Sugar Plum Jam
Thursday, December 2, 2021 @ 6:00 PM/Pacific
Location: Culver City Town Hall Plaza
Free & Open to the Public
In a “Tchaikovsky meets Tim Burton” twist, this piece brings mischief, mayhem and sweet revelry to the stage.
Invertigo is excited to team up with Culver City once again for a night of holiday uplight and good cheer as we gather around art and community — and this year, behold, it’s LIVE! A special confection for the holidays. Free & Open to the Public.
Music & composer: a commission by Chris Thomas
Dancers: Hyosun Choi, Jessica Dunn
Created by: Laura Karlin, Haylee Nichele, Hyosun Choi, Jessica Dunn
Visit Culver City’s website: www.downtownculvercity.com/tree-lighting-2021
Hyosun Choi, Performing Artist & Collaborator
At the age of 4, Hyosun mimicked her parents during their ballroom dance classes. An observing instructor offered to teach her. Around that time, she followed her cousin to a Korean cultural dance school and afterwards, declared that she was going to learn. Upon quickly mastering the Korean drums, fans, and swords, she performed regularly. At 7, she was winning National and Regional Ballroom Dance Competitions, including the Grand Prix. When her parents stopped ballroom dancing, Hyosun had to quit. A few years later, she stopped Korean cultural dance to focus on her schooling. This began a decade-long separation from dance.
After graduating as high school valedictorian, Hyosun attended USC on a scholarship with acceptance to their accelerated pre-pharmacy program. To her parents’ disappointment, Hyosun announced that she did not want to follow her father’s footsteps as a pharmacist after graduating in 3 years with a B.A in Biology and a minor in Cinema. During her last year, having enrolled in a jazz class on a whim, Hyosun was asked to join USC’s Jazz II Dance Company, and to perform for both faculty and student choreographers. One of the graduating choreographers she was paired up with was Kate Hutter, co-founder of Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company (LACDC), who would hire her years later.
Hyosun began recreationally dancing at EDGE Performing Arts Center as she secretly pursued professional acting while studying at the Beverly Hills Playhouse. Encouraged by her family, she went to New York Law School. In New York, she took open classes at Atlantic Acting School, Alvin Ailey, Broadway Dance Center (BDC) and STEPS. BDC’s faculty teacher, Ginger Cox, invited her to join LiNK Dance Company. This launched her professional dance career.
Within a few weeks of moving back to Los Angeles, she auditioned for LACDC and was hired. Hyosun currently dances with LACDC, Invertigo Dance Theatre, Iris Company, and La Dansa Dansa. She is a certified trainer in the Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis Methods, works as a Corporate Trainer at Bank of Hope, is admitted to the State Bar in CA and NY, plays cello, piano, and guitar, composes music, and reads. Books. Now and then, she sleeps. She is very happy.
Jessica Dunn, Performing Artist & Collaborator
Jessica Dunn started dancing at 9 years old in her tiny town of Tehachapi. She danced with a local ballet company before leaving to attend CSU Long Beach’s BFA Dance program. She continues to dance and perform in Los Angeles. When she has free time she likes to draw, stretch, and tries to pet stray cats.
Laura Karlin, Artistic Director & Creator
Laura Karlin is the Founder and Artistic Director of Invertigo Dance Theatre, a teacher, choreographer, and movement activist.Since establishing Invertigo in 2007, Laura has created over 40 pieces for the company, including eight full evening-length works. Her work for Invertigo has been presented at venues including the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Ford Amphitheatre, Los Angeles Theatre Center, Broad Stage, and LACMA. Her work is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the California Arts Council, LA County Arts Commission, and the New England Foundation for the Arts.Laura graduated from Cornell University with a dual degree in Choreography/Production and Pre-Law/LGBTQ Civil Rights. In London, she choreographed for and performed with Synergy Dance Theatre, Snapdragon Dance and the prestigious Resolution! Festival.Laura has also been commissioned by LA Contemporary Dance Company, Celebrate Dance, and the Southern California Dance Invitational. She has been a guest artist and teacher at Loyola Marymount University, Santa Monica College, Pierce College, La Companyia in Barcelona, and University California, Santa Barbara. Additionally, she has established ongoing partnerships with other non-profit arts organizations in LA, including choreographing for and performing alongside the Independent Shakespeare Company for ten summers.When she isn’t in the Invertigo office or rehearsal room, Laura can be found teaching Invert/ED and Dancing Through Parkinson’s classes, practicing sustainable gardening in her home, or in the world camping and traveling.
Haylee Nichele, Co-Creator
Hailing from Vancouver, BC Haylee Nichele started her professional training at Arts Umbrella and continued in NYC at the Juilliard School where she graduated with a BFA in Dance. She has 10+ years of performance experience and has worked for: Punchdrunk, Third Rail Projects, Brain Brooks, Justin Denton, Capital W, The Speakeasy Society, BODYTRAFFIC, Heidi Duckler Dance, Clairobscur, and Tender Claws. She is an immersive theatre creator and choreographer. Her work PACK was shown at the Scotia Dance Center in Vancouver and CREATURE co-created by Justin Denton and produced by The Great Co. She consulted for the VR experience The Key, was one part of The 5th Wall Forum’s inaugural teams, and has taught many dance and immersive workshops in the USA and Canada. Haylee has been an active collaborator with Invertigo since 2018 and is continually grateful for their support and artistic/community vision.
Chris Thomas, Composer & Musician
Chris Thomas is a composer for film, television, theme parks, and a TEDx speaker. He’s won a Hollywood Music in Media Award, the American Prize in Composition, a Global Music Award, the Gold Medal Prize at the Park City Film Music Festival, and has been nominated for a Film & TV Music Award and a Palm Beach International Music Award. Chris has written music for several Emmy-nominated films, and for Woman Rebel, which was shortlisted for an Academy Award. In television, he works as a composer, orchestrator, and conductor for studios such as Sony, ABC, FOX, CBS, and HBO.
Chris’s work can be heard in theme parks all over the world. He has written music for the Evermore Adventure Park, Knott’s Berry Farm, Queen Mary Chill, Dreamland Theme Park (UK), Los Angeles Haunted Hayride, and many more.
Chris’s works for the concert hall have been performed from Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House, to the Hollywood Bowl. He recently premiered a series of concert works in France, Belgium, and Germany. His Symphony #1 (the Malheur Symphony) was the subject of his TED Talk in 2019. His works are published with The FJH Music Company, Walton Choral, Wingert-Jones Publications, and Carl Fischer Music.
More information on Chris Thomas can be found at – www.christhomasmusic.com