All posts by showboxla

Video still, taisha paggett performing in Meg Wolfe's "New Faithful Disco," Bootleg Theater, 2014.

Meg Wolfe: New Faithful Disco

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

In New Faithful Disco, a dance work by Los Angeles choreographer Meg Wolfe, belief is made manifest as energy. A trio of dancers—taisha paggett, Rae Shao-Lan and Wolfe—feel it, generate it and remix it as they prepare to take on something big. Love, faith, impermanence? Pleasure? Power? Soul retrieval?

An out, queer-love power-trio wrought with awkwardness and contradictions, New Faithful Disco builds communal energy into an accumulated whirlwind propelled by nature sounds and disco rhythms. Bodies are the conduit: the site of intersections where dances are generated, transferred, translated and recycled in an attempt to remix revolution. Disco opens up time, triggers fading histories and provides a backdrop that frames who we are, now.

Choreographer: Meg Wolfe
Performers: taisha paggett, Rae Shao-Lan, Meg Wolfe
Music: Maria de los Angeles Cuca Esteves
Scenic Design and Styling: Gregory Barnett

Projected premiere and tour dates starting Fall 2015.

Spring 2014
Creative Research Residency at SkyFish
Lake County, California

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

December 2014
Week-long Creative Development and Production Residency at REDCAT
Los Angeles, California

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

Fall 2015
Project Premiere, TBA

• • •
Video still, taisha paggett performing in Meg Wolfe’s “New Faithful Disco,” Bootleg Theater, 2014. 

Photo: Mathu Andersen

Meg Wolfe: New Faithful Disco

September 13–15, 2014

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

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

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

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

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



Grand Lady Dance House: Actress Fury

September 13–16, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

Sunday, September 7, 2014

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

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

$25 advance, $30 at door
This is a trans/genderqueer-friendly class open to all levels of physical experience.

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

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

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

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

For more information contact



Bronx Gothic Notes by OKWUI OKPOKWASILI

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

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

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

$10 donation, includes shipping and handling


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

photo 2

Okwui Okpokwasili: Bronx Gothic

July 17–19, 2014 West Coast Premiere

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

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

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

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

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

Written and performed by Okwui Okpokwasili
Directed by Peter Born

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

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


• • •

Planning on driving, or need a ride? Carpool – Thursday, 7/17 Carpool – Friday, 7/18 Carpool - Saturday, 7/19 Ride Metro!  Gold Line, Highland Park station is only 2 blocks away.


Stephen Thompson

Sunday, April 6, 2014

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

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

$15 advance, $20 at door

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

• • •
Stephen Thompson is a performance artist, choreographer, researcher and pedagogue originally from Calgary, Alberta. His introduction to movement and performing was through competitive figure skating. He received a Bachelor of Kinesiology (art and science of movement) and Dance from the University of Calgary.

Stephen has collaborated with numerous Canadian and European companies and artists including Steeve Paxton, Benoit Lachambre, Dick Wong, Antonija Livingstone and Jennifer Lacey, Fabrice Ramalingom, Public Recordings and Yves-Noel Genod. Recent projects; Trajal Harell’s (USA) 2012 Bessie award winning Antigone Sr. /Twenty Looks or Paris is burning at the Judson Church (Large), Fabrice Lambert’s Solaire presented by Theatre De La Ville, Paris and with Liz Santoro in Relative Collider in Artdanthé 2014.

Stephen has presented his own work internationally within various contexts including with visual artists Xavier Veilhan, Kendell Geers (No Government No Cry 2011) and Laurent Goldring (Nuit Blanche Paris 2011).

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


Christine Bonansea

Performer in Hybrid 2, Nov 2–3, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

HYBRID 2 - Nov 2 & 3, 2013

5 questions from Jennie MaryTai Liu

Jesse Hewit - Peter by Sara Shelon Mann - Photo by Robbie Sweeny-4375

Jesse Hewit


Performer in Hybrid 2, Nov 2 & 3, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

5 questions from Jennie MaryTai Liu

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

Christine Bonansea - C by Sara Shelon Mann - Photo by Robbie Sweeny-7571

Sara Shelton Mann: Hybrid 2

November 2–3, 2013

Sara Shelton Mann and Guests

at Live Arts Los Angeles
4210 Panamint St. (corner of Eagle Rock Blvd)
Los Angeles, CA  90065

San Francisco artist Sara Shelton Mann will premiere Hybrid  2 with collaborators Christine Bonansea, Jesse Hewit, Robbie Beahrs, and Mark Growden. Also on the program: tribes/dominion, SNF, and a live music performance by Mark Growden.

About Hybrid 2:
(from The Eye of Leo Series) A collaborative series of solos created through self-inquiry and conversation. This journey is 2 solos put together overlapping. It is a puzzle without a beginning or end. Framed, condensed and constructed through the consciousness of performer and witness, the work functions as both façade and transparency, to look through and listen into. Imagine what they will do next, and what they are thinking, Watch in retrograde.  Enjoy.

$10 in advance / $20 at the door

Reduced price tickets available for workshop participants – register for The Body Process WORKSHOP

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

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

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

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

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

Jesse Hewit and Sara Shelton Mann in Peter by Sara Shelon Mann - Photo by Robbie Sweeny

Sara Shelton Mann: The Body Process

Saturday–Sunday, November 2–3, 2013

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

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

Two day workshop $60, with performance ticket, $65

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

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


9.19 – 9.28.13: Live Arts Exchange (LAX)

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

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

Show Box L.A. is pleased to present the works of Jennie MaryTai Liu, Nick + James, Hana van der Kolk, and Meg Wolfe on rotating split-bill programs during the first two weeks of this three-week series.

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

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

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

Collaboratively created and inspired by parties and ritual, deepbodygl!ttersexpower(pony)party(?)fuckmenow is a hybrid of dance performance, happening, and living sculpture. The event aims to disperse into multiple and paradoxical points rather than arrive at the fixed and singular outcome instigated by a single author. Featuring performers Megan May Daalder, Justin Streichman, Jane Pickett, Jos McKain, Olive Noire, Blaine O’Neill, and Hana van der Kolk, deepbodygl!ttersexpower(pony)party(?)fuckmenow invites the audience to witness, contemplate, and in some cases participate in the subversion, play, and transformation potentially available through collective, spontaneous, and embodied experimentation and celebration.

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

More info
LAX performance series full schedule

Live Arts Exchange website


8.8 – 8.10.13: Morgan Thorson & Meg Wolfe

August 8-10, 2013

Morgan Thorson and Meg Wolfe / THE OTHER THING
Week 3 of The New Original Works Festival at REDCAT

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

As a partner organization, Show Box L.A. supported the development and presentation of this work; made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and additional funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; and generously supported through a residency at the GuestHaus Residency.

Thursday August 8 – Saturday August 10, 2013
or call the REDCAT box office 213-287-2300
for $36 Festival Pass (all three weeks’ programs)

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

Meg Wolfe is a Los Angeles-based choreographer, performer, and community organizer. Her work has been commissioned by REDCAT, and also presented locally at HomeLA, Bootleg Theater, Off Center Festival/Segerstrom Center for the Arts, the New Original Works Festival, Highways Performance Space, Sea and Space Explorations, Anatomy Riot, and others. Her projects have been supported by the National Performance Network Creation Fund, grants from Center for Cultural Innovation and Durfee Foundation ARC Grants, the Danspace Project Commissioning Initiative; and by residencies including the Djerassi Resident Artist’s Program, and the Hothouse Residency program at UCLA. She has performed in the works of Sigal Bergman, Molissa Fenley, Clarinda Mac Low, Susan Rethorst, and Vicky Shick. She is also a founding editor of itch Dance Journal.


Morgan Thorson: Get to Know Yourself

Sunday, June 23, 2013

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

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

$15 advance, $20 at door

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

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

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


Bebe Miller & Angie Hauser: Hybrid Expression

Saturday, April 6, 2013

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

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

$15 advance/$20 at door

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

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

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

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

photo by Julieta Cervantes

luciana achugar and Michael Mahalchick

Nothing But Desire: An Interview with luciana achugar and Michael Mahalchick

by Stacy Dawson Stearns for Show Box L.A.

SDS is Stacy Dawson Stearns
LA is luciana achugar
MM is Michael Mahalchick

SDS: I am going to start at the obvious. “Puro Deseo” means “pure desire,” but desire is too numinous to regard as a singular entity. Can you discuss specific forms or personifications of desire that called upon you to manifest this piece? Did you wish to open something in yourself that you had not yet experienced?

LA: “Puro Deseo” means pure desire because puro means pure but in Spanish to say pure desire you must switch the words around and say “deseo puro”; on the other hand puro in front of deseo means “all desire” or “nothing but desire”. In other words, I was interested in leaving the title in Spanish, not only because it feels very different than when it is said in English, but also because it means both pure desire and nothing but desire, all desire – and there was no direct translation for this phrase in English.

When I speak of desire, I intend to embody a state of desire that to me is akin to embodying potentiality. I guess there is a religiosity within that state of desire, but that aspect permeates the state without my seeking it directly.

When I began working on this piece I had the fantasy of being able to create something that could remain in a state of potentiality, meaning that I was trying to create not to design a product, but to make a dance that could embody the desire to create, the desire to express, and the desire to affect change or possibly even heal the audience.

I was trying to be honest with myself and accept that as an artist my desire is to heal the audience, as pretentious as that might seem; that’s truly one of the underlying motivators of my creating and I wanted to access that possibility for magic that is within the theater and within my body (and Mahalchick’s). This was done both with humility and delusions of grandeur. Therefore, the desire is both vulnerable and full of fantastical delusion.

SDS TO MM: This makes me curious about Michael’s experience. Michael, how was it “to access the possibility of magic” within your body and in within the space of the theatrical setting? Can you characterize the way these ideas worked through or in your body during this process?

MM: For me, in this work, “accessing the possibility of magic” manifested itself as an exploration of presence. Because this piece starts in a place of “emptiness/nothingness” it creates a space where one can slowly build an embodied presence that isn’t informed by preconceived notions of character/identity. Each time we perform this work it feels like I am conjuring the movement and my character from nothing besides the desire to affect change on my own existence. I feel like it is the creation then transformation, by sheer force of will, of an embodied presence that has the agency to affect change on its environment in a way that is not necessarily based in materiality but is driven by a palpable energy.

SDS: Michael, you and Luciana have been collaborating for a long time, but this was your premiere as a performer/creator in this work. Did this experience shift the way you collaborate with Luciana as a video or sound designer/composer? What questions or challenges to your other art practices have arisen from your psycho-physical participation in Puro Deseo?

MM: I don’t think the way I collaborated with Luciana on Puro Deseo was essentially different than how I’ve collaborated with her in the past. Generally, when I work with Luciana we have a very close and open dialogue, artist to artist, about what ideas she would like to explore in the work and my role within the work is usually determined by our ongoing discussions of her ideas, not necessarily by the role she may have initially recruited me for. In order for my contribution to best serve her ideas my role sometimes needs to shift to accommodate the changes that occur in the development of the work. Within my own art practice, my experience in Puro Deseo has led me to a deeper exploration into ideas of time and presence in relation to transformation. Can the act of transformation be effectively dramatic to create meaning when the act is invisible in a material sense? This is, for someone who primarily identifies as a sculptor, definitely a challenge.

SDS: Luciana, you have identified Puro Deseo as an incantation. I have never known magic to sit by quietly when it is invoked, even as a muse. Did the incantation “work” in the way that you originally intended?

LA: No, I don’t think it worked. I think I failed, except for maybe the very first part of the piece… I think the only part of the work that is truly healing is the darkness. So I guess the fact that I somehow, not rationally, arrived at the decision to use darkness did work. But in all honestly I wasn’t completely intending for the whole piece to be a true ritual of enchantment, but more to find the intersection between incantation and performing dance in a theater and to ask questions about it.

I guess you could say that it is more a piece that desires to be an incantation, since like I said before I am not interested in accomplishment and completion or perfection of design but in what motivates it or drives it; which is more similar with what being/living in a body is like.

SDS: Your choreographic work involves shifting sensory experience/exploration into form. Is “translate” the right word to describe the movement of your material from initial discovery to expression on the stage? If not- how would you characterize the shift from primordial information to repeatable structure and vocabulary? 

LA: I wouldn’t call it translate because as I understand it, that would possibly denote a reshaping of some kind, and I think that what I am doing is more a compilation of content/material without losing its initial motivation during that magical improvisatory moment that birthed it. That is probably why I end up using repetition a lot, because instead of taking the material and following a kinetic or movement phrase from it’s initial discovery, I try to stay in it and repeat it to let it change me, my cells, my flesh, my organs and my emotional state so that I can become what that movement is rather than just “showing” it as a dance move.

I also repeat to try to find an inner logic that brings about it’s relationship to space that makes most sense from an intuitive rhythm that just plainly feels right; not without questioning it but trying to follow what feels exciting, natural or simply like it belongs to the world or new “body” that seems to grow out of the piece…

SDS: As a performer, you glow in a way that is feral yet vulnerable. Do you feel that this empowers you when you face external critique of the work? How does the eternal dialogue of review/commentary affect you in your creative space? Have you endured any press-related dismissal or indictment of your work that you would like to address here?

LA: Thank you, that’s a complement to me: “feral yet vulnerable”…!  It empowers me onstage; or rather being onstage makes this feral yet vulnerable side of me come out because that’s how it feels to me to be the object of viewing of the gaze of the audience. (I can elaborate on this a bit more but I can’t find the right words right now for it . . . something about the audience’s gaze representing western civilization and the status quo – somehow when I’m the performer, it is a space where I can be my non-socialized self). However, it does not empower me when it comes to external critique as I often feel misunderstood by critics. Yes, I feel like the raw or feral aspect of it makes most critics dismiss it as less serious dance, less formal. (For example my last piece was criticized for using a mirroring structure but not being perfect in its form; although it was obvious that we could not see well and therefore the failing of the structure was built into the work and part of its intention and exploration).

On the other hand, some viewers that are into more intellectual readings or that dismiss dancing if it’s not conceptual enough, seem to not connect enough with my work because it’s too humanistic or felt or maybe because it embraces theatricality and functions more as an experience than as an essay.

It’s hard to say really, this is when my ego and insecurities get in the way and it’s hard to really know how it is being seen by others. I am constantly dissatisfied with what I do as I am too self-critical, so any critique I tend to take to heart; until I take some distance from the work and the critiques and start my next work and get all excited about it again…


3.29 – 3.30.13: luciana achugar

Show Box L.A. presents choreographer luciana achugar, in the Los Angeles premiere of her Bessie Award-winning work, PURO DESEO.

March 29–30, 2013

luciana achugar / PURO DESEO

“Amplified by an uncanny theatricality that fluctuates between gothic horror and the primal, moving body.”   —The New York Times

“Downtown’s wildchild from Uruguay, Luciana Achugar … deliberately treads the line between dance and ritual.” —Dance Magazine

Los Angeles Premiere

In her Bessie Award-winning evening-length duet PURO DESEO, choreographer luciana achugar embraces the cavernous darkness of the black box to create a riveting performance ritual that invokes the power and mystery of the theater itself. Drawing on paranormal phenomena, the occult and Gothic representations of monstrosity, achugar and collaborator Michael Mahalchick generate an eerily tangible force in this visceral incantation built from sound, movement and the conflicting presences of light and dark.

Conceived and directed by luciana achugar. Created and performed by luciana achugar and Michael Mahalchick. Lighting design by Madeline Best. Costume design by Walter Dundervill.

Presented with generous support from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts.

Friday & Saturday, March 29 & 30
$15 in advance / $20 at the door

Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles
1238 W. 1st Street
Los Angeles, CA  90026
(Street parking on 1st St., 2nd St., and Bixel St.)



Register for Feeling is believing WORKSHOP

photo by Julieta Cervantes


luciana achugar is a Brooklyn-based choreographer originally from Montevideo, Uruguay. She makes dances to be FELT as they are SEEN and as an occasion for communion. achugar developed her voice as an artist in close dialogue with the NY and Montevideo contemporary dance communities. Her work is concerned with the post-colonial world, searching for an undoing of this abuse of power from the inside out.

She began making work collaboratively with Levi Gonzalez in 1999, and in 2002 she started working independently. Since then she has created eight works that have been presented at dance venues throughout New York City, as well as atMOMA’s PS1; at the Green Street Studios in Cambridge, MA; at the Walker Art Center and The Southern Theater in Minneapolis; at Portland’s Institute of Contemporary Art during their Time-Based Art Festival; and in Uruguay at the Festival Iberoamericano de Danza, Teatro Solis and the Centro Cultural de España en Montevideo.

achugar is a 2013 Creative Capital grantee; a two-time New York Dance “Bessie” Award recipient; she was one of Dance Magazine’s 2011 “25 to Watch” and a 2010 Foundation for Contemporary Arts grantee. Her work has received support and recognition from several foundations including the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Jerome Foundation and the Multi-Arts Production Fund, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council President’s Award (2009) and a Brooklyn Arts Exchange “Passing it on” Artist Award. achugar was a Movement Research Artist in Residence (2001-2003) and a BAX Artist in Residence (2009-11) and is currently part of The Hatchery Project.

2010 New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award Winning Production. PURO DESEO was commissioned by The Kitchen and created with support from the Multi-Arts Production Fund; the Jerome Foundation; the Abrons Arts Center Workspace Program; and through the Artist in Residence Program at BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange.

photo by Michael Mahalchick


3.30.13: luciana achugar

WORKSHOP with luciana achugar
Feeling is believing

Saturday, March 30, 2013
noon- 2:30pm

Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles
1238 W. 1st Street
Los Angeles, CA 90026

$30 in advance for workshop and ticket to performance
for workshop only: $20 in advance, $25 at door

Feeling is believing
I like to think of dance class as a chance to grow a new body. I am in a process of developing the language that gives me access to a more sensual, animal, connected, bloody, fleshy, fatty, bony, magical, deeper than even the marrow of the bone, vibrational body; and I’d like to share it with you. Using a lot our imagination, using our breath and our voice, using touch and also sometimes discussing and learning tools for strengthening connections and for letting go of patterns of use of ourselves. Always moving towards pleasure…

luciana achugar is a Brooklyn based choreographer from Uruguay. She makes dances to be FELT as they are SEEN and as an occasion for communion. achugar developed her voice as an artist in close dialogue with the NY and Montevideo contemporary dance communities. She began making work collaboratively with Levi Gonzalez in 1999, and in 2002 she started working independently. Her work is concerned with the post-colonial world, searching for an undoing of this abuse of power from the inside out. She is a two-time Bessie Award recipient.


2.4.13: Jeremy Wade

Jeremy Wade / FOUNTAIN

Monday February 4, 2013

Fountain is a solo from Jeremy Wade that has been evolving since early experiments 2010. The work proposes a generative sphere of uncertainty as Wade circumvents traditional audience-performer dynamics and facilitates a generous group experience that evolves into a sensual engine. Wade assumes the role of preacher, shaman, and fool, by offering himself as a medium to receive and transform the energy of the theater space taking the audience on an emotional and alchemical journey. Wade’s choreographic technique is a unique encounter of aesthetic, sociological, and neurological dimensions. He derives movement from intense attention to the multiplicity of impulses in the body that are drawn from neurological processes, social constructions of norm, and aesthetic decisions. The stage becomes an engine where the intersubjective actions/reactions are propelled into space enveloping the audience for maximal sensation and association.

Foxfairy Studios
700 S. Market Court (upstairs)
Los Angeles, CA 90021
map here
free & abundant on site parking

$10 advance/$20 at the door

“Wade is a captivating growling demon spastically continuing to “suck” the life out of each one of us.”
-Christine Hou Brooklyn Rail 

Jeremy Wade is an American dancer/choreographer based in Berlin. He graduated from the School For New Dance Development, Amsterdam in the year 2000. Wade premiered his first evening length work titled “Glory” at Dance Theater Workshop, New York City in February of 2006, for which he received a New York Bessie Award. Since then, Wade has been living in Berlin, working closely with the Hebbel Theater and Dramaturge Eike Wittrock. His most recent performance works include ”…and pulled out their hair” (2007), “Throwing Rainbows Up” (2008), “I Offer My Self To Thee” (2009), “There Is No End To More” (2010). In 2011 Wade embarked on a six month research phase titled “identity and transgression” from which he created the solo “Fountain” and a new trio titled “To The Mountain.” In 2013 Wade will construct three pieces: a new solo investigating the erotic body called “Mesmer,” a new trio titled “Precarious Objects” with Berlin based Sculptor Monika Grizmala and the California based Experimental Musician Jamie Stewart aka Xiu Xiu and finally to end 013 he will score a piece made exclusively for the members of an audience called “Common Prayer.”

Besides the creation of performances and a rigorous teaching practice Wade has always been drawn to the curation, production and subsequent hosting of ecstatic events. This interest in curation evolved from his experience as a vibrant host of parties and Night Clubs in New York City during the mid 90’s to becoming a founding member in 2003 of Chez Bushwick a Live / Work loft for the performing arts in industrial Bushwick, Brooklyn. He curated the “Politics of Ecstasy“ Festival in January of 2009 at the Hebbel am Ufer together with Meg Stuart, Eike Wittrock, and Brendan Dougherty. Wade also curated a queer performance series in 13 editions from 2009 to 2011 at Basso, Berlin titled “Creature Feature”.

For more information visit

“A soaring, secular hymn produced by a shaman, who (virtually speaking) has ingested some transformative substance that wracked his body and elated his soul.”
– Deborah Jowitt Dance Bloggers

“By turns frightening and pitiful, the process was fascinating to behold, and strangely affecting. [...] His words — “it’s raining rainbow-colored glitter”— could be mocked, but his performance shouldn’t be. I suspect I wasn’t the only one to emerge from the church a happier person.”
– Brian Seibert, The New York Times

“Is he serious?” was the question that seemed to plague Wade’s hysterical participatory exercise. But our uncertainty was also a testament to his virtuosic command of the madman shaman vibe. More to the point: Can he continue to make us nonbelievers believe without really believing?
– Art Forum

A production by Jeremy Wade in co-production with Danspace, NYC, HAU, Berlin. Sponsored with funds from the Hauptstadtkulturfonds and by the Mayor of Berlin Senate Chancellery Cultural Affairs. With support by Tanzfabrik Berlin and Uferstudios.

photo by Romain Ettienne


2.3.13: Jeremy Wade

WORKSHOP with Jeremy Wade

Sunday, February 3, 2013
noon- 6pm with lunch break

Live Arts Los Angeles (LALA)
4210 Panamint Street
(on the corner of Eagle Rock Blvd.)
Los Angeles, CA 90065

$40-$60 sliding scale

The day will consist of a three-hour session, lunch break and then another two-hour session.

Lunch will be provided.

Scanning/Queer Scores/Have a Nice Trip – We start this process with a thorough warm up of Yoga or Pilates to stretch and strengthen our bodies.  We then delve into experiential anatomy work based on Ideokinesis. I will break out lots of anatomical images and we can visualize these parts and most interestingly, their directions, with a combo of hands on work and guided movement explorations. Then I like to lead the group through a series of somatic visualizations using gentle verbal cues and inspiring music. The visualizations can be esoteric, psychedelic, punk rock, ridiculous and even Sci Fi in nature. The intent of this hypnotic practice is to cultivate our awareness and conscious participation with the holographic body by actively scanning through multiple points and groups of points as we move.  While guiding the group through their anatomy I begin to introduce a sensual and shifting pallet of imagined environments. The combination of inspiring music, gentle suggestive verbal cues and working with eyes closed serves as a generative framework for a very nice and sweaty trip!!

Then we will improvise. I am working on this dysfunctional magician thing so I will share my process with you and we can pull him apart.

Jeremy Wade is an American dancer/choreographer based in Berlin. He graduated from the School For New Dance Development, Amsterdam in the year 2000. Wade premiered his first evening length work titled “Glory” at Dance Theater Workshop, New York City in February of 2006, for which he received a New York Bessie Award. Since then, Wade has been living in Berlin, working closely with the Hebbel Theater and Dramaturge Eike Wittrock. His most recent performance works include ”…and pulled out their hair” (2007), “Throwing Rainbows Up” (2008), “I Offer My Self To Thee” (2009), “There Is No End To More” (2010). In 2011 Wade embarked on a six month research phase titled “identity and transgression” from which he created the solo “Fountain” and a new trio titled “To The Mountain.” In 2013 Wade will construct three pieces: a new solo investigating the erotic body called “Mesmer,” a new trio titled “Precarious Objects” with Berlin based Sculptor Monika Grizmala and the California based Experimental Musician Jamie Stewart aka Xiu Xiu and finally to end 013 he will score a piece made exclusively for the members of an audience called “Common Prayer.”

Besides the creation of performances and a rigorous teaching practice Wade has always been drawn to the curation, production and subsequent hosting of ecstatic events. This interest in curation evolved from his experience as a vibrant host of parties and Night Clubs in New York City during the mid 90’s to becoming a founding member in 2003 of Chez Bushwick a Live / Work loft for the performing arts in industrial Bushwick, Brooklyn. He curated the “Politics of Ecstasy“ Festival in January of 2009 at the Hebbel am Ufer together with Meg Stuart, Eike Wittrock, and Brendan Dougherty. Wade also curated a queer performance series in 13 editions from 2009 to 2011 at Basso, Berlin titled “Creature Feature”.

For more information visit


Culturebot: Good Circulation

Good Circulation: Grassroots Exchange Connecting Communities of Practice

” … The exchanges are vitamins for rich and progressive contemporary performance communities nationally.

To cite a potent example, Show Box L.A.’s… grassroots efforts have created a powerful hub of experimental practice and dialogue that did not previously exist in the area.

-Julie Potter, on is a platform for discourse on contemporary dance, theater, live art and visual art performance.

This article is from a series posted as part of the dialogue around the 2013 American Realness Festival in NYC.


1.31 – 2.3.13: itch @LA Art Book Fair

itch Dance Journal has been invited to participate in Printed Matter’s LA Art Book Fair at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles

January 31 – February 3, 2013

itch will be at Table 38.

Printed Matter presents the first annual LA Art Book Fair, from February 1-3, at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. An opening will be held on the evening of Thursday, January 31.

Free and open to the public, the LA Art Book Fair is a unique event for artists’ books, art catalogs, monographs, periodicals, and zines presented by more than 180 international presses, booksellers, antiquarians, artists, and independent publishers from nineteen countries.

The LA Art Book Fair is the companion fair to the NY Art Book Fair, held every fall in New York. Over 20,000 artists, book buyers, collectors, dealers, curators, independent publishers, and other enthusiasts attended the NY Art Book Fair in 2012.

Hours and Location

Preview: Thursday, January 31, 6–9 pm
Friday, February 1, 11-5 pm
Saturday, February 2, 11 am–6 pm
Sunday, February 3, 12 am–6 pm

The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
152 North Central Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 626-6222



11.17.12: Ishmael Houston-Jones

WORKSHOP with Ishmael Houston-Jones

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

Doing It

What is your first impulse? Can you trust it? What happens when the judge falls asleep? Can sight be a handicap? Can you know too much? This is a workshop about Composition.

workshop will take place onstage at
REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater)
631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

$15 in advance, $20 walk-in

Register Now

Ishmael Houston-Jones is a choreographer, author, performer, teacher, and arts activist.  His improvised dance and text work has been performed in New York City, across the United States, in Europe, Canada, Australia and Latin America. Houston-Jones’ Nowhere, Now Here was commissioned for Mordine and Company in Chicago in spring 2001 and Specimens was commissioned for Headlong Dance Theater in Philadelphia in 1998.  In 1997 he was the choreographer for Nayland Blake’s Hare Follies at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. From 1995-2000 he was part of the improvised trio Unsafe/Unsuited with Keith Hennessy and Patrick Scully. In 1990 he and writer Dennis Cooper presented The Undead at the Los Angeles Festival of the Arts. In 1989 he collaborated with filmmaker Julie Dash on the video Relatives, which was aired nationally on the PBS series Alive From Offf-Center (Alive TV). In 1984 Houston-Jones and Fred Holland shared a New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award for their Cowboys, Dreams and Ladders. In 2010 Performance Space 122 and the New Museum supported the reconstruction of Houston-Jones’ 1985/86 collaboration with Dennis Cooper and Chris Cochrane, THEM. The piece has since been presented at the American Realness festival (New York, NY), Springdance (Utrecht, NL), Centre Pompidou (Paris, France), and TanzImAugust (Berlin, Germany).  The reconstruction of THEM received a New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” award in 2011.  Houston-Jones is currently touring with Miguel Gutierrez and the Powerful People in And lose the name of action.


Chris Cochrane, Dennis Cooper and Ishmael Houston-Jones  THEM
Thursday, November 15, 2012 to Sunday, November 18, 2012 

“Works this good—this necessary—don’t come around very often.”
-The New York Times
“Unabashedly gay and gritty… A cathartic restaging.”
– Artforum

West Coast premiere
The Sharon Disney Lund Dance Series

This powerful re-staging of THEM, an incendiary work of dance theater that premiered in 1986, won a coveted Bessie Award last year for “bringing an intensely visceral exploration of male identity in the time of AIDS to life with beauty, power, conviction and passion.” Conceived and directed by choreographer Ishmael Houston-Jones with writer Dennis Cooper and composer Chris Cochrane, THEM takes an unblinking look at the lives of young gay men in a harrowing, uncertain time. The original collaborators are joined onstage by six young male performers, amplifying themes of youth and survival, while transmitting a legacy of loss with ferocious energy and unforgettable imagery. Propelled by Cochrane’s hard-driving live score and Cooper’s ever-provocative texts, the dancers take to the action with menacing force.

Funded in part with generous support from the National Performance Network (NPN) Performance Residency Program. For more information, visit


9.22.12: Gob Squad (UK)

Workshop with Gob Squad.  The acclaimed multimedia collective of artists from the U.K. and Germany (performing at REDCAT Sept 20-23) will be leading a masterclass as an introduction to their working process and methods of using the individual performer to filter, digest and interact with the wider culture, history and society around us. Company members lead this performance workshop right in the set of Gob Squad’s Kitchen, exploring their unique blend of theater and real life.

Limited to 14 participants. This workshop is open to students, artists, performance makers and film makers. Participants should be aged 16 or older.

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

workshop will take place onstage at
REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater)
631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

$20 in advance
Register now for Workshop with Gob Squad


Gob Squad will be performing at REDCAT:
Thursday, September 20, 2012 to Sunday, September 23, 2012
Gob Squad’s Kitchen (You’ve Never Had It So Good) 

Mesmerizing, intellectually rigorous, laugh-out-loud funny… Must-see.” New York Press
An absolute gem of a show.” The New York Times
Los Angeles premiere


The acclaimed multimedia collective of ingenious artists from the U.K. and Germany playfully deploys an inventive arsenal of live video and performance techniques to celebrate the culture-bending heyday of Andy Warhol’s Factory. Live recreations of scenes from the 1965 Edie Sedgwick vehicle Kitchenacted out on bare-bones sets and viewed as black-and-white projectionsare spliced with other Warhol celluloid adventures to evoke an elusive, mythic time and placeits hedonistic experimentalism, its wave of social change. Shrewdly crafted and frequently hilarious, Gob Squad’s live versions of the films collide with the immediate here-and-now to surprising effect, transporting the audience to an explosively creative era and unearthing the depths beneath the shiny surface of modern life.

Funded in part with generous support from the British Council, the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF), and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).


House of Evil Women

9.24.12: Velvet Hammer

Pat Payne aka VELVET HAMMER will be representing Show Box L.A. during the Fall Brawl of the L.A. Lady Arm Wrestlers event at Bootleg Theater.  “One part Theater. One part Wrestling. One part Anything Can Happen.”
Join us!

Monday, Sept 24, 2012

Bootleg Theater
2220 Beverly Blvd.
LA, CA  90057

$8 online, $10 at the door, $25 VIP seats (limited availability)

LA LAW returns to arm wrestle in the name of grassroots, non-profit art. Along with Show Box L.A., this brawl will feature theater companies Sacred Fools, Ghost Road, Collaborative Arts LA, Opera del Espacio, Son of Semele, Moving Arts, and Poor Dog Group. Los Angeles is a big, disparate place, with hundreds of theater companies. LA LAW’s mission is to bring us all together as one four times a year in the spirit of competition and integration and by empowering women of all shapes and sizes. LA LAW is part of the national non-profit Collective of Lady Arm Wrestlers or CLAW ( It is One part Theater. One part Wrestling. One part Anything Can Happen. And all the money raised is donated back to our communities. In the spirit of WWF, Roller Derby, and burlesque, the Los Angeles chapter is part of a growing national movement. These spectacles are a strange brew of performance art, burlesque, sport, and grassroots fundraising, where women create wild personas, theme songs and entourages, and solicit money from the audience. Eight LA theater companies send a wrestler. Eight women will battle it out with strength, wits, bribery, you name it. Our celebrity judges make the final decision. We name a champion and the proceeds are donated back to the winning wrestlers company, with the other seven companies earning whatever they raise from the crowd.



press: Swap/Meet #01

Experimental, Improvised Dance Energizes in ‘Swap/Meet’ at Bootleg Theater

“Though Show Box LA has only recently become the proud recipient of a handful of financial awards from public and private sources, local audiences continue to reap the rewards of this forward thinking not-quite-an-institution. This past weekend, the multi-faceted amoebic structure brought Abby Crain and Margit Galanter, two movement-based artists from San Francisco, into Southern California to make their Los Angeles debuts, sharing a program with Wolfe. They’re the pilot production of “Swap/Meet,” the new Show Box LA initiative that “connects dance communities through performances, workshops and exchanges,” as stated in the evening’s program at the Bootleg Theater.

Promotional materials mention the investigative nature of the work on display and the strong part improvisation plays in these artists’ oeuvres… the opening up of the creative process can be illuminating and compelling to witness.

Three cheers for Show Box LA moving forward! Let’s keep our eyes open for the next launch!”

-Benn Widdey,


Abby Crain

8.24-26.12: Swap/Meet #01

Swap/Meet #01: Los Angeles-San Francisco

Abby Crain, Margit Galanter & Meg Wolfe


Swap/Meet #01 brings together the dance worlds of Northern and Southern California, featuring LA’s Meg Wolfe and Bay-Area artists Abby Crain and Margit GalanterShow Box LA launches its latest initiative at Bootleg, kicking off Swap/Meet with work that demonstrates a commitment to investigative practices and improvisational forms. Abby Crain presents a group work This is nothing new. These are some things we are chewing on, and this time you can watch. Margit Galanter presents a solo, Relay: Living Things Shine On. And Meg Wolfe presents a new solo work, calling it something else for now, created with long-time collaborator, composer Aaron Drake.

August 24 – 26, 2012
Friday & Saturday at 7:30pm
Sunday at 3pm

Bootleg Theater
2220 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057

Tickets:  $15 in advance, $20 at the door
available online at

In addition to the performances, Margit Galanter will lead a workshop “BEING SCENE” at Bootleg on Saturday, August 25th, 11am-2pm.  

Funded in part with support from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

ABBY CRAIN is a dancemaker and performer with roots in both the Bay Area and the New York performance worlds. She has presented work in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.  She danced with Miguel Gutierrez and the Powerful People from 2001 to 2009, with David Dorfman Dance from 2001-2003, and has worked extensively with Sara Shelton Mann. She regularly teaches and makes work with Margit Galanter under the moniker “ARTWORKOUTS”, and is engaged in an ongoing collaboration around movement, language and performance with Bay Area poet, David Buuck.

MARGIT GALANTER’s fascination regarding the construction and value of movement has drawn her to collaborative embodied research for decades. Margit is a movement investigator and dance poet living in Oakland, CA, and she presents and teaches inter/nationally – places like Mills College, Naropa University, city streets, PS122, Movement Research, SOMAFest, and Pieter Performance. Her work is highly influenced through her ongoing artistic research strands and her long-term practice in movements as diverse as Lisa Nelson’s “Tuning” Scores, Steve Paxton’s Material for the Spine, Wild Goose qigong, Amerta Movement (Javanese movement meditation developed by Suprapto Suryodarmo), The Feldenkrais Method, and Open Source Releasing technique. In the Bay Area, she collaborates with Abby Crain through Art Workouts, as well as media artist Kadet. Her practice, Physical Intelligence, encompasses her unique perspective, helping people experience the innate clarity and vitality one can uncover through the potency of movement.

Noted by the Los Angeles Times as one of the “Faces to Watch in 2012″, MEG WOLFE is a LA-based choreographer/performer, co-editor of itch Dance Journal, and the founder and artistic director of Show Box LA. Her full-evening work, trembler.SHIFTER,  was a 2011 National Performance Network Creation Fund Project, commissioned by REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater).  Her work has been presented on the west coast at REDCAT, Segerstrom Center for the Arts/Off Center Festival, CalArts, Highways Performance Space, Anatomy Riot, Sea and Space Explorations, among others. Her projects have been supported by funding from the National Performance Network Creation Fund, the Center for Cultural Innovation ARC Grant, the Durfee Foundation ARC Grants, Danspace Project Commissioning Initiative, and Meet the Composer Fund; multiple residencies at the Djerassi Resident Artist’s Program; the Hothouse Residency program at UCLA, and others. Based in Los Angeles since 2004, Wolfe’s prior work occurred in NYC in the works of Vicky Shick, Sigal Bergman, Molissa Fenley, Clarinda Mac Low, and Susan Rethorst.


8.25.12: Margit Galanter

Workshop with Margit Galanter

Solo action <-> group action, tuning, and warming-up as a compass for compositionally brilliant presencing. One of the mysterious challenges of performing is to see and be seen at the same time, and with that, sensing while acting. In this workshop, we’ll investigate our creative practice threads while dealing with the explicit challenges of presence, communication, and collaboration. We’ll work in the rich arena of multisensoriality, receptivity, stillness, and one’s own unique performativity. Being Scene is a forum for sensuary live installation experiments, highly influenced by the mosaic of somatics and sensory perceptual research.

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

Bootleg Theater
2220 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90057

Part of Swap/Meet #01.

Margit Galanter’s fascination regarding the construction and value of movement has drawn her to collaborative embodied research for decades. Margit is a movement investigator and dance poet living in Oakland, CA, and she presents and teaches inter/nationally – places like Mills College, Naropa University, city streets, PS122, Movement Research, SOMAFest, and Pieter Performance. Her work is highly influenced through her ongoing artistic research strands and her long-term practice in movements as diverse as Lisa Nelson’s “Tuning” Scores, Steve Paxton’s Material for the Spine, Wild Goose qigong, Amerta Movement (Javanese movement meditation developed by Suprapto Suryodarmo), The Feldenkrais Method, and Open Source Releasing technique. In the Bay Area, she collaborates with Abby Crain through Art Workouts, as well as media artist Kadet. Her practice, Physical Intelligence, encompasses her unique perspective, helping people experience the innate clarity and vitality one can uncover through the potency of movement.




Foundation for Contemporary Arts Support!

The Show Box LA team is thrilled by the news that we’ve been awarded a grant from Foundation for Contemporary Arts towards our presenting programs in the coming year. It’s a great honor to be recognized by FCA for our endeavors here in Los Angeles, and join the list of wonderful organizations that they support.

Thank you FCA!  And thank you to our dynamic community of artists, friends, family, and supporters!

“Foundation for Contemporary Arts is thrilled to support these worthy arts organizations, who provide crucial services and presenting platforms to artists across the country,” said Stacy Stark, Executive Director of Foundation for Contemporary Arts.

Founded and guided by artists, FCA’s mission is to encourage, sponsor and promote innovative work in the arts created and presented by individuals, groups and organizations. For forty-nine years, FCA has provided grants to hundreds of artists and arts organizations enabling significant opportunities for creative exploration and development, and in fact predated the creation of government agencies such as the NEA.


itch Dance Journal has a new website!

itch Dance Journal has a new website!

Now and future lovers of itch, We are delighted to announce that we have a new website. The talented and whimsical Tanya Rubbak, itch Dance Journal’s design guru, has been hard at work. Check it out!

Practice participation in the ever-unfurling culture of corporeal inquiry and art making,
from LA and beyond: insert your thoughts, your body, your voice.

Love from the itch team:
Arianne Hoffmann, Taisha Paggett, Tanya Rubbak, Meg Wolfe, and Sara Wolf

submit    *    volunteer    *     subscribe    *    distribute    *    sponsor    *    donate

5.5.12: Wild Mind

Wild Mind: David Roussève, Cari Ann Shim Sham*, and Sri Susilowati


A discussion series moderated by Dr. Anna B. Scott/The Gesture & The Citizen

Dr. Anna B. Scott/Gesture & The Citizen teams up with Show Box LA to produce Wild Mind, a series of three live discussions about dance, innovation and society. Dr. Anna B. Scott’s first talk on Saturday, May 5, 2012 will be with choreographer David Roussève and filmmaker Cari Ann Shim Sham* about memory and screens, dance on film, and other topics that arise from the mediated gesture. We are pleased to announce that Sri Susilowati, co-choreographer and subject of their film Two Seconds After Laughter, will be joining us for the discussion.

Wild Mind is a series of conversations about dance, innovation, and society led by artist/scholar Anna B. Scott for Show Box LA.

Saturday, May 5, 2012
Electric Lodge
1416 Electric Ave., Venice, CA 90291

GestureandCitizen/WildMind1 is an opportunity for participants to chat with Dr. Scott about readings that the speakers have suggested. The goal is to create a richer experience for the speakers on May 5th, with an audience ready and able to “dance” together.

View the trailer here:  Two Seconds After Laughter

Anna will curate three talks in total for the Wild Mind. Future talks may address topics ranging from the practice of dance for the dancer, to race as (dance) genre, to how to use performance as a life hack (possibility device), to the medical and technological importance of the dancer’s mind.



Annenberg Foundation Support!

Annenberg Foundation supports Show Box L.A.!

We are thrilled to share the news that we have received a grant from Lauren Bon and the Metabolic Studio (a program of The Annenberg Foundation) in recognition of Show Box LA’s inspiring work and practice in the arts.  By funding the intangibles that precede creativity, support is offered to catalyze an artist’s practice.

Receiving this funding is a generous show of support for the work we’ve done so far, and great encouragement for what we focus on next.

Stay tuned!


2.26.12: 2hours4every3minutes


Curator Darin Klein about the itch performance, 2hours4every3minutes, at Tilt/Shift LA:

“Our final program in conjunction with Tilt-Shift LA was all that I hoped it would be – and more. Not knowing the precise details of what would unfold within the gallery tonight, I had nonetheless been promising (and advertising!) an “intimate and intense” evening…”
read more here:

and some of his snapshots from the performance:

Photos by Walt Senterfitt.

itch #14 is out

itch #14: The Brakes. The Breaks

features writing/visuals from Taisha Paggett, Mikal Czech, Hana van der Kolk, LuQ, Julie Tolentino, Olive Mckeon, Rosie Trump, Sue Roginski, Christy Funsch, Vanessa Dewolf, Julie Mayo, Stephanie Skura, Diamondback Annie, Marcela Fuentes, M. Fielder, Alison d’Amato, J. Dellecave, D. Sherwood, Kate Mattingly & Macklin Kowal, Stacy Dawson Stearns, Sarah Day, Sara Wolf, Sara Wookey, Maya Maverik, Kevin Gralewski;  layout/design by Tanya Rubbak.


2.12.12: itch at Tilt-Shift LA

itch journal is pleased to be participating in two events as part of

Tilt-Shift LA: New Queer Perspectives on the Western Edge

presented by Darin Klein & Friends
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles
2685 S La Cienega Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90034
(310) 838-6000
Sunday, February 12, 12-6pm: ‘Zine Fest 2012!
Peruse and purchase publications from local creators and purveyors: 21st Century Queer Artists Identify Themselves, Double Break Gallery and Shop, Glaciers of Nice, itch, JIMMY, Night Papers, prvtdncr & bodega vendetta, Public Fiction, Christopher Russell, spunk (1993-96), Starrfucker, and more. Plus free reading material from The Miracle Bookmobile!
Saturday, February 18, 6-8pm: itch
Experience an intimate and intense dance performance by members of the itch community, whose interests and practices converge in a happenstance yet curiously fortuitous bricolage. itch is an evolving art project qua artist forum cum journal/‘zine published in LA.
Come visit us for these events, and check out the exhibit – running from Jan. 28 – February 25, 2012
Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 6pm
special program hours
and by appointment
In the introduction that accompanies this exhibition, Darin Klein writes:As queer artists, we navigate a city that may have been built on illusion but is being held together by individualized histories. Our bodies and our intellects seek harmony with or rebel against the disparate confluences of our surroundings while gleaning information and inspiration. Our art proposes pragmatic solutions to, fantastic alternatives for, or straightforward documentation of the world as we experience it at the western edge of western civilization. …Because the ground we stand on is unstable—literally and metaphorically—the fortification of our psychological landscape is of utmost importance. There is no singular viewpoint on important issues that are certain to affect entire communities where nature and man threaten to wipe out the bedrock of our collective and varied efforts and hopes. Piece by piece we work to ensure that each of our voices is heard, confident that our contributions must strengthen the foundation of a future historical dialogue as it will pertain to queer artists living and working in Los Angeles right now.

(An itch event)

(You are cordially invited)
2hours4every3minutes: a performance cycle
Featuring: Greg Barnett, Taisha Paggett, Meg Wolfe… and you?
As part of Tilt-Shift LA: New Queer Perspectives on the Western Edge
Saturday, February 18, 2012
come late/leave early/stay for the long haul
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles
2685 S La Cienega Boulevard (south of Venice)
Los Angeles, CA 90034
Contemplating the notion of queer performance and perusing this opportunity for real-time interaction, itch offers 2hours4every3minutes, a performance cycle.
What is it our bodies are willing to confess to that cannot otherwise be articulated? What information gets translated over time and what simply disappears? How do we share (the spotlight)? What unexpected danger/magic/disaster/confusion, etc., do we encounter when we really allow “everyone in the room” to speak, and who really takes up the invitation? What is this atrocity/beauty we call performance?
In the first hour, Greg Barnett, Taisha Paggett and Meg Wolfe rotate through a series of 3 minute performances, each one feeding off of and building from the previous experience. In the second hour, the 3 minute performance cycle opens to anyone who wishes to bring their body into the conversation. Over the course of 2 hours, the arc of the performance will be built from the shared labor of the bodies in this intimate space, bodies whose participation as witness or mover is of equal value. Mic check, mic check: how might you participate?
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles Presents
Darin Klein & Friends
Tilt-Shift LA: New Queer Perspectives on the Western Edge
above photo: Suzanne Wright

Los Angeles Times – 2011 Best in Dance

2011 year in review: Best in dance

From The Los Angeles Times year in review:

Miguel Gutierrez, a New York based dance and music artist, enjoys being both inventive and profane. His local solo debut in July, at the Alexandria Hotel (co-presented by Show Box LA and Blankenship Ballet), promised to be a step apart, and it was. “Heavens What Have I Done” was slyly subversive, chopping through boundaries between artist and audience and aiming for truths about love. Gutierrez transformed himself into an opera diva with white makeup and bouffant wig. He propelled himself around the Palm Court Ballroom with abandon, a fearless artist.

Read the full article here


1.22.12: Anatomy Riot #45

Anatomy Riot #45:  In Loving Memory/Everything Must Go!

It is with great sadness and unexpected joy that we announce the death of Anatomy Riot, “AR”, 45, of Los Angeles, CA.  AR was a wanderer, making her home from bars to ballrooms over the past 6+ years.  Hard-working, easygoing, unassuming, and community-minded, AR was loved by many; and is survived by Meg Wolfe, Show Box LA, and 250+ performance children, countless intersections of legitimate and illegitimate body-specific investigations.  AR is survived by the spirit of _____.  AR is survived by you.
Sunday, January 22nd, 2012
6608 Lexington Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Don’t be sad it’s over, be glad it happened.
Tickets $15 online / $20 at the door
Featuring performances by:
Linda Austin
Gregory Barnett & Kate Gilbert
Kate Bergstrom
Stacy Dawson Stearns
Maureen Dunn
Simone Forti & The Sleeves (Terrence Luke Johnson, Sarah Swenson, Douglas Wadle)
d. Sabela grimes
Arianne Hoffmann
Marcus Kuiland-Nazario
Pat Payne
Jose Reynoso
Nancy Sandercock
Anna B. Scott
Meg Wolfe

Show Box LA/ Anatomy Riot #45: Everything Must Go / itch Dance Journal will be featured as part of the Native Strategies series. Write to for more information.


11.19.11: Scott Wells

Workshop with Scott Wells

Lose your head to fly contact improvisation:  Flight patterns, Fluid Acrobatics and Pure Contact
We will work for clear, satisfying contact improvisation in which pleasure is the first teacher.  We will practice flying, catching, landing, fluid acrobatics, deft maneuvers.  For the acrobatics in particular everyone will work at their own level and will learn best by building group safety and trust–I think everyone will do something they never expected.  We will practice integrating the flying and acrobatics into the contact flow.  That is: aerial interactions that increase the contact.  Jumping ≠ Flying because jumping is is a muscular action, whereas flying is a joint nervous system based and is affected greatly by emotions and attitude.

November 19, 2011
Blankenship Ballet at Alexandria Hotel


Scott  Wells received the Izzie (San Francisco’s most prestigious dance award) for Best Choreography twice (2005, 2010).  In 2005 he was selected by Dance Magazine as “one of the 25 To Watch”.  Wells has created works for skateboarders, for boxers and choreographed West Side Story for Sonoma State University.   He has taught in dance festivals in Turkey, Russia, Hungary, Austria (Impulstanz), Germany, Spain, Romania and Italy.  Wells has been practicing Alexander Technique for twenty years and BMC for ten.

10.22.11: Kyle Abraham

Workshop with Kyle Abraham

The opening warm-up sequence focuses on the fluidity of the spine, articulation, and core body strengthening and then builds up to challenging, creative and invigorating phrase work. Students experience a personalized post-modern movement vocabulary full of intricate gestures and fearless floor work.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Blankenship Ballet at Alexandria
The Alexandria Hotel
second floor ballroom
501 S. Spring Street, LA, CA  90013

Class costs $15
Presented in conjunction with performances by Abraham’s company, Abraham.In.Motion,  at  REDCAT, Oct. 19-22nd.

Kyle Abraham, professional dancer and choreographer, began his training at the Civic Light Opera Academy and the Creative and Performing Arts High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  He continued his dance studies in New York, receiving a BFA from SUNY Purchase and an MFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Over the past few years, Abraham has received tremendous accolades and awards for his dancing and choreography including a 2010 Bessie Award for Outstanding Performance in Dance for his work in The Radio Show along with a 2010 Princess Grace Award for Choreography, a BUILD grant and an individual artist fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts, a Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant, a Pennsylvania Council for the Arts Fellowship and 2009 was honored as one of Dance Magazine’s 25 To Watch. Abraham was heralded by OUT Magazine as one of the “best and brightest creative talent to emerge in New York City in the age of Obama.” His choreography has been presented throughout the United States and abroad, most recently at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Danspace Project, Dance Theater Workshop, Bates Dance Festival, Harlem Stage, Fall for Dance Festival at New York’s City Center, Montreal, Germany, Dublin’s Project Arts Center, The Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum located in Okinawa Japan and The Andy Warhol Museum in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. Abraham’s most recent work, The Corner, commissioned by Ailey 2, is currently touring internationally with great reception .


Papy Ebotani of Les Studios Kabako. Photo by Agathe Poupeney.

10.8.11: Papy Ebotani

Workshop with Papy Ebotani
member of Faustin Linyekula/Studios Kabako

Papy Ebotani lives and works in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He started out as a rapper and musician before becoming a dancer for Jean-Marie Musungayi’s Diba danse. He has been a performer with Faustin Linyekula and Les Studios Kabako since July 2001. He has trained with a wide range of dancers and choreographers, among them Fred Bendongué, Céline Bacqué, Toufik Oudhriri Idrissi, Hanna Hedman, Sylvain Prunenec, Pep Ramis and recently Meg Stuart at Tanzwerkstatt Berlin. Papy has also been invited to make and present work at numerous international residencies and festivals. Currently he works with Kenyan dancer and choreographer Edwin Kebaya. He has taught numerous workshops in Brasil, Brussels, London and la Réunion while continuing to teach in Congo.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Blankenship Ballet at Alexandria
The Alexandria Hotel
501 S. Spring Street
second floor ballroom
LA. CA 90013

REDCAT is presenting Linyekula’s more more more… future October 5-8th.

Photo by Agathe Poupeney.


press: Wrapping Up Miguel

Here are the links to all the reviews, previews and interviews from Miguel Gutierrez’s visit to L.A.! Enjoy!

Los Angeles Times Culture Monster
Year in Review, Best in Dance 2011

The Miguel Gutierrez Interview, aka: Words on Work, Ghosts, and Sourcing at the Mothership
Interview with Stacy Dawson Stearns on Show Box L.A.

‘Heavens,’ it’s Miguel Gutierrez at the Alexandria Hotel
Los Angeles Times article by Susan Josephs

Miguel Gutierrez, finding a path outside the mainstream
Los Angeles Times Culture Monster blog post by Susan Josephs

Miguel Gutierrez. Photo by Alex Escalante.

Miguel Gutierrez

The Miguel Gutierrez Interview, aka: Words on Work, Ghosts, and Sourcing at the Mothership

Interview by Stacy Dawson Stearns

As old models of colonialism and capitalist greed persist with their predictable soft-shoe in the realms of mass media, the multiverse of contemporary dance and performance continues to erupt with resistant strains of expression and thought. These eruptions are gifts for those fighting to stay alert and nurture pockets of live exchange despite the constant call to fork over for the latest installment of ‘blah blah blah it all ends now’. New models abound in which traditional tasks of creator/performer/producer have shifted away from the work of simply becoming hot commodities into multi-faceted modes of research, risk-taking, transmission and administration. What does this mean? It means there is room in arty-world these days to fuck with the system. It means folks have cool thoughts to think and ways to share them. And even better. . . .  they want to share them with you. 

Miguel Gutierrez is such a new model maker, bringing a bit of a challenge to the situations he meets through his dance work. He does not have much use for boundaries except to push, break, deceive and beguile them. Whether Miguel is divining exquisite ensemble dances such as Last Meadow, or inviting audience to become participants in DEEP aerobics, his works are part of an expanding body of active inquiry into the nature of material and immaterial life.

Recently I had the pleasure of conducting an interview with Miguel about some aspects of his work that speak to me. We at Show Box LA want to share it with you in anticipation of Miguel’s performance and workshop this coming weekend. Don’t miss it!


Stacy Dawson Stearns:   Hi, Miguel! The Left Coast is anxiously awaiting your mini-tour. I am thrilled to be in this role of interviewer. My hope is to release some of your soul aroma among the LA scene, and also to act as diplomat from this City of Angels in the ongoing efforts to bridge the coastal dance/performance scenes at the street level. We all are happy that big houses are bringing in NY hard-hitters out West with more frequency- 

Miguel Gutierrez:     Yes I wish that the “big houses” would bring me more, or ever for that matter…

SDS:   (agreed, consider this a wake-up call to the suits, ahem…) -but there is something more somatic, more instinct-driven that needs to occur across the miles besides presenter/artist partnerships. There are maker communities who want and need relations. Let’s make contact. 

MG:     Yes!!!! 

SDS:   I would like to start with your statement that you are “working against the idea of dance as a non-verbal ‘language’ “.  We dance artists often rely on the concept of dance as an alternate language in order to stimulate an audience to get their feet wet. It seems this accessible idea gets bandied about because the audience is seen as a unit that needs translation before they can go deep into a live experience and relate. Can you tell us more about your views on this? Is this dismissal of the standard concept of dance-as-language an invitation to engage on pre-linguistic or subconscious levels? Does this view reflect an interest in phenomenology or meta-physics?

MG:     AH- Ok, this is a long complicated question for me but it’s a good and important one. I guess I am interested in looking at dance from a variety of frameworks that, while possible to use language to describe, are not about placing language at the forefront of our understanding. One of my main reasons for saying that I don’t like the idea of dance as a language is that it relegates dance to being a kind of secondary, coherent relationship of signs and signifiers that rely on “primary” language to decode them. It also suggests that dance is only the operation of abstract action, when for me dance (and its extension into what I call the “choreographic”) is a mode of experiencing environment, action, bodies, internal thoughts and feelings (which can be verbalized or just observed in the somatic sense). I think it also bogs us down as art or dance makers when we exclusively think that our job as creators is to create a coherent and recognizable dance “language” (like Merce Cunningham, Trisha Brown or Stephen Petronio, whose physical “vocabularies” – another word that bugs me – are instantly recognizable, which satisfies that capitalistic, commodity loving aspect of ourselves and of culture). More interesting to me is the interrelationship of actions, elements of performance (sound, light, situation, space), and qualitative experience of movement. I also have a lot of questions in performance and dance about the role of “understanding” what I see. At this point in my performance-watching career, I am most intrigued by things that I don’t understand, that I can’t immediately relegate to my pre-determined experience through knowable language. Of course, the role of language to create reality is a longstanding discussion in philosophy, but I believe it is possible to “understand” or “feel” things without words. So in this sense there are certain ideas of “pre-linguistic” value that I’m thinking about. Knowing that you’re gay before you know what that means, being attracted to someone or something, feeling the urge to pick up an instrument, or walk across the street without knowing why… these are all simple examples of how you can “know” without using language to know.

SDS:   You are interested in philosophy and intersections between neuro-science and dance as it pertains to human perception. Do you engage in discourse with academic scholars or scientists around this topic? If so- can you share some of that experience? I sense that you do not shift yourself to “fit” into the predictable modes of elbow-padism. Are you a breath of fresh air, or a menace in these scenarios? 

MG:     I have been trying – somewhat feebly — to find sympathetic thinkers in other fields. In a recent residency at MANCC (the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, a choreographic research center located at FSU in Tallahassee) I was able to meet with Richard Shusterman, a philosopher and Feldenkrais practitioner, Charles Ouimet, a neuroscientist, and a group of “ghost hunters…” to discuss some of these ideas. Ironically the person who was the most open to my ideas was Dr. Ouimet I think, but I don’t think that that’s necessarily a commentary on his field as a whole. I think that many people in many fields are looking at these ideas – meaning the role of perception, history, language, and body to experience and “create” reality. What I’ve found from these interactions is that even though there are crossovers, MANY OF THEM between these fields, there are specific architectures of thought and history in each of the fields, and it can be daunting to approach that. I am looking to this stuff, not because I fancy myself a scholar or scientist, or because I think that I need to “justify” my experiences in dance, but just because this is where the events in my life took me to, and I’ve needed different language to look at what I’m trying to do with my work, and very often, or maybe MOST of the time, I rarely see dance written about in the way that I experience it. The more I learn the more humbled I am by the extraordinary legacies of research that people are doing all over.

SDS:   The humble feeling. I feel it is important to allow the somatic state that accompanies that word to live in the body while approaching boundaries in thought disciplines, yet I wonder if movers occasionally take a back seat in the think tank because we allow the humbling to reinforce hierarchies that place value on one mode of expressing thought over another….I notice this tendency in people who deal with fleshly concerns and sweat, so I begin to wonder what might happen if intellectual conversations occurred away from tables- skin to skin- or at least in a relationship of breath and movement.

MG:     I totally understand the frustration here. Something that I’ve thought about in relationship to my research is how, in the most reductive sense, intellectual research (philosophy, medicine) lives in an archetypally “masculine” domain – the rational, hierarchical, the knowable – and body based research (healing, somatics, dance and psychic experience) is often relegated to the “feminine” domain – irrational, multiple centers, mysterious. I find these poles useful as a way of measuring when I feel like something is being de-valued because of its apparent association with one of these domains, say, when a scientist ignores the experience of a bodyworker as quackery, or when a somatic-loving dancer resists medicine as a western evil.

as for stepping away from the table, I am definitely interested in situations where “research” and intellectual experience is not a “chair” based experience. I feel like that’s what I’m doing in my workshops and classes. but it is daunting to imagine getting a person steeped in academia to roll around on the floor. Richard Shusterman is an exception to be sure, but then he’s also a Feldenkrais practitioner so that makes sense. This again speaks, though, to the difficulties of getting people to move beyond the “architecture” of the way things are dealt with in their respective fields.

However, all of this has emboldened me to realize that the knowledge that I’ve acquired as a performance-maker, dancer, and person interested in all of this stuff is invaluable and valid. I may not be able to quantify it in the same terms as a doctor, philosopher or scientist, but I know that it holds its own weight and meaning in the world.

SDS:   I share a passion for this subject matter and direct my attention to intersections of somatic intelligence and the hard and softer sciences. The Dalai Llama has made significant progress in opening dialogues with the science community regarding the nature and experience of consciousness. Are you interested in perception and consciousness as a tool for human relations? If not, can you characterize the nature of your fascination?

MG:     Yes I’ve read a little of that work that the Dalai Lama has done. I guess I just think that it would be interesting if these fields didn’t work in isolation from each other, and I really wish that people in the fields of philosophy and science would interact more with dance artists who are interested in this work. Similarly, I wish that somatic practitioners and neurologists and philosophers could interact more. To be honest, I’m not totally sure what I expect to happen from these interactions. At MANCC we had a panel discussion with Shusterman, Michelle Boulé (a dance artist who’s worked with me for over ten years but who is also incredibly eloquent in talking about her work as a BodyTalk practitioner), Dan Wagoner, choreographer, and Betty Davis and Christine McVicker from Big Bend Ghost Trackers. It was sort of tough to moderate this panel, hahahaha. But I would like to do it more, I would like to find ways for these people to all talk to each other since they are all dealing with conceptions of Mind/Body that are challenging. I guess something that all of these fields share is that they are isolated from a larger cultural conversation about perception (although where the fuck is that conversation happening at all in the larger culture actually)

SDS:    Maybe it is only happening here…(it could happen more if everyone threw the TV out of the hotel window and started asking the mirror for “Bloody Mary”. Sorry did I say that out loud?)

MG:     I think that our understanding of “reality”, healing, life/death could be richly informed by an intersection of these conversations.

SDS:   Maybe you are like fascia, running the length of these related subjects. Can you put any of the Florida conversation on a bumper sticker for us? Do neuro-scientists believe in ghosts?

MG:     some do I think. Dr. Ouimet had had some kind of paranormal experience.

SDS:   Do ghost hunters somatically sense presences?

MG:     Absolutely. 

SDS:   Do ghosts haunt bodies as neurological events?

MG:     Well there are those who think that all of this stuff (ghosts, spiritual phenomena) is just right brain hyperactivity.

SDS:   Does the conversation start to revolve around physical sites of cognition or measurable data, or does it meander toward the ineffable feeling of being alive? I imagine that people might be afraid to utter things that could de-legitimize their work. . . .

MG:     Well I haven’t spoken to SO many people so it’s hard to say. After the panel in Florida, though, I had an interesting conversation with Shusterman, where he felt like the Ghost Hunters were wacko, and I found myself defending them because I said, look, they are talking about personal experience, something which they feel as a somatic truth. And for me, this is quite close to what he’s talking about when he defends the role of the body in philosophical traditions by arguing that we have to look to the subtle senses to perceive things more acutely.

I also need to sophisticate my own relationship to my work and to dance to understand how to continue with it, so that it doesn’t merely become about my ego and about my aging body and what I can and cannot “do” as a dancer anymore. I know that my work is ultimately dealing with grandiose philosophical questions and I need to amass information so that I’m not just asking pompous and ponderous questions as if I’m the first person who’s ever asked them.

SDS:  I want to challenge you to let that last concern go.

MG:     haha! ok!

SDS:   Of course you are not the first person to ask the questions, nor will you be the last. What is of note is the bravado with which you are laying crucial concepts out for trans-disciplinary discourse. Sure, amassing info is logical (no one wants to get caught with their pants down in the middle of a debate), but the nature of philosophy is so similar to that of dance: these disciplines animate questions rather than seek absolute answers. I admire your inertia and frankness. As audience and as a maker of work, I am tired of pondering the personal, emotional, historical contexts of choreographers. When folks dare to discuss something that could potentially go beyond their “reach”, it is an invitation. The choreographer becomes a lens somehow. 

MG:     Absolutely. A choreographer, any artist for that matter, is proposing a set of values, though, and I think that, as my work continues to evolve, it becomes important for me to understand what those are, how they are shifting and why. This is because I want to be interested in what I’m doing and I have to often trick myself into staying interested. I know that that sounds strange but it’s true. 

SDS:   We have been discussing dance and language here. The piece you will share with the LA audience is, in fact, mainly text and song based. How does this piece sit within your personal lexicon of work? Does the rejection of dance as a “language” bristle or shift when you perform text? I am interested in the relationship of embodied instinct and the mental/intellectual organization that occurs when we sequence and encounter spoken and sung words. Without feeling obligated to explain or reduce the mysteries inherent in the creation of solo work, can you share some of the elements of expression you are dealing with in this piece? How does this solo compliment or challenge your group work?

MG:     Thanks for this question. It’s hard for me to answer it, though. I have a longstanding relationship to writing (poetry and prose) and to song making. I often think of dance as the mothership and these other elements in my work (sound and text were there early on in my work and then re-emerged starting in 2005) as extensions of my interest in body-based expression. somehow when I talk or when people talk in the work or when I’m making song I think of it as choreography. InLast Meadow, my group piece from 2009 (which I’m very sad never made it to any California venue), words are layered, smeared, difficult to understand, frustrating, meaningful and meaningless. In this sense words/talking became more of a sensual texture than ways by which meaning was construed (although enough meaning is conveyed through the words so as to guide and then frustrate the viewer.) I always think of myself as a dancer who makes performance. Nevertheless this has created problems for me (to myself) at times because I want to be considered a poet or a musician/music maker as well. In this sense I think of someone like Jenny Holzer, whose writing was so central to her work, although she never accepted the title of “poet” which is sort of absurd cuz her writing is fucking incredible.

I don’t want to explain too much about the piece before I do it but I will say that in terms of solo vs. group practice it IS different and I am always interested and frustrated in the difference because I want to believe that the group practice is an extension of the solo practice but I’ve come to believe that they interrelated, though neither one necessarily stems from the other. The solo practice is great because I can do it whenever I want, without waiting for permission to start. And the fact is, I always need to be working on something or I go crazy.

SDS:   This is good stuff. Let’s not go any further. Thank you, Miguel. See you soon!


Stacy Dawson Stearns is a contributing writer for Show Box L.A.

Photo by Alex Escalante.


7.17.11: Miguel Gutierrez

Workshop with Miguel Gutierrez

I am currently looking at the intersections between neurology, cognitive science/philosophy, somatic processes and improvisation. I am interested in and troubled by the way that these fields work in isolation from each other to find similar results, and I wonder if dance/choreography can be a place to unite the discoveries that have been made. Working from the proposition that dance is a mode of perceptual inquiry, and working against the idea of dance as a non-verbal “language,” I am interested in movement explorations that prioritize sensation, non-rational action, and that trigger automatic, unprepared physical response. What does movement “do” and how does it operate as a framework for complicated, nuanced, embodied meaning?

Sunday, July 17, 2011
Blankenship Ballet at Alexandria Hotel
Palm Court ballroom





“His political and creative restlessness—his refusal to settle and to settle
down—makes him one of our most provocative and necessary artistic voices.”—Dance Magazine

Los Angeles premiere

Dancer and choreographer Miguel Gutierrez creates solo and group works with a variety of dancers, music, and visual artists under the moniker Miguel Gutierrez and the Powerful People.  Gutierrez’s work has been presented in various American venues, including Dance Theater Workshop and The Kitchen in New York, DiverseWorks in Houston, and the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington, Vermont, as well as at international festivals.  He has received three New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Awards, is a 2010 Fellow in Choreography from the Guggenheim Foundation and a recipient of a 2010 Foundation for Contemporary Arts grant for Artists;  he has also received support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Creative Capital, the Jerome Foundation, the Rockefeller MAP Fund, the National Performance Network Creative Commissioning Fund and New York Foundation for the Arts’ Fellowship and BUILD programs. He teaches regularly around the world and has worked with a wide variety of extraordinary contemporary dance artists, such as Joe Goode, John Jasperse, Juliette Mapp, Sarah Michelson, Jennifer Lacey, Deborah Hay, and Alain Buffard.  Miguel was the curator of the Dance and Process series at The Kitchen from 2005–06.  WHEN YOU RISE UP, a collection of his performance writings, is now available from 53rd State Press.

Miguel says: I make performances that are about things and are things themselves. The things they are about are big: how to live in the world, how to love, how to feel about being yourself. Probably the biggest question I make art about is: why are we alive. I am a dancer. I write poems. I make songs and music with my voice and rudimentary knowledge of instruments. I think that we are all powerful people.

July 15 & 16, 2011



4.30.11: Amii LeGendre

Workshop with Amii LeGendre

This class is a fusion between a modern dance technique and contact improvisation. This class explores supported (safe) dancing on the floor, in the air, and upside down. The class begins on the floor with flow-based exercises focused on opening joints, tuning into breath and sensation, and finding meaningful pathways for safe motion out of and into the floor. Standing alignment work with a focus on core support, spiral, and joint release support eventual disruptions into designed falling pathways and upside-down work. The goal is to seek, adore, and make peace with disorientation in full-scale phrase work and contact dancing. The class stresses upper body strength and attention to one another and to the space in order to support wild disorientation, and to ultimately dance a fluid athletic vocabulary.
on the stage at REDCAT
Roy and Edna Disney/Cal Arts Theater
631 West 2nd Street
LA, CA 90012
Saturday, April 30, 2011

Amii Legendre is a member of the Seattle-based Pat Graney Company.  REDCAT is presenting Graney’s “Faith” April 28-May 1.