Dance in the Districts 2022

DCA and the Los Angeles Dance Workers Coalition will present online performances by 22 dancers and choreographers who reside or work in Council Districts 2, 3, 8, and 10 for the pilot program, Dance in the Districts. As part of the program award, applicants will produce, present, and film a 1 to 3-minute virtual, online performance piece that is family friendly, free, and publicly accessible for DCA, LADWC, and other partner organization websites, culminating in a screening that will be accessible online later this year.

Performances will be produced, presented, and filmed in the Council District that the artist is affiliated with, and highlight a location within that district that holds value to the dancer such as a park, street, business, home, or public space, among others. Each award consists of a $1,000 artist’s fee and a $1,000 production fee. Production costs include: rehearsing, costuming, videography, collaborators, marketing, administration, and other costs related to the production including public space permits, equipment, or venue rentals. Funding is sourced through DCA’s Madrid Theatre Cultural Hub (MaTCH) and the Leimert Park Cultural Hub (LPCH) supporting the geographic selection of artists.

The Dance in the Districts selected artists for LPCH for Council Districts 8 and 10 are: Haniyyah Tahira, Rachel Hernandez, Bernard Brown, Gabriel Gutierrez, Michah Moch, Darrel Dunn, Aerick Luckie, Jamie Carabetta, Imani Jackson, Shauna Davis, and Teresa Barcelo.

The Dance in the Districts selected artists for MaTCH for Council Districts 2 and 3 are: Nadia Calmet, Vanessa Cruz, Ashley Gomez, Olivia Mia Orozco, Thalia Ramos, Rachana Upadhyay, Ki’Leigh Williams, Danielle Yashuda, Louise Reichlin, Sushma Mohan, and Larisa Carlson.


Photo: Mark Lord Photography, courtesy of Heidi Duckler Dance Company

Leimert Park Cultural Hub Commissioned Artists


    Cuban/Spaniard Miami native Teresa “Toogie” Barcelo is an internationally acclaimed choreographer and movement artist who has called LA her home for over a decade. Her vision as a choreographer and director spans across the creative spectrum from stage to screen. Toogie’s work is filled with an expert understanding of humanness, informed by her holistic practices. It is her goal to create fertile ground for accidental meditation.


    Los Angeles-based artist, activist and educator, serves as Director of Bernard Brown / bbmoves, choreographing for stage, specific sites, film, and opera. Working at the intersection of Blackness, belonging and memory, he is a certified Katherine Dunham Technique Instructor candidate and an Assistant Professor at Loyola Marymount University. Lester Horton and Westfield Emerging Artist Award recipient, the Los Angeles Times has called him “…the incomparable Bernard Brown…”


    Carabetta began making dances for the neighborhood children at the age of 5 to her dad’s Shirley Bassey records, and then gradually morphed into a light theatre ingénue before earning her MFA in 2000. As a dancer she performed nationally and internationally, touring the US and Japan. Jamie has had the honor of receiving numerous grants, from the National Museum of Dance, Arts Council for Long Beach, California Arts Council, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Department of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles and NYC, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Center for Cultural Innovation, the Annenberg Foundation and University of California, Irvine. Her choreography, examining the tension between the individual and the collective and the role of gender, spirituality and individual choices in relationships, has been performed in Japan, Ohio, New York, Washington and California. In 2012, Jamie founded Pony Box Dance Theatre, a contemporary dance company integrating visual art, theater and original scores committed to bringing the joy of dance to everyone. Carabetta’s “The Line” was a finalist in the McCallum Theater’s Choreography Festival, has been a CUNY Dance Initiative Resident and will complete a commission at the prestigious Vineyard Arts in summer of 2021. Her dance film "No Man is An Island" was selected as part of ADF's Movies by Movers screening July 2022.


    Davis is a dancer, choreographer and filmmaker based in Los Angeles. As a dancer, Shauna has worked with artists such as The Weeknd, Olivia Rodrigo, Shawn Mendes and has performed with No)One. Art House, LA Opera, Long Beach Opera and the LA Chamber Orchestra. In creation, Shauna makes cinematic and storied dance experiences influenced by history and the fantasy of the future, offering alternate and colorful ways to express the nuances of being, while encompassing themes of legacy, reclamation and popular culture.


    Dunn, aka “Friidom” is a movement composer known for pioneering the cinematic-dance genre called “Epiic." His mission is to spread this movement philosophy & raw expressive movement creating worlds that bridges divides; a Willy Wonka of movement.


    Originally from Chicago, Gutierrez is an adult adoptee, first generation street dance artist, founder of MoFundamentals, and artivist dedicated to highlighting the resiliency of the foster and adoptee community. His work centers around disseminating his knowledge of street dance, lessons of manhood derived from his experiences in homelessness, being his own financial safety net and foster care. His contributions at the intersection of hip hop, education, healing practices, and foster care advocacy have earned him invitation to train at intensives hosted by Rennie Harris, nomination for the ACTIVATE Arts Advocacy Fellowship to represent Los Angeles Council District 1, and recruitment to pilot reentry programming funded by the California Arts Council.


    Hernandez began her professional studies in Salvador, Bahia. She is skilled in Afro-Brazilian dance, Modern and Ballet. She has developed her signature Afro-Brazilian dance classes and Extra Ancestral Workshops being taught throughout LA County. She currently choreographs the dance component of Extra Ancestral and plays percussion with Bloco Obini.


    Jackson is a Cleveland native that has grown to love her new home in Los Angeles with her husband and two children. She holds a BFA in Dance Education and continues to work as an educator, performer, choreographer, and certified personal trainer. Imani feels extremely grateful for the opportunity to showcase the beauty of our journey and our neighborhoods through movement.


    Aerick Luckie and J'Nelle Luckie met on the dance floor over 12 years ago and continue to keep the world dancing through their 90s cardio fitness class. Old School Skinny creates a safe space that promotes physical / mental wellness in BIPOC communities by playing the throwback jams we love, and serving up sweat pumping grooves that'll have you feeling too legit to quit!


    Moch is an LA based musician, movement artist, Creative Movement Director and Performance Capture Artist. A native Angeleno with over 20 years of experience performing, touring and creating work.


    I’m a dancer & choreographer based in Los Angeles with over 16 years of professional experience. Throughout my career I’ve danced as a principal dancer & soloist for the Lula Washington Dance Theatre, I was also a part of the making of “Avatar” 1 & 2 directed by James Cameron in addition working with Tony award winner George Faison in New York, NY. I’ve also served as a guest artist with Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theatre & Viver Brasil Dance Company in Los Angeles. Last year I was contracted by the Broad Museum in Downtown Los Angeles to create a live performance piece highlighting the work of Ghanaian sculptor El Anatsui that was showcased at their Forth Fridays summer performances. Currently I’m working on a film for the Broad museum that will precede a dance & workshop in October with my partner & percussionist M’Baye Kante. I love giving back what I have learned throughout my career through teaching & choreographing in addition to continuing to expand my creative facets as an artist.

Madrid Theatre Cultural Hub Commissioned Artists


    Calmet is a folk choreographer, Peruvian dancer, actress, artivist and cultural educator. She has more than 20 years of experience participating in cultural exchanges with organizations in over 30 countries as a cultural specialist in Afro-Peruvian culture as a representative of Peru.


    Carlson is a professional Folk Dancer/Folk Dance Instructor and Choreographer. As a Founder (in 1999) and the Director of the Dance Studio “Showtime-Katusha” in L.A. she has participated in a plethora of fairs, festival and ethnic events. Ms. Carlson is Founder and Producer of Annual Folk Cultural Festival (from 2008), Annual Cultural Slavic Festival “Maslenitsa” (from 2019) and Cultural Festival “International Children Day” in Los Angeles, CA.


    Hernandez Cruz is an emerging interdependent Chicana disabled dance artist and Disability Justice activist. Through her dance films & choreographic work, Vanessa presents the audience with thought-provoking pieces that ignite the imagination & explores disability aesthetics in contemporary forms and experimentation. She is shifting the dance field away from the inspirational-porn perspective of disability into a humanistic perspective.


    Gomez is a dancer emerging from The San Fernando Valley’s vibrant Hip Hop community. She is part of the KM Training Program, led by Kolanie Marks and Antoine Troupe, as well as the Troupe Dance Company based in North Hollywood. Her energized style and passion for dancing stems from her need in creating personal joy that can be shared.


    Mohan is the Artistic Director for the Soorya Arts Academy, and Secretary, Soorya Foundation for Performing Arts, founded to preserve, protect and promote Indian traditional performing arts in the USA. The foundation provides a platform for traditional dancers through its free annual dance festivals in LA, produces dance works that bind the community and paves a path for creativity, and trains students of all ages in traditional dance and music.


    Orozco attended the University of California, Santa Barbara with a BFA in dance and a minor in philosophy. She has performed as a dancer throughout Los Angeles, New York, and Mexico with various choreographers. Recently she presented her choreography at the Los Angeles Exchange Festival presented by Performance Project.


    Ramos is based in Los Angeles, has been described as a remarkable combination of versatility and aesthetic breadth since she began her professional career as a dance choreographer, dance educator, and creative director. She has created space and taken on work that allows her to help others tap into their own uniqueness, teach mindfulness, anNadiad explore infinite movement discoveries. Everything is connected, visual art and dance helps her to teach this.


    Reichlin began her career in NY in concerts & Broadway, and has performed and choreographed throughout the USA with her choreography also seen in China, Taipei, Mexico, Sweden, and Guatemala. Louise ended a tour in Los Angeles in the early 70's, taught at USC for many years, and founded her dance company Louise Reichlin & Dancers (non-profit name Los Angeles Choreographers & Dancers) in 1979. She has received many awards with her company for both choreography (over 100 works) and their strong educational base working with many local schools.


    Rachana Upadhyay is a Kathak artist and the director of the Indian Performing Art Center in the San Fernando Valley. Born and raised in Lucknow, India, she received her Nipun, or Master’s degree, in Kathak from Bhatkhande Music College. She represents the Lucknow gharana of Kathak dance, a style of Kathak that specializes in delicate but precise execution of technique, and nuanced expressive storytelling. She began teaching in 1998 as the first-ever Kathak teacher in Los Angeles, and has since trained hundreds of students in Kathak dance, several of whom have gone on to perform internationally, teach professionally, and research the form in academia.


    Williams is the founder of The GentleLadies, a Creative Director, Photographer and Choreographer based on North Hollywood, CA. Dance and visuals has been a massive inspiration of collaboration since she was a teenager, and is now so excited to bring the two of them to life. Featuring The GentleLadies, an all-female-collective of brilliant creative minds and movers, Ki’Leigh is thrilled to be selected as a Dance in the Districts recipient.


    Navarro and Yasuda are two, first generation, American women of color. As MUDA, we create nonfiction-based, multimedia performance work that presents diverse stories highlighting mental health, questions of identity, and family themes, specifically the generational impact of immigration and racism. Incorporating first-person testimonials, art direction, short film, movement and immersive theater, MUDA aims to spark crucial conversations that reflect our ancestry and identity.

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