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Process Record (Blog)

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

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

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 dance artist, musician, educator

Maya Gingery Cell: 818-388-0513

Space, Place

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.

-- Bernard J. Brown 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 C 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 | 224.406.4881 |

Zac Monday on the Role of the Mystic in a Community of Artists

Rebecca Bruno

As a Mystic to the community of Artists, the best I can do is guide and validate! Artists, like Mystics can feel as an outsider, yet their role in the community is indeed vital! The Mystic sees the importance of the Artist so well, all the Mystic can do is congratulate and inform the Artists whose path differs from all else!

Each Artist must follow their intuition to make a success or unsuccess of life! It is the richest gamble one can take! As part of the home experience, I plan on giving out readings to consult Artist, and making some of my herbals teas in the kitchen that day! The point is to validate and inspire the Artist to endure! To make sense of their surreal vision- and to give agency to their outlier sense of self!

It is the Mystics job to have the Artist fully understand their potentials and placement within Mysticism and their community! Every Artist is a Mystic! Every artist channels something unknown! Maybe we can shed light on this with home! In a home! 

Description of my piece for a potential performer

This piece is about helping the audience to see the house and its environs, about providing moments of disjunction that function as seeds for further thought, and to entertain and intrigue. It is made up a number of smaller pieces, the total number to be determined by the constraints of time, space and energy. The longest small piece will be about 10 to 15 minutes long and will take place in the front yard. The first iteration will be before the doors open and then we repeat at an interval yet to be determined. While I hope it will develop, in my mind it now starts with the performers coming out of the front door with brooms (and perhaps gardening implements if I end up with four or five performers). The piece starts with sweeping and gardening. From time to time the various performers will stop in predetermined positions. Eventually they will drop the tools and begin dancing based on Simone Forti's dancing the space exercise (with minimal arms). Eventually “Mockin' Bird Hill” by Les Paul and Mary Ford will start playing and the men will dance with each other (and perhaps a broom). At the end of the music they will sweep their way back into the house. Other smaller pieces: I am thinking of having voice overs on the back stairs and in the office and from time to time having various performers be in the spaces as an installation. I am still hoping I can fill the room with the fireplace with performers for up to five minutes (dancing the space with maximum arms), maybe once an hour. Need to work this out with Zac. I will go into the kitchen by myself from time to time and read recipes to Emily who will be cooking. I haven't quite given up the idea of a parade (with brooms and the lids of pots and pans for noise) in the backyard. I am leaning toward performing the piece in the front more frequently, maybe twice an hour (need to work this out with Maya) and if so everything else might go by the wayside except for reading recipes to Emily from time to time. I really want to do that.

Welcome home, home LA

Design has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember, from reading my mother’s Vogue magazines as a kid to picking up architecture and interiors books in my teens and going to local libraries after class at University to read European and Japanese papers and magazines I couldn’t afford, but were filled with news of which Architect was building the most modern home where. Even product and packaging design was endlessly inspiring with new concepts and inventions, most too forward thinking to ever reach shelves. When Mid-Century preservation began creeping into the consciousness of the desert city of Palm Springs, realizing the incredible legacy they were sitting on, I went to see what the fuss was. I took a then mysterious tour of the modernist architecture, and stayed in the four room and somewhat decaying Hotel Lautner, to which friends replied why stay there? It’s ugly. The very rare opportunity to stay overnight in a Lautner was thrilling, it is now restored and is one of the gleaming modernist gems of the Coachella Valley.

Asuka’s 1911 home has beautiful lines and materials, and each room seems to contain a surprise within it’s detail making for a unique experience around every corner. Driving or walking throughout the Victoria Park neighborhood it sits in is a relatively unknown Los Angeles thrill, a tour of the architectural times of this our fair city. Now that I’m a producer and filmmaker, I would expect these incredible homes to only exist on a studio backlot, a Tudor-Craftsman next to a Spanish Revival across from a Renaissance inspiration. Yet these are the real thing, the details of mahogany and oak, beamed ceilings, ornate windows, have been worn and lived in since the turn of the century. For me, this is the art of design. This will be a beautiful show.

     —Margot Moss

I Love the House

  • *The 15th homeLA and my second as a performer. It's a great house but no story is coming. In my first homeLA at the end of my first visit I had the rough outline of what I wanted to do. In this house, I am in love with certain spaces. The back stairs are wonderful. Standing at the bottom, I can't see what is beyond the top step. I want to climb the steps, sit on the steps, play a Russian children's game on the steps, recreate a piece I did in Yekaterinaburg, Russia in 2010, or maybe just be on the stairs doing nothing. And then there is the rest of the house. There is a butler's pantry similar to the one in the mansion in Jamestown, New York where my Great Aunt Esther was the cook. There is a small room with a fireplace with just enough floor space to dance if the audience stays out of the room and looks in through the doorways. I am attracted to small spaces where only a few people at a time can see in. Only about four people at a time can look at the back stairs. How to handle the logistics. I thought I was going to do a solo but now I see the small spaces with three or four people in it. Maybe there will be a parade. And the kitchen. I want people to walk through the kitchen while we are chanting poems about food or maybe reading recipes. I want to put up poetry fragments on the stairs, on the backs of cupboard doors, anywhere and everywhere. I am thinking of using brooms. I have way too many ideas. I love the house. Terrence Luke Johnson

food, dance, and music share a stage

Rebecca Bruno

During rehearsal on Sunday Asuka shared some of the home's creative goings on over the phone with her friend in Paris who is also an artist. This friend mentioned having seen MAQAMAT DANCE THEATRE at a festival in France.

"Four choreographers and four musicians, with different artistic experiences and ideas, coming from different continents, cultures, and countries, are meeting onstage over a banquet of food. They talk, drink, laugh, dance, and prepare food together. A simple meeting that would be a starting point to a more complex choreographic and conceptual performance structure. 'Beytna' is an invitation to the home of the other, to the artist's profession and choreographic construction. It is an invitation that confirms diversity, touches on forms and situations of the past, and searches for a new rhythm, pattern, and logic."

Beginning / Asuka Hisa opens her doors to Melisa Dougherty, Johanna Breiding, Bernard Brown, Libby Buchanan, Maya Gingery, Terrence Luke Johnson, Emily Marchand, Zac Monday, Yann Novak, Marbles Jumbo Radio, Crystal Sepúlveda, Flexsus Studios

Today was our first site visit to the home of Asuka Hisa and her family in Victoria Park, Los Angeles.

Starting this rehearsal period marks the end of homeLA's third year and our 15th performance process. This occasion has me reflecting on the last few years in questions and a collection of words.

How do people live differently in Los Angeles? How do we share space? How do we experience centrality in our creative practice, communities, families, homes, city? How does an intimate performance environment relate to human empathy?

Below are a few images from today and references that have felt related to aspects of the homeLA project in the past.

[image: Inline image 1]

From William Goyen, House of Breath (1950) shared with me by Emily Marchand: "That people could come into the world in a place they could not at first even name and had never known before; and that out of a nameless and unknown place they could grow and move around in it until its name they knew and called with love, and called it HOME, and put roots there and love others there; so that whenever they left this place they would sing homesick songs about it and write poems of yearning for it, like a lover.."

[image: Inline image 2] Asuka Hisa, Bernard Brown, Libby Buchanan, Melisa Dougherty, Terrence Luke Johnson, Sarah Prinz, Daniel J. Rosenberg, Samara Kaplan, Margot Moss

From Rebecca Solnit (2006) and Stefan Kürten's book, Inside Out: "Walnut Veneer Maybe it's important to make a distinction between what gets called materialism and what real materialism might be. By materialistic we usually mean one who engages in craving, hoarding, collecting, accumulating with an eye to stockpiling wealth or status. There might be another kind of materialism that is simply a deep pleasure in materials, in the gleam of water as well as silver, the sparkle of dew as well as diamonds, an enthusiasm for the peonies that will crumple in a week as well as the painting of peonies that will last. This passion for the tangible might not be so possessive, since the pleasure is so widely available, much of it is ephemeral, and some of it is cheap, or free as clouds. Then too, the hoarding removes the objects--the Degas drawing, the diamond necklace--to the vault where they are suppressed from feeding anyone's senses.

One of the top ninety-nine peculiarities about houses and homes is that they are both: real estate speculation and sanctuary. Artists have a different relation to the material, since after all the main animosity to the realm of substances and solid objects is that they distract from the life of the mind or spirit, but it's the job of artists to find out how materials and images speak, to make the mute material world come to life, and this too undoes the divide. Words of gold, of paint, of velvet, of steel, the speaking shapes and signs that we learn to read, the intelligence of objects set free to communicate and to teach us that all things communicate..."

[image: Inline image 3] Emily Marchand, Melisa Dougherty, Sarah Prinz, Daniel J. Rosenberg, Zac Monday, Bernard Brown, Libby Buchanan, Terrence Luke Johnson and the light. photo: Asuka Hisa

Yo-Yo Ma and performance as hospitality: OnBeing Podcast

Here we go!

warmly, Rebecca


dance in private space open to the public

Dream Forest

Dream trees (forests) on bedroom walls. Prophecies on night stands.

This is how I felt after our first (and my second) visit to Lynn & Cary’s place. I was leapt and Lynn’s introduction to the book that was on her nightstand “The Vorrh.” I did a little research and downloaded the book. The day of our first rehearsal I asked Carry for his impressions of the book. I was deeply  impressed - a story about colonial/post colonial Africa which takes place in the vicinity of an ancient forest called The Vorrh. A forest full of magic and "beyond human" events.

During that same visit I got a better look at their backyard. The huge strangely interesting tress growing in a cluster near the fence. I felt a little transported.

“Every physical memory of her body, from childhood onwards, floated to the surface of her beautiful frame.” “The Vorrh” - B. Caitling


--  Heyward Bracey Sent with Airmail