Friday, September 18, 2009

Still at Creative Seeds

It is 3:46 and we were just about to strike out park and head to Echo Park when a group of little guys showed up to play!  It is hot! I hustled over CARS spot in Korea Town and they had already struck their site at 2 PM.

The bile tour came through at 12:20.  We gave them watermelon, potty acces and a little bit of the meter dance.

I am desperate to get my movies off the Flip and onto my computer, but iPhoto is being a pest!

Here are some pics taken with the PhotoBooth:

Park[ing] Day is almost here!

and I should be asleep!  I wanted to update our route on the map and let you all know that I am moving slowly because I will have kids in tow. If you are wanting to jet to as many parks as you can, please feel free and just send a tweet to @meterdance to let me know where you'll be. Remember, it is best to Meter Dance in teams of 4 or more...

The bike parade will stop by our park earlier than expected! They are shooting for 11:30. We are starting set up of the park at 11, but that does not mean that we wil not be able to dance at 11:30!  Bring your quarters!

Here's the map:

View Metered Dance 2009 in a larger map

And...please check out what we are dancing for! Saturn Elementary School Community Park Master Plan is just inspiring!  I hope that we collect enough signatures to get the ground broken soon!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Base camp: Creative Seeds!

The momentum is incredible! I was heading up to Creative Seeds to teach an intro class for Community Dance Week there and had the thought, "you know what, just do the park there, just do it." I walk into the studio and on the wall is a petition for an actual park at Saturn Elementary School. Amazing. I am just the vessel.

So we are ON to set up a park with Creative Seeds and the parent association, Rings of Saturn. Hopefully the Neighborhood Council for Pico Blvd will come on board with some free water etc. Ashley Thompson, owner of the movement studio Creative Seeds, reports that the neighbors are already getting excited. The tentative set-up time is 11 AM, park opens at 12 noon. The studio might need to open the park earlier. I'll have more info later this evening.

I just scored some free plants for the pop-up park and they will remain there awaiting the actual park. Many thanks to Thea Mercouffer, director of Heather and Goliath. Now, does anybody have a truck because one is ten feet tall!

You will notice on the Park[ing] Day LA map that ours is the only park in the area. In fact, there is no park in that area of any kind for a 3 mile radius. Don't you want to come and sign the petition to get a park?

As far doing the Metered dance, this means we will have to drive to the other parks to get our groove on. I have an invite from some fellows on Abbot Kinney to come out and dance in their park, but there are no meters on that blvd. I will start there at 10 AM. Or a super secret park in an area I cannot disclose until day of...I also got a call from Marcus Quiland-Nazario to bring the Metered Dance out to CAARS' spot in Korea Town around 2 PM.

If you want to meet up with me, follow me on Twitter, @meterdance for updates. Tomorrow night, I will post a route calendar to let you know approximate locations and times for the Metered Dance. We will definitely be in Echo Park by 4:30PM.

Command the Dance will jump out of their office cubicles and into pop-up parks int he downtown district. If you are in their vicinity, you definitely want to join in.

Come and get limber with me in my FUNdamentals of African Dance class at noon, then we head out to the meters for some fun. After that...we shall see the sights of Angelenos' creativity and desire for greener spaces. Don't forget your cameras and some food! We'll have a late lunch on the "green."

more to come.

Friday, September 11, 2009

It's time!!!


I went to an incredible workshop gathering for next week's Parking[day] LA. Got a LOT of good ideas and now I am picking the spot(s) for the Meter dance challenge!

Do you have any ideas of where we might go?

We are definitely going to end up in Echo Park for the after party!

Here are the options:

View Metered Dance 2009 in a larger map

holla back y'all!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Labor & Park(ing) Day LA

Hola Amigos!

It is time to plan for September, a big month for dancing at parking meters.

So, Labor Day:
This one is not so obvious why I would want to have people dancing at meters, I mean, it's a meter holiday, right? Well, yeah, but we get the day off to celebrate workers and their contributions to the economy. But for as many in-roads as dance (and dancing) seems to have made within the last three years, the labor of dance is still grotesquely undervalued and it is still incredibly difficult for dance laborers to join unions (think insurance, nobody is gonna retire given this economic downturn).

I am proposing that dancers across the city scope out meters and begin dancing at them on the afternoon of Monday, August 31, in preparation for Labor Day.

I will contact some dance teams, crews and companies I know who might want to be in on the fun. If you have done dance flash actions before (I LOVED the Hammer Time take over of the jean boutique), please contact me and let's get busy! With the number of dancers in LA, we should be able to have the city literally dancing in the streets.

Please go back and read the very first entry of this blog for the rules on how The Meter Dance works.

Now, Park[ing] Day LA
, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009
Bummer! They had their first meeting today at noon, and I just found out about it! I hope to get the notes. This is a FABULOUS way to do the Meter Dance, and a GREAT way to bring attention to: 1) missing open space in a lot of the neighborhoods where artists tend to end up living; 2)the fact that art is often hidden away from our everyday lives; 3)your company.

Please follow the link to their website and sign up for their mailing list. This will make sure you get info on how to get your permit for your space; unlike the Meter Dance, which is a direct action, Int'l Park[ing] Day is a movement that follows civic rules. There are a few edge-riding activities planned for all you adrenaline junkies.

How you can make your park relate to dance:
Well, you can put down linoleum, dust off your boom box and bring some old skool funk. Or, you can make a grave yard and dance on some one's grave, maybe Golda herself. You can create a cabbage patch and do suggestive dances and every so often find a CabbagePatch kid, or you could just do the Cabbage Patch in the patch. You could go hippie, lay down faux lawn and some flower garlands and reenact scenes from Hair. The possibilities are endless!

It is best to put together a team, then come up with a theme. Scope your spot. Then get permits for spot. Design the staging around the locale (this one is important). Make sure you follow the permit rules. And make sure you have plenty of space in which to dance.

Think recycled materials, reused materials. Here on the Westside, we have the reDiscover center. You would be surprised how many folks have odds and ends of faux lawn that they donate. Get it now if you can store it. The website has some lovely examples of parks that people put up.

As soon as you know where you're going to be, please let me know! @meterdance on Twitter. I'll try to get folks to come and dance in your park! How fun is that? Also, we can time it just right so that a Metered Dance Action happens adjacent to your park and ends in your park. More details to come as we get closer.

So get into gear! It's time to have some fun!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Training Wheels

Today I am planning to dance a bit more at meters in Santa Monica, likely on Main Street. I think it's interesting how this project that Susan Rose developed all those years ago is so similar to the project of Park(ing) Day. Don't you?

How green can we get our dancing?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Partial Evidence of In P

The day was l o n g, but I did manage to dance in Riverside today! My camera is hatin on me! Or maybe it is iPhoto that is hatin on me. in Any event, check out these trippy pictures that should be very funny video clips. *sigh*.

More parking dances to come through May 3. Organize your crew and get on the map!

Dance Day 2009

Hey there! SO my dance partners slept through Act 1! I'm in Riverside now, gearing up to challenge the parking lot. Spent the drive in thinking of ways to just make dance a daily gift to commuters. Am I a bit too excited? Yes. Yes I am.

Here is a message about the day from the International Dance Council-UNESCO, of which I am a member.

Official Message for Dance Day
29 April 2009

The future of dance lies where there are persons who do not dance.

These belong to two categories: those who simply did not learn, and those who think that they are not able to dance. They represent the greatest challenge for the dance teacher's profession.

In line with UNESCO's struggle against prejudice and discrimination, we are trying to expand the boundaries of dance and to change the current perception of what a dancer is.
Dance performances are not necessarily exhibitions of extreme physicality, accurate precision, or bursting emotion - they can be celebrations of interaction between performers. We can enrich dance concerts with dancers, singers, actors, narrators, mimes, acrobats etc., of all ages and all degrees of ability.

Bringing the 'excluded' into dance is a moral duty, but also opens a great door in times of economic crisis and unemployment. In every country there are millions of persons with physical or mental disabilities. We believe they are ready to dance.

They will create jobs to thousands of dance teachers. They can be assisted by the Ministry of Health, whose budget is many times bigger than that of the Ministry of Culture.
Integrating marginalized persons into the practice of dance is as important as integrating them into the workforce.

CID holds to the philosophy that everyone can dance.

Dance Day 2009 is dedicated to inclusive dance. Let us include all members of society into our classes and our performances.

Prof. Alkis Raftis
President of the International Dance Council CID

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tomorrow, and every day through May 3rd, 2009

Goodness! Tomorrow is the day! I am going to dance at meters in two (or maybe three) Southern California cities tomorrow: Santa Monica, (Venice), and Riverside. OH Yeah!

View Metered Dance 2009 in a larger map

The map is set up as public, but if you want your Meter dance to be included, please let me know asap so I can put it on the map and put you in as a collaborator. There is already one photographer wanting to shoot part of the event. Don't forget your video cameras! Remember, this dance event is best pulled off in a group of at least 4 - 6, 6 being optimal, and is easier to start if someone with a car is parked in your site and pulls out as your signal to start.

Amplified sound is NOT recommended as that would require a permit in most municipalities. Nothing is stopping the driver of the car, however, from blasting their radio;->

For every day, we'll need a crew hitting Wilshire. And who wants to meet up for a Saturday night finale on Hollywood BLVD? Or, ooooooooh, Main Street, Santa Monica & Hill St at 11 AM on Sunday?

Let's have some fun!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Rules: Susan Rose sends us the original score for "IN P"

Hello people!

So with this amazing follow-up for the Metered Dance International Dance Day Challenge, I launch a separate blog just for the event. I have room for 99 collaborators on here. Let me know if you want to be the "Editor" for your particular piece of the planet... Anyway, let's get those rules out:

From: roses
Subject: Re: Your parking meter dance and Dance Day
Date: April 15, 2009 9:09:26 AM PDT
To: anna

ok. so the rules for the piece are this:
pay for your space and dance till your time is up.
the dance is over when the group occupies one whole block with dancers, no

the strategy is to notice when spaces open up, move into them by dividing the
group into enough parts, smaller and smaller, to keep the spaces full.

it gets trickier when there are less dancers in spaces, as the cars get bolder in
their efforts to occupy the same space.

this piece "IN P" was first done in 1972 on westwood blvd. that is the footage
you saw. i'll look around and see if i can find that. i have given the
original film to the lewitzky archive, as bella is in it, as the first car to leave
parking space. i was always so impressed at her willingness to not only
participate in her student's piece (me) but get there early, secure a parking
space, and get the whole thing rolling.

for me it was a time/space study, an assignment from one of her comp classes.
buy the time, occupy the space.

in that version, there were no directions about what to do in the space. just a
duration thing. somehow, i still seem more concerned about when than

more later,

Okay y'all there it is! Notice that the best strategy is to actually start with a dance-friendly car. Now my version was kinda chicken! If you can get the numbers, go for the entire block, baby!!! And btw, you do NOT need to be a dancer to organize one of these.

Idea: partner with a green business, esp electric car to get the word out.
Better Idea: talk to your local public transportation board to make this mobile!

April 29th is Dance Day. How you gonna shake it?
in love,

ps: more madcap adventures from VISCERA are on the way for Dance Week, stay tuned along with a money action/investigation from Afrologica. Follow me on Twitter @doctoradancer

CHALLENGE: Metered Dance, an International Dance Day intervention

Below is the original post launching this action from my newsletter: AFROLOGICS. The archive can be found in the blog:

So Dance week is upon us here in the US. Usually a series of somewhat hokey studio offerings, this event was initially planned by UNESCO as a one day dance intervention. There was to be dancing on the sidewalks, in public plazas and buildings, parks and thoroughfares. Dancing literally in the streets if one could manage it.

So I'd like to bring that energy back.

My colleague and friend Susan Rose made a piece back in the 1970s for parking meters. It was very intense and extremely instructive on many levels. Therefore, I am issuing a Metered Dance Challenge to you all.

How it works: on International Dance Day, April 29th, with a team of at least 6 dancing bodies (in the footage of Susan's work, teams of 3 were often ignored and in danger), scope out meters on a busy street. When a car leaves, pump in your change, and proceed to dance there for the amount of time you have purchased. Don't forget to videotape and upload here, vimeo and on YouTube. Extra bonus points if you join and post there, too.

I will curate a sampling of the videos on a blog celebrating our investigation of the "value" of dance.

Tag me on Twitter if you think you want to do this: @doctoradancer . Follow on Twitter via #meterdnce . I would like as many places on the planet as possible to participate.

I'll see about getting a DVD transfer of the Super8 film of the original dance uploaded for all to check out.

thought in motion::love in action,