Invertigo Dance Theatre is putting together a two-act performance titled “After It Happened” that tells the story of a community rebuilding in the aftermath of a natural disaster. The show takes place on Sept. 30 at Ford Theatres and at New Vic Santa Barbara on Oct. 22 and Oct. 23. To buy tickets, click here.
Souheil Michael Khoury Invertigo
The show was originally inspired when Laura Karlin, Artistic Director of Invertigo Dance Theatre, saw a photography exhibit by photojournalist Emilio Morenatti in Barcelona featuring the people of Haiti recovering a year after the devastating earthquake hit in 2010. The show took cues from the imagery of a rebuilding population and incorporated them into a dance performance that exhibits Invertigo’s signature and stunning athletic physicality. From that initial idea, the show has evolved in a story that is accessible to everyone who can relate to the universal themes such as loss, recovery, transformation and hope.
“In a world now with a shifting climate and natural environments, I think it’s really important to tell a story about recovery and our capacity to do so with humor and grace and sacrifice, and what it means to live through those kinds of situations,” Karlin said.
“After It Happened” will contain beautiful dancing featuring seven dancers and two musicians, with one dancer who switches between playing cello and dancing when necessary. In turn, the musicians will perform an original score by Los Angeles-based composers Toby Karlin and Diana Lynn Wallace and will get involved in some of the action as well.
“Everyone does vocals at a couple of points, so everybody in this show does a bit of everything,” said Karlin. “There’s definite crossover and in some ways we kind of feel like that happens in the aftermath of a natural disaster because when you’re in that kind of situation, everybody does everything and you have to be able to step across from what you think are your limitations.”
The performance is intended to capture the human capacity to create light, song, and re-growth when foundations and structure are swept away. While the dancers and musicians journey through some dark places, the storytelling is balanced out by the funny and wildly inappropriate moments encountered in times of transition.
“I think the most challenging thing for me is always getting the volume of ideas I have in my head out and into the space with the dancers and then editing,” Karlin said. “So going from whirlwind of ideas in my brain to actually a piece of theatre that will bring the audience in and take them through this dreamy series of theatrical events is something that I really work hard to make happen. I’m really lucky that I have dancers that are capable of bringing virtuosic movement to the stage and I have musicians that can create unique worlds.”
“After It Happened” was named “Top 10 Dance Event 2014” by LA Weekly and “Top 10 Theatre 2014” by Bitter Lemons and this year’s rendition is looking better than ever. The attention to detail is something the company is becoming known for. Invertigo was recently awarded a Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Arts Innovation and Management (AIM) program grant, and Dance Spirit Magazine named it one of the “top six trend-setting companies to watch in LA.”
In addition to performing shows for the public, Invertigo has a strong sense of community engagement that is interwoven in the fabric of the company, empowering everyone who is involved through the creative process. Leading up to its Sept. 30 production, the company explored arts role in the recovery process through a number of community events including two at the Gronk Exhibit at the Los Angeles Craft and Folk Art Museum: one in which the community helped to build a set for “After It Happened” using repurposed materials around the theme “what would you take if you could only carry one box out of your house?”, and one in which the public created a public dance installation within the exhibit.
In partnership with the Refugee Forum of Los Angeles and the United Nations Refugee Agency, the dancers presented a preview of “After It Happened” and incorporated a community choreography section involving all attendees at the West Hollywood World Refugee event in honor of the United Nations’ World Refugee Day.
In addition to its performances Invertigo dances with people ages 2 to 92. This past month Invertigo opened its sixth class location for its “Dancing Through Parkinson’s” program. Weekly classes happen in Venice (Mondays), Beverly Hills (Tuesdays), Tarzana (Tuesdays), and Culver City (Thursdays), and monthly classes happen in Boyle Heights and Torrance.
Be sure to catch Invertigo Dance Theatre’s performance of “After It Happened” at Sept. 30 at Ford Theatres at 8:30 p.m. and at New Vic Santa Barbara on Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. and Oct. 23 at 2 p.m. To buy tickets, click here.