Influences: Choreographer Meg Wolfe


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Meg Wolfe is a Los Angeles-based choreographer who is not afraid of machines and technology. She’s not so sure about gravity, though, and “trembler.SHIFTER,” which she brings to REDCAT June 2-5, will break all kinds of rules as it makes its world premiere.

The piece is a collaboration between Wolfe and composer Aaron Drake — whom Wolfe credits with a sensitivity to “the physical experience of sound.”


“I have definitely been influenced by the recent proliferations of natural and man-made disasters,” Wolfe says, explaining that the piece “pairs full-out dancing with a destabilizing sonic environment, to investigate thinking on our feet, searching for grounding in a dramatically shifting landscape, and finding moments of clarity in seeming chaos.”

Beginning in the early ‘90s, Wolfe was part of New York City’s downtown dance subculture. She moved to Los Angeles in 2004 and currently serves as director for Show Box LA and founder-curator of performance series Anatomy Riot.

Wolfe and Drake share what she calls “a love of extremes.” That means “the intimate and epic, deep quiet as well as the grand gesture … a sort of contemporary romantic, slightly jaded, sad-yet-hopeful ache for the world.”

Her influences:

Patti Smith: Ever inspiring ... the quiet poet who explodes and transforms into a raging feral prophetess when she takes the stage. I admire her artistic longevity, her political outspokenness.

Kate Valk of the Wooster Group: I first saw her in a piece called “House/Lights” and was captivated by her magnetic stage presence and masterful ability to play multiple roles while negotiating meticulously organized chaos and mobile stage sets (and Gertrude Stein’s text).

“Necessary Weather”: A collaborative work between Dana Reitz, a solo dance artist, and lighting designer Jennifer Tipton. I saw it in 1994 and it’s stuck with me all these years ... detailed, delicate, and mysterious.

BP Deepwater Horizon explosion and the ongoing environmental devastation: Massive and profoundly disturbing realities that are at the heart of my current work. With “trembler.SHIFTER” I ask myself: What ground do we stand on and how will we navigate the dramatic shifts that we are facing?


Influences: Renee Fleming

Influences: Unorthodox organist Cameron Carpenter

Meg Wolfe: trembler/SHIFTER, REDCAT, 631 W. 2nd St., Los Angeles, (213) 237-2800. June 2-5. More at

—Scott Timberg

Above: Meg Wolfe. Credit: Mathu Andersen