Jay Carlon’s “BAGGAGE”

April 22, 2021

One of Dance Magazine‘s 2020 “25 to Watch,” choreographer Jay Carlon has brought his transporting theatricality to film. In “BAGGAGE,” he shares the story of his parents’ immigration to the U.S. from the Philippines.

The sound design by Alex Wand (who also composed and performs the music) includes interview recordings and voice messages from Carlon’s endearing and lovingly worried mother. It plays over footage of Carlon dancing at the historic ticketing hall in Los Angeles’ Union Station. He lugs and moves around literal baggage, giving the suitcases their own choreography. Finally, as he lets them go, and all but one of the bags are taken away, he launches into a searing full-bodied solo, spotlit by the sunshine streaming through the station’s windows.

The film is presented as part of Moving Through, a monthlong series put on by Metro Art Presents in collaboration with Pieter Performance Space.