Union Station, Metro Art Presents

Metro Art Presents Moving Through | BAGGAGE – Jay Carlon

About this Event

Join Metro Art Presents on April 22, 2021 at 7pm for the fourth and final program in the April dance series Moving Through, a monthlong series of dance and movement for times of change, produced in creative collaboration with Pieter Performance Space and Carlon.

The culminating program is the premiere of BAGGAGE, a theatrical dance work for film by acclaimed dancer and choreographer Jay Carlon with a live-score and sound design by musician Alex Wand.

BAGGAGE, developed on site in Union Station’s historic Ticketing Hall during a two-week residency by Carlon and Wand—celebrates origin stories and embodies the many histories of arrivals and departures at the station and in our lives.

BAGGAGE is a personal family narrative of migration told in three chapters unpacked through music, dance, and memory inside the landmark historic space that has served as a gateway to the many individual and collective California arrival stories over the past eight decades.

Opening with the Phillipine proverb, A person who does not remember where they came from will never reach their destination, in Tagalog to lead to the question, How did you get here?, Carlon channels the stories of the space through his personal family story. The film concludes with an emotional and physical release as Carlon lets go of family traumas handed down from previous generations.

Vintage suitcases are animated by Carlon and Wand through the use of contact microphones, movement-responsive scoring, and a series of voice messages from Carlon’s mother recorded during the pandemic. The sounds emitted from the suitcases are an echo that unites physical manipulation and dance on a journey that concludes with personal catharsis, intergenerational understanding and collective community healing.

The piece also incorporates excerpts from an oral history recorded through Re/Collecting Project Archive, Special Collections and Archives of California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo. The Re/Collecting Project retraces stories of Filipino immigrants that landed on California’s Central Coast. Carlon’s family was featured for their unique, yet not uncommon, family story.

Carlon, named as one of the 25 dancers to watch in 2020 by Dance Magazine, is collaborating with Grammy Award-winning musician and composer Alex Wand.

This uniquely collaborative dance series takes place during Arts Culture and Creativity month to pay tribute to the idea that the arts are essential to the personal and collective telling of stories in meaningful and shared public spaces.


Watch the Performance


About the Partner

Pieter Performance Space was founded at a studio in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles by Jmy James Kidd in 2010. A unique and expansive art community grew over the following decade, centered around an ethos of non-monetary exchange and reciprocity of generosity. Having left the studio in August 2020 amidst the pandemic, Pieter is currently an entirely virtual platform for classes, workshops and events led by dancers, healers and activists offering a multitude of approaches to body-based practice. www.pieterpasd.com // @pieterperformancespace