Photos by: Watchara Phomicinda
Words By: Duke DuRock
There’s nothing quite like a night out at the theater, especially when it’s to see the highly imaginative “When Lucent Found Herakut,” which saw the beloved avant-garde performance dance troupe Lucent Dossier Experience collaborate and embody the characters of internationally-acclaimed German street art duo Herakut, infusing each with their own signature style during two sold-out shows at the historic Palace Theater in Downtown Los Angeles.
“It went shockingly well,” said Dream Rockwell, Founder and Director of Lucent Dossier, who also captivated the crowd at The Palace Theater with her powerful vocals on several standout songs. “When we’re working so hard to get something ready and there’s so much excitement around it, you never know what’s going to happen. But it all turned out great.”
“It was different than I had originally envisioned because each one of them brought something else to the table, something that we didn’t expect,” explained Jasmin Siddiqui (AKA: Hera) of seeing Lucent Dossier embody Herakut’s curious creatures. Her longtime production partner Falk Lehman (AKA: Akut) agreed, adding, “We found our characters in these people”
When Lucent Met Herakut
The mutual admiration between the two groups began shortly after The Do ArT Foundation’s Executive Director, Carmen Zella (who also serves as Lucent Dossier’s Manager/Curator) introduced Rockwell to Herakut while the duo were working on a gigantic mural at The Do LaB’s warehouse at Big Art Labs.
“The second we met Herakut we connected,” recalled Rockwell. “We found each other in the midst of a creative storm and it’s been a good collaboration. Part of the key is that they are collaborators, as they do their respective art together and we’re collaborators. So we quickly became the “we” that was needed to be in order to make this project happen.”
“It was great to open our two person team to a group of like-minded individuals,” said Lehman. Siddiqui added, “In only a short amount of time, as we were on a very unforgiving schedule, we basically lived through everything that a big-stage production goes through. There was a lot of excitement and even some fights over details, but that just showed us how much everyone was emotionally involved in this. At the end of the day, everyone was on the same page and wanted to make this into a great experience for the audience.”
The sold-out crowds at Palace Theater were treated to two nights of exceptional performances. Both Lucent Dossier and Herakut teamed to present a visually-stunning 90-minute show that featured a plethora of live art, astounding aerial feats, creative dance choreography and spontaneous audience interaction, all set to a stellar soundtrack. The show elicited many awe-struck gasps and raucous rounds of applause from the crowd throughout, which included Headtron producer Stephan Jacobs, who wrote two pieces of original music, “That’s So Cali” and “Blind Dreams” for the show.
“Dream hit me up before last year’s Coachella and she wanted to work together on something,” Jacobs recalled. “I thought this show was really awesome and well put together. All the incredible music, art, dance and performances; you could tell they put a lot of work into this one.
“As a first time viewer, it was a real treat to see Lucent Dossier perform; especially alongside Herakut, who are a longtime favorite graffiti duo of mine,” marveled attendee Emily Nyburg after the show. “The experience brought me right back to when I was five at the circus and had never before seen such magic. Lucent had so much life with talented vocalists, extensive handmade costumes and having a live 30ft. painting by Herakut, it was a true collaboration from all ends! Not only was this a show, it was a view into a beautiful community of artistic dreamers.”
Coming Together as a Family
Nyberg’s depiction of a “community of artistic dreamers” is an apt description for what transpired at The Palace Theater. After only two short, but intense weeks together, the two groups learned a lot from each other and came together as a true family.
“We’ve been working so many hours to indulge ourselves in this process to find something different and unique,” explained Angel Leopold, a Lucent Dossier performer and aerial coordinator since 2007. “It’s been amazing and it’s definitely taking what we do to the next level.”
“We’ve been going through a lot of shifts and transformations lately,” added Jen Shields, a talented dancer, choreographer and writer who has been part of Lucent Dossier for the last two years. “I think with this show, the opportunity to collaborate with such amazing artists has taken us to a different level. Everyone is humble and working together to contribute, so I’m honored for the opportunity to do something new.”
“Working with Herakut has really enlightened my world and every other member of Lucent as well,” summed up Roger Fojas, a founding member of Lucent Dossier, who Siddiqui felt was the perfect choice to become the Herakut unicorn. “With all the different rides I’ve been on with Lucent, this is the first journey that we’ve embarked on with a specific artist that we’ve created a new world together with. We’ve worked with musicians in the past but this has been a truly collaborative experience. To create the two separate worlds and make them become one, that became this magical experience.”
Both the Lucent Dossier Experience and Herakut excel in creating art that allows the audience to completely let go and embrace their inner child. But not only did the audience benefit from this, for “When Lucent Found Herakut,” each group brought out the very best in the other.
“We only met two weeks ago and there’s been a lot of amazing things that have happened,” shared Christine Ivy, who has spent the past two years serving as one of Lucent Dossier’s incredibly talented dancers, who is also a choreographer and tech director for them as well. “Sometimes all the ingredients are on the table and you’re not quite sure how it’s going to turn out. They had patience and their spirit brought childhood wonderment to the stage. Our last show got pretty dark, so I think they brightened up our souls a little bit.”
After such a rewarding experience at the Palace Theater, both Lucent Dossier and Herakut are eager to keep their creative collaboration going with future projects already being discussed. If ‘When Lucent Found Herakut,” is only the beginning, then we can’t wait to see what these two groups will come up with for the sequel
“We’re headed to Coachella next,” Rockwell previewed. “We’ve been brainstorming some different ideas stemming from all the crazy, sci-fi stuff we want to do, or maybe we’ll take Herakut along with us. We just want to keep exploring, creating and seeing what kind of magic we can make.
“This has been a dream come true,” said Siddiqui. “They are so inspiring. It seems they lead multiple lives, but that’s very impressive and it’s what we take home with us. They are hard workers and at the same time so low-key about it with no arrogance.
“To be actually living in this crowd for only a couple of weeks, we are amazed by how alike we are,” Siddiqui added. “So many other ideas have come out of this. Now that we’re developing the Herakut characters in 3D, I’d love to have all the Lucent dancers go onto a film project with us because this collaboration is working so well. We now understand why they’re called Lucent Dossier Experience because it’s been such an incredible experience for us to be a part of this.”
We’d like to thank Lucent Dossier Experience and Herakut for putting on such an unforgettable two-night showcase at the Palace Theater along with everyone that attended who helped to make the evenings so special. But the party isn’t over yet as Herakut will be teaming up with Lucent Dossier once again for the opening of their new gallery show at LeBasse Projects entitled, “After the Laughter,” which runs from February 25th-March 17th 2012 in the heart of Chinatown, Los Angeles
Be sure to keep up on all the latest Lucent Dossier Experience shows at: http://www.lucentdossier.com
See all the photos from the incredible show in our Facebook album.
What did YOU think of “When Lucent Found Herakut?” Please share your thoughts with us in the comment section below!