One of Los Angeles’ finest performers and choreographers, Kevin Williamson, will present two world premieres April 15 – 17, 2022, at Stomping Ground L.A. The program includes All Over, a trio featuring Kaia Makihara, Alexandra Rix, and Chelsea Roquero that explores “time and perception, tactility and possibility,” and From The Inside Out, a solo choreographed and performed by Williamson where he reflects on three dance artists whose work he both admires and performed. Tickets are on sale now HERE.

Williamson is a Lester Horton Award recipient, a Bates Educators Fellow, Center Theatre Group Sherwood Award Finalist and the founder of Kevin Williamson + Company. He has been a performing member of David Roussève/REALITY, Maria Gillespie’s Oni Dance, LA Contemporary Dance Company, Robert Moses’ Kin, and David Gordon’s PickUpPerformance; guest work includes Angelin Preljocaj, Julie Taymor, Heidi Duckler, Sebastian Prantl, and Ryan Heffington. Williamson’s own choreography has been presented by DanspaceProject, REDCAT’s NOW Festival, Dixon Place, CounterPulse, LACMA, Austin’s OUTsider Festival, Minnesota Fringe, Diversionary Theater, and the Beijing Dance Festival. For the past four years, Williamson has also been the Chair of the Scripps College Dance Department in Claremont, CA. where he teaches.

Kevin Williamson - Photo by Steven Schreiber

Kevin Williamson – Photo by Steven Schreiber

I had the opportunity to have a brief conversation/interview with Williamson via Zoom to learn a little more about his background and the upcoming performances at Stomping Ground L.A.

Williamson is a southern California native, growing up in Torrance and his early dance experience reflects so many queer dancers of his, and my generation. “I grew up in dancing in my bedroom, terrified of being outed,” he said. “And as so many of us had to do during that times, created a fantasy world.

He said that he was a beach kid who ended up going to University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and that it was there that he learned all the possibilities of what dance could be and where he received a degree in World Arts and Cultures. “It is a degree in dance, but it is also a degree in many respects in cultural studies, which I appreciate,” he said.

Our conversation veered toward his formal training. His response was not unlike what I had heard said by other dancer artists with years of performing under their belts.

“I feel like my training has come mostly from practice and performing as opposed to in the classroom,” he explained. “Certainly, I had great ballet and jazz studio teachers and hip hop growing up, and I certainly had wonderful teachers, but in terms of a conservatory type focus on physicality, I actually feel like I got that after college.”

Williamson said that he worked with an eclectic company in Vienna, Austria, Tanz Atelier Wien, whose focus was improv based. It was there that he was exposed to a lot of different movement styles, but it was when he began dancing for Maria Gillespie’s Oni Dance, where every rehearsal began with an hour and a half class, that he began training deeply in postmodern dance.

He feels that each work for this concert is equal in the terms of weight and has been creating them simultaneously. Because it was a good segue from talking about his early training and performing, we focused first on From The Inside Out which will include a surprise guest artist. The work focuses primarily on influences from three choreographers who he has worked with, David R Roussève (REALITY), Maria Gillespie (Oni Dance), and Kate Hutter Mason (LA Contemporary Dance Company/Stomping Ground L.A.). “Among many things upon reflecting,” he said, “one is how the dancing is transmitting from one body to the other. There is the choreographer’s imprint and also there’s the family they create or invite.” At some point Williamson realized that there was one particular person he had danced with most of his life and is like a dance sibling. “We’re both dancing together and rubbing off on each other,” he said. “Creating this long term emotional support that, when you step back, is one of the most profound friendships in my life.” Dancing together in a studio for years is unlike any other relationship. Dancers sweat together, roll around on the floor together and get to know one another in a very unique sort of way.

Kevin Williamson - Photo by Ken Gonzales-Day

Kevin Williamson – Photo by Ken Gonzales-Day

For From The Inside Out Williamson asked himself what it means to honor someone who has had such a deep imprint on one’s aesthetics and style, and just one’s relationship to art. For several years he had been pondering what it would be like to make a piece that responds to imprint and legacy. He asked himself what it would be like to physicalize that.

“There are many things about this that interest me,” Williamson said “it’s important to recognize that you are deeply publicly I realize now. What is it like to cite beyond the program, and to also recognize that these things are fluid and changing but they still live in you.”

The music for From The Inside Out relates to all the pieces that the work is referencing. The songs are either a cover, sung live or remixed. It is a reimagining of the musical themes utilized by the three choreographers mentioned earlier.


"All Over" choreography by Kevin Williamson - (L-R) Chelsea Roquero, Kaia Makihara, Alexandra Rix - Photo courtesy of the artist

“All Over” choreography by Kevin Williamson – (L-R) Chelsea Roquero, Kaia Makihara, Alexandra Rix – Photo courtesy of the artist

All Over is a new trio performed by dance-artists Kaia Makihara, Alexandra Rix, and Chelsea Roquero who are all graduates of the Department of Dance at CSULB. When asked about the genesis of the work, Williamson said that it is definitely a new exploration for him. “It started with an interest in slowing down,” he said noting that the world is moving extremely fast.

“A lot of the process involved feeling out what it would be like literally slowing down movement,” he added. “or make something that was really fast, dynamic and complex and to try and hold that space slowly so that there’s a tension in the slowness. To explore feelings of disembodiment because I feel that a lot of the speed we are feeling is actually in our heads and not in our bodies.”

Williamson said that he was investigating or questioning what it feels like to embody, to be present and really aware of one’s physical body. “My choreography interest is how does slowing change my embodied experience? And for the audience, is slowing down thought provoking, and if it isn’t, then hopefully it is at least framed enough for the viewer to recognize that they are having their own relationship to speed,” he said.

Williamson reflected, “I’m not, at this moment interested in it (the work) being topical, but I wouldn’t say that it’s not political. What does it mean to want to leave an imprint when everything feels that its fleeting and maybe evaporating? To feel that you are part of something in your body and with other people that will sustain you.”


WHAT: Kevin Williamson + Company presenting two new works: All Over and From The Inside Out.

WHEN: APRIL 15 @8pm, APRIL 16 @8pm, APRIL 17 @4pm

WHERE: Stomping Ground L.A. – 5453 Alhambra Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90032

TICKETS: $22 General, $15 Student (with promo code: student)


For more information and to purchase tickets, please click HERE.

To learn more about Kevin Williamson + Company, please visit their website.

To learn more about Stomping Ground L.A., please visit their website.

Written by Jeff Slayton for LA Dance Chronicle.

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Featured image: Kevin Williamson – Photo by Steven Schreiber