homeLA, Mount Washington, May 4, 2013

Absence: A History, performed by Sarah Jacobs, Aaron Kahn, Carol McDowell, and Madison Page

Alexandra Shilling’s Absence: A History deconstructed, performed by Sarah Jacobs, Aaron Kahn, Carol McDowell, and Madison Page

There’s a grand experiment afoot; the pioneering dance maven Rebecca Bruno, in partnership with the folks at Pieter and the Dance Resource Center, is seeking to infiltrate private homes throughout Los Angeles with a “site-sensitive” dance series called homeLA. The concept is a mutually beneficial one; the city’s small but scrappy experimental dance community opens up new performance venues for itself, while the sites themselves are enhanced by evocative dance works that play off their unique architecture.

The first installment of homeLA took place this past weekend at the home of Chloë Flores and Tim Lefebvre—a stunning, custom-built modernist compound nestled at the top of Mount Washington. The four-story main house and adjoining guest house, which sit elegantly on a hillside and deftly engage indoor/outdoor dynamics with elements like sliding glass doors and hidden patios, offered many unique spaces for dancers to experiment with movement.

Stand Still - Segments, performed by Selen Ermanav Dance Theater

Stand Still – Segments, presented by Selen Ermanav Dance Theater

About 200 people piled into the place to check out the festivities, which gave the evening an electric energy but also made the experience feel scattered and dispersed at first. Distractions abounded and it could be hard to focus on the work. As you got used to the environment, however, things began to gel and subtleties became more articulated.

homeLA 1 - Chloe's house 010a

In the living room, dancers improvised movements while weaving in and out among guests. Looking out the back of the house, you could see Amanda Furches on an adjacent hill in the distance, dancing through trees in a bright red dress. Meanwhile on the ground closer to the house, Nick Duran enlisted audience members to gaze into the distance while dancers performed movements in their peripheral vision. On the roof of the guest house, Melanie Rios set up a bed and slept for the duration of the evening while a sign next to her proclaimed that she was Dreaming of Greatness. Rios was visible from the dining patio above her, which gave people a God-like view of the sleeping artist.

Rikki Rothenberg's Success is Possible: Authentic Movement as Performance on the roof of GuestHaus Residency, on the left

Melanie Rios is Dreaming of Greatness on the roof of GuestHaus Residency at left

A few works that packed a stronger punch were saved for the end of the evening, which made for a satisfying finish. Flora Wiegmann did not disappoint with her highly anticipated Swimming Laps, in which she interacted, like a nymph from another era, with an outdoor pool that is still waiting to be completed and filled. Many people proclaimed Jill Stein’s ZZA Sduai Airbara, a spectacular sound/light/movement installation that took place inside the glass-walled recreation room, their favorite piece of the evening.

Stand Still - Segments

Selen Ermanav Dance Theater’s Stand Still – Segments

Kate Gilbert and Meg Wolfe could be seen performing Floor Plans on the second floor  "sleeping porch."

Kate Gilbert and Meg Wolfe could be seen performing Floor Plans on the second floor “sleeping porch.”

A dancer performs in Nick Duran's Peripheral Son

Nick Duran’s Peripheral Son

Ronit Kirchman performs Liminal: Night while Kate Gilbert hovers above

Ronit Kirchman performs Liminal: Night while Kate Gilbert hovers above

Alexandra Shilling's Absence: A History

Alexandra Shilling’s Absence: A History deconstructed

Flora Wiegmann's Swimming Laps

Flora Wiegmann’s Swimming Laps

homeLA 1 - Chloe's house 050a

Jil Stein and various collaborators perform ZZA Sduai Airbara

Jil Stein and various collaborators present ZZA Sduai Airbara

homeLA 1 - Chloe's house 067a

I’m excited to see more installments in this series. If you or someone you know is interested in offering up their home for an event, please send a message to homeLA dot hello at gmail dot com.

For a pretty comprehensive account of the evening, including quotes from the organizers, check out this blog post in today’s LA Weekly.

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2 Responses to “homeLA, Mount Washington, May 4, 2013”

  1. Thanks for posting these photos. The image without a credit (two dancers in stillness on the wooden porch) is:
    Absence: a History deconstructed
    Choreography and Direction by Alexandra Shilling/alexx makes dances

  2. I was one of the dancers with Selen Ermanev. What a great experience! Very cool!

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