“like a managerie à trois, the dancers exemplifying and embodying their own kind of wildlife park."   -Victoria Looseleaf, Fjord Review

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Performed on, and around, an inflatable plastic living room set, Inflatable Trio questions the ways we attempt to orient ourselves within ever-changing domestic, social and environmental landscapes. As the elements of a family room are repeatedly deflated, dismantled and re-organized, three dancers poignantly persist, react and cope. Each in turn upends—and is upended by—the objects, people and situations that surround them.  

Inflatable Trio emerges as a kind of domestic drama, expanded beyond its walls, where the current state of our capacities to navigate one another resonates with our shifting global and environmental challenges. Increasingly we communicate without our bodies present (war without our bodies present)—has this heightened the impact of the physical exchange? What does domestic interaction mean in this context? Is home a retreat, a seductive space where we still touch and confront one another? Are we equally equipped for the encounter? 

Inflatable Trio features an original score by Tom Lopez, costumes by Maria Garcia, video design by Cari Ann Shim Sham and lighting by Chris Kuhl. A version of the dance, titled Inflatable Park, premiered in Tongva Park in downtown Santa Monica, CA in 2016. Inflatable Trio premiered at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, CA in February 2017. The work is intentionally adaptable – from large proscenium theaters to intimate black box spaces, gallery settings, and public parks – the piece (like the furniture) expands and contracts to each space. 

Choreography: Lionel Popkin
Original Score: Tom Lopez
Performed by: Carolyn Hall, Lionel Popkin, Samantha Mohr, with Tom Lopez
Lighting Design: Chris Kuhl                                                                                                                       Video Design: Cari Ann Shim Sham*
Costumes: Maria Garcia

Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, CA                                                                                                         The Wilson Center, Wilmington, NC                                                                                                         Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH                                                                                                                  Tongva Park, Santa Monica, CA

COLLABORATOR BIOGRAPHIES                                                                                                           Carolyn Hall is a Brooklyn-based freelance dancer originally from Los Angeles. She has performed nationally and internationally with numerous choreographers/directors and was awarded a New York Dance and Performance Award or "Bessie" for performance in 2002. Most recently she has performed with Third Rail Projects, Lionel Popkin, Rebecca Davis, and Clarinda Mac Low. She is also a marine ecologist and enjoys exploring ways to combine her art and science halves.

Native to Southern California, Samantha Mohr holds a BA in World Arts and Cultures/Dance from the University of California, Los Angeles. She has since collaborated as a performer with Lionel Popkin, David Roussève, Victoria Marks, Julien Prévieux, Elizabeth Leister, Rebecca Bruno, Laurel Jenkins, Alexx Shilling and Monica Duncan. Samantha has performed and presented shared works through homeLA/Frogtown in partnership with The Women’s Center for Creative Work, at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, LACE Gallery and Highways Performance Space. In addition to dancing, she is currently pursuing her 200 hour registered yoga teacher certification with Farzaneh Noori, Hanna Gilan and Allison Linamen.

Maria Garcia is a costume designer and performance artist. She has a BA in Theatre Studies from London Metropolitan University in the UK, and studied Fashion Design at FIDM in LA. She has worked with theatre of the oppressed and other forum theatre companies like Cardboard Citizens and Streetwise Opera in the UK that work with participants and professionals who are currently experiencing homelessness or who have experienced homelessness in the past. Other companies and collaborators in the UK and US include: English Touring Opera, English National Opera, English National Ballet, Birmingham Opera Company, Facefront Theatre, Mamoru Iriguchi and Laurel Jenkins. Maria is currently developing a new work titled Impart:Scenes of Abjection which can be seen this spring. You can view her work here:

Christopher Kuhl is a lighting, scenic, installation and conceptual designer for new performance, theatre, dance and opera based in Brooklyn.  Recent work includes Straight White Men (Young Jean Lee’s Theatre Company,The Public Theatre, Wexner Center); This Was The End (Mallory Catlett, The Chocolate Factory); The Elephant Room (Edinburgh Fringe, St. Ann’s Warehouse, Philly Live Arts, Arena Stage, MCA Chicago); Quartier Libres with Nadia Beugré (New York Live Arts, Walker Art Center); Soldier Songs (Holland Festival); Ethel’s Documerica (BAM); John Cage Song Books (SF Symphony, Carnegie Hall).  Chris has also  had the pleasure of working and making art at On the Boards, The Fusebox Festival, The Kennedy Center, YBCA, Jacob’s Pillow, Beijing Music Festival, Queer Zagreb, KVS Belgium, MAC France, and Santiago a Mil Chile. Kuhl was also the Production Manger and Lighting Director for Ralph Lemon’s How Can You Stay in the House All Day and Not Go Anywhere? In 2011 Chris was the recipient of the Sherwood, Drammy, Horton, and Ovation Awards. In 2014 Chris was nominated for a Bessie Award for Outstanding Visual Design and was a finalist for the Rolex Mentor Protégé Award. Chris is originally from New Mexico, a graduate of CalArts, an associate artist of Hand2Mouth Theatre, and Co-Director of Live Arts Exchange (LAX).

Tom Lopez composes music for soloists, ensembles, electronics, video, and dance.  Reviews of his work include: “A rich and sensuous piece…”…the rousing orchestral score delivers a resonant rush of adrenaline…”…incredibly effective…”…extremely well-written…”…the most artistically satisfying work on the program.”  He has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fulbright Foundation, the Aaron Copland Fund, the Betty Freeman Foundation, the Knight Foundation, the Disney Foundation, and Meet the Composer. He has appeared at festivals and conferences around the world as a guest lecturer and composer. Tom has been a resident artist at various international centers and his compositions have received critical acclaim and peer recognition including CD releases by Innova, Centaur, Vox Novus, SCI, SEAMUS, and the Oberlin Label. Tom teaches in the Contemporary Music Division at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music where he is Associate Professor of Computer Music and Digital Arts in the TIMARA Department (Technology in Music and Related Arts). He is also a Teaching Artist with Avivo, a community of artists dedicated to cultivating creativity through music.

Cari Ann Shim Sham* is a wild new media artist who loves hunting edible mushrooms, collecting antique doorknobs and recently left la la land for NYC.  Her video art has shown nationally, at notable venues such as Jacob's Pillow, PS 21, Peak Performances, and the Joyce Soho. Her film work has screened at Laemmle Sunset 7, Mann Chinese Theater, and the United Nations General Assembly, 190+ festivals internationally garnering numerous awards. She is the recipient of the Surdna Arts Teachers Fellowship and Chime's Choreographer Mentorship Exchange.  Current projects include directing a VR 360 episodic Opera Horror Film project for Opera on Tap, designing video art for three touring dance theater shows (Roussève, Popkin & Williamson), Director of Photography on a feature dance film by David Roussève and Filmmaker/Photographer for the NYU Global Institute of Dance and Music, a global investigation into dance and music at cultural, geographic & economic borders. She is over the moon happy teaching Dance & New Media at NYU TISCH Dance.


Special Thanks for support via Hatchfund to: Lee AuCoin, Sue and Les AuCoin, Eric Berger, Mary Buckley, Colleen Carrion, Anne Duncan, Dan Froot, Sandra Guerrant, Natasha Guest, Antonio Kingscote, Annioe Lohr, Victoria Marks, Nusha Martynuk, Carter McAdams, Jeff Sung, Jay Sung, William and Prema Popkin, Sumant and Renu Rawat, Justin Schein, Seth Schein, Sam Schneider, Carol and Keith Smart, Deborah Vogel and Eden Wurmfeld.

Stills by Isaac Obaka, Cari Ann Shim Sham and Jorge Vismara