Founded in 1985 by Artistic/Executive Director and choreographer Heidi Duckler, Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre has created memorable dance experiences in extraordinary locations for over two decades.
Originally named Collage Dance Theatre, we began our site-specific work with Laundromatinee, a piece staged in a local laundromat. As dancers performed alongside whirring washers and dryers, Laundromatinee captured our collage ethos, mixing art, movement, pop culture, and interactivity in found spaces.
Drawing from the success of Laundromatinee, we continued to create small and witty site-specific works. Experimenting with the outdoor environment as a theatre, Duckler animated locations ranging from a baseball diamond (Stealing Home, 1993) to an empty swimming pool (Life in the Lap Lane, 1994) and the concreted Los Angeles River (Mother Ditch, 1995). Duckler also began creating immersive experiences that included viewers as adventurous, mobile participants.
Works created in the Subway Terminal Building (Subversions, 2000), Herald Examiner Building (Cover Story, 2002), and the former Ambassador Hotel (Sleeping with the Ambassador, 2003) reimagined legendary locations with fresh, relevant art that responded to each site’s colorful history.
In 2010, we launched the Expulsion series, a collaborative performance in which we partnered with local companies and community groups to tell stories of home, origins, and immigration, using vacant lots across LA as our stages.
Our recent performances at the Kunstakademie Dusseldorf and the Brisbane Festival in Austrialia (both in 2014) serve as testaments to Duckler’s constant new experimentation in site. As we look forward to animating new locations within the vast landscape, one thing is certain—expect us in unexpected places.