The Sunland Dancers performed the dance MAGICAL DIAGONAL at the Los Angeles Theater as part of Night on Broadway on January 28th, 2017 organized by IAMSOUND.
Lena Kassof, Yanina Orellana, J. Alex Matthews, Myrrhia Jade, Samuel Wentz, Jmy Kidd, Dana Penenberg, Chelsea Zeffiro, Pia Vinson and Julienne Mackey are The Sunland Dancers for this show.
Music by Tara Jane ONeil
Dance and Outfit Design by Jmy James Kidd
It was such a beautiful sunny day on January 28th. The city of LA blocked off like 13 blocks on Broadway and opened up all of the beautiful old theaters. We had been in the streets of downtown LA since the election for protests and this night people were in the streets in celebration, I felt, of living in LA. I had been working on this dance for about a year and a half, I had wanted to form a living, breathing pattern — patterns, shapes, feelings, rhythms. I had wanted these patterns to emerge out in all directions in clarity, in confusion and then wash away. I worked with 10 people, including myself, in 3 weeks. I already knew the material but I had to work out the structure for the patterns to be able to emerge. The original material had come from improvisations to songs I found that had shifting tempos, usually shifting to fast fast — Carlos Santana’s Black Magic Woman, Aaliyah’s I care for you instrumental version. I started by trying to make sequences of 100 steps or counts or movements that could be carved in shape by the tempos. I asked Tara Jane to make a score that was continuous, could loop and shifted the tempos in a smooth R&B way to places that were so so fast it wouldn’t be possible to move my bodie or so so slow I also could barely move my bodie. I wanted the dance to be always sculpted by the music in an unexpected way. There were sets of 100 steps and there were connector locomotive movements and some more improvisational movements. The feet and legs that were being driven always by the pelvis were connecting to the rhythmical music, the beats while the limbs of the head and arms driven by the rib basket and heart were drifters musically tho tethered to the lower bodie and ground. This final performance of Magical Diagonal at The Los Angeles Theater was great, so fun. I had been wanting to make a dance for a big opera house type stage for a while cause I am not fond of black boxes and this is the way it happened. Earlier versions of this Magical Diagonal were performed with people I had been working with for at least a few years and inside of the making of this piece the group fell apart. I had always wanted and encouraged people to connected to themselves inside of the dances I was making and they did. Perin moved to Tucson and her own work, and Lisa, Jill, Alexa and Elroy really moved onto journeys of their own work. Somehow the magical diagonal was the propeller for us all to move on in our own ways. I miss all of those people.