Tuesday, June 18, 2013

SAVE THE DATE: 24 Hour Performance Extravaganza

(Please Note: We will be updating this particular blog post regularly as new information becomes available. Most recent update: 7/26/13, 11am)

Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.
A 24 hour Performance-a-thon!


  • the CSUEB Inclusive Interdisciplinary Ensemble (IIE) 
  • Dandelion Dancetheater's Bandelion 
  • members of the Thingamajigs Performance Group 
  • A Mused Collective 
  • AVID 
  • WaterSaw 
  • Patrick Cress and T-Bird Luv 
  • Marc Brew 
  • Lucia August 
  • UE Chua 
  • Bob Webb 
  • Laura Renaud-Wilson 
  • CSUEB Dance Students/Alumni 
  • Joy Brooke-Fairfield 
  • Liz Boubion & Afia Walking Tree 
  • Hilary Bryan 
  • many more guest artists 
  • and YOU! 

July 26 @ 7:30pm to July 27 @ 8:30pm

Temescal Arts Center

511 48th St., Oakland 94609

Admission: $12 - 24 sliding scale
(no one turned away for lack of funds)

Full details for this unusual event are below.

Some Important Details to be aware of:
  • Space is very limited for storing belongings. Bring as little as possible. 
  • If participating in the ongoing performance improvisations, please wear solid colors of red and/or white (optional.) 
  • There will not be food provided at the event, but there are many good restaurants and shops in a three block radius, as well as a 24 hour Walgreens. 
  • Volunteers are needed. See below for details. 
  • The performance piece begins as soon as you step into the room, so everything you do becomes part of the larger work. We intend this as both a performance and a meditative community ritual designed to nourish body, heart, mind and spirit. 

Join us for a participatory performance exploring breath, slowness, Shabbat, cyclical time, community ritual, sleep, duration and dreams.

You can: watch, listen, participate in movement or sound improvisations, sleep, meditate, dream, snuggle and/or more...
Come any time.
Stay as long as you''d like.

Inhale. Exhale. Repeat is in some ways a sequel to Dandelion Dancetheater''s WonderSlow performance from 2011:

WonderSlow was very public and expansive. This will be intimate and contained. But it will be similar in terms of the diverse ways people can participate.

All proceeds go towards the IIE/Bandelion remount of TONGUES, and to create GATHER, a new collaboration with Ysaye M. Barnwell.

Space is limited. Please RSVP.
For more info and reservations email:info@dandeliondancetheater.org

Inhale. Exhale. Repeat. needs volunteers to sign up for various hour-long performance and/or usher-like tasks including:

  • greeters 
  • solo dance improvisers 
  • sound improvisers 
  • space monitors 
  • flocking dance participants 
  • time keepers 
  • and more. 
Each position can be learned on the spot at the event. More detailed information about what we are looking for can be found below. People who volunteer for at least 2 hour-long slots can attend the event for free.

Please help us make this "out-of-the-box" event a success by keeping our performance stations going throughout the 24 hours.

To sign up and/or get more info, email:

Photo of TONGUES (2008-09) by Ben Ailes.

Everyone that attends Inhale. Exhale. Repeat. will be participating in some way. This might be as a viewer/listener, as a rester/meditator, or as an active participant.

Our intentions for the event is to create both a 24 hour performance piece, as well as many layers of shorter pieces that take place within the larger structure.

We want to create an environment of 

  • meditative attention
  • artistic and physical nourishment
  • inclusive community
  • connection to each other and the present moment as it unfolds

Everything that happens within the main space will be considered part of the performance, including mindful communication, set-up and clean-up, and responding to unforeseen circumstances.

There will also be a side room for quiet conversation, eating/drinking and taking breaks from the performance.

There will be three different modes that the event will operate within:
1. Ongoing Improvisation/Installation
2. Featured Performance Hours
3. Opening and Closing Ceremonies


1. The Ongoing Improvisation/Installation mode will take place from 
9pm on 7/26 - 2am on 7/27
3am - 8am on 7/27
9am - 2pm on 7/27
3pm - 7pm on 7/27

During these times what we are calling "passive participation includes: 

And there are the following opportunities for active participation:

A. Join the open movement improvisation that will be traveling clockwise along the circular pathway surrounding the center of the space. The "movement score" for this improvisation includes taking the first five minutes and last five minutes of every hour (cued by a bell,) to engage in performance stillness on inhale and movement on your exhale; then during 50 minutes between beginning and end, respond through movement to what’s happening in the environment by traveling clockwise in the circular pathway. 

If ever at a loss for what to do, go back moving based on inhales/exhales, or experiment with engaged stillness, or mindfully travel the circle. You may enter and exit this part of the  improvisation whenever you'd like.

B. Join the Flocking Improvisation in the upstage left corner of the space. There will always be a volunteer staying in the Flocking Improvisation for the full hour.

 This improvisation structure is based around slow movement and stillness. As soon as there are more than one persons in flocking area, try to engage in present moment unison. Move together (doing your body’s adaptation of the movement happening in present time.) As a tool to stay in unison, follow whoever is at the front of the flock at any moment. The front will rotate as facings rotate. All flocking dancers should remain facing the same directions at all times. Keep it slow and simple.

C. Join the Sound Improvisation that will take place from the risers near the entrance to the space. There will always be at least one volunteer continuing the sonic improvisation, that will be joined by others that flow in and out of this "station."

The sound score is: For the  first five minutes and last five minutes of each hour, silence on inhale and make sound on exhale; then during the 50 minutes between beginning and end, respond to what’s happening in the environment. If ever at a loss for what to do, go back to playing/singing based on inhales/exhales. Please be respectful of what others are playing/singing when you join and blend with what is already happening.


2. The Featured Performance Hours will take place from 
8pm - 9pm on 7/26
2am - 3am on 7/27
8am - 9am on 7/27
2pm - 3pm on 7/27
7pm - 8pm on 7/27

During these times the set up of the space will shift to a large circle of people sitting/standing/lying down with the center of the space cleared to become a stage-in-the-round.

A collection of curated artists will present short works that relate to the breath and live sound in some way.

The line-up of artists for each Featured Performance Hour is still evolving. Here is the current schedule (subject to change)

8pm - 9pm on 7/26
Lucia August
Hilary Bryan
UE Chua
CSUEB Inclusive Interdisciplinary Ensemble

2am - 3am on 7/27
AVID (Choreography by Amy LaFaille)
Joy Brooke-Fairfield
CSUEB Inclusive Interdisciplinary Ensemble
Bob Webb

8am - 9am on 7/27
CSUEB Inclusive Interdisciplinary Ensemble
Sarah Cartmill-Ibarra
Jennifer Stern
Bob Webb

2pm - 3pm on 7/27
A Mused Collective
Liz Boubion
Marc Brew
CSUEB Inclusive Interdisciplinary Ensemble

7pm - 8pm on 7/27
A Mused Collective
Lucia August
Liz Boubion and Afia Walking Tree
CSUEB Inclusive Interdisciplinary Ensemble
Laura Renaud-Wilson


3. The Opening and Closing Ceremonies  will take place at 7:30pm on 7/26 and 8pm on 7/27. 

These 30 minute ceremonies will be led by Eric Kupers and participating artists, will be inclusive and accessible to everyone present, and will help orient everyone to the event and facilitate a transition out of it.



In addition to the participation options listed above, we are looking for volunteers to help continue the various performance "stations" that will be making up the Ongoing Improvisation/Installation portion of the event.

For almost every hour that we will be performing, we are asking for people to sign up for the following positions. Each of these last an hour, and people can sign up for as many hours as they'd like, as long as they can commit to being there and performing the respective duties. If you sign up for at least 2 hour-long slots you can attend the event for free.

If you would like to sign up for one or more of these, please contact eric@dandeliondancetheater.org.


Note: Each of these jobs is for one hour slots. You can sign up for as many hours as you’d like. Please plan on starting 5 minutes before the hour and continuing on for 5 minutes after to allow for a “crossfade” of roles. There will be bells rung five minutes before and after each hour, and on the hour.

·      be near entrance and help orient people to the event. Assist Stage Manager in managing space and dealing with any incidents or trouble.
·      Provide simple training to people who are taking on roles but don’t know what to do. Help facilitate smooth transitions
·      Help set-up in the shifts into and out of featured performance times
·      Remind people to leave stuff at home or in cars, keep valuables with them

·      Continue the sound score from musician area for the entire hour.
·      SCORE: first five minutes and last five minutes, silence on inhale and make sound on exhale; during 50 minutes between beginning and end, respond to what’s happening in the environment. If ever at a loss for what to do, go back to playing/singing based on inhales/exhales. (Note, anyone is welcome to join musical score at any time, so other musicians might flow in and out.)
·      If other musicians have joined for that hour, take the lead on the sound score.

·      Continue solo inside pink circle in the center of the floor for full hour.
·      SCORE: first five minutes and last five minutes, stillness on inhale and move on your exhale; during 50 minutes between beginning and end, respond to what’s happening in the environment. If ever at a loss for what to do, go back moving based on inhales/exhales. It’s fine to have long periods of performance stillness within the solo.

·      Continue solo in the black circle (that surrounds the pink circle) for full hour.
·      SCORE: first five minutes and last five minutes, stillness on inhale and move on your exhale; during 50 minutes between beginning and end, respond to what’s happening in the environment. If ever at a loss for what to do, go back moving based on inhales/exhales. It’s fine to have long periods of performance stillness within the solo.

·      When children are present, keep awareness of them and help them integrate into the event.
·      As a default state, stand or sit in stillness, watching the entire space like a meditative guardian of attention and focus.
·      When children aren’t present, help the greeter and stage manager in an “on-call” manner—making sure all is functioning well.

·      Help in whatever way is necessary. Check in with Stage Manager if you’re unsure what to do.
·      If there’s nothing to do, just stand or sit and mindfully watch the space, like a meditative guardian of attention and focus.

·      Keep tea and coffee going in side room.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Statewide Dance Flash Mobs - Instructions for CSU East Bay Participants

Hello Bay Area Community,

Please join the Statewide Dance Flash Mobs to Save Public Education.
Wednesday October 31st, 12:00 - 12:20pm
@ CSUEB in front of the RAW Center
and also taking place simultaneously at CSU campuses across the state.

Come learn the choreography at one of these training sessions:
  • Tuesday, October 23rd, 7:00 - 7:30pm     @ the Queer/Straight Alliance Meeting, New Student Union (Concord Room)
  • Thursday, October 25th,  12:15 - 12:45pm    Room PE 140  (Dance Studio)
  • Wednesday, October 31st,   11:00 - 11:30am   Room THEA 182 (Studio Theatre)
If you can't make it to any of these, and don't have any time to learn the choreography online, come anyway at noon on Halloween and follow along!

For more information, see the post below that gives full instructions for campuses across the state.


If you're not able to attend a training session, you can learn the choreography online at 

And see how it fits into the whole Dance Flash Mob at

And if you don't have a chance to watch the videos, here's the choreography in narrative form:

1)   Percussion and other music can start as people are getting into place—to draw a crowd (the percussion can include as many musical instruments as you can gather, but at a minimum should have one person dedicated to keeping clapping going.)
2)   Ideally set up in a formation of  either a rectangular or semi-circle grouping of performers(more confident participants in front and others spreading behind as far as needed.)
3)   Performers enter the performance space clapping.
4)   Chorus w/chants:
5)   Call and Response Chant (done 2 times)
Leader: “Proposition 30?”   
Group: “Yes! Yes!”    (raising an arm with each “Yes!” into a big Y shape)
Leader: “Prop. 32?”
Group: “No! No!”   (wagging finger)
·      Leader calls (5! 6! 7!  8!)
·      Both arms reach up along sides (4 counts)
·      Both arms return by your side (4 counts)
·      Reach right (2 counts)
·      reach left (2 counts)
·      Reach/Go up towards sky (2 counts)
·      reach/go down towards ground (2 counts)
·      Turn around to the left (8 counts)
·      Hitting and holding shapes (8 counts—counts 1, 3, 5, 7 are for everyone to hit and hold any shapes that you want for 2 counts, then on the “1” everyone goes down as low as possible to hold a shape with attention focused on center of space)
6)    “Education is…” Dance/Theater piece accompanied by quieter percussion in featured performance space (64 counts)
7)   Chants & Chorus
8)   “Education is…”
9)   Chants & Chorus
10)         “Education is…”
11)         repeat as many times as you have “Education is”  pieces prepared to fill the slots
12)          After last “Education is…” piece do Chorus 2 times and then…
13)          Repeat Chanting (4x)
14)         Exit clapping.

Eric Kupers will lead the actual flash mob and call out sections as they come up, so you don't have to remember all this.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Simultaneous Statewide Dance Flash Mobs to Support Public Education

We are working on organizing simultaneous dance flash mobs across the state of California on  October 31st, 2012 at noon, to support public education in the approaching election. Below is the message We've been sending to Dance, Theater, Kinesiology and Creative Arts Professors throughout the state. It includes instructions for setting up a dance flash mob at your campus or community site. Please join us and let the power of the people be felt across the state!


I’m writing to invite you to participate in a major statewide action in support of public education this fall—being organized in conjunction with the California Faculty Association’s fall action plans.

 My name is Eric Kupers and I’m an Associate Professor in the CSU East Bay Theatre and Dance Department. With a number of collaborating colleagues, I am organizing simultaneous dance flash mobs at each of the 23 CSU campuses to raise awareness about the November election and the importance of voting yes on Proposition 30 and no on Proposition 32.

I’m looking for at least one person from each CSU campus to act as a point-person in organizing your local flash mob performance. This person will attempt to enlist at least 7 other people to participate and will be a contact person for any communication that needs to happen between participants at all the sites.

On Oct. 31st (Halloween) at 12 noon, people throughout the state will perform a simple, accessible dance and theatre piece in public spaces (based on a set of instructions I am sending out.) We will do so at the same moment to demonstrate our shared investment in public education, the strength of our solidarity and our ability to organize creatively. This will happen the week before the election and will serve as a platform through which to educate our communities about the importance of voting to support education and other public services on Nov. 6th.  For campuses and communities that cannot participate on Oct. 31st, please feel free to organize a dance flash mob at a time that works better for you. And of course feel free to do both the 31st and other times! The more the merrier!

Would you be willing to be one of the participants and/or the point-person for your campus’ dance flash mob event? If not, can you recommend others for us to contact at your university that you think would like to participate?

I will be sending out a detailed set of instructions for organizing the event at your campus. You do not need to have any previous dance, theatre or flash mob experiences in order to participate in and/or organize this. All you need is a desire to support public education in California and a willingness to put in a few hours this fall to get the event off the ground.

Below this message I am listing links to instructional video, flash mob choreography instructions and other information for each flash mob to draw from. My hope is that each campus will infuse the event with your own campus spirit and personality. Then I will ask all participating groups to video their event and send the footage to me. Either I or a colleague will create a montage of dance flash mobs from the 23 CSU campuses and our allies at other schools, arts organizations and unions. This video will be uploaded to the internet and used as a tool of empowerment and further education.

Please let me know if you have any questions and/or ideas. We believe this event can make our voices heard and our presence felt powerfully across the state!

Thank you,
Eric Kupers
CSU East Bay

Here is a series of instructional videos for organizing the dance flash mob at your site:



ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF A FLASH MOB (from the Fall 2012 CFA Assembly)

CSU 2011 STRIKE FLASH MOB (based on Occupy Oakland’s Dance Flash Mob)

Below is all of the information we can think of to send for now, balancing giving a thorough explanation of our plans with not wanting to overwhelm potential participants. There are holes in these plans—some that can be filled in by you at your individual campuses, and some that we will address in future communications.


·      Dance Flash Mobs will happen on a day yet to be confirmed at the end of October, at 12 noon  (simultaneously at all 23 CSU campuses and additional sites)
·      Participants enter the public performance area  clapping
·      Chants & Basic Dance Chorus alternates with “Education is…” dance/theater/music brief performances
·      All to a drumbeat of some kind (even just steady clapping).
·      Entire event is videotaped
·      Accompanying all this can be info about “Yes on 30 / No on 32”, CFA info, etc.

For more information on propositions in the coming election and what you can do to get involved, go to: www.calfac.org

For assistance in organizing a flash mob on your campus or other public site, contact Eric Kupers at eric.kupers@csueastbay.edu

The basic structure of the dance flash mobs will be everyone doing the choreographed dance chorus in unison (see #4 below) & chants a number of times, interspersed with “Education is…” pieces—which will be like the verses of a song, in between each chorus.

Each “verse” can either be choreographed beforehand or improvised. Each can include any combination you’d like of dance, theatre, music, poetry, speeches, or other performance forms.
The requirements for each “Education is…” verse are that:
·      it start with the words “Education is…,”
·      it lasts for exactly 64 counts,
·      it comes directly after and directly before repetitions of the dance chorus and chants,
·      it is watched and supported by the rest of the flash mob participants.

It is up to the point-person and any collaborators to decide who will perform the “Education is…” verses, what order they will go in, and therefore how many repetitions of the dance chorus will happen. You should know the order of performers beforehand, and if possible  should practice the whole structure prior to the public performance.

The “Education is…” verses can be as simple or as complex as you’d like. They are intended as an opportunity for participants to express personal, campus, community, state and global concerns in whatever way feels best. 

1)   Percussion and other music can start as people are getting into place—to draw a crowd (the percussion can include as many musical instruments as you can gather, but at a minimum should have one person dedicated to keeping clapping or stomping going.)
2)   Ideally set up in a formation of  either a rectangular or semi-circle grouping of performers (more confident participants in front and others spreading behind as far as needed.)
3)   Performers enter the performance space clapping.
4)   Chorus w/chants:
5)   Call and Response Chant (done 2 times)
Leader: “Proposition 30?”   
Group: “Yes! Yes!”    (raising an arm with each “Yes!” into a big Y shape)
Leader: “Prop. 32?”
Group: “No! No!”   (wagging finger)
·      Leader calls "5! 6! 7!  8!"
·      Both arms reach up along sides (4 counts)
·      Both arms return by your side (4 counts)
·      Reach right (2 counts)
·      reach left (2 counts)
·      Reach/Go up towards sky (2 counts)
·      reach/go down towards ground (2 counts)
·      Turn around to the left (8 counts)
·      Hitting and holding shapes (8 counts—counts 1, 3, 5, 7 are for everyone to hit and hold any shapes that you want for 2 counts, then on the “1” everyone goes down as low as possible to hold a shape with attention focused on center of space)
6)    “Education is…” Dance/Theater piece accompanied by quieter percussion/music in featured performance space (64 counts)
7)   Chants & Chorus
8)   “Education is…”
9)   Chants & Chorus
10)         “Education is…”
11)         repeat as many times as you have “Education is”  pieces prepared to fill the slots
12)          After last “Education is…” piece do Chorus 2 times and then…
13)          Repeat Chanting (4x)
14)         Exit clapping.

While it is ideal to have as many people participating as you can gather, this dance flash mob can be performed by a minimum of 8 folks – and if less if needed. No previous performance or activist experience is required.

·      Leader: At least one person calling out instructions and doing percussion* (could be divided into two separate roles if you have enough people)
·      Dancers: At least 5 people dancing
·      Videographer: At least one person shooting video
·      Stage Manager: At least one person to handle crowd management and any logistical issues that come up before and during the performance. It’s important to have someone who doesn’t have to focus on performing and can instead pay attention to any potential hazards and obstacles that will affect the event and participants.

I am particularly inspired by live music and percussion for events such as these. However, each flash mob can have it’s own approach to musical accompaniment. We ask that you keep the tempo of the music you use consistent, for greater ease in editing together footage from different sites.  Please use a tempo that is as close as possible to 100 beats per minute.

Here is one approach to counting a song’s beats per minute:

If you don’t want to use live percussion, or want to augment it with recorded percussion, try using music with a clear pulse (beat) and/or a metronome or drum machine of some kind. I have a recording available of  a simple drum track and me playing bass over it and leading the chants. Contact me and I can send it to you.

I have also found the iphone app “Funk Box” particularly useful for this sort of thing.

The point is to have a steady pulse that holds the flash mob together, but to balance that with being able to clearly hear any text that performers are speaking. If available, I recommend using a microphone or megaphone for speakers that don’t already have a very loud voice. Either way, plan to lower the volume of the percussion/sound during “Education is…” pieces, and raise it again for the choruses.

I recommend setting up two or three sessions (at different times) wherein faculty, staff, students and community members can show up to learn the choreography and structure for the event.  Here’s suggestions on how to organize these sessions. If you can't set up sessions before the day, then you might 
1.     Have everyone sign a sign-in sheet with phone and email contact information;
2.     Introduce yourself and have everyone learn each other’s names;
3.     Give a brief introduction on the way the flash mob will work and the statewide context for it;
4.     Teach the dance chorus and practice it a few times to clapping or musical accompaniment;
5.     Give an explanation of the “Education is…” pieces/verses, and give participants a few minutes to work together and/or think about something they could try through improvising on the spot.
6.     Teach and practice the beginning and ending chants.
7.     Go over (and perhaps write on a chalkboard) the order for the flash mob dance.
8.     Practice it as many times as possible.
9.     Ask for volunteers to commit to doing the “Education is…” verses on the day of the flash mob event and remind everyone of the logistics for the event on your campus.

Each site should come up with its own plan for costumes for the flash mobs. You can wear Halloween costumes, “Take Class Action” T-shirts, your school colors, and/or anything that will raise the energy of the event.

We recommend confirming participation with everyone who has stated that they will be part of the event through email or phone. And I can almost guarantee that everything will not go exactly as planned. (This is a large part of the power of live performance—we’re always making the best of whatever arises on the spot.)

I like to encourage my students and performers in works that I direct to “fake it ‘til you make it,” both in learning the choreography and doing the actual dance flash mob. Keep going, even if you feel lost. The great thing about contemporary dance choreography is that anything goes, so often so-called mistakes end up being the most exciting moments.

We recommend finding a location for the flash mob that is both high profile on your campus and safe. Some possible locations include:
·      in front of the student union
·      in any central plaza
·      in front of an administration building
·      an area that is not on a street, but that can be seen by passing cars and pedestrians
·      anywhere that gets a lot of people passing by on a weekday around noon
Each campus and group should decide how much advance notice you would like to give to others about the event. We encourage you to publicize the flash mob widely to ensure lots of participants showing up and to open the possibility for getting press coverage.

Please send video footage in as high quality as you can manage and as quick as possible to:
Eric Kupers
(Ideally you can post footage online at vimeo.com or share it with us through Dropbox or something similar. I’m trying to get something edited and up on YouTube by Nov. 3rd. You can also send footage by mail to:
Eric Kupers
c/o CSUEB Department of Theatre and Dance
25800 Carlos Bee Blvd.
Hayward, CA 94542

The point-person will be in charge of the following:

·       Primary contact with the central organizing committee for the statewide event
·       Leading the organizing of the flash mob at her/his campus.
·        Making sure there is someone shooting video of the dance flash mob and that the footage is sent to Eric Kupers as soon as possible after the event.

Each point person can approach this role in whatever way seems appropriate, given the campus culture and the needs and resources of dance flash mob participants. 

Some point-people might delegate most of the tasks that need to be completed and some might want to be centrally involved in getting most of them done.

At the most basic level, the point-person will make sure that the event happens.

Additional tasks that the point-person should do and/or oversee:
1.     picking a public space for the dance flash mob to happen in.
2.     organizing preparation sessions before the day of the event to teach participants the flash mob choreography.
3.     reaching out to faculty, staff, students and community members to invite them to participate.
4.     making sure there are at least eight people participating. (See full instructions for a break down of essential personnel for the flash mob.)