Category Archives: Residency

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)

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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 

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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.


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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.


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


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