IN DEVELOPMENT:
DREAM EATERS

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

THE DREAM EATERS

The Dream Eaters is an intergenerational dance theatre piece and cultural project that explores trauma, imagination, healing and hope. The Dream Eaters theme involves the Baku, a Japanese folktale of 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 community powers of healing. The mind is powerful landscape. Research into neurobiology uncovers the resemblance of neural pathways to tree roots. Santiago Ramón Cajal (1852-1934) was the Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist who mapped neural pathways for the first time. In the show, his tree-like illustrations create a powerful and provocative landscapes upon which a group of people travel. Together they move through trauma, imagination, and hope.

35mm original

PROPOSED PRODUCTION

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 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 and diverse community.

VISION BOARD

SUMMER 2021

Engagement: 2 Community Storytelling Workshops with youth and teens at Mi Casa in Little Tokyo in partnership with Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC) and Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC). The gatherings took place in their new space, Terasaki Budokan. We worked with 50 participants.

Artistic: Research and casting workshops completed.

Winter 2022

December & January intensive and community sharing.

Notes on this unique intercultural project:

Invertigo partnered with JACCC, a hub for Japanese and Japanese American arts and culture and an important community gathering place, and Little Tokyo Service Center’s Mi Casa in Little Tokyo’s youth programs. 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.

The Invertigo team will integrate into JACCC and LTSC Mi Casa in Little Tokyo’s community and connect to its diverse and intergenerational voices.
Activities are developed through consensus in conversation with social service 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 and international communities.

The Collaborative Team

JACCC is the hub for Japanese and Japanese American arts and culture and an important community gathering place. Through their partnership we have connected with Little Tokyo Service Center and Mi Casa in Little Tokyo. Our Teaching Artists used dance, theater, games, and visual arts to explore the project’s themes with these young participants.

The Dream Eaters is an immersive dance theatre piece and intergenerational cultural project that blends neurological landscapes with the Japanese folktale of the Baku, a mythological creature who eats nightmares and transforms them into something beautiful. 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.

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 Creative Engagement Director, 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)

Want to Partner?

Be a part of the creation. Join the dreaming & scheming.

THIS PROJECT IS SUPPORTED IN PART BY AN AWARD FROM THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS. 
FUNDED BY THE CALIFORNIA ARTS COUNCIL’S ARTISTS IN COMMUNITIES GRANT.