First Hand 2015


Utilizing a range of movement vocabularies and development processes, the choreographers have spent the current quarter working closely with WAC/Dance student performers in four project-based classes. These performances are the culmination of their explorations. First Hand offers a rare peek into the varying methods and initial impulses that will eventually yield fully developed pieces.

Ann Carlson: The Symphonic Body/UCLA is an orchestral performance made entirely of gestures. Instead of musical instruments, performers in the Symphonic Body perform gestural portraits based on the movements of their workday. In this special sneak peek version, the Symphonic Body/ WAC/D Ensemble is performed by 10 dance majors and is part of a larger work that will be performed at Royce Hall, November 21, 2015.

Ana Maria Alvarez Agua Furiosa, CONTRA-TIEMPO's newest evening length work, challenges audiences to confront harsh realities of race and water in our country. The final work, inspired by The Tempest and Oya, the Afro-Cuban deity of wind and storms, will premiere in January 2016 in Kaufman Hall. This rendition deviates from the larger narrative arc of Agua Furiosa and instead uncovers a movement language for notions of chaos and contradiction.

Jackie Lopez, will present two choreographic works. The 1st piece Alone, dedicated to all the single mothers that play both roles in their child’s life. The second piece entitled Barrio Mundial, honoring our barrios, while celebrating the beautiful complexity of our world. Together we find the light within…

Cheng-Chieh Yu, From Jargon to Pidgin, The project overlays research into jargon and pidgin in language with jargon and pidgin in movement & choreography. We are most excited by the metaphoric and imagistic implications in found translations, and their potential to correspond to, and spark fresh movement generation processes.

About the Artists

Ann Carlson’s work borrows from the disciplines of dance, performance, theater, visual and conceptual art. Taking the form of solo performance, site-specific projects, or ensemble works, Carlson's work is project-based and often dismantles conventional boundaries between artist and subject. Most recently, Carlson received a 2015 Doris Duke Award for contemporary dance. Ms. Carlson is currently in residence at the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA working on a large-scale performance project, The Symphonic Body/UCLA. Carlson has been a guest faculty member in the Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance during this academic year.

Ana Maria Alvarez is a Cuban-American choreographer whose work integrates Salsa, Afro-Cuban, Urban and Contemporary dance-theater. Her newest work, an Urban Latin Dance Theater version of the Tempest, is supported by UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance. Alvarez received her MFA in Choreography from UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures. There, she explored the abstraction of “Latin Dance” as a way to express social resistance within the US immigration battle. Her studies ultimately became the impetus for founding her LA-based dance company, CONTRA-TIEMPO, which has received much acclaim throughout the United States and beyond.

Jackie Lopez aka “Miss Funk” is a Los Angeles native. She graduated in 2004 from the UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures with an emphasis in dance. Lopez has taught Hip-hop for 17 years; she is a Lecturer at UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance as well as the Artistic Director of the UCLA Summer Dance/Performing Arts Intensive. Jackie is also the Co-Founder & Artistic Director of Versa-Style Dance Company, a dance ensemble consisting of young, committed, and conscientious Hip-hop artists.

Cheng-Chieh Yu's choreographic work explores Asian Diaspora issues that challenge notions of an Asian and Asian American profile, crisscrossing issues such as gender ascription, social-political perspectives, and cultural hybridity. Since 1991, Yu’s work has been produced and commissioned by numerous venues in NYC, LA and internationally in Germany, Israel, Indonesia, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore. Recently, her dance-for-camera commission, “Martiality Not Fighting” received the Best Short in Dance Camera West/LA, as well as the Best Performance from the InShadow Video Festival in Portugal. She is an Associate Professor of Choreography in WAC/Dance.

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UCLA Department of World Arts Cultures/Dance
Box 951608, 150 Kaufman Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1608
Tel 310.825.3951