The Sunland Dancers at The Skirball. December 2013.

The Sunland Dancers were commissioned by Jordan Peimer (at the time the director of public programs at Skirball and a friend of choreographer Neil Greenberg, who I danced with in NYC) to perform a site-specific piece at The Skirball Center for the Arts. The Sunland Dancers were Olive Blackburn, Alexa Weir, Lisa Wahlander, Perin Hailey McNelis and myself. An original music score was composed by Tara Jane ONeil.  Jordan wanted us to make a dance in the “ballroom” at The Skirball for an event or maybe it was a series titled something like “into the night?” The Skirball paid us $2,000.00 total to do this show, which went towards dancer fees, costumes, transportation. I tried to schedule rehearsals at the Skirball, in the ballroom, because they wanted a bullshit site-specific dance piece and it was a nightmare to get any time in there. We encountered a hostile crew at the Skirball who seemed very much in a nasty divide between admin people and tech people. When we as a group, The Sunland Dancers, walked on the premises to rehearse in the tiny classroom they provided us once (we were not able to rehearse in the ballroom until the night before the show) Skirball staff people quickly walked up to us to ask us what exactly we were doing there in a way that suggested we were not welcome (we were wearing our rehearsal clothes). That same rehearsal day we wanted to check out the ballroom, were told it was fine by our tech person and when we got there we were yelled at to get out by a person who knew who we were and didn’t want the renters of whatever corporate event was happening to see us. They wouldn’t even let us walk through the ballroom once. It was a very unpleasant experience, the performance was ok, I made us have flower heads with garlands of fake flowers wrapped around our heads and strung up to a pole on the balcony of the ballroom. I think that Jordan was trying to support me in my work and I appreciate that but the whole vibe of that place was so sterile, repressive, gross and Jordan really had no idea what he was doing or how to support dance. The whole environment of Skirball was so so so conservative, I got the feeling that it was all about money, not about people or art or humanity tho that is what they are funded to do and provide.