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Santa Monica Tongva Park Kicks off After Dark Series this Month
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Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica


By Lookout Staff

April 8, 2016 -- Tongva Park will be converted into an inflatable living room for dancers as Santa Monica kicks off its third season of "Tongva After Dark" events this month, City officials announced Thursday.

"Inflatable Park," a new, site-specific dance work by Los Angeles choreographer Lionel Popkin, will be presented Wednesday, April 20 from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. and is free to he public, officials said.

The City's Cultural Affairs Division commissioned the work especially for Tongva Park, which opened in September 2013.

Nine dancers will "lean into, lie on top of and hang off of each other and bounce off the air-filled living furniture" nestled in the midst of the park, organizers said.

“The dance looks, sometimes askance, at the systems of support that surround us, including people, objects and social structures,” Popkin said about the work.

Popkin, who is chair of the Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance at UCLA, has presented his work nationally and internationally, including in Los Angeles at The Getty Museum, REDCAT, and Highways; in New York City and London, and at the Guongdong Modern Dance Festival in Guongzhou.

A previous work titled "Inflatable Trio" also used an inflatable plastic living room set to explore "the ways we attempt to orient ourselves within ever-changing domestic, social and environmental landscapes," Popkin said.

Popkin has been a member of several dance companies, including that of Trisha Brown, a founding member in 1962 of the avant-garde Judson Dance Theater in New York, which was influenced by composer John Cage's use of chance.

Popkin served as an Assistant Director in Brown's opera production of Salvatore Sciarrino's "Luci Mie Traditrici" that premiered in 2001.

Tongva After Dark is an ongoing series of "intimate and informal events that offers audiences the opportunity to experience Tongva Park from different points of view," organizers said.

Parking for the event is available at the Civic Center Parking Structure, 333 Civic Center Dr. The first 30 minutes are free, and each additional hour is $1, with a $5 maximum per day.

For bus routes to Tongva Park visit Bike parking is located near each park entrance at Ocean Avenue, Main Street and Olympic Boulevard.

For more information visit

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