The TL Collective brings "POP Madness" to the California Plaza on 8/4

 In Dd Exclusive

Micaela Taylor of The TL Collective has expanded her solo POP to a larger work, site specific work, POP Madness, for herself and Sam McReynolds, Austyn Rich, and Julienne Mackey. To an electronic sound score, the four explore themes of crisis, information overload, taking responsibility and having a voice as a millennial in a world that is dictated by tech and social media. Taylor and { Dd } editorial director Candice Thompson spoke by phone about how Taylor defines the terms that define her work and how these concepts dictate her process and approach in the studio.

{ DIYdancer }, Candice Thompson: What is your definition of Millenial and how do you identify as part of that generation?

Photo Cred: Jobel Medina

Photo Cred: Jobel Medina

Micaela Taylor: I was born in the early 90’s and I can remember being in elementary school when no one had a cell phone, and then in the last year of middle school that became normal, so I have had a taste of both worlds. There is this need I feel to balance taking in all the information that is easily accessible and thrown at us with knowing what it is like to figure things out on your own, say use the dictionary. All of us dancers are the same age, and each time we go into a solo it is a way to take responsibility and try to figure things out. We have a voice and at the same time, we are relying on one another and other people to handle situations, crises and terrorist attacks.

CT: Are you referring to September 11th or the sort of constant stream of ISIS-style attacks we hear about now?

MT: I am referring to current attacks, how you can be at a mall and something can go off–the fear of not knowing when something is going to happen. I think the fear in people has risen to another level because it is more common to hear about these things.

CT: Do you think it is useful all this knowledge of terrorism? That we are aware of all these incidents when they happen? (I realize in even asking this question I am giving away the fact that I have doubts about technology and being constantly connected, perhaps even have a false sense that it could be possible for us to go backwards in time and live otherwise, in essence, demonstrating how I don’t identify as a Millenial…)

MT: I think it depends on the person. For me, it is a matter of certain level of faith and believing that every voice matters. Sure there is a level of fear, but I am able to have a voice and feel I can do something about it. I bring that out during the solos, each dancer has their own individual take and opinion in their solos.

CT: Did the dancers collaborate on the material for their solos?

MT: They impacted their solos for sure. I definitely watch them as people and as dancers, observe how they interact. And then we start each day with a guided improvisation and I can see how they express themselves through movement and make note of their body language. So when I choreographed on them I had in my mind what I have seen, the things they have said.

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Photo Cred: Jobel Medina

CT: You mentioned to me earlier you are a spiritual person. How does that affect your creative process?

MT: My dad is a pastor and I was raised with Christianity and I still believe. That is a major part of who I am. And so I am hopeful. I believe that we as a community can come together and if we are all on one accord, we can eliminate war against one another. Even through social media, maybe you can affect change by simply not being negative or sharing love by liking–I think it can be that simple. As for me, I am going to be a light as best as I can through my work.

You can see POP Madness on Friday August 4th at 8 p.m. as part of Grand Performance’s No Side Now at the California Plaza in Los Angeles.  
Click here for more information.

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