Brockus Project Dance announces SHIFT/west residency – Women Choreographers Online showcase June 4 – 10, 2021 on Vimeo. With funding from the California Arts Council, twelve women dance artists have had the opportunity to participate in a four month long residency produced and mentored by choreographer, educator, producer, entrepreneur, and Artistic Director of BrockusRED, Deborah Brockus. The participants were selected in January of this year and spent the month of February working with dancer, choreographer, filmmaker, and the Director of Dance Camera West, Kelly Hargraves. During the months of March and April these artists were in creation and during the month of May they were filming and editing of their final work in preparation for the June 4th – 10th showing.
Brockus Project Dance’s professional development workshop was conducted via Zoom with the artists learning the skills and tools in dance filmmaking with Hargraves. Next, the artists studied with Brockus to gain pointers on how to improve their grant writing abilities, applying applications to dance and film festivals, as well as exactly what is needed to develop a strong professional promotion kit.
For the 2021 SHIFT/west residency Brockus stated that the workshops were designed to empower the 12 Los Angeles Women, who are at varying stages of their careers, “by strengthening their unique artistic voice and building a strong business structure to ensure career resiliency and economic success –Brockus Project Dance press release.” The residency was free and involved hours in the studio, free professional development workshops, and the opportunity to showcase their work in performance. Brockus stressed that everyone followed the Covid safety guideline protocols throughout the residency.
The 12 women artists whose new work will be seen in June are Malia Baker, Letxia Cordova, Brittany Delany, Helen Duros, Toni Fuller, Kelsey Guy, Hanna Millar, DaEun Jung, Alyssa Junious, Corina Kinnear, Charlotte K. Smith, and Rourou Ye, plus a new work by Deborah Brockus.
Why is such a targeted workshop necessary for women artists?
“Women make up the majority of dancers in training, but rarely do they rise in the professional dance world at the rate that men do. Even those who do rise are marginalized compared to the men in the field, Brockus writes.” “Shift/West” is designed to interrupt this process by creating community out of women choreographers, fostering economic and artistic success using our unique voices and strengths. In choosing the participants, “Shift/WMN” merges a range of ethnic and backgrounds of multi-generational women choreographers at different points of their careers to work together, creating an informal network of peer support as they explore and develop and express their unique creative voices as women living in LA.”
To learn more about this gender inequality in dance, check out the following two articles: Has Dance Evolved into a Man’s World? By Jennifer Dunning of the NY Times and Gender Inequality in Contemporary Dance by Huffington Post writer Harpreet Kaur.
WHO: 12 LA based women choreographers by the producer of LA Dance Festival
WHAT: Online showing of dance films created during this residency and a “Meet the Artists” zoom session
WHEN: Film Showcase runs open access June 4th 6pm -June 10th midnight, 2021
“Meet the Artists” Friday June 4, 2021 at 7:00 pm
WHERE: on Vimeo and zoom
TICKETS: $15 per household. Pay with PayPal button on website HERE. After paying you will be sent the link and password for both the dance film showcase and the “Meet the Artists” zoom session. Public Contact: Deborah Brockus: Brockus.email@example.com
Deborah Brockus is the Artistic director of the award winning and internationally touring BrockusRED dance company and Director of BPStudios a leading professional rehearsal studio in LA. As a dancer and choreographer Brockus has worked nationally and internationally on stage, in film and television. She has received awards for her teaching, producing and choreography. As a teacher her students work in international and national modern and ballet companies, jazz companies, on Broadway and in the Hollywood industry. To read Brockus’s full bio, click HERE.
Kelly Hargraves is a dance film creator and curator from Canada who currently lives in Los Angeles. In September 2018 she was named the Executive and Artistic Director of Dance Camera West, after co-founding the Los Angeles festival of dance film in 2001. Kelly has produced and directed several dance films that are shown internationally and has been traveling as an invited speaker to dance film festivals since leaving DCW in 2009. Hargraves has been a board member of the Silver Lake Film Festival and the Downtown Los Angeles Film Festival. To read Hargraves’s full bio, click HERE.
A little about the 12 artists and their new work
Helen Duros – DiscoScape is a blend of realities that explores the intersection of organic and groovy. This piece is a collection of nonlinear musings and fantasies, strung together by a desire to find the groove
What does it look like when change clashes with tradition? We’ve traded our aprons, slacks, and work boots for pajamas, laptops, and cell phones; our modern value looks drastically different than it used to. But can we become our most colorful, textured selves when our truest selves are constantly being undervalued by capitalism? Boxed is a piece that depicts the rising rebellion against the corporate world and the traditional family structure that demands an exhaustingly colorless, passionless, uniform way of being
Originally from San Jose in Silicon Valley, Letxia Cordova is a Mexican American dance filmmaker and choreographer/dancer in Inglewood, Los Angeles. Letxia’s choreographic style is funky and emotive, using jazz, contemporary ballet, release technique, and hip hop. In her work, she plays upon themes of passion: love, empowerment, and volatile dichotomies.
Brittany Delany’s new dance horror film explores the question, “What looks sweet on the surface, but is actually terrifying?” Delany’s creative team includes: choreographer Sarah Ashkin, composer Jordan Lewis, film editor Asher Emmanuel, and cinematographer Letxia Cordova.
Brittany Delany (she/her) was born in Boston, Massachusetts and is based in Los Angeles, California. As she grew up playing sports and learning dance moves from Janet Jackson music videos, she found dance homes in several communities including hip hop, jazz, contact improvisation, modern and postmodern dance. She is founding co-director of GROUND SERIES dance & social justice collective. She holds a BA in Dance from Wesleyan University. In 2016, Brittany co-founded intersectional feminist creative collective Wyld Womxn, based in Greater Palm Springs, California. Brittany advocates for the arts as a tool for community transformation and healing.
What’s Your Choice (It’s Beautiful Over Here) is a dance film about the identities and roles we as humans cling tightly to that keep us stuck, unhappy and unable to communicate clearly. If we choose to live from a place of openness and fluidity, we will experience contentment and peace in our lives instead of blaming our “bad” experiences and others for our unhappiness — the choice lies within ourselves.
Hannah Millar, currently living near Yosemite National Park, is an educated, driven, and passionate teacher, choreographer and dancer. Hannah is internationally sought after for her award-winning choreography and enjoys working with Universities, pre-professional studios and her new founded company, Imprints. Hannah’s degree in Athletic Training, certification in Barre and Pilates enables her to synthesize a love and passion for anatomy, physiology and kinesiology into an original, holistic approach to education and choreography.
Byoul Part 2: Da reinterprets DaEun Jung and Melody Shim’s long-time collaboration Byoul through the intimate lens of filmmaker Taso Papadakis. Da blurs the boundaries between the classical form and pedestrian moves as well as discipline and spontaneity, branched out from the original project, Byoul, a dance made by chance procedure using the Korean alphabet combining system as a compositional method to randomly arrange classical Korean dance movements.
DaEun Jung is an LA-based dancer-choreographer who makes interdisciplinary performances informed by the form, principle, and context of Korean Dance. Ever seeking innovative compositional methods to craft classical or gestural movements, DaEun studies patterns, numbers, algorithms, chance operations, and children’s games for her choreographic practice and pleasure of life.
Forget the Flowers uses movement and dance to explore the grieving process that occurs after the end of a relationship, shedding light on something that is often only experienced behind closed doors – the struggle to get out of bed, questioning yourself and what you did wrong that led to the end of the relationship, despair, the intense feelings of loneliness, worthlessness, isolation, etc., – and how, when we allow ourselves to talk about the experience and truly feel our emotions, we can then begin to heal. This brings us to a place of discovering who we truly are and what we want from life so that we can rebuild, refocus, and prioritize the things that are most important in our lives. My hope is that by showcasing this process through a dance film, it will lead the audience to self-reflection and ultimately to a dialogue of their own experiences.
Toni Fuller is a choreographer and dancer originally from the small farming town of Stayton, OR. She received her BFA in dance from Cornish College of the Arts and is currently based in Los Angeles, CA. Always drawn to dance from the time she was a young girl, she was immediately hooked when she took her first dance lesson – for the first time in her life she had found a way to express herself without having to use words, which often failed her. She knew even then that she wanted to pursue a career as a dancer. When not creating work or dancing in other projects, Toni enjoys spending time outdoors and exploring the city – finding a new hiking trail, roller skating at the beach, seeing a show at one of the many regional theatres in town, or checking out a new-to-her restaurant. She is excited to be working on Forget the Flowers with an incredible team and cannot wait to share the final film with her community and beyond!
After a long time in quarantine, the artist finds herself split into two equal personas. While trying to understand what’s happening, she uncovers her urge to help one another escape her house. Unbeknownst to her, this place becomes a labyrinth with dead ends and spirals.
Rourou Ye (b. 1989, Wenzhou, China; lives in Venice, USA) is an independent choreographer who works with movement, object, shadow, and projection to devise performances that defy reality. She creates magic by transforming ordinary items and surrounding environments into unexpected viewing perspectives. Her works highlight the cinematic creation of illusional and transformative sceneries in live performances where she dances through to reveal urgent narratives about struggle.
Alyssa (Ajay) Junious is an emerging arts leader based in San Diego. As an interdisciplinary storyteller, her work explores the intersections of culture, identity, spirituality and social justice through dance, theater, and music. Her work has been commissioned by museums, arts organizations, theaters, dance companies and schools all around San Diego County. Junious is an arts and wellness advocate and founded Continuum Arts & Pilates and co-founded Soultry Sisters to better serve her community. She is thrilled to join the Shift / West residency and looks forward to building relationships with other emerging female choreographers.
Alyssa believes that movement can be a catalyst for collective healing and social change. The piece Ase / Ibalik is an afro-futuristic dance film that explores the intersection of spirituality, activism and taps into the spiritual power of dance.
Corina Kinnear has toured as a freelance artist with companies in New York, Montreal, Colorado, San Francisco, and through Europe. Most recently, Corina splits her time between LA and Europe as both a performer and choreographer, teaching ballet at The Edge Performing Arts Complex and touring internationally teaching workshops and company classes. She has participated in residencies at the PARTS in Brussels, the CND in Paris, and TanzFabrik in Berlin. Full length production “naked” premiered as a part of the Oydessey Theatre Dance Festival in 2018, and then continued with a 15 show run in downtown LA. Kinnear has performed with Deutche Oper Berlin, MiMoDa, LA Opera, Invertigo Dance Theatre, Arrogant Elbow, Deutsche Fernsehen Ballet. Featured in Teddy Forance’s Movement One documentary, as well as commercial jobs such as Daft Punk’s “Lose Yourself to Dance” music video, and L’Oreal Professional tours in NYC, Montreal and Germany.
Malia Baker – A look into the battle between the dancer in the mirror and the dancer in the studio.
An individual human feels small, stark, and vulnerable. As individuals we can only grow so much, to grow we explore and connect. This process of adaptation begins with our environment, challenges ourselves through experiences, and then blossoms in community. We bring it in, to let it overwhelm us. Through this process we redefine our capacity and flourish – our brightest, most complete being. Our connection to our community, humanity, diversity makes our colors radiate with a vibrancy. We find comfort in its entirety.
It’s in our lungs, our breath. Humanity stands beside us and within us. We see it, we share it, we become it.
Charlotte K. Smith – An individual human feels small, stark, and vulnerable. As individuals we can only grow so much, to grow we explore and connect. This process of adaptation begins with our environment, challenges ourselves through experiences, and then blossoms in community. We bring it in, to let it overwhelm us. Through this process we redefine our capacity and flourish – our brightest, most complete being. Our connection to our community, humanity, diversity makes our colors radiate with a vibrancy. We find comfort in its entirety.
It’s in our lungs, our breath. Humanity stands beside us and within us. We see it, we share it, we become it.
Deborah Brockus’s new work is titled Daydreaming to music by Sophia Shen.
The more time I spend alone, the less connected I feel to myself . By incorporating movement with film and technology, my work allows me to uncover and visualize the relationship between my art and psyche. A single entity of myself, splits, merges, and multiplies as I try to find a way out. Unbeknownst to myself, my surroundings becomes a labyrinth with dead ends and spirals.
To visit the BrockusRED website, click HERE.
Written and compiled by Jeff Slayton from the Brockus Project Dance press release.
Featured image: Rourou Ye – Photo by Kathryn Butler