Friday, July 14, 2017

Choreographic Residency: Week 1


Remembering my interests
Remembering that memories are reconstructions, &
Remembering the feeling of sand between my toes.

Playing with speed, sound, spectacle, and sand... sand everywhere.

This week, I've been acquainting myself with the space and location, soaking in the sun and trying to understand beach culture.  In the first week, I've been walking around the boardwalk, lying on my Turkish towel in the sand amidst the endangered snowy plovers, catching some gnarly waves in my speedo, picking up trash along the coast, and biking along the boardwalk... All whilst awaiting inspiration to spark. The difficulty in this project, for me, is location and culture.  My work often deals with exertion, exhaustion, and physical trauma; I wouldn't exactly call my work "fun."  And that's where I find myself perplexed in this project.  How, Where, and Why does my work meet the beach?  

The project I've proposed is called, LUCID: Daydreaming on the Beachan immersive theatrical experience that investigates how our memories and dreams affect our mental health. Within my research, I'll delve into topics surrounding trauma, hallucinations, and panic attacks.  The ultimate challenge will be integrating the relaxed, care-free culture of the beach with such heavy, serious topics.

On my drive from the east side of Los Angeles to Santa Monica, I recalled one of my favorite episodes of my favorite podcast, Radiolab.  In that episode, Haunted Dreams, they discuss lucid dreaming techniques.  One technique is a state test: frequently asking yourself in your waking life, "Am I awake, or am I dreaming?"  This will become a learned habit that could possibly cross over into your dreaming state, granting you the possibility of controlling your dreams. Have you ever had a dream that you could do something that you couldn't do, and then woke up and felt the efficacy to do it?  That happens to me.  I dreamt I could do a backflip when I was a child, then I woke up the next day and tried it a couple times and accomplished it (after falling on my head a few times, but I did it).  Same with Krumping (an expressive form of hip hop dance with exaggerated gestures).  I know all this sounds bizarre, but I wonder if I could lucid dream and control the direction of my dreams, could I then control experiences and embodiments in my waking life?  It sounds very Neo from the Matrix, but I'm curious.  

During this residency, I will keep a dream journal to document my dreams when I wake in the morning, and maybe even some daydreaming experiences.  I will also ask my collaborators to keep a journal for dreams.  Stay tuned next week to see where my questions take me.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Annenberg Community Beach House welcomes incoming Choreographer-in-Residence Jay Carlon!

Jay Carlon begins the investigative stage of his residency July and August, and will be onsite creating and rehearsing with his company beginning 9/5/17. He'll be conducting two public workshops, Tuesday 9/19/17 at 6:30pm and Saturday 9/30 at 10:30am.

Lucid: Daydreaming at the Beach is the working title for his new piece to be created at the Beach House. An immersive theatrical experience that investigates how our memories and dreams affect mental health, the 90-minute experience collages, amplifies, and deconstructs memories, inviting the community of the audience to engage in conversations about their recollections of dreams and personal beloved spaces. Performances will take place October 7-8.

Stay tuned for Carlon's updates here to learn more!

Jay Carlon was born in Santa Barbara County to a migrant working family and attended the University of California, Irvine for his BFA in Dance and the California State University, Long Beach for his MFA; his roots in California are embedded in this soil and are evident in his identity-based work and performance. In 2016, he co-founded CARLON + LOLLIE, a collaborative team of artists whose creative desires are to re-present our collective and individual psyches by reimagining the conventions of performance and space. He is a performer and directing and management associate with site-based aerial spectacle theatre company Australia’s Strange Fruit, where he has performed at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, the opening of the Wallis Annenberg Theatre in Beverly Hills, and the 2016 EXPO (Antalya, Turkey). Carlon’s immersive, interactive, and site-based choreography has been showcased at HomeLA, LA Dance Festival, 92nd Y, The CURRENT SESSIONS, Electric Lodge, ARC Pasadena, and at Automata Theatre, where he was recently a D+R resident with Los Angeles Performance Practice. Jay has also performed with the Metropolitan Opera, Palissimo, and Schoen Movement Company.