Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre to Celebrate South L.A. at the Dunbar Hotel, 9/5-6
On Saturday, September 6, Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre will present Dancing at Dunbar, a site-specific performance at Dunbar Village, home of The Dunbar Hotel. The piece is based on Life's Tragedy and Sympathy, two poems by Paul Laurence Dunbar. After successful performances of At the Oasis throughout LA, and following a residency for South LA youth at A Place Called Home the day before, on Friday, September 5, Dancing at Dunbar will celebrate Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre's work in the community with two performances at The Dunbar Hotel. The first performance at 5pm will be free for the residents of Dunbar Village, followed by another at 8pm open to the public. Tickets go on sale Monday, August 25 at http://bit.ly/dancingatdunbar.
The program will unfold in two parts, and will be performed by core company dancers Teresa Barcelo, Marissa Labog, Joe Schenck and Wilfried Souly. "We're thrilled to give the community residents of this iconic building the chance to experience this work for free," stated Heidi Duckler, Artistic/Executive Director of Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre, and choreographer of Dancing at Dunbar, "This is also a great opportunity to highlight for our audience the beauty and significance of this often underappreciated treasure that is The Dunbar Hotel."
Built in 1928, The Dunbar Hotel, originally the Hotel Somerville, was a pillar of the South Central African- American community in Los Angeles for decades. It is known for hosting the first NAACP national convention in the western US, as well as housing legends such as Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday and Lena Horne, at a time when African-American performers were not allowed to stay at major hotels. In 2008, the building became a residence for seniors and underserved community members.
Tickets for the one-night only performance go on sale August 25. General tickets are $40, with a special $20 rate for students and seniors. To purchase tickets, visit http://bit.ly/dancingatdunbar. Dunbar Village is located at 4225 South Central Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90011. For more information about the venue, visit http://www.tsahousing.com/properties.aspx?propID=1598.
Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre - Founded in 1985 by Artistic/Executive Director and choreographer Heidi Duckler, Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre has created memorable dance experiences in extraordinary locations for over two decades. Titled "the reigning queen of site-specific performance" by the L.A. Times, Heidi Duckler is dedicated to building experiences for the arts, especially among underserved populations. Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre creates contemporary art experiences in nontraditional places and learning opportunities in diverse neighborhoods that redefine the relationship between audience and art through the cultivation of innovative partnerships.
The company--originally named Collage Dance Theatre--began its site-specific work with Laundromatinee, a piece staged in a local laundromat. As dancers performed alongside whirring washers and dryers, Laundromatinee captured the collage ethos of the company, mixing art, movement, pop culture, and interactivity in found spaces. The performance established the company's dedication to sharing the inner workings of its creative process, rather than sequestering it behind closed studio doors.
In 2010, the company launched its Expulsion series, a collaborative performance that partners with local companies to tell stories of home, origins, and immigration, using vacant lots across the city as its stage. Building cross-cultural work with the Cambodian community in Long Beach, the Armenian community in Glendale, the Ethiopian and Korean communities in Mid-City, and the Latino community in Boyle Heights, the Expulsion series uses performance as a means of community organizing and public engagement.
Heidi Duckler has created more than 100 original dance pieces all over the world, and has had her work commissioned by Miami Light, Grand Performances, REDCAT, Aben Dan in Denmark, Brookfield Properties, Barlow Respiratory Hospital, and the Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation, among others. Awards include a City of LA Department of Cultural Affairs COLA Award, a California Arts Council Choreography Fellowship, and a National Endowment of the Arts American Masterpiece Award. In 2012 Duckler was recognized as the Distinguished Alumnus from the University of Oregon School of Music & Dance, and in 2013 she received the Los Angeles Women's Theatre Festival's Maverick Award.
Upcoming performances at the Kunstakademie Dusseldorf in Germany and Brisbane Festival in Australia during the fall of 2014 serve as testaments to constant new experiments in site. As the company looks forward to animating new locations within the vast landscape, one thing is certain--expect Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre in unexpected places. For more information, visit www.heididuckler.org.
Photo Credit: Adam Davila