devoted. by Chelsea Roquero
We are so excited to share with you Chelsea Roquero’s solo, “devoted.” as part of our MOVING IN REAL TIME dance film collections commissioned by Invertigo Dance Theatre. Moving In Real Time is a project dedicated to artists creating and responding to where we are in the world today. “devoted.” was commissioned in response to violence against AAPI communities, especially women. We offered Chelsea a platform to respond and she used it to elevate joy and family. We’re so honored to received your dance, Chelsea. Take a moment to read about Chelsea Roquero’s creative process below, and watch the film!
Laura Karlin: Would you mind giving me an insight into your creative process/response?
Chelsea Roquero: I was very much in a collaborative mood when this was created. One of my closest friends from San Diego and long time collaborator, Luis Lopez was feeling the same way. This solo reflected equal parts of both us through our mediums of art. We honestly wanted to grab quality time with each other and create together. The movement of the solo was based off of improvisational scores I would try in my head or movement direction by Luis! This entire process was driven by our passion for our craft and appreciation of each other and openness to share ideas.
Laura Karlin: How does the song relate/what sparked you to use “Hopelessly Devoted” in moving in an embodied response to violence, healing and being in your own experience with all this?
Chelsea Roquero: This year has brought me through loss, healing, and love. I have learned a lot about myself and have found so much of my identity through each experience. I wanted to create something simple, fun, but holds meaning to me. This song is very special to my family, as well as an absolutely unapologetic karaoke song of choice. I wanted to choose a song that embodied my upbringing in a Filipino household where I was surrounded by cheesy love, music, and devotion to each other and their identity of where we came from. I have many memories with this song being played at family parties with the aunties singing it on the top of their lungs and dancing with us, haha. Especially being apart from my family during the holidays last year, these memories I remember fondly!
Laura Karlin: Same for the location you chose?
Chelsea Roquero: I moved to Arcadia during the pandemic. I did not get the chance to explore my city and surrounding cities (626 area) in 2020. As I was looking up food places or taking drives, I learned it is a predominantly asian area, which I was so grateful for being Filipino-American. I found this location through a music video titled “NIKI, Rich Brian, Warren Hue – Always Rising (4K Drone Visualizer) | Shang-Chi: The Album” by 88Rising and their artists. I love the 88Rising artists and when watching the music video, I was surprised to find it was the 626 area and more surprising that the tennis court that caught my eye was at a community park 15 minutes from where I lived. Living in my area has brought me so much comfort and safety during my times of growth and victories. It is the small things like seeing families taking walks through the neighborhoods, being able to get the snacks from my childhood at the 99 Ranch, and the pride I feel being able to share common culture with the community that resides in my part of town.
Chelsea Roquero, born in Escondido, CA, is a first generation Filipino-American dancer based in LA. Roquero started her training as a gymnast at an early age and later found her love for hip hop. She started her dance raining at San Diego Mesa College under Donna Flournoy where she found her passion for dance. She transferred to California State University, Long Beach in 2017, and later she received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance in Spring 2019.
She is interested in blending her background in hip hop and gymnastics with contemporary technique, to find continuity within free flowing and staccato movement. She has trained with Melissa Adao, Rebecca Lemme, Gracie Whyte, and Keith Johnson–along with the opportunities to perform works by Local LA Artist Camila Arana, Invertigo Dance Theatre, and Carlon Dance.
Director of Photography
Luis Lopez was born and raised in San Diego, Luis Lopez is a Mexican-American Director of Photography for documentaries, narrative films, and commercials. His most recent work “Dear Philadelphia” was an official selection for Sundance Film Festival 2021 and won the 2021 Vimeo Staff Pick Award at BlackStar Film Festival. His artistic approach to cinematography is intimate and emotional, capturing the raw essence of each character poetically. Through his craft, he aims to give voice to the voiceless and tell coming-of-age stories from underrepresented communities. | https://www.luislopezdp.com/
Choreography by Chelsea Roquero
Director of Photography Luis Lopez
Music – “Hopelessly Devoted To You” sung by Olivia Newton John, Songwriter John Farrar for Motion Picture Grease (1978), Label RSO
This interview was conducted by Invertigo’s Artistic Director, Laura Karlin.
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