BAKERU Mask and Movement | Creative Workshop with Artist Mimi Haddon
The spirit of community is an intangible but powerful force that unites people across time and distance. In the Tohoku region of northeastern Japan, communities have also forged connections to nature, where lush mountains are home to various wild animals that are re-interpreted and transformed into divine beasts in seasonal festivals throughout the year. In this two-hour, immersive workshop, photographer Mimi Haddon with Heidi Duckler Dance will lead a workshop that draws its inspiration from the connections that exist between communities and nature, using dance and movement as a means to explore these bonds.
In this workshop, participants will create personal custom-made masks, then divide into groups with individuals creating a “phrase” of physical movements that will be strung together by their group and repeated as a dance. This new dance will be performed in the custom-made masks and costumes, creating a process that develops organic characters and movements related to the themes of nature and community that will imbue a sense of unity among participants, showing how individual actions contribute to the creation of a community.
As part of this unique JAPAN HOUSE program, members of Heidi Duckler Dance will offer an introductory presentation as an engagement exercise and guide participants through their movements, with musician Joe Berry providing musical accompaniment. Mimi Haddon will photograph participants and provide them with the digital copy of their image to keep. Participants will also receive complimentary masks to experience the interactive BAKERU: Transforming Spirits exhibition.
No previous dance experience necessary. Open to ages 16 and up.
This workshop serves as a complement to BAKERU: Transforming Spirits, an interactive exhibition that invites visitors to step into the supernatural world of Japanese folk traditions through an interactive video installation.
Mimi Haddon uses fiber sculpture as a tool to explore the themes of archetypes and excess. Through her use of color, light and awkward body references, she infuses a sense of humor into her creature-like sculptures. She attributes her fascination with combining humor and post-apocalyptic themes to the many thousands of hours watching I Love Lucy and Twilight Zone reruns as a child. For the past two years, she has collaborated with The Heidi Duckler Dance Company including the performances, “The Enormous Wound” “Back in Circulation”, and “Loaded” performed at The Ford Amphitheatre. She is currently working on a coffee table book about Palace Costume, one of the largest costume rental houses in Los Angeles. She is a professor of Photography and Design at The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Downtown Los Angeles.
Heidi Duckler Dance creates place-based performances that transform non-traditional spaces, providing learning opportunities and engaging diverse communities, in the belief that the arts can change our vision of the world and of ourselves.
“As a choreographer I’ve imbued non-traditional sites with performances for more than 30 years. The strength and distinctiveness of my work depends on a solid foundation of place, be it geographical, cultural, social, historical, architectural, environmental, political and/or personal. Location, history, and community have inspired my work, yet my choreography has evolved with each place. Sites are catalysts and collaborators within my choreographic process.” – Heidi Duckler