Seen: Tools of Nature

Dance isn’t just about movement. It is an art form that is all about story. What is the dancer trying to convey? What’s the message that is being expressed through movement? I was recently invited by Mia Orozco (choreographer/dancer/gallery director) to see a sneak peek of herupcomingg show Toolbox, which is being performed by dancer Julienne Mackey. It runs for two nights only – May 8th and 9th – at Radiant Space in Hollywood. This is a very intimate show about how one heals and the tools that are required to do so. I hadn’t seen dance in a long long time, and, at first, as I sat, the only audience member, I felt uncomfortable, as if I was invading someone’s personal space. As the performance unravelled, I began to realize that that was the whole point of the piece.


Healing is a deeply personal process that, when witnessed in such a closed environment, feels very strange and awkward. But, as the performance moved on, and I began to understand the story that was being told, I began to feel liberated, and no longer felt as if I was prying where I shouldn’t be, but rather that I was witnessing a wonderful transformation.


Often we think that healing can be accomplished with one thing. “If I just had ________________, I’d feel better.” But this performance explores the use of all of the elements to mend the troubled soul. Sound plays a key part, as does fire, light, water, and, of course, dance. I have to admit that I don’t know the first thing about the different dance movements, but I do know when I am moved by dance, and I definitely was.


Julienne Mackey (Dancer/Behavioral Therapist)

In addition to being a dancer, Julienne has been a behavioral therapist for the last two years, since  graduating from UC Irvine with a BFA in Dance Performance and BA in Psychology and Social Behavior. She has worked with The TL Collective, Madeline Hollander, Jmy Kidd, Charlie XCX, Jordan Peele, Dorian Electra, and BrockusRED, among others. She assists in producing events for dance festivals, poetry festivals, and independent galleries. She also works as a behavioral therapist for Autism Learning Partners.


Mia Orozco (Dancer/Choreographer/Gallery Director)

Mia, who Choreographed this show, is also one of my favorite souls in Los Angeles. She is one of the hardest working people I’ve met and yet, through all adversity, she is always smiling and welcoming. This is the first piece of hers that I have seen and I was so delighted to have a preview of it before anybody else. I highly recommend going to see this performance and getting to know the two wonderful women behind it.

Mia practices her art in a variety of mediums: dance film, music videos, site-specific work, and the beloved stage. She also attended the Gaga intensive in Tel Aviv and had the honor to dance for John Zullo, Toni Renee Johnson, Michelle Micca, Marjolayne Auger, Jacqulyn Buglisi, Svea Schneider, Karesia Batan, Seda Aybay, Beth Iguchi, Rebecca Hernandez, Lula Washington, Nellie Rainwater, Lily Baldwin, Un-jin Kim, Micah Moch, and Dante Puleio.


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