"LOS ANGELES" is a performance created in 2019 by Dimitri Chamblas and performed by Spenser Theberge. It was premiered both at the RedCat Theater in Los Angeles and at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in Downtown L.A.
"I am fascinated by Los Angeles because I do not understand it. I have been living here for two years and I still do not know how to dialogue with it. I constantly look for ways to explore the city, and I am always committed to doing it through dance. Dance allows me to discover the geography, the demography and the sociology that makes the city what it is.
In my search for diverse territories I lingered on a film: “L.A. Plays Itself” from director Thom Andersen.
Composed mostly with a mash up of films shot in Los Angeles, this documentary discusses the many representations of the city in film and on television. Professor Thom Andersen compares the city as it exists in real life with its depictions on screen to examine how Los Angeles and its diversified communities have been misrepresented over the years. In addition to critical analysis, Andersen explains how directors portray Los Angeles itself as a character, and he delves into the city's dark history.
I took many notes while watching this movie. Instead of letting myself been carried away by the images and the voice of the narrator, I was researching choreographic elements.
My attention was no longer focused on the sense of the scenes but on their choreographic scope. The hand of the gangster who catches his enemies, the number of steps of a woman at the edge of the pool, the long inspiration of the policeman who smokes his cigarette, the collapse of the body after a gunshot, the tense body of someone running after a car...
From this very long list of actions, sensations, spaces and characters, a score made of dashes was born. In the studio, we worked on answering each point with a physical proposition. The dance thus shifts dramatically from one world to another, from one action to another, from one character to another, like a cinematographic edit performed by a living character.
The form of "LOS ANGELES" has more to do with cinematographic grammar than anything else.
In collaboration with artist Claire Tabouret, we have worked to create costumes and decor which provides Spenser a new element of fictional projection helping to navigate between genders, ages and energies with a desire of disturbing the era in which all this takes place."