All posts by jaldape

Skate Regeneration

The latest short-film gem from Brett Novak. Of course, it helps to have Killian Martin be your subject. The film does a great job of highlighting skate as something beyond just tricks. It becomes elegant, full of movement.

Imago Yellow

After a long Monday at work, typing away in front of a computer on some cool projects, I made by way down to the Main City Library to see and document Diana Crum’s Yellow. The roughly 20 minute piece was shown at three times, 4:30pm, 5:30pm and 6:30pm. I reviewed the second showing. Crum was in town for a week as the first lovedancemore artist-in-residence. 

Yellow was part erratic activity and part social experiment, while at the same time completely full of warmth. The piece was in a way an incomplete metamorphosis. Incomplete only in that the audience was at the end allowed to fill in their perspective about what the library’s open space had the possibility of being. Often site specific performances tend to spend more time developing movement about how they are affected by the space and completely neglect to feature the actual space. Yellow did what is a bit rare and more rewarding to watch, it brought attention to the library’s walkways in a manner that encouraged any witness of this event to imagine their own grande interactive possibilities within them. 

Five hurling bodies, all wearing various shades and textures of the color yellow( hence the name of the piece), interrupt the vast walkway. Immediately, even in the disorganized craze that makes up the Library’s foyer, the attention of the intended and unintended audience is intrigued by this organized chaos. One after the other and then in their individual space each dancer moved in an irregular and unpredictable style across the floor, differing from the surrounding as if they had traveled a great distance to get to this location.

After the abrupt entrance into the public arena, the five bodies distributed evenly throughout the long atrium to face glass walls. Each one slowly starts gazing up, beyond the five levels, drawing our attention to something ambiguous yet personal. This moment in Yellow brought out some of the most vocal comments from visitors just barely entering the space: “What are they looking at?” ” What’s up there?” During this part of the public intervention all witnesses obediently looked up waiting for something to come from the obscure sky, with nothing being delivered- at least not yet. The tableau resembled a sociology study examining group behavior. As the duration of the dancers staring up increased, the number of witnesses joining them to look up multiplied.  

What ensued was a series of solos and a duet dispersed throughout the open space and across multiple levels. Each observer had the option to actively engage in whichever micro-interaction was happening across this panoramic scene. If you were one of the observers surveying Ashley Anderson, then you witnessed as she walked up to a roll of pink construction paper propelled from four stories high. Reaping the benefit of actually seeing something come from above. Sam Hanson and Angela Gagliardi-Campos’ duet was an enigmatic promenade up and then down two flights of curling stairs. Cherie Mockli’s solo on the ground prompted a visitor to ask out-loud if she was having a seizure. I missed Mike Watkiss’ solo. 

Before the five dancers exited the space they became an out-of-context huddled mass lifting and carrying each other toward one side of the building. Upon reaching the glass doors they jumped and tapped above the exit door sign. I thought I heard somebody shout,”Open the door for them!” The piece ended as it started. All five dancers in full force moving in an irregular and unpredictable manner. One after the other, all still wearing various shades and textures of yellow, they hurled their bodies in the opposite direction of the foyer, left through the west facing doors and out into the streets. 

Half way through Yellow I was compelled to want to participate in the yellow splendor. To move and freeze as I desired in this towering and expansive lobby. To have ten rolls of pink construction paper propelled from the different levels above. To choose my favorite shade of yellow. To allow the natural quietness of libraries to silence my mouth and feel the excited warmth that  radiates from this center of knowledge and for imagination. 

Don’t feel like you missed this rare opportunity. When you visit the library this next time, just look way up, sit on the floor and run around really close to visitors. You might catch a glimpse of the moltings from the performance that invaded the area only to highlight the spaces and people that make their way between the books. Make sure to wear a shade of the color yel-


Photo Credit: Katie Meehan

The Yellow Rose

Fall leaves fall, helpless against gravity, and crackle at my every foot step. Fall leaves fall and they are posted everywhere on Facebook albums. Amarillo: vibrant, radiant and warm. Winter is right around the corner, so you give us shining beams of light to take with us into the stark and cold phase of our year. 



We scout out places in advance where we will hibernate and eat plentifully during Holiday festivities. The wood inside of The Rose Establishment is most definitely better smelling than the pictures on their blog suggest. Stay warm and emit coziness through out the winter. Even on a Sunday The Rose Est. is full of people. The chatter of excitement radiates through out the beautifully restored warehouse. Even the bathrooms are immaculate. High vaulted ceilings in both bathrooms make me want to spend by bit-transferring time in there instead of outside. 

Dance Central and Dance Masters Launched Today. Great day to move.

If you have been dancing in a cave for the past year, then you??probably??have missed all the talk about the much anticipated games Dance Central and Dance Masters.

Dance Central will??definitely??be this year's Holiday game to receive.??

Brought to you by Harmonix, the developers who created the world-wide blockbuster??Rock Band???, Dance Central is the first immersive dance video game that features and tracks full-body dance moves. Completely free from any controller, every routine has choreography and authentic routines for beginners and experts alike to master, alongside a killer soundtrack that spans today's current pop, hip-hop and R&B artists. Take it step-by-step with Break It Down, jump right in and bust a move in Perform It! or challenge a friend in Dance Battle. You won't just learn dance moves, you'll own the dance floor!

If you miss stomping away on Dance Dance Revolution, then you have to buy Dance Masters!??

FYI: Both of these games require an XBox360/Kinect.


Rehearsal spaces in New York are small. Maximum 30×40. Rehearsal spaces in the Salt Lake are large. Minimum 70×40. Considering these two vastly different creating environments, I wonder how the dimensions of our labs affect the creation and, ultimately, the qualitative texture of our work. Faye Driscoll’s  continuously sold-out ???There is so much mad in me”  is a very intimate piece exploring “the physical and theatrical narrative that drive our misplaced need to be seen.” Company???s like Misnomer, Miguel Gutierrez and John Jasperse are all creating very personal pieces. John is always creating immersive dance experiences.


New York is going through a shortage of space and as a result dances are closer, even closer than before. While I was in New York about a month back I had the privilege of rehearsing in one of the newest spaces for dance in the SoHo area, The Rover. The mind behind The Rover, Rani, describes on the space???s website that ??? Opening the Rover emerged out of my own need for SPACE???to rehearse and perform my own work. Every studio I had used over the last 13 years had been hiked up to a ridiculous price that I could no longer afford hourly.  I have to admit I also felt a bit suffocated and halted creatively in some ways???.wondering where if at all my work really fit.??? 

Pictured Above: Juan Aldape Rehearsing at The Rover. 

In comparison, Salt Lake’s rehearsal spaces are open and endless. This of course greatly affects the work being created. Come to one of the local shows and witness dancers with open arms and grand second plies. We are  aroused by the grandeur of the dancers. This is not to say New York does not have avenues for such virtuosity, they do. Look at the Lincoln Center.

“Siesta” by Charlotte Boye-Christensen :: photo by Al Hartmann/The Salt Lake Tribune

What I am saying is that these little or big boxes that we step into to make art happen, have a greater impact on our work than we realize. Last Spring John Jasperse was invited to the Utah scene to set a work on Ririe-Woodbury Dance company. He attempted to make use of his craft and opened up all of curtains on the stage to reveal everything on the stage. The piece felt distant, vacant and uneventful. The movement didn???t make sense in the space. Is this the reason why we sometimes feel unenthralled during a performance? Did the piece look and feel ???great??? in the intimate rehearsal space, but then lost its appeal in a different environment- that traditional stage? Is it even possible to make space-neutral pieces? I wonder if the texture of the piece would feel different if the creator rehearsed in large and small circles or other non-rectangular shapes. Mixing it up every time.