No)one. Art House: Making Moves in the LA Dance Scene

After the dance company Chris Bordenave was with in Chicago folded, he found himself back in Los Angeles. He had grown so much since his days dancing at LA’s Lula Washington Dance Theatre and Debbie Allen Dance Academy, and was now confident he carried the knowledge and wherewithal to create a company of his own. He called up some of his old childhood dance friends (Nia-Amina Minor, Sabrina Johnson, and Jeffrey Ware) and together the quartet began formulating the idea for No)one. Art House. The name, centered around their slogan: “Not the efforts of one.”

For Chris’s friends, whom had also moved away after high school to pursue their own dance careers and then returned, this was perfect timing. The dance scene in LA had been non-existent for so long, but migration was now in full force with loads of talented artists moving to the city. The friends sought to reimagine how a dance organization could operate. They wanted to bring diversity into the dance world and create quality contemporary works for the community.

“We strived to create new avenues for audiences to be impacted, and also wanted to put an emphasis on educating audiences on what was actually contemporary and advancing the art form,” explains Chris.

In April of 2014 they launched, their inaugural performance featuring visual art, a film, and a dance performance. Soon after, their first summer intensive was held and they haven’t stopped since. They keep a monthly workshop schedule of internationally renowned teachers from esteemed companies like Nederlands Dans Theater, Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company, and Germany’s The Forsythe Company. They’ve presented their work throughout LA at places like REDCAT, Highways Performance Space, and The Underground Museum, and have teamed up with the likes of Anderson Paak, Mayer Hawthorne, and Empress Of, to name a few.

Last year, they were surprised to find Solange Knowles, her son, Jules, and Moses Sumney at one of their performances. Afterwards, Solange expressed how moved she was by the show. A month later, her organization Saint Heron reached out, and in February of 2017, No)one and Saint Heron collaborated on a sold out performance for three consecutive evenings.

These days, No)one uses Chris’s multi-purpose art venue, Parish, located in LA’s historic West Adams district. Before Parish, they utilized Loyola Marymount University, the Windward School, and Diavolo to work out of and use for shows. The use of space is of the utmost importance for their exhibits and performances. They prefer to use unconventional mediums to bring their performances to life and to annihilate the separation of dancer and viewer.

“We want our audiences to feel that they were a part of the experience,” says Chris. “When there is less space to think and conceptualize what you are seeing, you start to feel and just appreciate it more.”

The goal of the company is to make dance less misunderstood and for their audiences to simply cut loose and enjoy.

“We want to show people that there isn’t a deep cerebral explanation for everything you see,” explains Chris. “The audience member’s own interpretation of what they are seeing is valid. There are no wrong interpretations with art for us.”

No)one pushes boundaries, but also remains accessible. Their audience is intended to leave changed, energized, and for their paradigm to have shifted just a bit.

Chris and his friends are proud of what they have created.

“Over the last three years we have built a community from scratch, and have been humbled to find how appreciative and thankful people are for the work we are doing,” says Chris.

That work being a community effort; the effort of friends… not ever the efforts of one. No)one. Art House is here to collaborate — and to welcome and inspire your new love affair with dance.

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