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Invertigo Dance – Celebrate Dance 2012 Interview

February 23, 2012

Invertigo Dance

Tell us briefly about your dance company and its underlying philosophy?
Invertigo Dance Theatre is a Los Angeles contemporary dance company, founded in 2007 and under the artistic direction of Laura Karlin (me!).  We work to tell compelling stories by blending athletic movement, theatricality and original music – I have quite a whimsical aesthetic, so that comes out in a lot of our work.  I always want people to have a huge range of experiences during our shows – from laughter to desperation to delight to thoughtfulness.  Ultimately, it’s all about connection – connection between people, between ideas and ideologies, between images and stories and realism and surrealism. . .

Invertigo encourages collaboration between dancers, musicians, choreographers and theatrical designers, and we strive to create performance and outreach programming which draws in a wide range of artists, audiences and participants.  You can find Invertigo online at and hang out with us at

What piece will you be performing at Celebrate Dance 2012?

This is a new piece, called Give Me Wings.  It’s a play on words (I love puns, thanks Dad!) because it’s not about wings-as-in-bird-wings – it’s based on the fact that I haven’t choreographed for a proscenium stage with wings in quite a long time.  Stage wings are a fascinating choreographic element.  They are an in-between space, a place of transitions, not quite onstage, not quite offstage.  They are a place for entrances and exits, arrivals and departures.  They are about what an audience does and does not see.  There’s a lot to play with, theatrically and choreographically!

What do you hope to evoke in the audience with your piece?

We will be showing people both the Onstage experience and the Offstage experience that dancers have.  For the Offstage, you’ll see that moment in the wings, waiting, adrenaline rushing.  You’ll see the range of experiences offstage, from the elation of a great performance to the desperate humiliation of a flubbed one.  For the Onstage, the dancers will be soaring, bursting, leaping onto the stage from the wings.

How did you hear about Celebrate Dance and become involved with the show?

When I first came back to Los Angeles in 2006, I knew two things about dance in LA.  I knew about the LA Contemporary Dance Company, because I was there to work on a commission for them, and I knew about Celebrate Dance.  Now we’re in Celebrate Dance and LACDC is performing their beautiful piece Nana in the same show – it’s amazing to me to see it all come together after 5 years here!  The biggest thing about Celebrate Dance is Jamie’s determination to give LA choreographers access to a highly professional, well-produced showcase with great production values and wide-reaching marketing opportunities.  It’s a pretty huge deal to me personally and the company professionally to be involved this year.

Any words of advice or inspiration for other dancers and choreographers?

Love what you do.  Don’t be afraid to fight for it.  Turn things inside-out and upside-down and have a look at them.  Things happen in their own time, but you can make sure you’re ready to pounce when they do.  Let people help – they want to.  We all work damn hard to do what we do, so remember to enjoy the big and the little moments.  Love what you do.  Love what you do.  Love what you do.

For more information and tickets, visit Celebrate Dance 2012.


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