This pandemic has taken a toll on many small businesses around the US and the world. In an April 03, 2020 U.S. Chamber of Commerce article, it was reported in every sector and region of the country, one in four small businesses have already temporarily shut down. Many surveyed said that they expected to temporarily or permanently close within the next four to six months. One wonders what the percentage is now almost two months later. I fear that it is higher.

The dance community in Los Angeles has been highly affected due to concerts being cancelled or postponed, Pilates studios closed and, of course, dance studios unable to offer classes or rehearsal space rentals. Sadly, one studio that just recently permanently closed its doors was we live in space owned and operated from 2016 to 2020 by dance artist and founder of Show Box L.A., Meg Wolfe. Located on West Jefferson Boulevard, we live in space was an affordable space for independent dance artists to teach, rehearse,  and perform in. I myself rehearsed there with Laurel Jenkins’ group in preparation for our performance of B A S E, a durational rule game at The Getty Museum in 2016. Wolfe had only recently opened her studio and everyone was excited for her. I later attended inspiring performances there such as the shared evening by two former Trisha Brown Dance Company members Judith Sánchez Ruíz and Laurel Jenkins in 2018.

Laurel Jenkins, Judith Sánchez Ruíz, Brian Wood in CYCLES SCORE - Photo: LA Dance Chronicle

Laurel Jenkins, Judith Sánchez Ruíz, Brian Wood in CYCLES SCORE – Photo: LA Dance Chronicle

Wolfe described herself as a choreographer, performer, curator, producer, and dance instigator. Her work is exciting and thought provoking, and always pushing the boundaries of dance. Show Box L.A. was/is dedicated to supporting the Los Angeles experimental dance community and, “provides a platform and environment for innovative dance works by local artists; as well as building relationships with artists nationally and internationally.” One hopes that this goal of Wolfe’s will not die along with her studio. Her work has been invaluable to dance in Los Angeles and beyond.

Another studio that was forced to shut its doors was the Pacific Arts Center and Dance Studios founded in 2001 by Shida Pegahi and located on Santa Monica Boulevard in West LA. Pegahi studied ballet at the Royal Ballet School in London and performed ballet, jazz, and ethnic dance with several touring companies in the United States. This and we live in space are the first two that we have become aware of, but fear that there are or will be more. Let’s hope that we are proven wrong.

Wolfe sent out an email that opened with “RIP we live in space (2016-2020)” in large pink font. Trying to stay positive, I took her choice of color as a symbol of hope and support reminiscent of the pink ribbons for breast cancer awareness.

In her letter to the dance community, one paragraph stood out above the rest.

I choose to remember the laughter of dancers coming in and out of the space, magnificent drummers shaking the building, the countless works of art that were created here, the sweaty hum of the energy in the room closing up at night, and the feeling that we are all connected.”

Wolfe thanked many of her colleagues for their assistance with the space as well as the hundreds of artists that made we live in space their creative home during the four years that the studio was open. Artists, choreographers, and curators like Josie Juarez, Nancy Popp, Darrian O’Reilly, Mallory Fabian, Cecilia Slongo, Sabrina Johnson, Jade Charon, Edgar Miramontes, Stacy Dawson Stearns, Austyn Rich, and Justin Epstein.

we live in space - back entrance - Photo by Meg Wolfe

we live in space – back entrance – Photo by Meg Wolfe

In her email Wolfe also shared a 15 minute for “the 4-wall video installation I did at the studio last year, for anyone who might want to view it again.”  She has graciously given me permission to include the link to that video here. I have also included Wolfe’s description of her video.


To view Wolfe’s video 3 YEARS IN SPACE (2019) Video by Meg Wolfe; quad edit by Jonathan Stearns/Channel B4 Media, click HERE.

In summer of 2016, I opened we live in space, [while simultaneously rehearsing and touring my last full-evening work, New Faithful Disco.] Since that time, my focus was on managing the studio. In between other artists’ rehearsals and late at night, I used the space, and sometimes I record my improvisations.

3 YEARS IN SPACE is a diaristic record of the ongoing work that happens between the “works”, documenting some of my personal practice at we live in space.

we live in space - interior and back entrance - Photo by Meg Wolfe

we live in space – interior and back entrance – Photo by Meg Wolfe

I wanted to share this non-performative state and drop the viewer into the middle of it. I compiled and pieced together this material into four videos depending on what location of the studio I was in – South, West, North, East – and project it back on the walls in a looping cycle.

Internal, rambling, non-spectacular, it accumulates through mundane regularity – repetition of certain ways of moving, familiar articles of rehearsal clothing, the sounds of the traffic or the church across the street, the occasional appearance of alter-ego Shannon, mood shifts. Looking for a direction to follow or feelings to unravel, the studio was a haven to sink into this private practice, a danced meditation.

Thank you for being here.



Written and compiled by Jeff Slayton, June  2, 2020.

Featured image: we live in space – front entrance – Photo by Meg Wolfe