UPDATE (7/28/17): The Intensive schedule is now available, and can be viewed HERE. The rest of the Festival schedule can be found in the UPDATES section of our campaign!
Dorothy Parker once referred to Los Angeles as “72 suburbs in search of a city.” To outsiders and locals alike, it’s a sentiment that’s all too familiar. LA often appears to be a series of independent neighborhoods connected by a random mess of highways, and any quest for LA’s concert dance scene will lead you far and wide -- through Venice, Glendale, Downtown, Santa Monica, NoHo, South Bay, UCLA -- even as far as Orange County. Imagine these performance hubs as a single web, and you begin to get a picture of the Greater LA Dance Community Map.
Right in the middle of that web lies West Hollywood: "The Creative City."
This is a city that has demonstrated a proud commitment to the arts, time and time again. It deserves a consistent, sustained program through which the people of West Hollywood can engage with concert dance. WeHo deserves to be one of LA's major dance hubs.
That’s where the West Hollywood Dance Festival comes in.
WHDF: An Origin Story
Launched in 2016 by Chad Michael Hall and MULTIPLEX DANCE, the West Hollywood Dance Festival (or “WHDF”) was designed to create a space and a place for the people of West Hollywood to engage with concert dance in fresh and innovative ways -- to push the boundaries of what concert dance can be, what contemporary dance looks like, where you can see it, who can access it, and how. Featuring free community workshops, a contemporary dance intensive for professionals and aspiring professionals, and public performances, the week-long festival celebrates the JOY of creativity, the RIGOR of professional dance training, and the TRANSFORMATIVE POWER of live dance performance.
The inaugural year of the Festival was a huge success. The people of West Hollywood embraced the mission of WHDF with open arms, the Mayor gave us a commendation, and even City Council was excited to see what we were creating. The CITY OF WEST HOLLYWOOD is completely behind the success of the Festival, and actively supportive of WHDF becoming an annual event -- the City is excited about finally becoming a hub for concert dance.
This Year’s Festival
We LOVE seeing and creating dance in alternative venues. It takes a pioneering spirit and a sense of adventure to go into a giant, empty room and say “YES, we can create dance here!”
We are so grateful to the City for giving us West Hollywood Park Auditorium for this year’s Festival, and for helping us create a concert dance experience unlike any you have seen before. We’ll be transforming this multi-purpose room into an alternative venue that combines the artistic expression of a theatrical performance with the inclusivity of a town hall meeting and the excitement of a rock concert.
Just like our dynamic transformation of the space, we are building this year’s Festival programming from the ground up. One of the things that makes WHDF so special is the opportunity for new, innovative voices to showcase their work alongside some of LA's most established companies and choreographers. To that end, we are thrilled to announce this year’s mix of Featured Companies: Ballet D’Hommes, Antics Performance, Taiko Center of Los Angeles, and Hexagon Dance Collective. These are all incredible, like-minded companies that share in the mission and vision of WHDF, and will be performing alongside MULTIPLEX as a part of the Festival’s culminating performance series.
The dance intensive (for professionals and aspiring professionals) is also built around these Featured Companies, with each individual day of the intensive specifically devoted to the style, technique, and teachings of one of those companies. For example, the Ballet D’Hommes Day might include ballet technique classes in the morning, a Ballet D’Hommes-led community workshop in the afternoon, the opportunity to work alongside the company in their own company class that evening, and a chance to watch their open rehearsal at night.
The 5-day intensive is a full week of rigorous, innovative classes, rooted in the MULTIPLEX DANCE aesthetic and mission, and led by several of LA’s leading teachers and choreographers. These classes will cover a number of genres, including: modern, contemporary, ballet, hip hop, contemporary partnering, and improvisation.
All intensive students will also be given the opportunity to audition for our scholarship repertory program. This program offers partial scholarships to several of these undiscovered artists, as well as helping to bridge the gap from student to professional by having them dance in one a MULTIPLEX DANCE repertory piece in the end-of-week performance series. A special partnership with guiDance also allows us to offer a full-ride intensive scholarship to one promising dancer, hand-selected by WHDF Founder and Artistic Director, Chad Michael Hall.
Participants may register for individual classes, Day Passes, or Full-Intensive Festival Passes. Classes are limited capacity, and early registration is recommended. As a thank you to our early backers, we are offering the full intensive at a special, reduced rate of $250 (available in the PERKS section). Standard registration is $300.
We’ve also added three additional free community workshops to this year’s Festival, for a total of FIVE. In addition to last year’s workshops, TaikoPlex and Interface (both of which are back by popular demand), WHDF 2017 will include a workshop led by each of this year’s Festival Featured Companies. These workshops are open to all ages, require no prior dance training, and of course, are completely free to the public.
Our week-long celebration closes with a culminating performance, titled “House of MULTIPLEX.” The show will include eleven dance works, created by MULTIPLEX, Antics, Ballet D’Hommes, Hexagon Dance Collective, Taiko Center of Los Angeles, and the WHDF Intensive Students, and will feature choreography from Chad Michael Hall, Charlotte Katherine, Jess Harper, Candy Jimenez, Damien Diaz, Amy "Catfox" Campion, and more!
Pivotal to this unique theatrical experience is our state-of-the-art smartphone app that will incorporate digital layers of content directly onto audience phones, allowing you to actively engage and interact in real-time with the performances, communicating and connecting to each other through the technology that regularly isolates and immobilizes us. Participation goes BEYOND trying to intellectually respond to what you see and hear -- it ENGAGES you through an experience that is familiar to you.
This brand of cyberdance -- incorporating audience interactivity through mobile technology and social media -- is unique to WHDF and MULTIPLEX. This style is a joint venture of Chad Michael Hall and John Toenjes, who is flying into Los Angeles specifically to work with us on the app/festival.
Daily rehearsals are free and open to the public, and all performances are family-friendly. “House of MULTIPLEX” performs Friday, August 25th at 7:30pm, and Saturday, August 26th at 2pm and 7:30pm.
Your Support Makes a Difference
With the West Hollywood Dance Festival, we are creating an amazing, accessible, unconventional, passionate CELEBRATION of dance -- unlike anything West Hollywood has ever seen before.
By contributing to our campaign, you are helping us bring this creative vision to life. You are putting dancers onstage, teachers in studios, and scholarships in the hands of undiscovered young artists. You are creating a brand-new app that can revolutionize the way audiences watch live performances. You are establishing West Hollywood as one of LA's major dance hubs. And we are so, so grateful for your support!
About MULTIPLEX DANCE
MULTIPLEX DANCE (MXD) is a Los Angeles-based collective of meta-modernist artists, integrating athletic and acrobatic movement vocabulary with digital media and electronic music. Dancing at the crossroads of visceral and virtual landscapes, the creative work of MULTIPLEX DANCE is a rollercoaster ride of tumbling, rolling, sliding, pivoting, inverting, rebounding, launching, and flying; through worlds inspired by superheroes, video games, and cyberpunk science fiction.
Founded in 2013 by choreographer, performer, and dance professor Chad Michael Hall; MULTIPLEX DANCE is dedicated to making innovative and accessible dance works that engage audiences in creative and powerful ways.
The company’s activities are rooted in empowerment, ingenuity, adventure, and inspiration; it manifests these core values through performances, residencies, professional training programs, master classes, and community workshops. Already with eight works in the repertory, the company is performing regularly by invitation in festivals in addition to conducting residencies and workshops at various institutions. The company also produces a unique brand of multimedia performance called INTERFACE Productions, incorporating seating in the round and live audience interaction via mobile phones and social media.
In the three years since its founding, the company has performed by invitation or selection in dance venues all over Los Angeles including Los Angeles Theater Center, Miles Memorial Playhouse, Bootleg Theater, Highways Performance Space, Pasadena Dance Theater, and Diavolo Dance Theater.
About Chad Michael Hall
Chad Michael Hall is a choreographer, director, performer, and dance educator living in Los Angeles. He is the Founder, Artistic Director, and primary Choreographer of MULTIPLEX DANCE. He currently serves as Assistant Professor of Dance at UC Irvine’s prestigious Claire Trevor School of the Arts where he teaches contemporary technique, choreography, improvisation, contemporary partnering, dance and video, and screendance. Before UC Irvine, Hall served as Visiting Assistant Professor at Loyola Marymount University from 2008 to 2011.
Hall is recognized nationally and internationally for his creative work. He most recently choreographed for Kibbutzim College in Tel Aviv where he also worked as a guest artist with Idan Cohen Dance Company. Hall is a sought-after guest artist and choreographer among dance companies, colleges and universities, and performing arts high schools across the United States. He has been commissioned over thirty times since 2008.
Dubbed as “LA’s cyberpunk choreographer” by Fox News, Hall is developing a unique brand of cyberdance theater incorporating audience interactivity via mobile technology and social media called INTERFACE Productions. In his work and his life, Hall is driven by adventure, ingenuity, and empowerment. He is inspired by super heroes, video games, and science fiction. He is a frequent collaborator with composer David Karagianis and lighting designer John A. Garofalo.
WHDF 2017 Collaborators Include...
- MULTIPLEX DANCE: Chad Michael Hall (Artistic Director), Jessica Lynn Harper, Charlotte Katherine Smith, Koryn Wicks, David Mack, Audiranna Audoma, Shih-wei Wu, Ian James, Simon Harrison, John Garofalo, John Toetjes, Zach Davidson
- Taiko Center of Los Angeles: Shih-wei Wu (Artistic Director)
- Ballet d'Hommes: Damien Diaz (Artistic Director), Adrian Hoffman, Gary Franco, Albertossy Espinosa, Allen Abrams, Jack Virga-Hall, Cameron Schwanz, Zareh Markarian
- Antics Performance: Amy "Catfox" Campion (Artistic Director), Bliss, Emerory Bernardo, Michael Rebong
- Hexagon Dance Collective: Tina Dossa (Co-Director), Brigitte Axelrode, Sam Blaz, Anna Chorneyko, Kathleen Kenny, Gigi Todisco
Join the MULTIPLEX DANCE WHDF community on social media, and use our hashtags to join the conversation and get the latest updates about the WHDF! #WHDF #MXDLA
This program is presented with the support of the City of West Hollywood through its Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission. For more info on WeHo Arts programming please visit www.weho.org/arts or follow via social media @WeHoArts.
Risks and challenges
In live performance, there are always challenges involved -- that’s part of what makes it so exciting. We rely daily on our dancers’ bodies and health, and we face numerous logistical and technical challenges (which include, among other things, developing a brand-new piece of interactive digital dance technology and creating WeHo’s first concert dance-focused festival).
WHDF and MULTIPLEX DANCE are no strangers to taking risks. We work on the cutting-edge of performance: athletic, visceral, digital, and innovative. We’re confident that with our artistic team, dedicated technical and production staff, and the steadfast support from our community, that we will create something incredible.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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