When myth turns into healing, and trauma turns into beauty.
The Dream Eaters, Invertigo’s new work-in-progress.
A collaboration with the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC).
“The brain is a world consisting of a number of unexplored continents and great stretches of unknown territory.”
― SANTIAGO RAMÓN Y CAJAL, THE FATHER NEUROSCIENCE
FUNDED BY THE CALIFORNIA ARTS COUNCIL’S
ARTISTS IN COMMUNITIES GRANT
THE DREAM EATERS
The Dream Eaters is an intergenerational dance theatre piece and cultural project that centers on the Japanese folktale of the Baku, a mythological creature who eats nightmares and then transforms them into new and beautiful dreams. Weaving a bold and compassionate tale, The Dream Eaters examines the roots of fear, brain function, and the cultural powers of healing. Tree-like illustrations of the brain’s neural pathways by Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist Santiago Ramón y Cajal (1852-1934) create a powerful and provocative landscape upon which a group of people travel. Together they move through trauma, imagination, healing, and hope.
70 Minutes in length
Artistic Director: Laura Karlin
Dramaturg: Leslie Tamaribuchi
7 Dancers (youth, elders & Invertigo dance company members)
COLLABORATION & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
The research and development of The Dream Eaters is centered in an ongoing community-building and creative partnership with JACCC and its satellite community groups.
The development of Dream Eaters involves working with thought-partners and artistic collaborators, including experts in Japanese folklore, scholars in neuroscience fields, and most importantly: youth, elders, and people of all backgrounds in LA’s Japanese American community.
8 Community Storytelling Workshops at at JACCC Proposed Participant Groups:
- Okinawan Hiro Bokashi Club (composting)
- Little Tokyo Produce Stand (local Asian American farmers and farmers of color)
- Sustainable Little Tokyo (displacement)
A work-in-progress public performance viewing at JACCC with community dialogue and interactivity exercises to gather feedback for the development of the work. Free and open to the general public.
Notes on this unique intercultural project:
Karlin and the Invertigo team will integrate into JACCC’s established cultural programs to connect to its diverse and intergenerational voices with the goal of elevating Japanese values of resilience, courage, self-sacrifice, endurance, and collective problem-solving.
Activities will be developed through consensus and might include cooking, gardening, gaming, ukelele, Rajio Taiso exercise, poetry, and include social services agencies and artistic partnerships.
The community partnership will incorporate the needs, wants, and aesthetics of Japanese American stories to create a discourse of equity, inclusion, and diversity with the larger Los Angeles community.
The Collaborative Team
JACCC is the hub for Japanese and Japanese American arts and culture and an important community gathering place. The Dream Eaters theme involves the Baku, a Japanese mythological creature who eats dreams and nightmares, transforming them into something new and beautiful; scientific illustrations of the brain’s tree-like neural pathway; and examines the roots of brain function and healing. By creating deep connections among the project’s artists, practitioners, collaborators, and community groups including elders and youth, everyone will be heard, valued, and respected throughout this inclusive co-residency process.
INVERTIGO Artistic director Laura Karlin will serve as the lead artist-in-residence for The Dream Eaters and partner with Invertigo’s Community Programs Manager, K. Bradford, members of JACCC’s Community Outreach and Programming Team, and local cultural leaders as co-artists-in-residence to develop the project through community conversations and workshops at JACCC facilities.
Other collaborators will include:
Visual & multimedia artists (creation of set pieces, costumes & overall aesthetic)
Dramaturgy (storytelling process, cultural dialogue, research integration, theatrical elements)
Casting & Community Directors (call for intergenerational performers)