Beach Dances

Jay Carlon, Four Triangles, performed during Beach Dances, June 2018

A week of dance on the sand

An annual celebration of dance in the midst of the daily life of the Annenberg Community Beach House. Beach House guests and passersby are invited to participate in workshops and view open rehearsals and performances with local choreographers. 

Image: Sarah Elgart / Arrogant Elbow and company rehearsing during Beach Dances, featuring Alexandria Diaz de Fato, Jonathan Stanley, Sam McReynolds and Genna Moroni, 2018. Photo by Jason Abraham.

All events held at:

Annenberg Community Beach House
415 Pacific Coast Hwy
Santa Monica, CA 90402

Beach Dances takes place June 18 – 23, 2019. All events are free. Read an interview with guest curator Allison Wyper. Download a complete program with schedule and artist info. Workshops have limited availability; please RSVP here.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

8:30-10:30am: Rehearsal of Rendición by Christine Suarez

10:30am-12:30pmRehearsal of sAND sKY wIND by Maya Gingery

12:30-1:30pmRehearsal of Zurciendo Souls by Paola Escobar

Wednesday, June 19

8:30-10:30am: Rehearsal of Rendición by Christine Suarez

10:30-11:30am: Parent-Child Yoga + Cumbia Workshop with Rebeca Hernandez

11:30am-1:30pm: Earthian Folk Dance Workshop with DaEun Jung

Thursday, June 20

8:30-9:30am: Rehearsal of Zurciendo Souls by Paola Escobar

9:30-11:30am: Rehearsal of CONFLUENCE by Heyward Bracey and Nguyễn Nguyên

11:30am-1:30pmRehearsal of sAND sKY wIND by Maya Gingery

Friday, June 21

8:30-10:30am: Contemplative Dance Practice at the Beach with Carol McDowell

10:30am-12:30pm: Freewalking / Ragewalking Workshop with alexx shilling

12:30-1:30pmRehearsal of CONFLUENCE by Heyward Bracey and Nguyen Nguyen

Saturday, June 22, 2019

8:30-10:30am: Contemplative Dance Practice at the Beach with Carol McDowell

10:30-11:30am: Surrendering to Improvisation with Christine Suarez

11:30am-1:30pm: Rehearsal of sAND sKY wIND by Maya Gingery

4:00-6:00pm: Rhizomatic Arts Hangout with Beach Dances curator Allison Wyper

6:30-8:00pm: Performance, featuring works rehearsed during Beach Dances

  • DaEun Jung - Earthian Folk Dance; performers: Rayven Armijo, DaEun Jung, Arron Mason, alexx shilling, Melody HJ Shim, Wilfried Souly
  • Christine Suarez - Rendición; performers alex shilling, Arushi Singh, Wilfried Souly and Christine Suarez
  • Paola Escobar - Zurciendo Souls; solo
  • Maya Gingery - sAND sKY wIND; performers: Nick Duran, Maya Gingery and Felicia St. Cyr
  • Heyward Bracey & Nguyen Nguyen - CONFLUENCE; performers: Heyward Bracey, Rosemary Candelario and Nguyen Nguyen

Sunday, June 23, 2019

8:30-10:30am: Contemplative Dance Practice at the Beach with Carol McDowell

10:30am-12:00pm: Borderline Flamenco, Flamenco for All with Paola Escobar

12:00-1:30pm: La Diáspora de Twerk with Shaina Lynn and Isabel Ivey

5:00-7:00pm: Encounter, an improvisatory event organized by Mariel Carranza featuring choreographers, dancers and performance artists.

About the Artists and Events

Heyward Bracey - butoh dancer / movement activist – has worked and performed with Los Angeles Movement Arts, The School for the Movement of the Technicolor People, and master butoh artist Katsura Kan, locally and internationally. He has been presented in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and Kyoto. In 2018, he collaborated with Taisha Paggett and WXPT Dance Collective on social justice dance actions for Made in L.A. Heyward's work explores the effects of colonialism upon diverse populations – as well as the intersections of butoh, indigenous cosmologies, the African Diaspora, the Pacific Basin Renaissance and street dance.

and Nguyễn Nguyên is a choreographer, dance filmmaker, and educator based in Los Angeles, born in Vietnam. His work has been presented throughout L.A., the Guangdong and Beijing International Dance Festival in China, and the International Performance Arts Festival in Thailand. Nguyên is a founding member of Los Angeles Movement Arts. Nguyên is currently on faculty at RenArts Academy in Los Angeles and is a member of The Rock Collection.

and special guest performer/collaborator Rosemary Candelario (Associate Professor of Dance, Texas Woman’s University) writes about and makes dances engaged with butoh, ecology, and site-specific performance. Recent premieres include aqueous (2019, Kyoto Butoh Festival, Kyoto, Japan) and 100 Ways to Kiss the Trees (2018, Denton, Texas). She is the recipient of the Oscar G. Brockett Book Prize for Dance Research for her book Flowers Cracking Concrete: Eiko & Koma's Asian/American Choreographies (Wesleyan University Press 2016). Rosemary is also the co-editor with Bruce Baird of the Routledge Companion to Butoh Performance (2018) and the author of numerous journal articles.

CONFLUENCE is a site responsive dance performance that explores the relationship between memory and the present, identity, and the natural world, drawing from contemporary dance practices, butoh and contemporary African America’s relationship with the Orixá. The performers lead the audience from the stage to the waters edge – encouraging the entirety of the gathered bodies to witness themselves, their origins and aspirations as much as enjoy the beauty of the shared performance.

Mariel Carranza is a Los Angeles based artist born and raised in Perú. She has developed a practice contingent on seeing a cross-cultural art discourse that engages with public art more so than exhibiting in conventional art spaces. Carranza’s work has been presented locally and internationally at venues including the Hammer Museum, Highways, 18th Street Art Center, LACE, Track 16, Woodbury University, MorYork Gallery, Human Resources, Perform Chinatown, Situation Room, Latitud 32 N / 55 S. Festival (Germany), National Review of Live Art (Glasgow), CONTEXTS Festival (Poland), Belfast International Performance Art Festival, First International Festival and Performancear or Morir (Mexico), Erarta Museum (Russia), Crossing Zones = Language = Land (Croatia), and Festival Hall (London).

Since 2012, leading performance artists from Los Angeles, plus international guests, have met regularly to engage in a practice called Encounter, organized by artist Mariel Carranza. Encounters are durational, improvised, action/time/space based performances inhabiting private studios, art venues, and public spaces across the city, including the Los Angeles River, Griffith Park, the Venice Pier, the Salton Sea, the Bowtie Parcel, WUHO Gallery, Human Resources, Los Angeles State Historic Park, and Highways Performance Space. For Encounter #54 at Beach Dances, participants include: Michael Barrett, Mariel Carranza, Rochelle Fabb, Douglas Green, Rebeca Hernandez, Carol McDowell, Elaine Thap and Allison Wyper.

Paola Escobar (Annenberg Community Beach House 2019 Choreographer-in-Residence) is a Colombian artist who creates transcultural work that combines her Latin-American background with her interest in the flamenco tradition, African culture, and contemporary art. Escobar's work reflects on memory and cultural identity, and deals with current issues of immigration, hierarchies of power, and cultural perception. Escobar has toured and performed in France, Spain, Portugal, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, United States, and Colombia. In 2005, Escobar received the Colombian National Award. Escobar holds an MFA in Choreography from CalArts, and a BFA in Performance from the University of Florida.

The solo Zurciendo Souls is part of a series of works by Paola Escobar concerning the “hybrid body.” A collaged soundtrack, a long trailing skirt, and an excessive amount of flowers offer a problematized twist on traditional flamenco aesthetics. For Beach Dances, Escobar explores how the beach as a site informs her signature hybrid choreography.

Borderline Flamenco, Flamenco for All Workshop: This introductory flamenco workshop offers a liberating way to engage a complex traditional practice. Focusing on flamenco structures, the workshop uses improvisation as a fundamental tool to approach movement, and incorporates the students’ own movement background into the experience. The class is designed for participants with or without training in flamenco or any other dance form.

Maya Gingery is a multi-disciplinary artist working in the fields of performance, music and dance. A trained musician and dancer, she is highly influenced by her work in Japanese Noh theatre and butoh, as well as other traditional western and non-western forms. She has performed in Japan, the US and Canada as a solo artist, as a member of Theatre Nohgaku, and most recently with fourlarks company at the Getty Villa.

sAND sKY wIND addresses our (lost) connection to nature and environment. It's a dance to our human identity and a ritual to purge collective shame. It's an investigation into representation initiated in the concepts of fluidity, metamorphosis, and transmogrification. In the spirit of butoh, the dancers will take on the identity of sea creatures, sea plants, sand, sky and wind. They will dance on the sand, only entering the stage occasionally to sacrifice themselves. Featuring performers Nick DuranMaya Gingery, Maya Gurantz and Felicia St. Cyr.

Nick Duran (also Nickels Sunshine) is a dance artist who has presented work at venues in Los Angeles and along the west coast, including REDCAT, the Hammer Museum, Pieter Performance Space, Highways, PAM, Honor Frasier Gallery, Human Resources, Machine Project, Bootleg Theatre, The Electric Lodge, homeLA, Perform Chinatown, AMDA College, California State University Los Angeles, SOMArts (San Francisco), Flock (Portland), and Birthday Girl (Seattle). Duran holds an MFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a BFA from New York University and is currently pursuing an MS in Counseling at California State University, Long Beach. Duran has been on faculty at California State University Long Beach, Loyola Marymount University, University of California Los Angeles, University of North Carolina at Asheville, and a Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance at Whitman College from 2016-2018.

Maya Gurantz makes art in video, performance, installation, social practice, and writing. Selected shows include (solo) the MCA Denver, Grand Central Art Center, Greenleaf Gallery, Pieter PASD, (group) the MoCA Utah, the Oakland Museum of California, Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall, Art Center College of Design, The Goat Farm Atlanta, The Great Wall of Oakland, High Desert Test Sites, and Movement Research at Judson Church. She recently received the inaugural Pieter Performance Grant for Dancemakers. She has written for This American Life, The Frame on KPCC, The Awl, Notes on Looking, Avidly, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Acid-Free, Baumtest Quarterly, and RECAPS Magazine, and co-hosts The Sauce, a podcast that dissects the intersections of culture and politics.

Felicia St. Cyr was born and raised in Houston, Texas. While in Houston, she danced with Hope Stone Dance Company, and graduated from the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. She then graduated from the California Institute of the Arts, also spending a semester abroad at the London Contemporary Dance School. Throughout her time here in and out of her undergrad, St. Cyr has choreographed for a variety of shows at Calarts, REDCAT, LiveArtsLA, and Highways Performance Space, as well as, had her solo work I just thought-well there’s this place tour nationally in the UK late 2017-early 2018. Most recent endeavors include St. Cyr’s premiere of her first evening length work, we are every1 + afraidSt. Cyr looks forward to her newest projects including choreographic residencies with Rosanna Gamson/ World Wide Terra Nova and Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company’s Choreography Lab. St. Cyr is excited to share Maya Gingery’s vision for Beach Dances: Shared Practice.

Rebeca Hernandez holds an MFA in Experimental Choreography from UCR. She is a dancer and choreographer born and raised in Mexicali, Mexico. Hernandez danced and toured in Mexico with Taller de Danza Contemporánea de la Universidad Autónoma de Baja California and with Compañía Jorge Domínguez. Hernandez is a 2012-2013 recipient of the National Performance Network/PAP award in partnership with the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs’ CEI program, and participated in UCLA’s 2013 Hothouse Dance Residency Program. Internationally, Hernandez performed for the Hemispheric Institute’s Encuentro in Santiago de Chile.

Parent/Child Yoga + Cumbia Workshop: Led by choreographer Rebeca Hernandez in collaboration with Ana Sofia, her two year-old daughter. They invite parents/guardians to explore movement and play with their child on the Beach Dances stage. We'll open with a warm up of simple paired yoga movement and stretching exercises and explore the different possibilities of interaction mimicking and identifying with fabric (material provided). Using our fabric, we'll float on the breeze, drag on the floor, and practice flying, swimming, slow motion, catching, pulling, resisting, and pushing movements. The workshop will end with everyone dancing a few cumbias!

DaEun Jung is a bicultural dancer-choreographer whose work reveals her past and present body memories. Her works have been presented at Electric Lodge, Highways, The Mortuary, Pieter, REDCAT, and MR at Judson and supported through artist-in-residence programs of Santa Monica Cultural Affairs @Camera Obscura, LAPP D+R @Automata, and Show Box/LA @We Live in Space. She redefines the principle, form, and context of Korean folk dance in inter/multi-cultural settings as a continuation of her graduate study at UCLA where she received her MFA and Westfield Emerging Artist Award. She has worked with Oguri & Roxanne Steinberg, Yuval Sharon, Victoria Marks, Milka Djordjevich, Ros Warby, Wilfried Souly, Jeanine Durning, Shahar Biniamini, and Melinda Ring.

Earthian Folk Dance WorkshopEarthian Folk Dance (EFD) is a communal dance activity created and performed by Earthians. EFD investigates contemporary tactics of organizing repeatable steps and rhythmic play of body-generated sounds. In the workshop, Earthian dancers will demonstrate and teach some simple steps and sections of Earthian Folk dance. Participants may be invited to perform with the Earthian dancers at the Beach Dances Performance, Saturday June 22. EFD celebrates team spirit and bodily exhilaration and challenges both the hyper-individuality of postmodern choreographies and the hyper-cultural-representation of traditional folk dance. With movement tasks that require spontaneous decision making and communal effort to fulfill, EFD is accessible to participants of diverse movement backgrounds. Performers: Rayven Armijo, DaEun Jung, Arron Mason, alexx shilling, Melody HJ Shim and  Wilfried Souly

Shaina Lynn is a New Orleans-born, LA-based multimedia artist. Fusing her training in healing modalities such as yoga and meditation with the rich ritual influences of NOLA, Shaina inspires the radical healing of the Black women’s past, present, and forevermore. Internationally, Shaina has produced work at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Ludwig Foundation, and Fabrica de Arte. Nationally, her highlights include presenting at REDCAT, DC and New Orleans Fringe Festival, Emerging Artist Theatre, Hammer Museum. She was a 2017 Curatorial Fellow at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

and Isabel Ivey is a California-born, LA-based artist honoring her Puerto Rican and African roots as a multimedia artist, performer, sculptor, and dancer. Isabel has shown work at Fabrica de Arte, Centro Cultural Espanol, Plaza de la Raza, and Imagine Entertainment. Isabel seeks to create community engagement within her work and has dedicated her practice to helping others and making both politically and culturally relevant art.

La Diáspora de Twerk Workshop: Led by Shaina Lynn and Isabel Ivey, La Diáspora de Twerk explores the relationship between traditional New Orleans Bounce and Afro Latin dance. Utilizing social somatic approaches in NOLA Bounce, twerk, Afro Latin dance, and sacred feminine dances to resist the stigmas of mass media twerking, this practice reclaims the dance as a ritual of healing while reuniting the diaspora with the elements of nature. This inquiry is part of The Twerk Series, a sequence of reclamations by Shaina Lynn.

Carol McDowell is a BESSIE and Lester Horton Award winning interdisciplinary dance artist and lighting designer. Her work has been presented at Highways, Pieter, Skirball, Anatomy Riot, Platinum Oasis, Naropa, BMoCA, The Kitchen, DTW, PS 122, and abroad. McDowell co-directed Crazy Space at 18th Street, and co-founded max10 performance lab at the Electric Lodge and the Mariposa Collective with Barbara Dilley, Diane Butler and Polly Motley in Boulder. McDowell teaches dance studies and yoga at Rio Hondo College and West Los Angeles College.

Contemplative Dance Practice at the Beach: Drawing upon a practice created by her mentor Barbara Dilley, a member of Grand Union and the Cunningham Dance Company, Carol McDowell leads three morning sessions of Contemplative Dance Practice at the Beach. CDP joins the personal awareness practice of meditation with dance improvisation. This workshop is open to all bodies interested in movement, meditation and improvisation who would like to begin the day at the Beach with a collective contemplative dance practice.

alexx shilling is a Los Angeles-based dance artist who creates site-adaptable, live and filmic dancescapes that invigorate memory and investigate transformation. shilling's original choreography and experimental films have been presented nationally and internationally and with support from institutions including Dance Film Association and California Arts Council. shilling teaches at Loyola Marymount University and Cal State Long Beach, co-founded the performance and teaching platforms Hi, Solo, Gold Series and practice makes practice.

Freewalking / Ragewalking Workshop: In this workshop open to all levels, choreographer alexx shilling will share the practice of freewalking combining information from Open Source Forms and scores from her performance piece Rage Walk Rise. Warming up with Open Source Forms (the evolution of Skinner Releasing Technique, disseminated through Stephanie Skura), participants will work with gliding, freewalking, and the slippage between walking and dancing. We will play with solo and group forms, culminating in a longer practice with an awareness of our natural environment.

Christine Suarez is a Santa Monica-based choreographer, performer, educator, activist and founder of SuarezDanceTheater, which has been awarded grants from California Arts Council, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Flourish Foundation, Santa Monica Cultural Affairs and Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. Christine co-created Dance for Veterans, a program that builds creative expression and social cohesion at Los Angeles VA Hospitals.

Surrendering to Improvisation Workshop: Designed for all abilities, this workshop explores the theme of surrender, using image-based improvisation, partnering exercises, games, and writing and drawing exercises to build personal improvisation scores that outline our own experiences of surrender.

In Rendición I am inspired by three stories of surrender: one a woman who lived during the 16th century in what is now Mexico; another about a woman whose story is told in the Hebrew Bible; and the last is my own. Surrender for women often has a special significance – surrendering to the patriarchy, surrendering to the constructs allocated for our gender. I want explore the landscape of surrender past the point of duality to find out if there is a liminal space between submission and struggle. Performers: alex shilling, Arushi Singh, Wilfried Souly and Christine Suarez.

Allison Wyper (Beach Dances Curator) is an interdisciplinary performance artist and founder of Rhizomatic Arts, which provides professional services, training, and community for independent artists and creatives. Rhizomatic Studio, the creative wing of Rhizomatic Arts, produces collaboratively-oriented performances and workshops in public and private spaces. In 2014-15, Allison curated multiple site-responsive public performances for Play the L.A. River, a year-long civic art project. She has performed, taught, produced, and facilitated workshops for artists on experimental performance, professional development, and collaborative interdisciplinary practices locally and internationally. She has an MFA in Dance from UCLA, and a BA in Theatre Studies from Emerson College. @RhizomaticArts #RhizomaticStudio

Rhizomatic Arts Beach Hangout: What do you need? What do you have to share? Cultivate your artist network for a thriving career. At our seasonal Rhizomatic Arts Hangouts, artists, creatives, and cultural producers meet to get to know one another, talk about our work, needs, and interests over potluck-style eats and drinks. Bring something to share (no alcohol or glass, please) with your fellow artists and artist-allies, then stick around for free Beach Dances performances on the sand starting at 6:30pm.