s about our bodies. Dancers tend to be voiceless, mute and anonymous in performance. Our singing is not necessarily a statement, but is a way for us to play with a different form of embodiment.

Heather: So you build difficulty into what the performance actually is. You set out to do something that you knew was going to be hard.

Milka: I knew it was going to be hard, but I think didn’t realize how hard it would be. I knew it wouldn’t necessarily be about mastering singing, but I knew that something in that would be challenging or difficult.

Chris Peck, my collaborator, and I set out to work together and create something where the choreography and the music would interact and be codependent, in a  dynamic that would be increasingly difficult. What would happen in the choreography would change in relationship to the music, and what would happen in the music would change in relationship to the choreography. It would be an interdependent score that would perpetuate itself in relationship to each other.

We knew that the musical aspect would be predominantly singing, but we didn’t know to what extent or how, because it was really a question of what we could do as dancers. Chris realized that we could do more singing-wise than we had thought we could. So it became, “Oh, you can do that now? So let’s try this. Oh, you can do that now? So let’s try this. Oh, you can do that now? So let’s try this.” It’s been a process of layering complexity through simple elements. For instance, we do a series of steps, and there’s a repetitive singing pattern that’s in relationship to it. “Okay, we got it!

Let’s add a layer. So when we do these steps, let’s add an arm action, and then let’s add this canon three-part harmony…”

Heather: Are we seeing that as part of the piece? Do we witness a kind of braiding and layering, and observe a culmination of that achievement?

Milka: I think you do see a part of the braiding, but it’s accelerated. It’s not going to build from its most basic. I think you’ll see it, maybe midway, or maybe it skips a few steps and then the culmination of the braiding all together. Which also then brings up the question of the visibility of the difficulty.

Heather: And does this become difficult for your audience? And if it is difficult for them, what are your feelings about that. Sometimes I feel that, as artists, we set out to provide something that’s difficult because there’s so much that’s spoon-fed, sold, or marketed to us culturally. The creation of a challenging environment, one that perhaps embraces monotony or failure, maybe points out this fabricated perfection.

Milka: We have gotten this question about the visibility of difficulty from Rebecca Brooks—with whom we have both worked in a similar capacity as a performance advisor. There are moments in the process when we do something that’s hard and then we get it, and we can do it, and then it gets harder. So I don’t think there’s one moment where the viewer fully understands how difficult it is, or what it took to get there. But what we’re trying to figure out now is how to have the musical and the choreographic pieces fit together in a way so that it’s on that edge of failure and mastery, somehow just at that point. Not to show that we’re just barely keeping it together, but that attempt or that…

Heather: It sounds like a tension. I know that when I go to see a performance, I like those kinds of tensions. It keeps me engaged in what I’m seeing. The failure or the success is not necessarily as interesting as the question—the container around the experience. We live in a perpetual state of failure: we’re never young, thin, pretty or rich enough. To witness this mirrors my reality more than a virtuosic act, while simultaneously redefining beauty. Masochistic, I suppose, but the over-achieving and persistence seem particularly relevant.

Milka: We have been working intermittently in these intensive periods, and along the way we’ve scheduled showings at points when the vocal stuff was new and intense. I was interested in having us be able to sing when it was new and fresh, because adrenaline affects the singing so much. I wanted that experience of trying it, to understand it under those conditions.

We showed excerpts last December at Pieter in L.A., where we learned a song in two days before the showing, added ideas of pitch and harmony the morning of the showing, musical stuff that we never thought we’d be able to do. When we did the showing, we had our music in front of us; we were very transparent about it being a work-in-progress. As we were singing and dancing, we kept starting and stopping. The audience was laughing a lot, not because we were bad, but because of our intensity—wanting to do it right, being nervous, shifting in space, trying to find the notes and being in front of people. It was about the attempt, not the mastery.

Afterwards the dancers, Kyli Kleven and Jessica Cook, were not feeling good, they felt they had failed. I said, “You know, this is what this piece is about.” It’s about the fact that we don’t want to fail, and that struggle. We’re dancers, this is how we work and think. We’re used to doing things that we don’t feel good about by practicing until we get it “right.”

Heather: Much of our practice and training is about achieving an ideal. Even if we’re not good ballerinas, we’ve studied it. If your leg isn’t at a certain height, you’re not cutting it. So putting the failure on stage is what the piece is.

Without being a spoiler can you talk a little bit about the songs?

Milka: Chris is a master at working with untrained musicians, great at finding techniques to work with people. We started with songs we knew already. Something like karaoke, you know the words from it, how to sing it, and the idea was to know it and play with it—like sing slower, sing it together, try to find pitches in relation, so on… that was really early on in the process. And then, I think Chris started to realize we could sing a little bit.

Heather: So he was prepared for you to just suck, basically!

Milka: We did work on projects in the past, with dancers who had trouble hearing a pitch and matching it. But the three of us can hear a pitch and more or less match it. We like to sing. We’re not “good” by professional terms, and I’m really the worst.

Chris realized that he could actually compose songs for us to sing. He’s a great songwriter. In relation to our conversations about the project, he started to write a sort of subtext about the piece. Sometimes he used that text as a lyric place holder, but after a while he realized it’s not a placeholder, it’s what the piece is.

A lot of MASS is about the three of us really being a unit, three parts of a whole. The beginning is less about the singing, but configuring our bodies, isolating body parts, perceiving them differently, the otherness of our bodies together, the material of the body, and how that material and the isolation of body parts turns in to dance. And how that’s what dance is about.

And then the element of the voice is added, which is a way of not being the voiceless dancer, being less anonymous, but somehow still anonymous as we are singing and dancing together; being together as an ensemble and a group. Chris was thinking about vocal equivalents, like a barbershop quartet or the Andrews sisters or girl groups, etc. And in addition there’s this other subtext in the title MASS. It’s not necessarily about religion or church, but there’s liturgical dance where singing and dancing match, that kind of Mickey Mousing; and how experimental dances happen a lot in churches in New York. So that churchy, liturgical thing also incorporates musically into chanting, early music harmonies. It’s a lot of different things at the same time.

Heather: How many projects have you and Chris done together now?

Milka: We did a piece at the Chocolate Factory in 2009, An Evening with Djordjevich & Peck, a series of short pieces in concert format together, which was the beginning of our collaboration about the music/dance relationship. It was an even collaboration, a co-authored thing. Then he did the music for my solo, Kinetic Makeover, which was a more pseudo-traditional process, where I choreographed and he did the music. But because we have this relationship of collaborating, the music was really tied to the dance. And this project, for MASS, we are sharing, co-headlining.

Heather: Yes it sounds co-authored, but separate.

Milka: Totally. We’re both getting what we need from our individual practices in the work, but also so tied together, that we have that conversation. Working with Chris now, he just gets so much, he knows what’s happening without explanation. I get him, too.

Heather: You’ve achieved a lot of trust together.

Milka: Yes, a lot of trust. But then I’m performing in this, which is tricky…

Heather: That makes you the best and the worst dancer!

Milka: Exactly! So I had a moment when he was asking about the relationship between the music and choreography and I was like, “Argh, I don’t know if I can do this! It’s already so hard. I don’t know if this is possible.” I understand we can do more than we’re doing, and I’m definitely pushing that—but on the musical aspect sometimes it gets overwhelming. It’s like, “Not another harmony when we’re doing this weird arm thing, noooo!”

Heather: How great. It seems like you’re teetering on this edge, allowing yourself to be witnessed teetering. It’s beautiful!

Milka: Yeah. We’re in the thick of it; we’ll see how it goes!

• • •
Photo: Model of Sara C. Walsh’s scenic design for MASS.

Bronx Gothic Notes by OKWUI OKPOKWASILI

Out of Print.

This chapbook contains select images and texts derived from the Okpokwasili’s solo dance theater performance Bronx Gothic.

“From crumpled hand-written pages, Okpokwasili takes us through a sometimes harrowing, sometimes darkly humorous account of the sexual, spiritual and emotional coming of age of two girls growing up in the coarse surroundings of the Bronx in New York.” —from the introduction by Ishmael Houston-Jones

20 pages
with introduction by Ishmael Houston-Jones
created in collaboration with Okwui Okpokwasili
edited by taisha paggett & George Lugg



Published by Show Box L.A. with the generous support of Joel Smith
in conjunction with performances of Bronx Gothic
at Highland Park Ebell Club
Los Angeles, California
July 17–19, 2014.

Meg Wolfe: New Faithful Disco

September 13–15, 2014

Saturday at 2:30pm, Sunday at 4pm, Monday at 8pm
Bootleg Theater
2220 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057

Co-presented with Los Angeles Performance Practice
as part of Live Arts Exchange [LAX]

In New Faithful Disco, a dance work-in-progress by Los Angeles choreographer Meg Wolfe, belief is made manifest as energy. A trio of dancers—taisha paggett, Marbles (Rae Shao-Lan), and Wolfe—feel it, generate it and re-mix it as they prepare to take on something big. Love, faith, impermanence? Pleasure? Power? Soul retrieval? Disco is an accumulation and dispersion of bodies and effort and hope in the form of a dance. Featuring Maria de los Angeles (Cuca) Esteves’ layered score of nature sounds and disco rhythms transmitted by three cassette players, with stylings by Gregory Barnett.

Choreographer: Meg Wolfe
Performers: taisha paggett, Marbles (Rae Shao-Lan), Meg Wolfe
Music: Maria de los Angeles Esteves
Styling/Set: Gregory Barnett

• • •
Presented with generous support from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, and the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. Created with support from Show Box L.A., REDCAT, and the UCLA World Arts and Cultures/Dance Hothouse Program.


Grand Lady Dance House: Actress Fury

September 13–16, 2014

Saturday at 4pm, Sunday at 7pm, Tuesday at 8pm
Bootleg Theater
2220 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057

Co-presented with Los Angeles Performance Practice
as part of Live Arts Exchange [LAX]

“It’s refreshing to see female performers being this bold.” —Village Voice

Set inside an actual dressing room, Actress Fury is the unruly passion play of one tormented actress as she wrestles with her own deep-seated desire to be extraordinary. Sourcing three narratives of highly ambitious characters—Sophocles’ Ajax, the diaries of Vaslav Nijinsky, and the recollections of abstract painter Bridget Riley—dramatic threads unfurl through dance to reveal an anti-strategy about being female and an artist in the wake of third wave feminism.

Created by Jennie MaryTai Liu with Hannah Heller and Alexa Weir
Performed by Hannah Heller, Jennie MaryTai Liu and Alexa Weir
Music by Julia Bembenek and Mark Nieto/ COMBAT!
Original visual design by Tanya Brodsky
Costumes by Wendy Yang Bailey
Creative assistance by Ben Gullard

• • •
Presented with generous support from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.


Marbles Rae Shao-Lan: Walden (where are you?)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Pieter PASD
420 West Avenue 33 #10, Los Angeles, CA 90031

A dance class and lab to unscript the mind that colonizes the body—a participatory re-appro-pro-pro-priation of the body as nature. Participants (re)imprint basic patterns in nature through visualization and movement exploration, mindfulness and experiential anatomy. Tapping into the tide of cerebral spinal fluids, as well as physical and metaphysical fields vastly beyond, our attentiveness shall draw forth an original dance. This is a trans/genderqueer-friendly class open to all levels of physical experience.

Presented by Show Box L.A. in conjunction with performances of New Faithful Disco, September 13–15, 2014 as part of the Live Arts Exchange Festival at Bootleg Theater.

• • •
Marbles —dancer, choreographer, craniosacral therapist and bodyworker—lived and worked in New York City between 1995-2002 in which time they studied extensively in the Ailey and Limon studios before steeping themselves in the world of improvisation, post-modern release forms, and experimental dance composition. Marbles studied with influential teachers such as K.J. Holmes, Sara Hook, and Janine Durning, and other experimental movement practices based in Ideokinesis, such as Topf and Alexander Technique, Body Mind Centering and Continuum Movement. Through these practices, which introduced ways to re-open pathways, unwind the culturally scripted post-industrial body and reveal a responsive and dynamic organism, Marbles began to develop their voice as a dancer and dance maker, presenting work at venues and outdoor environments including Danspace Project, HERE, Prospect Park and Williamsburg Arts Exchange, and performing in the company of Susan Marshall.

Marbles relocated to Los Angeles in 2005 where they worked in close collaboration and mentorship with Simone Forti, including the development of Ice Bergs, a movement practice they evolved together over a dedicated weekly practice throughout 2007 and 2008. Marbles (Rae Shao-Lan) was a founding editor of itch dance journal along with Meg Wolfe and taisha paggett. Marbles’ video, Captain, created in collaboration with Pooh Kaye, previewed at Dance Camera West in 2008 and their work Systems of Us, created with musician Tashi Wada, was part of the 2010 NOW Festival at REDCAT.

Marbles currently resides in a rustic rural setting off-the-grid north of the San Francisco Bay where they have been meditating and dancing in the indigenous woodlands of Oak, Redwood, Manzanita and Bay Laurel, and learning about sustainable farming and Permaculture. The learning and discoveries that have burgeoned from this period—much informed by the pace and pulse of nature’s orchestration—are what Marbles is attempting to retrofit into a studio practice called Walden (where are you?)

For more information contact



Okwui Okpokwasili: Bronx Gothic

July 17–19, 2014

Thursday–Saturday at 8:30pm
Highland Park Ebell Club
131 S Avenue 57, Los Angeles, CA 90042

“A breakout success—evocative and fresh, revealing a voice as compelling as her stage presence.” —Village Voice

“In the midst of this great feat of performance, she breaks your heart, absolutely slays you with the poetry of it.” —Eva Yaa Asantewaa, Infinite Body

West Coast Premiere
Created by celebrated dance/theater artist Okwui Okpokwasili and directed by Peter Born, Bronx Gothic gives vivid physical force to the charged relationship between two girls on the verge of adolescence in the 1980s. Okpokwasili’s unforgettable performance pushes against extremes and reverberates with a potency that threatens to break the body. Memories surge in this fictive autobiographical invocation—as the lives of two 11-year-olds are revealed with unflinching honesty through their sex-saturated, hand-passed notes. Drawing inspiration from Victorian-era novels and West African griot storytellers, Bronx Gothic conjures a darkly powerful tale of sexual discovery and intimate entwinings in the outer boroughs of New York City.

Okpokwasili and director Peter Born were awarded a 2010 New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award for the work Pent-Up: A Revenge Dance. Okpokwasili is widely known for her ongoing artistic collaboration with Ralph Lemon and performance work with Nora Chipaumire, Young Jean Lee and Dean Moss, among many others. She is a 2012 Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography Fellow, a 2013 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Choreography and a 2014 Foundation for Contemporary Arts grantee for Dance.

Written and performed by Okwui Okpokwasili
Directed by Peter Born

• • •
Bronx Gothic is presented by Show Box L.A. with generous support from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and members of the Bronx Gothic Host Committee: Antonio Castillo and Edgar Miramontes, Jessica Fleischmann, Randy Lakeman, Roy López and Angel Perez, Brian Ronan, Anna B. Scott and Joel Smith.

Bronx Gothic was co-commissioned by Performance Space 122, Danspace Project, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) and the Jerome Foundation with residency support from Park Avenue Armory’s Under Construction Series, New York Live Arts, Baryshnikov Arts Center and LMCC’s Extended Life Dance Development program. Additional commissioning support provided by Le Maillon in Strasbourg, Théâtre de Gennevilliers in Paris, Théâtre Garonne in Toulouse and Zagrebačko Kazalište Mladih in Zagreb, as part of PS122 GLOBAL program.



Stephen Thompson

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Dance Studio A at the Colburn School
200 S Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012

The focus of this class is on the integrity of an active body. This allows individuals to refine their personal aesthetics and expand their own movement possibilities. The classes will start with an emphasis on the body as a sensitive container. Stephen will guide participates to awaken sensorial patterns, to recognize inner and outer influence, fluctuating energy potentials, as well as finding an open and grounded state to work with, a body ready to dance. After this physical investigation the body is ready to examine its role by authoring (vs modeling), sensing (vs searching) and doing (vs interpreting). Using references of form, set material, coordination exercises and improvisational scores, participates will examine the relationship of what we do and how we do it. Through self-observation and dialogue we can redefine and re-direct our habits, skills and play into expanding and broadening our experience as artists.

Presented in conjunction with performances of Antigone Sr./Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at the Judson Church (L) by Trajal Harrell at REDCAT, April 3–6, 2014.

• • •
Stephen Thompson is a performance artist, choreographer, researcher and pedagogue originally from Calgary, Alberta. His introduction to movement and performing was through competitive figure skating. He received a Bachelor of Kinesiology and Dance from the University of Calgary. Stephen has collaborated with numerous Canadian and European companies and artists including Steeve Paxton, Benoit Lachambre, Dick Wong, Antonija Livingstone and Jennifer Lacey, Fabrice Ramalingom, Public Recordings and Yves-Noel Genod. Recent projects; Trajal Harell’s 2012 Bessie-award winning Antigone Sr./Twenty Looks or Paris is burning at the Judson Church (Large), Fabrice Lambert’s Solaire presented by Theatre De La Ville, Paris and with Liz Santoro in Relative Collider in Artdanthé 2014. Stephen has presented his own work internationally within various contexts including with visual artists Xavier Veilhan, Kendell Geers (No Government No Cry 2011) and Laurent Goldring (Nuit Blanche Paris 2011).

Pictured above: Trajal Harrell & Stephen Thompson in Antigone Sr./Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at the Judson Church (L) by Trajal Harrell. Photo by Miana Jun.

5 Questions for Christine Bonansea

Performer in Hybrid 2, Nov 2–3, 2013

What training systems, teachers, or other experiences have contributed to the way you perform, and how you think about performing?

I feel I’ve always danced, since my young age; learning a great diversity of movement techniques for performance stages. I’ve practiced ballet, Modern, Jazz, African, contact improvisation and additional somatic or experimental forms for specific projects. I have been pursuing my research and developing my work as a professional dancer and choreographer throughout the years in international scenes studying at the National Choreographic Center in France and performing for a number of companies. I had the chance to experience the work of master artists such as Mathilde Monnier, Mark Tompkins, Regine Chopinot, Catherine Diverres, Thierry Bae, Nancy Stark Smith, Louise Burns, Faustin Linyekela, Ralph Lemon, Tino Seghal, Sara Shelton Mann, Nita Little, Katie Duck among others who fed my practice and develop continuously new questions toward the performance form.

What are you currently reading, listening to, and/or watching?
My work covers a broad artistic field elaborated in collaboration with musician composers, visual artists. I follow composers and musician performers from the Bay Area and from Europe. The bay area scene is really inspiring, full of talented and sensitive artists. I listen to their music a lot; go to their concerts as much as I can and collaborate with them for my pieces and for performance improvisations series that I curate or participate (SONIC BODY SERIES). I read and look at any visual information that will feed my interest and my research. My current read is: “a briefer history of time” by Stephen Hawking and 187 ILLUSIONS from Scientific American MIND magazine.

What is your favorite thing to cook and eat right now?
Coming back from Japan, I just love the rice cookies so much right now, but my delicacy is always a tasty bread with cheese and wine. I like cooking, but I have never much time for sophisticated meals!

What is one thing working with Sara has taught you?
Sara is creating a container of energetic creativity. Her artistry has been influencing numbers of artists who worked for her for years. I found her impact on my artistic voice really sensitive. ONE THING…I’ve been being more instinctive, trust my inner voice to rediscover the potential of each time, each space. It opens a lot of possibilities.

What is/are your day job(s)? Besides actually feeding you, how do(es) it/they feed your life in performance?
I have at least 5 jobs! Each job informs or challenges my everyday world: dancer, choreographer, mother, dance medicine therapist and teacher. In all of them, the availability and humility is an everyday practice. There is no regular day or schedule. Then, the ability to be ready for any change, to be present, to improvise, or find the appropriate response defines my lifestyle. I believe this constant adaptability serves my performance practice and my creativity.

HYBRID 2 – Nov 2 & 3, 2013

5 questions from Jennie MaryTai Liu

Jesse Hewit


Performer in Hybrid 2, Nov 2 & 3, 2013

What training systems, teachers, or other experiences have contributed to the way you perform, and how you think about performing?
Sara Mann composes images in a pretty staggering way, and it has brought me back to a very curiosity-driven, very open-ended way of TRYING anything and everything. I practice making like Sara. She follows her sense of clarity, and it doesn’t often follow logic or trend or narrative. Sara uses imagistic nuances of connection and association in a very deep and mystical way. Working with her is incredible training.

I also like aerobics. I like doing hard and repetitive things that feel athletic and punchy. it brings me back from a strange ether that i often occupy when I’m making. And it let’s me play with simple systems of pushing my body. I like letting it show when something is hard, or joyful, or confusing, when I perform.

Amara Tabor Smith is another maker who guides how I perform. Amara often performs for dead people, and I find this to be really useful. For me, there’s just so much ancestor spirit action, swirling around everything we do, so it’s very useful and purposeful to just connect to someone who might not be right “there,” and let yourself be an appropriate channel for them. I find that every time I perform (which is a lot lately), I can easily find intense purpose, if I just let the dead folks in.

I have found great teachers in Meg Stuart, Keith Hennessy, and Robert Steijn.

Lastly, my recent collaborator, Laura Arrington, and I were working in an old gymnasium out at Headlands Center for the Arts, this past spring, and we were doing all these really slight and specific presence exercises; playing with doing nothing, etc. And at one point, she said to me: “Don’t manage anything.” This has been with me since. The practice of not managing anything, while still executing scores in a performance… powerful. Try it.

What are you currently reading, listening to, and/or watching?
I am reading GENTRIFICATION OF THE MIND because I am in a book group and we’re meeting this Monday to discuss this book! It’s pretty engrossing so far. I’m somehow allergic to scholarly tones in writing, and Sarah Schulman is keeping me interested in what she thinks. I’m listening to the pandora station of Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown! and I’m watching about 3 different reality TV shows on the internets!

What is your favorite thing to cook and eat right now?
Oh my god I love cooking. My partner is so good at making soft scrambled eggs, and he has recently taught me some of his flair, so my recent fave is soft scrambled eggs with roasted broccoli, parmesan, and shit ton of black pepper. I’m also in a braising phase, so I braise a lot of pork shoulders, briskets, things like this. I am concurrently getting very clear and very serious about my favorite things to go out and eat, because I am very busy and I kind of just want to know that my eat-out food is really good. And this is what I proclaim are the best things to eat out in San Francisco:

  • the hunan smoked ham and green beans from Henry’s in Noe Valley – $8
  • the karahi paneer rolls at Kasa in the castro – $4.50
  • the caesar burger from Super Duper Burger (sounds gross, I know, but it’s so good!) – $5.95
  • the thrice cooked bacon and rice dumplings from Mission Chinese. magical. – $12
  • the smoked potatoes with ramp mayonnaise from Bar Tartine (fancy!) – $9


What is one thing working with Sara has taught you?
One thing working with Sara has taught me is that my power can be beautiful.

What is/are your day job(s)? Besides actually feeding you, how do(es) it/they feed your life in performance?
I do a lot of things for money. A lot of people have seen me in a few movies, a lot of people have been served various breakfast foods by me, and within the arts, I teach and curate and perform in other people’s work…all beyond my main thrust, which is making my own work. I dont actually know what effect the piecemeal nature of my economic reality is on me and my work. Knowing that would require stepping outside of it, and that’s a privilege I don’t have. I have often thought that my service job keeps me humble, keeps me hungry/angry, keeps me necessarily low to the ground. But lately I’m not so sure. There are a lot of class implications in making the kind of art that I make, and a whole other set of class implications in waiting tables. And it’s hard to know how and when to identify with which, because what I CANNOT manage to do is to be only half there, when I’m at any of these “jobs.” It’s tricky. I don’t know how this story pans out. Or even how I want it to pan out. I think that I am well and lucky. And I think that our economy’s grip on our cultural premiums is a grim grim tragedy. That’s what I think for now.

5 questions from Jennie MaryTai Liu

Jesse Hewit – Photo by Robbie Sweeny, in Peter by Sara Shelon Mann

Sara Shelton Mann: Hybrid 2

November 2–3, 2013

Saturday–Sunday at 8pm
Live Arts Los Angeles
4210 Panamint Street, Los Angeles, CA  90065

San Francisco artist Sara Shelton Mann premieres Hybrid 2 with collaborators Christine Bonansea, Jesse Hewit, Robbie Beahrs, and Mark Growden. Also on the program is tribes/dominion, SNF, and a live music performance by Mark Growden. Hybrid 2 is part of The Eye of Leo Series, a collaborative series of solos created through self-inquiry and conversation. This journey is two solos put together, overlapping. It is a puzzle without a beginning or end. Framed, condensed and constructed through the consciousness of performer and witness, the work functions as both façade and transparency, to look through and listen into. Imagine what they will do next, and what they are thinking. Watch in retrograde. Enjoy.

Discounted tickets available for participants in Sara Shelton Mann’s workshop, The Body Process.

• • •

Sara Shelton Mann – Choreographer, teacher, writer, consultant. Sara trained and performed with Alwin Nikolai and Murray Louis Companies, 1968-72, created a Modern company for Halifax Dance Co-Op 74-79, then moved to San Francisco in 1979 and developed the performance group “Contraband” touring from 1979-96. She collaborated with Guillermo Gomez-Pena 1996-2000. Since 2000 She has taught and created performance work internationally. Her awards include 6 Isadora Duncan Awards, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Gerbode Choreographer in Collaboration Award with David Szlasa, and CHIME, a project of Margaret Jenkins Company. Her training consists of: Movement Alchemy Level I, The Energetic Body, Deep Touch, Writing for Scenario and Advanced Practices.

Christine Bonansea a multi disciplinary performer artist and choreographer. Graduated in French Dance National Dance school, she studied with Regine Chopinot, Mathilde Monnier and Catherine Diverres among other great artists in Europe. She’s been performing internationally with numbers of companies as Faustin Linyekula, Companie Allias, Sara Shelton Mann, La ALTERNATIVA, Tino Sehgal, Nita Little and more recently Katie Duck.Her recent works has been seen performed at Movement research-New York City, ODC-San Francisco, Dock 11- Berlin and will be seen at the Whenever wherever Festival-Tokyo. She’s been supported by Theater Bay area CASH Grant, the Zellerbach Family foundation and the French Consulate of San Francisco.

Jesse Hewit is a dance artist living in San Francisco. His current projects include his own ADULT with Laura Arrington, Turbulence: (a dance about the economy) with Keith Hennessy and Circo Zero, and the Eye of Leo project with Sara Shelton Mann. Recent works have been seen at American Realness in New York, The Joe Goode Annex in San Francisco, PICA’s TBA in Portland, Dock 11 in Berlin, and The Firkin Crane in Cork, Ireland, and recent works have been supported by MAP Fund and residencies from Headlands Center for the Arts and Ponderosa TanzLand. Jesse makes, performs, teaches, and curates around the U.S. and Europe.

Mark Growden is a singer, writer, multi-instrumentalist, composer, record producer, visual artist, workshop leader, and founder/artistic director of The Calling All Choir. Growden has released several critically acclaimed albums, including Saint Judas, which was awarded “2010 Rekkid of the Year” by music blog Stash Dauber and ranked in the 2010 Village Voice Critics Poll. Growden has toured the US extensively, composed original musical scores for a number of Dance and Theater companies and scored several films. Mark has devoted his life to making music for other people, and to helping other people make music for themselves.

Robbie Beahrs is an Oakland-based composer, sound artist, and music ethnographer. Since 2005, his fieldwork in Siberia and Mongolia has focused on applied study of nomadic music/sound-making and listening practices. Robbie actively composes chamber music, performs live sound for theater/dance, lectures at U.C. Berkeley, and gives workshops in Tuvan throat-singing and extended vocal techniques. Recent works of his have been performed at the Bang on a Can summer festival, Z Space with Jesse Hewit/Strong Behavior, as well as Dock 11 (Berlin), KUNST-STOFF Arts, and the Joe Goode Annex with Sara Shelton Mann.

Sara Shelton Mann – Workshop: The Body Process

Saturday–Sunday, November 2–3, 2013

Dance Arts Academy, Studio B
731 South La Brea Avenue | Los Angeles, CA 90036

Opening systems of the body from a relaxed space we find the body that is both grounded and expanded into a multi-dimensional reality. The workshop will include chi cultivation and lots of breathing as a platform to both detox and invigorate the whole being. We will address a segment of the body each day through exploration, improvisation, touch and energy work. I bring a toolbox and we play inviting new possibilities. Featuring live accompaniment by Mark Growden.

Presented by Show Box L.A. in conjunction with performances of Hybrid 2 by Sara Shelton Mann at Live Arts Los Angeles, November 2–3, 2013.

• • •
Sara Shelton Mann  has been a major influence in the Bay Area scene with her interdisciplinary collaborations – from early work with her group Contraband, performing with Guillermo Gomez-Pena, and through her ongoing investigations of contact improvisation, interdisciplinary teaching and performance methods that work with the person as the vehicle of transformation. Her process has come from personal research and many years of study in various spiritual traditions, shamanic practices, and healing trainings. She is a Master NLP (neuro‐linguistic programming) Practitioner, certified Reconnection Healer(TM), TheReconnection(TM). and a continual student of dowsing and other healing modalities.

For more information visit

Live Arts Exchange Festival [LAX]

September 19–28, 2013

Bootleg Theater
2220 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057

Show Box L.A. is pleased to present a series of new works by experimental Los Angeles dance artists as part of the inaugural Live Arts Exchange Festival. Show Box L.A. events are presented on rotating split-bill programs during the first two weeks of this three-week series. Featuring:

Jennie MaryTai LiuAfter Rousseau
NICK+JAMESTender Heart
Hann Van Der Kolkdeepbodygl!ttersexpower(pony)party(?)fuckmenow
Meg WolfeShannon does Cloudland 

Friday, 9/20: 7pm (Meg Wolfe, NICK + JAMES)
Saturday, 9/21: 1pm (Meg Wolfe, Jennie MaryTai Liu)
Sunday, 9/22: 4pm (NICK + JAMES, Jennie MaryTai Liu)
Tuesday, 9/24: 7pm (Meg Wolfe, NICK + JAMES)
Thursday, 9/26: 7pm (Hana van der Kolk, Jennie MaryTai Liu)
Saturday, 9/28: 3:30pm (Hana van der Kolk, Meg Wolfe)

• • •
For full festival schedule visit

Live Arts Exchange (LAX) creates space for and draws attention to contemporary performance emerging out of Los Angeles. This home-grown performance series showcases some of the most innovative artists and independent companies in LA, creates social events that encourage cross-genre hangouts, and provides opportunity for peer to peer critique.

Produced by Los Angeles Performance Practice and the Bootleg Theater, the first ever Live Arts Exchange pulls contemporary theater and dance, film/video, animation, punk opera, and party into one space. LAX 2013 features work from Early Morning Opera, Show Box L.A., Poor Dog Group, and Chi-wang Yang, with special events with Timur & the Dime Museum, Zoe Aja Moore and Miwa Matreyek.

Meg Wolfe: Shannon does Cloudland

September 20–28, 2013

Friday at 7pm, with NICK+JAMES
Saturday at 1pm, with Jennie MaryTai Liu
Tuesday at 7pm, with NICK+JAMES
Saturday at 3:30pm, with Hana van der Kolk

Bootleg Theater
2220 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057

Co-presented with Los Angeles Performance Practice
as part of Live Arts Exchange [LAX]

Shannon Does Cloudland finds our heroine continuing her quest for fame in Hollywood. Her hopes pinned on landing the lead role in an action thriller (despite any acting experience or credits), Shannon awaits her “audition” in an isolated basement rehearsal space. In a poetic, durational selfie, Shannon impulsively explores the relationship between expectation and devastation, amateurism and expertise, in a valiant effort to shift the balance of validity in the entertainment capital of the world as we know it.

For full festival schedule visit

Presented with generous support from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

Jennie MaryTai Liu: After Rousseau

September 21–26, 2013

Saturday at 1pm, with Meg Wolfe
Sunday at 4pm, with NICK+JAMES
Thursday at 7pm, with Hana van der Kolk

Bootleg Theater
2220 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057

Co-presented with Los Angeles Performance Practice
as part of Live Arts Exchange [LAX]

This is an exercise in taking blind faith in the divergent tendencies of process, the expressive power of color, and the probability that story, despite an impulse to quell it, most likely will emerge in time.

For full festival schedule visit

Presented with generous support from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

NICK+JAMES: Tender Heart

September 20–24, 2013

Friday at 7pm, with Meg Wolfe
Sunday at 4pm, with Jennie MaryTai Liu
Tuesday at 7pm, with Meg Wolfe

Bootleg Theater
2220 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057

Co-presented with Los Angeles Performance Practice
as part of Live Arts Exchange [LAX]

Tender Heart places the dissolution of two expressive bodies at the thrust of structural design. Resulting from a ritualized practice of allowing divergent responses to over-the-top music—ranging from Wagner to Dionne Warwick—the new work by NICK+JAMES with musician Tara Jane ONeil sews together ceaseless dancing with barely visible thread.

For full festival schedule visit

Presented with generous support from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

Morgan Thorson & Meg Wolfe: The Other Thing

August 8–10, 2013

Thursday–Saturday at 8:30pm
REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater)
631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Presented as part of REDCAT’s New Original Works Festival 2013

Two singular dance artists, Minneapolis-based Morgan Thorson and Los Angeles-based Meg Wolfe, perform a living, and moving, document of the process of human connection. A series of choreographic encounters staged in multiple cities allowed Thorson and Wolfe to trace the interactions that unlocked mutual recognition. Performed in new-found proximity, authoring their shared history with varying degrees of authenticity and struggle, the result is a dance done to destroy the awkward state of not knowing each other—exuberant, deficient, tender and daring.
Continue reading Morgan Thorson & Meg Wolfe: The Other Thing

Morgan Thorson – Workshop: Get to Know Yourself

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Pieter PASD
420 West Avenue 33 #10 | Los Angeles, CA 90031

In GET TO KNOW YOURSELF you will practice dancing your whole self with attention and imagination. We will focus on releasing tensions through the embodiment of active images and hands-on exercises called partner graphics. This work is meant to open awareness, access alignment and coordination, and enliven our imaginations. It will also reveal how we limit ourselves with habitual thought and physical patterns. The results of this work will be power, grace and deeper understanding of how and why you dance.

Presented in conjunction with performances of The Other Thing by Morgan Thorson & Meg Wolfe at REDCAT, as part of the New Original Works Festival, August 8–10, 2013.

• • •
Morgan Thorson is a dance-maker based in Minneapolis. She is a Guggenheim, McKnight and USA Artist Fellow as well as a certified Skinner Releasing practitioner. She teaches dance at University of Minnesota and Wesleyan University’s Creative Campus.

For Morgan, dance-making is an occupation of necessity. A core interest in her dance-making is the tension between the physical limitations of the body, the expansive nature of the imagination, and the emotional current inside the movement. Her works have been presented at a variety of international, national and local venues such as the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Dance Theatre Workshop and Performance Space 122 in New York, and London Improvisation in Performance. She has been a resident artist at The Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (MANCC); the Centre Choreographique National De France-Comte in Belfort, France, and a MacDowell Artist Colony Fellow.

Bebe Miller & Angie Hauser – Workshop : Hybrid Expression

Saturday, April 6, 2013

REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater)
631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

This is a released-based technique and partnered improvisation class that accesses full-bodied dancing in relationship to our partners, our individual intentions and dynamic space. Materials and strategies are based on BMC-based repertory and choreographic methodologies.

Presented in conjunction with performances of A History by Bebe Miller Company at REDCAT, April 4–7, 2013.

• • •
Bebe Miller has been making dances for over 30 years and formed Bebe Miller Company in 1985. Known for a mix of virtuosic dancing and fundamental humanity, her choreography has been produced at major dance centers throughout the US and abroad. In addition to her ongoing work with her ensemble, Miller has received commissions from Boston Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Philadanco, Britain’s Phoenix Dance Theatre and Johannesburg’s PACT Dancen, among other groups across the country and abroad. Collaboration being fundamental to her creative process she has worked with numerous composers, visual artists, writers, filmmakers and directors; she has received four Bessie Awards for choreography and direction, most recently for her collaboration with the 11-member creative team in Landing/Place (2005). She is a United States Artists Ford Fellow and recently was named as one of the inaugural class of Doris Duke Artists, a program of the Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards. Currently a Professor in Dance at The Ohio State University, she is a member of the International Artists Advisory Board of the Wexner Center for the Arts and serves on the board of Bearnstow, an arts retreat in central Maine.

Angie Hauser has been a dancer/collaborator with Bebe Miller Company since 2000. She has contributed to BMC works Verge, Landing/Place and Necessary Beauty, receiving a BESSIE award for her work in Landing/Place. In addition to her work with BMC she is a dance maker, performer and teacher who has been presented throughout North America and Europe. She collaborates with many gifted artists in the field of dance improvisation including Andrew Harwood, K.J. Holmes, Darrell Jones, and Kathleen Hermesdorf. She has an ongoing collaboration with dance artist Chris Aiken creating evening length improvisation performances in collaboration with musicians and other dancers. She is an Assistant Professor at Smith College, Northampton, MA.

Pictured above: Darrell Jones and Angie Hauser. Photo by Julieta Cervantes.