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Meet Aidan Carberry and Jordan Johnson of JA Collective in Downtown Area/South Los Angeles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Aidan Carberry and Jordan Johnson.

Aidan and Jordan, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
We (Aidan Carberry and Jordan Johnson) met freshman year of college attending the Glorya Kaufman School of Dance at USC. We both valued each other’s movement capacities but never tried creating together our first year of University. By Sophomore year we started to collaborate on making solos on friends and other quick micro content videos for fun. By the end of our Junior year, we took our collaboration more seriously and made a video with two other friends desiring to have something a bit more professional looking. We decided to submit that video to the Capezio Ace Awards last minute under the name JA. At that same time (summer of 2018) we also embarked on choreographing a music video called “Still Feel” for a band called ‘half alive’. That music video, as well as our performance at the Ace Awards was received well. Subsequently we were offered more opportunities to create together in professional settings resulting in JA_Collective becoming a full time endeavor.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
So far, our career trajectory under the name JA_Collective has been quite smooth. We’ve been given many opportunities to create as soon as JA was first formed. The biggest struggle has been working to help change the way dance is valued in the Los Angeles entertainment industry. Making sure that our dancers are paid well and that credit is received where it is due. Though we mention this as a struggle, it is also an honor to get to join the ranks of artists working towards fair wages for dancers/choreographers. Also, as far as collaboration goes, there are definitely times where disagreement and conflict arise. We have been blessed to always seek reconciliation and find deeper connection through disagreement and conflict. This is achieved through open communication and a willingness to be malleable.

JA Collective – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
JA_Collective is a collaboration between Aidan and Jordan consisting of Creative Direction and Choreography. We specialize in a hybrid of movement that tries to push the form into new directions. We are known for our Intricate and connective group work and complex solo material which can be seen both on stage and screen. It seems that people value JA for our intricacies but also for our ability to stay light-hearted in much of our creativity. JA is most proud of our ability to curate spaces full of hope, encouragement, and connection. As far as recent projects go, we recently realized a screen dance called “Breakfast” as a music video for the band ‘half alive’ – we are proud of this project. What sets us apart is our two separate worlds being presented as one. Our differing dance backgrounds coming together to create material that is not only surprising to us individually, but can surprise an audience corporately.

In January, JA_Collecetive will be sharing three nights at The Odyssey theatre from 24th to 26th with Slauson Rec theatre company co-founded by Shia LaBeouf, Bojangles and Bobby Soto.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
In one sense, we’ve always defined success as being financially stable through creating the art that feels truest to us. However, in a deeper sense – we define success as a commitment to love our collaborators well, be honest in our work, and walk by the spirit of truth.

Contact Info:

  • Email: thejacollective@gmail.com
  • Instagram: JA_Collective

Image Credit:
THE WORK OF JAR, Celine Kiner, Jake Lanza

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