In the News: A new L.A. residency for AAPI dancers aims to dismantle what ‘choreography looks like’

July 14, 2023

Ramita Ravi, left, Tokie Wang, Jainil Mehta and Barkha Patel are choreographers with Playdate, a new residency with Blue13 dance company that showcases AAPI dancers and choreographers | Photo by Jason Armond for the Los Angeles Times

USC Kaufman faculty and alums are always moving the field forward.

The Los Angeles Times recently wrote about Playdate, a new artistic residency from Blue13 Dance Company founder and USC Kaufman Assistant Professor Achinta McDaniel. The residency welcomed several dancers across disciplines, including USC Kaufman alum Jainil Mehta (BFA ’21), to the studios of Stomping Ground L.A. this summer for a series of “speed dating-like chats.”

The purpose, as writer Steven Vargas noted in the Times, was to give Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander dance artists an opportunity to share their stories and ideas without limits or reservations.

“When I was in a space with this cohort, we were nodding, we were accepting,” McDaniel told the Times. “We understood each other. There was a vocabulary. There was a movement dialect in common. There’s a verbal dialect in common that we don’t have to explain, and it’s just so comforting.”

Read on here.