After It Happened

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Invertigo Dance Theatre, After It Happened, Los Angeles contemporary dance company, natural disaster dance, rebuilding
Choreographed by: 
Laura Karlin, in collaboration with the performers
Danced by: 
Jonathan Bryant, Hyosun Choi, Louie Cornejo, Jessica Dunn, Sofia Klass, Irene Kleinbauer, Jodie Mashburn, Chris Smith, Sadie Yarrington
Music by: 
Toby Karlin, Diana Lynn and Hyosun Choi

After It Happened is set in the aftermath of a natural disaster. It is a story of human resilience, as a community rebuilds itself and searches for hope among the refuse.  This piece blends dance, theatre and live music to tell a story of desperation and regrowth.



Features 9 dancers, 2 musicians, comedy, tragedy, transformation and an haute couture dress made from blue trashbags and packing tape.

Praised for the dancers' "engaging" performance by the LA Times and called “a compelling story with interesting, athletic movement, original music and a bit of comic relief” by Dance Help.

The reviews are in!

  • Bachtrack: "With wild abandon, slick partnering, and sensitive storytelling . . . After It Happened strategically melds dynamic physicality, voice and music to reveal the human condition in a post-calamity community."
  • BitterLemons/Theatre Ghost: "After It Happened is probably the most important dance work you will see this year. It is also surely one of the most adventurous, surprising and moving. Do not miss it."
  • BitterLemons/Colin Mitchell: "The story telling was tight and clear, without being obtrusive, it challenged the imaginations and stirred the emotions. . . with some kick ass movement thrown in."
  • LA Weekly: PICK OF THE WEEK: "Invertigo Dance Theatre has a knack for taking an off-kilter viewpoint, creating insightful, contemporary dance theater tinged with wry humor."
  • ArtsBeatLA: "After it Happened . . . creates a post-disaster world that manages to be disturbing, beautiful, and very, very funny, all at once."
  • ExploreDance: "After It Happened sweeps the audience up into the life of the story with its fierce energy and stunning choreography."
  • LA Dance Review: "Tickets are selling out rapidly and I recommend you get yours today so you do not miss this wonderful evening of storytelling through words, song and movement."
  • SpotLA: "So many creative ideas and an artistically strong dance theatre company."
  • An interview with Laura Karlin on ExploreDance: "I think the biggest thing you can do is create the kind of environment and create the kind of company culture that's based on trust and respect and love of storytelling and a commitment to the craft of what we do. And that's what will translate to an experience on stage. Telling a story that's worth telling and telling it in a way that's worthy of the story."

Appropriate for proscenium stages and some black box theatres
Run Time: 80 minutes, plus intermission
Cast: 9 dancers, 2 musicians

After It Happened premiered in 2014 to 3 sold-out weeks at the Odyssey Theatre, and returned in 2016 as part of the Ford Amphitheatre's grand re-opening season.  The show also toured to Santa Barbara in 2016.

After It Happened has a wide variety of Community Engagement/Audience Development options:

  • Community Set Design workshop
  • Puppet-Making workshop using recycled/repurposed materials
  • Storytelling Through Movement workshops with refugee community
  • Storytelling Through Movement workshops with all ages
  • Storytelling Through Movement workshops with museum exhibits

Choreographer's Notes:

This group may have experienced loss and pain, but there is still room for dignity and for joy.  The desperation to rebuild, to reclaim what was lost is infused with hope.

I’m not looking to deny or skim over the turmoil, the violence, the complexities of these situations, but I do believe that we can transcend them, even if just for a moment at a time. This piece is in part a testament to our capacity to generate light and song and hope in any circumstance.

The costumes are by our resident designer, Kate Bishop.  The dress at the end is constructed entirely out of trash bags and packing tape.  I wanted to celebrate womens’ ability to create glamour and resilience out of whatever is available.  There’s a photo of a woman in Haiti after the earthquake and she’d made this dress out of the blue trash bags and there’s an intense, unintentional allure and nostalgia to her presence.  That image inspired this particular section in “After It Happened”.


To learn more about Invertigo Dance Theatre and our community programs, view our 2018 EPK.