Send a ‘letter to dance’ and see it come to life on stage at the Odyssey

“Just in Time” (aka “Letter to Dance”) invites everyone to get up and move
Photo by David Kaplan

“I find myself when I’m with you,” reads one letter.

“You bring me joy and give me an outlet of expression,” reads another.

These rapturous sentences are part of a series of letters posted on the “Letters to Dance” Facebook page, the brainchild of German choreo-grapic duo deufert&plischke.

The interactive dance project also called “Just in Time” — which started in Berlin and invites people to write a letter to dance and mail it to them on paper or electronically — has traveled to Tel Aviv and New York. Starting on Saturday (Aug. 11), it lands in Los Angeles at the Odyssey Theater.

During their month-long residency at the theater, deufert&plischke are leading two free open workshops for the public (one on Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m., another on Sunday, Aug. 19, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.). They’ll hold another workshop/lecture, which the public can observe, from 7 to 10 p.m. on Monday (Aug. 13) with artists from the L.A. Women’s Theatre Festival.

The letters generated during these workshops will become the basis for a “communal dance,” which the pair will unveil with the project’s L.A. participants during a final ball held at 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25. Based on pictures from previous dance parties, potential partygoers may expect balloons and streamers — and there will definitely be a deejay.

“As artists we are interested in social life, in modes of creation and production, in the performance situation as a social situation in the here and now,” deufert&plischke told the Goethe-Institut’s blog. “In all of this, we do not make artistic processes more ordinary than need be, or aestheticize or choreograph them, but bring all these processes and everyday life onto the stage.

“The desire to involve an audience is not coming from the belief that social art equals better art,” added Thomas Plischke in a video interview about the project, “but rather a curiosity — an artistic curiosity. What are the documents and arts forms that are possible when involving an audience?”

You may only find out if you lift up your pen, as well as your feet.

— Christina Campodonico

Send your letter to dance to: Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025. Or email it to LettersToDance@gmail.com. To participate through social media, post it to facebook.com/LettersToDance, tag @LetterstoDance on Instagram, or tweet to @LettersToDance. Visit odysseytheatre.com for full instructions and to RSVP.

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