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Process Record (Blog)

One House Twice/Two Passions Merge // Margot Moss

Rebecca Bruno

While studying Architecture at university, an assignment was to choose one of two designated structures and report on it, either The Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove or the Kings Road House, RM Schindler’s home he built in West Hollywood. I was the only student who chose the Schindler house, the Crystal Cathedral was more widely known. Schindler’s intimate, modernist home appealed to me so much more, the up-tilted concrete walls, open living spaces, sliding doors opening to private gardens, a seamless marriage of indoor to the outdoor courtyards.

Learning about Richard Neutra comes along with studying Schindler and Frank Lloyd Wright, all having worked together for a short time in the 1920’s. Neutra incorporated International Style so gracefully into the California landscape that it was being called “California Modernist”. Perfect lines and solid structure were combined with openness and airy floating glass, allowing sunlight to fill rooms unconfined by typical load-bearing walls. Neutra built a smaller home for himself and his family along the edge of the Silver Lake reservoir in 1933. Another glorious box of light and air, facing the water, utilizing water, considering reflection as a means to enlarge the space in a sensory way.     

In considering, and working with, homeLA, and now the literary group ENTER>text directed by Henry Hoke and Marco Franco Di Domenico, the potential to celebrate the influence of California Modernism with intimate performance washed over me in a highly personal way. My passion for and studies of progressive design in alignment with this concept of an artists’ salon of performers, dancers, artists of varying disciplines - I've also danced and performed beginning back in middle school - reacting to the house and it’s own daring inventions seemed to melt together so beautifully first in my imagination and now through the reality of other artists' creations. This collaboration celebrates dance, performance, installation, poetry, text, and the legacy of Neutra and California Modernism.

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It hurts not to have a lover / Micki Davis

mmickidavis@gmail.com

Dear Reader,

The idea for this performance comes from a conversation with our gracious host and homeowner about the site's history and her own history in the house. From this conversation came two stories: one about the death of a previous owner at the hands of his abused children and the other personal story where Lisa and Vivian attend a candlelight vigil for two slain teenage women the first week they move to Rose Hill. Since then I've been thinking about the performance of vigils, in the company of strangers or by oneself, for those we may not know.

I should also mention I was drawn to the bougainvillea that dominates the gate and patio. Bougainvillea is known to Chamorros like myself as *Puti Tai Nobiu, *which translates to "It hurts not to have a lover". I thought it appropriate to use Flora Baza Quan's song that shares the same name as soundtrack and invitation during the performance to dance the Cha-Cha with me when prompted. This act, I hope, becomes a melodic act of respect and thoughtfulness to all the souls present on the property.

The following are photos from a workshopping of the piece during Tongva: Transcribing Spaces, some shots from rehearsals and the transcription of Puti Tai Nobio by my beloved mother, aunt and cousin.

Perhaps I can look forward to dancing with you this Saturday.
Sincerely,
Micki

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Auntie Darling and Mick, 
I hope this helps. I don't think it makes any sense. But we tried. 

IT HURTS NOT TO HAVE A LOVER
By: Flora Baza Quan

He created the world, love brought out
all the beautiful flowers.
The Lord performed so many
miracles and planted on the land
a tree full of flowers.

It hurts not have a lover, Oh it hurts not to have a lover.
Your loyalty was one of Gods miracles that attracted every ones attention.

You are a flower among flowers
that stood out with all your suffering
You stood there strong
(Mit di hao kalang i Ninu) ? ? ?
But your name was your name,
well known, you stood out among the crowd
Flower of no lover, how our stories are so much alike.

It hurts not have a lover, Oh it hurts not to have a lover.
Your loyalty was one of Gods miracles that attracted every ones attention.

You are the flower among the flowers
I wish I wasn't born, I wish I was unattractive,
I wouldn't be suffering like this.
I am envious of you, a flower without a lover.
But if I should consider, I'll think about it.
All I do is cry
All I do is cry

It hurts not have a lover, Oh it hurts not to have a lover.
Your loyalty was one of Gods miracles that attracted every ones attention.

My heart is beating when I think
about not having a lover
I wish I was not a young girl
a flower without a lover, and
such beauty wasted. No one
is interested in me , maybe because
I am so fragile.

It hurts not have a lover, Oh it hurts not to have a lover.
Your loyalty was one of Gods miracles that attracted every ones attention.

You are a special tree of flowers
They love you, you're a favorite
Full of thorns and feisty
Why do they always look for you?
I will bid you farewell, flowers
I respect your name, but
do not follow me, because
you're at a better place

Domestic Goddesspiration // Milka Djordjevich

Milka Djordjevich

Vacancy of the female body (not necessarily disembodiment)

                                                                                                                 A passive body with

intention/attention

                              Boredom, apathy, restlessness

                                                                          The reclamation of bitchiness/brattiness                          

Max Farago for Vogue Paris, August 2007

Max Farago for Vogue Paris, August 2007

Photo by Lukasz Wierzbowski

Photo by Lukasz Wierzbowski

Photo courtesy of @wagnerlas

Photo courtesy of @wagnerlas

Native HomeLA by Joy Angela Anderson

majikalnature@gmail.com

September 2016
Native HomeLA

“It's about our rights as native people to this land. It's about our rights to worship. It's about our rights to be able to call a place home, and it's our rights to water.” - Dakota access pipeline protestor*

Upon arriving at the home for our first rehearsal, flashes of childhood memories danced through my mind and body. This iteration of HomeLA is at a home situated on a hill that overlooks the Catholic school I attended. I attended Our Lady of Guadalupe with my twin sister Sunshine from 1st to 4th grade. My mom, a single mama, also went to this school. We all had the same 1st grade teacher. I remember her name, Sister Jose. She was the sweetest, most patient, loving nun and teacher I remember from my four years there as a student. As the years passed into 2nd & 3rd grade, the nun-teachers got weird. They were strict in the Catholic sense of discipline and punishment. This is when I began to question Catholicism. The 2nd grade teacher used to send students to stand in the corner if they misbehaved, the third grade nun would threaten with a ruler. Finally, the fourth grade teacher was not a nun at all. That year I joined the drill team and I got to move my body in choreographic unison with classmates to the music of the 1980s.

Although I questioned the organized religion and formalities of Catholicism, it was during these four years of my school experience where I developed a belief in things like spirits, souls and the power of prayer to a divine force. Every night, I was reminded by my mother to say my prayers before going to sleep. I didn't say the Our Father and Hail Mary or go through the steps with the rosary. I would use my own words and simply say what I felt, expressed gratitude and asked for protection. 

I grew up in El Sereno, a predominantly Latino & Chicano neighborhood. I am Xicana, (American-Mexican). I embrace my Native American roots and I am conscious that identifying as Xicana is an acknowledgement of a social-political identity. I am third generation Native of Los Angeles and I grew up here in the 1980s and early 90s. Being here for a performance rehearsal with artists so far from knowing what this neighborhood was like, brought on nostalgia, but mostly a weighted feeling of responsibility to comment on issues related to social-political-indigenous identity and land politics.

As a native and 3rd generation Xicana and Los Angeles native, I have particular memories and appreciation for this neighborhood. Yes, East LA neighborhoods like this are getting cleaned up, gentrified and are now desirable for speculative home owners and artists. The Los Angeles landscape has changed, I welcome change. East Los Angeles is more safe now. Like, I'm not worried as much about things like drive-by shootings. Unfortunately, this changing landscape threatens the local natives. Rents are rising and Tenants like my mom and grandmother who still live in El Sereno, are confronted with issues in regards to access, affordability, displacement. Just yesterday after rehearsal, I went to visit my grandmother. She shared that the homes owned by Cal Trans, one of which she has inhabited as a renter for over 20 years are going up for sale and she, along with my mother and neighbors are worried about their options. The massive displacement of working class people of color in neighborhoods like El Sereno all sounds too much like colonization. At first, I felt the responsibility to create work to comment on this reality. Then, I thought I wanted to invoke the memory of the stories of La Llorona (the crying woman) that created a bit of fear in my childhood. La Llorona is an Mexican folk tale of a young woman who fell I love, got married had sons then drowned them in a lake or river because she went cray cray after finding out her husband cheated on her. The story told amongst classmates at Our Lady of Guadalupe, was that she haunted the lake nearby at Montecito Heights. I used to have nightmares. As I thought about the story in contemporary times, at first I thought she represents the single moms loosing her sons to neighborhood gang violence. From a feminist perspective, I was disturbed that she was made out to be a mad woman who lost it because of a cheating husband. I then shared this with a friend who is a Chicano Studies professor and he shared another perspective of La Llorona. She was the woman who didn't want her sons to be exposed to the violence of colonization. Wow, then the thought of contemporary colonization of natives and native land brought me to want to create a piece on the land, on the hill facing my childhood Catholic school. Catholicism has roots in the process colonization. So, I decided to create a piece on the land. Land, especially Native land, native plants, and native knowledge is valuable to me as well as other native Angelinos and native peoples. Natives all over the world are and have been dealing with the struggles of being pushed out of their land. Native Angelinos are dealing with the feeling of being pushed out of their neighborhoods, their community, their homes because rents are rising and home ownership seems unattainable on working class non-livable wages.

I finally decided to invoke the indigenous Mexican, Nahua native representation of La Virgen before she was Catholic. Our Lady of Guadalupe is Tonantzin, according to history referenced by Ana Castillo in "Massacre of the Dreamers" (p 241). Tonantzin is a representation of a the divine earth mother goddess in Nahua culture. She is also cosmic. She is Our Lady Mother, the Milky Way who gives birth to the Sun God during the winter solstice (p. 243). Here in Rose Hills the roses will symbolize miracles, a reference to the story of Juan Diego who witnessed the appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the hill of Tepeyac in Mexico City where Tonantzin was said to have been worshipped. This story will be interpreted with an installation by artist LiliFlor in the garage. We invite you to come in with your prayers and offerings for this land, for our divine mother Tonantzin, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Madre Tierra the sacred earth mother.

As I return to my native home as an artist involved in healing arts, with a developed dedication and practice to prayer, a spirituality influenced by Native American wisdom, yoga and dance practices, I dedicate this dance offering to the sacred madre tierra (Mother Earth) my mother and especially all the single mothers. This is a ceremony, and a prayer, a dance to bring healing and balance to the land and my memories. Omeoteotl. Aho. Namaste. Ashe.

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The visibility of anticipatory preparations – persisting in moving on, being seen looking ahead –– Dorothy Dubrule

Dorothy Dubrule

I've been watching and thinking about the Olympics. As spectators, we not only take pleasure in the spectacle, but also recognize the state of our social politics in the performances and values assigned to the bodies of individuals from around the world. Conversations about the previous nights events include the sex of an athlete and whether they should be evaluated as a male or female based on their performance, why we still equate male performance with superiority, the inequality of opportunities to train based on race and nationality, the long history of that inequality, whether someone's performance should be judged differently because they were on their period at the time... all of this reminds me that a performing body can make the mechanisms by which we assign meaning and judgment visible. We can recognize our value systems at work – who deserves the praise and why do we think they deserve it?

In my work as a choreographer, I intend to make the seams of the performance visible. Rather than try to hide the effort and smooth out the transitions, as dancers are often encouraged to do in their training, I want to make all of those actions a primary feature of the dance. I want the audience to see the performer at work, see what they are trying to do, see them perform imperfectly. I am pursuing the underwhelming, I think. Sorry to my audience. But maybe the virtuosity is not in making the accomplishment look easy, but in the attempt to accomplish itself. I wonder if we can be impressed by sheer persistence.

For the Rose Hill performance, performer Jason Black and I are sourcing the choreography of Olympic gymnastic floor routines and removing all of the gymnastics. What remains are all of the transitions and preparatory movements that are performed with energetic emphasis, but mainly serve the purpose of expressing the fact that something really difficult and really impressive is about to occur. There are also many pauses – moments where the gymnast is looking ahead with anticipation, then lifts their shoulders, nods their chin and disappears into a tumbling sequence. Putting these sequences back to back, there are many preparations, many flourishes of the limbs.. there is a constant ascent, but there are no dazzling feats.

Learning the sequences, which are dominated by balletic shapes, I am investigating what the choreography wants to express. Something femme, something playfully childlike, but at the same time perfect and confidently executed. Watching the faces of the gymnasts performing the routines, especially in moments where their bodies are still, they look terrified. There is an enormous amount of pressure put upon them to master the sequence they are about to perform. And they are celebrated immediately, but not for long. Their careers may last at most one or two more Olympic cycles. In interviews I've heard gymnasts describe the breakdowns they have before marching out in front of the crowds. What are the values expressed in this choreography?

I'm watching and thinking about the Olympics and reflecting on the visibility of our own persistent ascents in life. Perhaps not altogether athletic in appearance and often lacking what most would consider dazzling feats, but seen and judged by others. I wonder if we can celebrate the simple repetition of looking down, landing, and starting again, looking ahead. I wonder if we can make a choreography that exists in the moment ahead. I wonder if the audience can see the brilliant thing we're preparing for, even when its not in front of them. I'm still working.

Gathering by Samara Kaplan

samarakaplan@gmail.com

Contemporary curators are often asked how they choose the artists they present. There isn't always an easy answer to this question. Within the politics of an institution, for example, there may be a variety of reasons artists are selected beyond the scope of their actual work. It is always a blessing when curators have the opportunity to carry out the projects that truly move them. This was my good fortune when Rebecca asked me to curate homeLA Rose Hill.

Being the curator of this iteration of homeLA, I had the task of inviting a group of artists to participate in the process of creating site specific work and performing in a non traditional, highly intimate setting. Being that the performance is held within the private space of a home, the task was both completely unrestricted by the normal institutional boundaries and also extremely nuanced. Not every artist wants to perform as part of a group show, not every artist wants to perform off stage or outside of a traditional context, and not every artist has an interest in fostering community through the accessibility of their work. In thinking about context, I came up with a few criteria that guided me in selecting the group of artists who will be performing at homeLA Rose Hill this September.

The first criteria in considering an artist's work is always rigor. Does this artist have an ongoing practice of engaging critically with his or her surroundings? My second question is whether or not an artist has an interest in performing in intimate spaces, where the audience could very well interact with the performers and where there is always an element of surprise. Does this artist have a background in teaching, or in collaboration, or in site specific performance that could contribute to this social circumstance? Finally, could this artist be engaged in the process of making work alongside other artists and open to sharing that process with the community? For homeLA, fostering community is absolutely essential, so those involved must have the generosity and openness that allows for this kind of exchange. I believe we are in a particularly crucial moment for performance in Los Angeles, where there is a growing community of artists who think and work along these very lines.

Once the artists came to together, it became clear that they already had deep connections with one another. A few of the artists attend UCLA together, others know each other from art school in San Diego, and many just know each other from their time spent in the LA performance community. The connections run deeper, still. As soon as rehearsals began, themes started to emerge. One such theme is that of being a beginner. A singer who hasn't yet sung in public; a tap dancer who hasn't yet learned how to tap; a chanter who isn't quite adept at chanting. Another theme, perhaps always existing within homes, is that of childhood nostalgia. One artist has been working with children and another is making a playful dance in the pool with flippers. A few artists are working with the idea of procession, moving together across the space. And others with intimate, one on one exchanges. The beauty of gathering a group of like minded artists together is just these kinds of connections. It's not just about who knows who, but the synergy that occurs when people arrive at the same place at the same time.

homeLA // Rose Hill Rehearsal, 2016. Photo: Andrew Mandinach

Can You (Still) Hear Me Worrying In The Bathroom

andrew.mandinach@gmail.com

So I'm not quite sure where to start, so I figure I'll jump right into it.

I have stomach issues. I say issues because I'm not quite sure what to call it. When I was younger we used to call it stomach-nerves. After a traumatic incident my senior year of undergrad, it was diagnosed as partial IBS. It has since been diagnosed as full IBS. I still call it my stomach issue because IBS isn't just about what you eat (although that's a big part of it), it also includes those "nerves" - that my dad penned early on - caused by anxiety and stress. I'm a worrier. I always have been.

I spend a lot of time in the bathroom. Not just my bathroom. Or the bathroom at work. But the bathrooms I've been forced to consider that I wouldn't have otherwise ever known about. The Target bathroom in Westminster, off the 405S. The 2nd floor bathroom in the Art of the America's building at LACMA. The bathroom of the Ralphs on Ventura in North Hollywood. Regardless of what they're like, I'm forced to experience them. Sitting. Thinking. Worrying. Am I taking too long? How long is the line outside the door? When will the banging start, urging me to get out? What interesting tile work. I hope that's just water on the floor. What's happening on Twitter? I guess I could post a picture for homeLA now. Etc.

As far as making work for/in/about my experience in bathrooms, it just sort of just happened. Of course the idea came to me while sitting in a bathroom. I thought about starting an Instagram account, as an archive of public restrooms, of places I'd had these intense intimate moments, and if it grew, I could connect to a community of folks experiencing the same thing as me, suffering in silence. I thought about making it funny, or sharing facts. I considered taking pictures from the toilet, keeled over in pain. Of the toilet? Maybe I'd caption the ambiance of the bathroom. Maybe I'd talk about the index of pain I'd felt in each space. Then homeLA // Angelino Heights. I had already done a piece in a bathroom during homeLA // San Marino, but it didn't have anything to do with my stomach. I liked the idea of doing another bathroom piece, but trying to visually represent my experience didn't seem like the right approach - not yet anyway - and I thought it'd be interesting to represent my experience through what goes on in my head. Let someone else hear it and experience space the way I do.

Having done that piece and now continuing the series for homeLA // Rose Hill, I have to say, it's a nice way to work through this issue of mine. It's such a big part of my life, but I don't like to talk about it. Even with most friends. It still feels embarrassing to do so. This process of creating has been very liberating, to literally give voice to an experience that's been so isolating. It's scary to have something hit you out of the blue and despite the time or location, you're forced to race the clock to try and find the nearest bathroom. Even when you get to the bathroom there are so many questions; the consideration of space as you sit and stare. The thought of the world beyond the door you've barricaded yourself behind. My work is about giving myself the freedom to talk about my issue, enlighten others of an experience most likely different from theirs, and in doing so open up new ways of thinking about bodies within any space.

Andrew Mandinach, September 2016

Trying To Learn How To Dance By Paul Pescador

paulpescador@gmail.com

I remember when I was a child and wanting to take dance classes, but my parents wouldn’t let me. Instead, I was forced into a wide range of intramural sports teams: from soccer to baseball as well as basketball, track and volleyball. I learned at a young age how to be the worst one on a team. I learned what it was like to be the last picked, to sit on the bench, to sit in outfield with my glove on my head and stare into space waiting for the snack break, hoping for those slices of oranges which were neatly wrapped in a plastic bag or gummy fruit snacks, the ones I normally was not allowed to have.

-Are you excited for your game tomorrow!?

-I don't want to go!

-It will be fun!

-I don't want to play.

-Why?

-I don't know if I like baseball...

-But you get to see your friends!

-They aren't my friends! They all hate me! They say I am the worst on the team.

-Well, you're not.

-Yes, I am.

I remember when I finally was allowed to dance I signed up for a tap class. I was very excited to get there. I was maybe 12 or 13, but needed to sign up for a beginning class, only to find I am the oldest, much older, most students were around 6 or 7 years old and I was also the only male. I would stand in class an awkwardly disproportioned teenager still needing to know how to shave my face while hovering over kindergarteners prancing around in pink tutus.

—-

Its 20 years later and I start dancing. It is 10 o’clock at night and I have had a beer. I told myself I wouldn’t be drinking, but I went out and needed something to get through it. They are out of town and I have the house to myself. I stand in my small office again with demonstration videos on how to do ballet. I watch the young girl with her blonde hair in a tight ponytail and black leotard explain how to point toes--so I point my toes. She tells me how to point them forward and backwards and to the side and I repeat. She tells me to bend my knees and I do so, but mine doesn’t look much like hers. She is more graceful and mine is more of an awkward squat. We do it again, and again, and each time I hope that my position becomes closer and that I can tilt and twist and pivot my body in the same manner that she does. It doesn’t look any better, but I keep on trying.

H asks me to send him photos of me shirtless. I causally stand in the mirror; take off my shirt and shoot. He tells me to try a little harder, the lighting isn’t flattering and I could probably take them from a better angle. I don’t know how to respond to that comment, but take them again anyway.

I wake up in the middle of the night and my ankles are sore from the pivots.

The next day I stand in the elevator on the way to work and practice pointing my left foot out to the left and then the right. I practice shifting into fifth position. The elevator is filled with people trying to get to the permit office. They don’t seem to notice my rehearsal.

I stand in the restroom in the large handicap and stretch my back leg using the handicap railing as a balancing bar. I want to feel flexible. I want to get better at this.

For a little while I am not thinking about him.

-- www.paulpescador.com

PROCESS. DARRIAN O'REILLY.

Rebecca Bruno

Process Record.

I grew up in the mountains of Northern California on a lonely piece of land that featured a swimming pool. When I was young, my mom practiced water aerobics everyday to the same mix tape of Lauryn Hill, Gladys Knight, and Aretha Franklin. I was desperately bored, sitting on the steps of the shallow end, whining as my skin puckered beneath the surface. The pool was large and deep— it seemed to mock me for having no friends.

By the time I was twelve, I’d found girlfriends, and the pool became a social hub for us. We swam and played, and I choreographed dances for when the parents showed up. The photo below captures a well-received performance to “I Like Big Butts” by Sir Mix-A-Lot.

I enjoyed thrusting my hips and vigorously shaking my butt because those were the moves that elicited the most laughter from my mother. When my English grandmother saw my moves she was horrified, but I shrugged it off. I had no interest in Victorian sensibilities.

My friends and I delighted in exploring the funky, soulful freedom that comes from the hopeful awareness of impending sexuality and the vastness of life ahead.

Fifteen years later, I seized the opportunity to choreograph a new pool dance and relive a time in which I could unceremoniously slap my ass to Sir Mix-Alot. The dancers are three young women—friends— in their early twenties. For me, that was an age when I was both a child and adult. The dancers waddle around in flippers and play together—another celebration of living on the cusp.

I think about the ways we use our imagination to create rituals that allow us to journey into the next stage. Often, for women, entering new stages involves changes in our body and our sexuality. Hence, I continue to be interested in calling attention to and relishing in anything my grandmother (in her Victorian denial of the body) would consider inappropriate.

Rose Hill // Host Lisa Moncure invites us in for the rehearsal process, performance, and a podcast - Margot Moss

dofilm@earthlink.net

Darrian O’Reilly and Sarah Summers in rehearsal. Photo: Andrew Mandinach

Darrian O’Reilly and Sarah Summers in rehearsal. Photo: Andrew Mandinach

Lisa’s home in Rose Hill is so full of life and color, as are it’s occupants, which will infuse this upcoming performance in rich and beautiful ways. I’m thrilled to experience how it all comes together-

homeLA // Rose Hill Saturday, September 24th: open house from 4:00pm-7:00pm Performances will loop, run for the duration of the event, or repeat hourly so you may plan to attend any time.

artists: Joy Anderson // Jay Carlon // Micki Davis // Milka Djordjevich // Dorothy Dubrule // Andrew Mandinach // Lisa Moncure // Zoe Aja Moore // Darrian O’Reilly // Paul Pescador // Elyse Reardon-Jung // Matt Savitsky // Alyson Van 

Listen to a podcast about homeLA and the upcoming September 24 performance in Rose Hill here: http://www.homestoriesla.net/2016/08/16/episode-17-dancers-in-the-house/"A roving, shifting company of dance and performance artists is nudging its audiences to think about home differently — by bringing one-off, site-specific performances to houses, live-work spaces and tiny apartments all over the Los Angeles area. Meet homeLA." - @homestoriesla. Thank You to Bill Barol of @homestoriesla! 

dance in private space open to the public  http://www.homela.org/

bread 'n' butter

emilyjmar@gmail.com

Every time I have come into this kitchen, beautiful snacks have been put out for all who are hungry. As we rehearse, Asuka’s kids come in and out and she always asks if they have eaten before they blaze out the door with food in hand.

There is a cyclical nature to this kitchen, people come in one door and go out the other, only to come back around again. Basic ingredients are transformed into dips and pastries, filling the space with wonderful aromas and colors of red, green, yellow, black, and white.

I will embed myself in this space for the entire evening, cyclically moving through the kitchen, practicing basic cooking and baking techniques, while engaging in the rhythm of the bustling house. We will shake cream into butter and activate the sensual nature of food. Communing over fresh bread, guests can circle through the room, leaving with snacks in hand.

xx

Emily Marchand

-- Emily Marchand

emilyjmar@gmail.com 323-470-9388 www.emilymarchand.com

What was left out but remains in the piece’s bones – the great equalizer

libbyannbuchanan@hotmail.com

What was left out but remains in the piece’s bones – the great equalizer By Libby Buchanan

Memento Mori is the name. I thought about titling it with an exclamation point because the Latin is 2nd person singular future active imperative, i.e., an order: Remember death! Remember that you will die! The order of life. And thus a dance was born and will die on May 21. Of course there is no shortage of source material in the danse macabre / Totentanz / Day of the Dead / black humor veins. We obsess, delight, and languish in our mortality. And sometimes accept it. There is a poem from the Totentanz textbook (around 1460) that speaks of death as the great equalizer. I wanted to read it aloud in German (in homage to the home’s original German-speaking owner, Philip Newmark) but it just didn’t find a place in the piece. So here it is (courtesy of ye olde Wikipedia)…

The Totentanz finishes (or sometimes starts) with a summary of the allegory's main point:

Wer war der Tor, wer der Weise[r], Wer der Bettler oder Kaiser? Ob arm, ob reich, im Tode gleich.

Who was the fool, who the wise [man], who the beggar or the kaiser? Whether rich or poor, [all are] equal in death.[Image] [Image]

As our bodies dance on the earth, the skeletons surround us, evidence of what is to become.

Memento Mori!

Scents Over Time

Melisa Dougherty

 

How can one see an object without sight? How can you hear a sound without hearing? It is important that the root concept of my work present itself in each sensory experience, so that one may experience the intent despite any sensory limitations. The piece will therefore build off of each mode of experience rather than favoring exclusively one sense. It is with this in mind that I produced the scent of my work for the first time.

“If there are words for all the pastels in a hue—the lavenders, mauves, fushsias, plums, and lilacs—who will name the tones and tints of a smell? It's as if we were hypnotized en masse and told to selectively forget. It may be, too, that smells move us so profoundly, in part, because we cannot utter their names. In a world sayable and lush, where marvels offer themselves up readily for verbal dissection, smells are often right on the tip of our tongues—but no closer—and it gives them a kind of magical distance, a mystery, a power without a name, a sacredness.” ― Diane Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses

Reading this book several years ago, I began to hear differently, see colors more vividly, and smell more fully. At this point, I had begun the practice of making immersive environments, which, almost instinctually, I would burn incense in, but this was the text which prompted me to consider scent more consciously. It was then that, through various exhibitions I was introduced to the Institute of Art and Olfaction and their Open Sessions. It was here, where I designed and the scent of my piece by hand. In the picture above, I am picking the various elements, which I then diluted together.

I am hesitant to describe the scent too explicitly as words can sway perception, but I will speak to the concepts present.

Firstly, it had to reflect the work as a whole, so I chose to replicate a very specific thing. But just as the existence of self is not so static, so is the status of the thing as suspended in scent; in it’s most pleasant and ; the smell includes the past, present, and future of this thing all at once; it therefore can exists everywhere and no where simultaneously.

As the parts of our brains which are connected with processing scent are adjacent to the parts responsible for memory, memory and scents are very closely tied. This is the basis of the classic studying technique of spraying a perfume while studying for an exam and wearing that same perfume while taking an exam. Have you ever caught the whiff of a former lover’s perfume and immediately feel you mind take you to that place and time? Or a certain food, which reminds you of one summer vacation? This happens to me all the time. It is an extremely lucid experience of smell; my mind is teleported out of the precent into a specific feeling. I utilized this concept in my scent by not only attempting to replicate a specific thing, but also to play on nostalgics as well. Therefore, one might find the specificity of the scent through their own individual memory, perhaps even subconsciously.

Welcome to our home, the place of memory.

  • Melisa Dougherty (Em Dee)

merge.part.locate. ---- a solo durational performance by ​crystal sepúlveda

crystal sepulveda

there are some questions that permeate how i am investigating/defining/composing my relationship to Asuka's home.

i am asking these questions from the position of two locations in Asuka's home - under and near the staircase by the front entryway and outdoors on top of the portico. i will alternate between these two locations throughout my four hour durational performance. i see the performance as a platform for revealing the development of these questions. i will be additionally informed by the flow of spectators and performers entering, exiting, lingering, passing through and returning again.

the locations that have called my attention (mentioned above) are situated between or next to more than one other happening/performance. my process is leading me to be conscious of attending to the production of a state of juxtaposition that is not an absolute side by side framing, but one that merges into the other at times diagonally, temporarily, as a reference, on the edges or ongoing...

i am thinking about how to be responsive to my surroundings beyond the two locations where i am located. i am thinking how might this response-extension generate information for me to explore live, right where i am.

how will i negotiate between being here and there from here? what will come from my own self-imposed state of alternating between two specific locations? what kind of relationship will i establish between the locations i inhabit? how are these locations distinguished? how will time inform possibilities to remain and construct identified place? what will change, with the gaze specifically, when performing near audience and then performing from a distance?

these are the immediate questions and desires that will become the work, merge.part.locate.

This Space

maya.gingery@gmail.com

I don't know. Maybe it's me, but time and space seem different now, as if someone else is making the rules. At another iteration of homeLA I was caged in a house, in a room with a skylight and a glass door. The first perforrmance was at sunrise, which was a strangely satisfying experience, and the second at sunset, a very different vibe. But I wasn't satisfied with the results of this experiment, so I found myself drawn to another cage this time, a forgotten corner garden outside Asuka's house. I began to play with it right away, transforming it into a space for me to work. A performance/dance/theatre began to form inside it. At the same time, I'll be outside, under a formidable tree and the infinite sky, but to see my performance the audience will have to be inside the house. I've conceived it as a little theatre framed by a glass door. Those who linger outside will be backstage, so to speak.

I have a few things to say about this piece, this event, this community. First, I truly feel and sense and witness a symbiosis with all the works, all the artists involved, so I don't feel the need to say it again. As you wander through the rooms, witnessing the performances, keep this in mind. Also, so many life-altering, earth-shaking, cathartic events came to me in the last year, and they are all part of the expression that you will witness in this performance. I changed and was changed. So I think transformation is the major theme, though within the idea of change are so many moving parts. smiley face.

There is something of the political in it as well. A feeling that something big is happening, something irreversible. And it's hopeful, not apocalyptic. (sorry, conspiracy theorists) I have been exploring butoh for at least 30 years and that is part of it too. Hijikata was a wild genius and he was one-of-a-kind. But the essence of what I perceive as his real message, that no one can own us, has stayed with me and become part of me. It's a hard nut to crack though, isn't it?

Maya Gingery maya.gingery@gmail.com maya.gingery@gmail.com Cell: 818-388-0513

Marbles's entry on We Love Our Parents, We Fear Snakes

tbmarbles@gmail.com

when someone close dies, something of us dies and too is born over. a parent dies, the child must forge their way through a re-entry bardo, back into this world, a world without their parent's physical form present. and in this birthing of a new

understanding of self , the other self dies. so culturally, we only talk about loss as loss. to speak of loss as anything of a gain veers along taboo. i've been questioning this taboo. penetrating it. and as i continue to work through (meaning live with, move with, be a body with) the shock that my mom is no longer here in physical form, i am forced to forge a new relationship with her beyond physical form, that is, if we are to stay in touch. and so i do it. and in so doing, i find she/i/we are wiser as we grow and talk. part of that is her ability to now see me more so beyond the cultural scripts that once cloistered and confused everything. we were already tearing that all down in her last days.. and so it is a continuation of freeing the relationship. and there is the gain of how i have been liberated by this individually, as i forge my way as the one still living. i'm working from that paradox in this iteration of my collaboration with Yann and Johanna. from the paradox of this body and heart, which knows loss, grief, gain, and liberation at once.

photos by Johanna Breiding from 2015 performance installation at The Armory, Pasadena CA.

[image: Inline image 1] [image: Inline image 2]

Blog post

maya.gingery@gmail.com

Familiar Spaces/

We're told this house is haunted. I notice the doors, so many, so open. She is allowed to move freely through the many connected private spaces. The movement flows like the eddies and currents of a raging river.

How does a home hold its contents, both tangible and intangible? Like the heart, there is a sense of emotions unfelt, unrecognized, unburdened. Within all walls are secrets, but never silence. It's a familiar space, this voluntary fortress.

~ Maya Gingery maya.gingery@gmail.com dance artist, musician, educator

Maya Gingery maya.gingery@gmail.com maya.gingery@gmail.com Cell: 818-388-0513

Space, Place

renaissancebrown@gmail.com

Who would have the audacity to mail themselves to freedom? How could a person have the courage to put their body on the line for the right to claim their place at the table of humanity?

I was told about the true story of Henry B. Brown. The 'B' stands for box. He mailed himself in a 3' x 2' box from Richmond, VA to Philadelphia, PA. Once the abolitionists opened the box, Henry sang a song. He went from being a commodity to changing the narrative his experience by retelling his story and inspiring hope and change.

I am paying Henry "Box" Brown, and others who courageously strive for freedom, homage in this work. I seek not to literalize nor trivialize his story. I am using his story as a catalyst to continue exploring how movement, space and intention can translate to freedom for my body, mind and spirit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ur7Ck7HjE

bbmoves1.wix.com/bbmoves

-- Bernard J. Brown renaissancebrown@gmail.com http://bbmoves1.wix.com/bbmoves 323-875-2201 MFA Candidate, Department of World Arts & Cultures/Dance, UCLA BFA, Dance, SUNY Purchase Dance Artist, Teacher and Choreographer

"Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit." - Bern Williams

homeLA blog blurb for Flexsus Studios

Sarah Prinz

Hey Rebecca,

Hope you're doing well! Here is our blog post! It was such a good idea to request this, it forces you to reflect in a way that you may not have if you didn't have to write about it. Love it.

Title: Getting in there, you just have to really get in there

I craft in images and then string those images together, but when using VR, those images conceived in the live performance landscape can no longer be the heart of the artistic process. I’m forced to rely on my ability to embrace the new possibilities and restrictions to surrender into a new artistic process, and to be honest, I can’t think of anything else I want more right now. This process has provoked opportunities of extreme comfort and discomfort, physically and conceptually. The bathtub is quite smaller when you dance in it with a 6 foot 3 inch partner… I will briefly walk you through some of these insightful challenges from my perspective in our collective, Flexsus Studios.

It’s me, Sarah (Director/Choreographer/Dancer), Danny (Dancer), Ben (Cinematographer), and Jordan (Gaffer). From my perspective, performing in the post-modern contemporary dance aesthetic is like being given permission to fulfill my wildest, weirdest dreams. Unlike narrative film in which we also work, it’s as if the audience’s expectation for clear and concise storytelling is somewhat dismantled, and for me, that makes me want to high-five everyone I see. Our collective in Flexsus Studios tries to dwell in experimental filmmaking through dance films, fashion films, and visual albums, and although this opportunity to get down in a bathtub for 4 hours seems right up our alley, it’s a live 4 hours. That’s something we’ve never done before. So one of the two biggest challenges I’m facing is that I’m choreographing a durational piece with a dancer, Danny, who has never performed dance live besides the occasional dance battle which usually lasts him a solid minute and a half. But hey, he usually wins so I have faith. Shifting our roles from Director - Cinematographer to Dancer – Dancer is a huge, insightful, and hilarious shift, and although Danny can’t go 20 minutes of rehearsal without eating M&Ms, this shift in roles has completely strengthened our artistic relationship and, I think, has provided a deep insight into what dance has the potential to do in the self and project into the world. And yes, now M&Ms have permanently made their way into our piece.

So, I think in images right? Well we met this lovely kid Ben at one of the homeLA meetings, and now there is a beautiful component VR component to our piece! This is exciting and makes me smile a little bit everyday when I wake up, but as we’ve been building and constructing the piece, I’ve realized that my images the audience will see through the VR component are no longer the spine of my comfort in the artistic process but instead the most fragile. The restrictions as a Choreographer that I’m used to, such as the audience’s planted field of vision, are no longer in play, and the possibilities, such as proximity to audience (which is the camera), are now restrictions. Utilizing VR technology has opened up the audience’s field of view to 360 degrees which is amazing, but now this means I must choreographically embrace this vast field of vision in a way that still holds true to our performance concepts. On the other hand, my safe zone of proximity to the camera (which is the audience when they put on the VR headset) is now roughly 3 feet away without distortion instead of being able to get as close to them as I want. These are a couple examples of the flips in possibilities and restrictions that have made this artistic process so challenging yet so unbelievably rewarding. Or at least will be rewarding…when it’s done J

The collective of people performing in this piece are all navigating extremely new environments in their departments, but you don’t grow until you start working at the point where you shake. So we’ve over here quaking away, but enjoying it none-the-less. At least we have a lot of M&Ms.

Thanks Rebecca! See you later today :)

-- Sarah C Prinz Creative Director | Choreographer sarahcprinz.com | flexsusstudios.com 224.406.4881 | scprinz@gmail.com