Tuesday, April 29, 2014

#AdventureswithKaren: Episode 1

When we were in college, my friends and I had nearly identical schedules. We did almost everything together from taking donation based yoga classes at PowerYoga in Santa Monica to studying for midterms at Coral Tree Cafe. Our lives were perfectly in sync, and I saw them just about every single day.

From our Theta days
But then we graduated, and real life happened.

Now, our lives couldn't be more different. Whereas most of my friends have relatively "normal" schedules, I, being the free lance artist/dancer, have the most tumultuous and unpredictable work life. It's not so easy nowadays to link up with my gal pals, but we still manage to see each other on a regular basis amidst the chaos.

And now we've even devised a way to keep them close with me while I'm working and/or traveling. Meet my clip-on friends:

My clip-on friends: Sydney, Kally, Brian, and Bill (Elizabeth)
My travel-friendly friends fit neatly in my mini-backpack and easily clip-on to my clothing. I can even take photos with them during my travels so that they are essentially "with me" wherever I go. So far we've visited New York and Chicago: 

On the F train in NYC
At the infamous Chicago bean

I'll be documenting my excursions with them via the hashtag, #AdventureswithKaren on my Instagram (my meme is @karenschuang). You all are, of course, welcome to follow along with me on my explorations.

So where am I off to next? That unfortunately, remains a mystery for now. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Urban Paradise 2014

Being a professional dancer means that I am constantly surrounding myself with dance related things. And while it is a little embarrassing to admit, I'll say it anyways: There are times when I get tired of dancing and feel uninspired to take class or even to create.

But before I ever sink too deeply into that negative ravine of boredom, I encounter people and experience events that re-instill in me a wild love for dance. And this year's Urban Paradise was that event.

Urban Paradise is a dance showcase that is organized every year by Bay Area hip hop group, The Company. Dance groups from all over California flocked to Chabot College theater a few weeks ago and shared their talents with the dance community. The lineup included Southern Californian favorites like Cookies and SBGM as well as Bay Area groups like Press Play.

Among these groups was a project put together by Pat Cruz titled, "Homebase". It featured choreography by: JekaJane Kalotkin, Amanda Grind, Pat Cruz, Ade Willis, Aggie Loyola, and my roomie Sorah Yang. I got to be in Pat and Sorah's pieces, and it was awesome dancing alongside my talented friends:

Entity was also invited to perform; we debuted our newest piece titled, "Bloom", which was choreographed by Raymond Naval and Will Johnston:

Dance community events like this are always humbling. They remind me of the amount of passion and creativity that exists outside of the industry. These were a few of my personal favorites of the evening in no particular order:

I feel so grateful to be surrounded by people whose greatness reminds me of why I love doing what I do. A huge thank you to The Company, Entity, Pat, Sorah, and everyone involved with Urban Paradise! You were all, and continue to be, a unique collective of artists from whom I draw an immense amount of inspiration from.