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Meet Dorothy Dubrule and Jmy James Kidd of Pieter Performance Space in Lincoln Heights

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dorothy Dubrule and Jmy James Kidd.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Dorothy and Jmy James. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Jmy James Kidd: I moved to Los Angeles from New York in fall of 2009 in search my own studio to dance in. I was burned out from life as a professional dancer in New York and need a place to connect my emotional landscape to my practice. I found the space that Pieter still occupies on Craigslist a week after arriving here and I had no idea what I was doing when I signed the lease. I only knew about 5 people in LA. I didn’t have a plan to pay the rent.

Being able to have my own studio, build a nurturing and experimental dance community and a business here in Los Angeles has kept me so fully activated these last 8 years have flown by. Being back on the west coast (I am from San Francisco) has also allowed me to slow down again, try out new practices, and work on my own nature-inspired dances.

Dorothy Dubrule: I moved to Los Angeles from Philadelphia in fall of 2013 to get my MFA at UCLA in Choreography and Performance. Throughout my time in grad school, Pieter was a refuge for me and a place to engage with a dance community that was radical and non-hierarchical, supporting and generating exciting performance work. When I graduated in 2016 I reached out to Jmy to let her know that I had moved to the neighborhood and that I love Pieter and if there is anything she needed, work-wise, I am available. She got back to me right away because it turned out she was going to be out of town and needed someone to take over some administrative duties and then that temporary position turned into a permanent one. I became the director of the space just over a year later in September of 2017.

Has it been a smooth road?
JJK: It has sometimes been a smooth road. I’ve learned a lot about boundaries and good communications the last 8 years. I would say that’s what the last 8 years have been about.

DD: I think the largest challenge in taking up this role at Pieter has been standardizing all the many systems that Jmy had set up over the years in a sort of ad hoc way, because she was just one person taking care of an enormous community with a lot of needs. And neither one of us had career plans to run a non-profit. We are artists and our primary goal is to make and support our work. Pieter is a part of that system, for Jmy and I as well as all of the performance artists that use this space and participate in our programming. So sometimes the learning curve for how to be the CEO of a non-profit has been acquiring skills that feel completely applicable for the art career, and sometimes the work is really bureaucratic and mind-numbing, and that is a little harder to take up with enthusiasm.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Pieter Performance Space – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Pieter is a non-profit organization that provides a space for dancers to create a nurturing society. Based on holistic support for all bodies, an open exchange of ideas and a reciprocity of generosity, Pieter is a place to be comfortable in the body-mind-spirit. Through workshops, classes, public performances and residencies, dancers work and play together in a non-hierarchical environment. Ideas are embodied, exchanged and transformed rather than owned. There is a belief in abundance and goodness. There is a belief that everyone has something to give. At Pieter, brave dancing bodies are at home.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
JJK: What do I really like about being here? The medicinal sunshine.

DD: I like the chooseyourownadventure-ness of the city. You could have truly any kind of experience — a metropolitan one, a beach day, a really suburban feeling strip mall day, a hike in the woods, a trip to the desert. It feels so adaptable. With the one obstacle (and my least favorite thing) that is it can be incredibly hard to navigate, or to commit to more than one thing in a day. I’ve learned to become incredibly strategic in how I plan my time, and also to plan less. Assume you’ll be in traffic for at least 3 hours per day if you are leaving your immediate vicinity. That is a real bummer.

JJK: My least favorite thing is the ineffective, slow public transportation.

Pricing:

  • To rent our studio is $15/hr for dance rehearsals, $20/hr for all other rehearsals or classes/workshops, and $35/hr for events or photo/video shoots
  • Most of our classes are between $10-30 depending upon their duration. Check out our website for individual pricing!

Contact Info:

  • Address: 420 W Ave 33
    Unit 10
    Los Angeles, CA
    90031
  • Website: www.pieterpasd.com
  • Email: pieterpasd@gmail.com


Image Credit:
Amanda Bjorn
Joanne Kim
Lisa Wahlander

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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