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Ebb & Flow @ TheCreek

September 23, 2023 @ 9:30 am - 12:00 pm

Two dancers on rocks in a creek. Text reads "Heidi Duckler Dance presents: Ebb & Flow @ the Creek. Saturday, September 23, 2023."

Our free, environmentally focused festival returns for its sixth year with a twist! 

This year, we are partnering with Ballona Creek Renaissance to present Ebb & Flow during Heal the Bay’s Coastal Clean Up Day. Multidisciplinary artists will showcase a variety of immersive performances for volunteers to enjoy during the clean up.

Register today to help clean up the creek while experiencing an incredible series of performances! If you are under 18, you must bring this waiver signed by a parent or guardian.

An hour-long series of Ebb & Flow performances will begin at 10AM and again at 11AM. We recommend arriving 30 minutes prior to either performance start time to experience the full interwoven story.

Heidi Duckler, Founder/Artistic Director

Heidi Duckler is the founder and artistic director of Heidi Duckler Dance in Los Angeles, California and Heidi Duckler Dance/Northwest in Portland, Oregon. Titled the “reigning queen of site-specific performance” by the LA Times, Duckler is a pioneer of place-based contemporary practice. Her methodology emphasizes how dance, born from individual experience, can be a tool for awareness. 

Duckler’s 2019 short film “Where We’re Going” was recently selected for the 2023 Aphelion Film Festival, and her 2022 film “The Tender Bondy Sings” was selected for the 2023 IndieFEST Film Awards Festival. In September, Duckler will speak at the Creatives in Conversation Conference held by the American Institute of Architects, Los Angeles chapter. Currently, Duckler is on faculty at the University of California, Santa Barbara in the Film and Media Studies Department.

Duckler earned a BS in dance from the University of Oregon and an MA in choreography from UCLA. She also served as a board member of the University of Oregon’s School of Music and Dance Advancement Council. Her awards include the Distinguished Dance Alumna award from the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance; the Dance/USA and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s Engaging Dance Audiences Award; and the National Endowment of the Arts American Masterpiece award.

Raymond Ejiofor portrait

Raymond Ejiofor, Associate Artistic Director

Raymond Ejiofor began his dance training under Judith Rhodes Calgaro in Arlington, VA and the Dance Theater of Harlem. He has since danced for artists such as Katy Perry, Sia, Pharrell Williams, Dua Lipa, and Daft Punk. 

Under the direction of Greer Reed, Ejiofor was a founding member of August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble. Ejiofor also collaborates with various companies in Los Angeles. In 2023, he was named the associate artistic director of Heidi Duckler Dance after finishing his time as artist in residence with the company.

As a teaching artist, Ejiofor has been a faculty member/master class instructor at a number of studios and universities in Los Angeles and the Greater Pittsburgh region, including AMDA Los Angeles, the University of Southern California, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Pittsburgh. A dynamic supporter of the arts, Ejiofor served on the Board of Directors for HDAT in Pittsburgh, PA.

Ejiofor holds a masters of public health policy from the University of Southern California and is a recipient of the Gates Millennium Fellowship. He graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a BS in Decision Science and double minor in engineering studies and technology and policy.

Shoji Yamasaki

Shoji Yamasaki, Event Creative Director

Shoji Yamasaki is a multidisciplinary choreographer, performer, director and filmmaker. He was born and raised on the unceded ancestral land of the Gabrielino-Tongva people, recently known as Los Angeles. 

Yamasaki received his BA in world arts and cultures (dance concentration) with a minor in Spanish from UCLA in 2011. In 2023, he received his MFA in choreography from California Institute of the Arts. 

In June 2023, Yamasaki performed in Chanel’s Métier d’art Replica Show at Tokyo Big Sight, directed and choreographed by Dimitri Chamblas. Yamasaki’s works have been presented in Conservatorio de Danza México in Mexico, Meatball and Meshed Potatoes in Korea and across the U.S., including at the Jerry Moss Plaza, the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT), Electric Lodge, Pieter Performance Space and Gibney Dance.

Yamasaki’s current interests are in site-specific and immersive experiences that allow the audience to suspend their disbelief.  Through this work, he encourages viewers to become storytellers themselves by integrating their own personal experiences.

Braden Pontoli

Braden Pontoli, Artist

Braden Pontoli is a Los Angeles-based musician, composer, sound artist, producer, conductor and educator. His music and immersive experiences are meditative, invigorating and energizing to audiences. 

Pontoli’s recent projects include collaborations with producer Peter Rafelson (Madonna, Stevie Wonder, Elton John) and scoring and editing the podcast “The Last Saturday Night” (Ed Asner, Sherilyn Fenn, Eric Roberts). His music can be heard on many independent film scores and modern dance company performances. In April, he released his first sound and movement sculpture with MorrisonDance for their 25th anniversary show. 

Pontoli holds an MFA in music performance and composition from California Institute of the Arts and a BM in music education from Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music.

Gunita Collective dancers

Gunita Collective, Artist

Gunita Collective is a multidisciplinary Pilipinx artist collective exploring the intersection of contemporary indigenous narrative and performance. At its core, Gunita stands for communal and collective memory. 

Founded by Noelle Marie Falcis-Math, Gunita uses movement artistry, visual expression and narrative storytelling. Through its work, the collective aims to foster conversations about re-memory and intergenerational language. Not wholly movement-oriented nor fully theory-oriented, Gunita merges the academic and the creative, attempting to find the middle ground between different languages. Gunita challenges its artists and audience to connect cultural values and historical presence with contemporary environments.

Zhihan Yang

Zhihan Yang, Artist

Los Angeles-based choreographer, dancer and educator Zhihan Yang received her MFA from California Institute of the Arts and BFA from Beijing Dance Academy.  She is dedicated to researching the relationship between movement, installation and multimedia. Yang also explores the different forms of the body on camera and the reflection of identity between communities in different contexts. 

Yang has been active in theater, media, film and education in recent years, working with companies such as the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Museum of Art, the Yaya Dance Academy and the San Musae Cultural Center. Her recent works include the orchestral trio choreography “THEA MUSGRAVE: Pierrot” (2023), the dance theater “Am I Susan” (2022), the physical theater “XXX” (2022), the quintet “Gladiola” (2021), and the dance films “Question” (2022), “Rush” (2021) , “Refresh” (2021) and “Retrospect” (2021).

Andrea Soto & Jules Mara, Artists

Andrea Soto (she/her) is a first-generation Mexican American movement-based artist whose multidimensional practice lives in performance, technology, collaboration, and data-gathering as shared collective research. Her work centers around the earthly body as a sacred vessel of pleasure, truth and translation. She holds space to move from the physical environment to the viscera of the body, turning inwards and surrendering into a space that welcomes the sacred. Andrea builds poetic ecosystems that exist as a collection of connectivity, and that are deeply rooted in the mystical dismantling of hierarchical-systems and in a utopian world of boundless interconnectedness. Her creations, which have been exhibited at Human Resources LA and Sharon Disney Lund Dance Theater, serve as a celebration and exploration of ancestral heritage; with a deep reverence for her roots, she holds spaces within her processes for the power of the collective as it embraces vulnerability, inclusivity and community.

As a freelance dancer, she has worked closely with renowned choreographers such as Yusha-Marie Sorzano, Dimitri Chamblas, Rosie Herrera, Julie Tolentino, Sam Wentz, JOJO ABOT, Alexsa Durrans, and Annalee Traylor; and has been part of works at Culture Hub’s Re-Fest, MOCA, REDCAT, L.A. Dance Project, and Centre National de la Danse in Paris.

Jules Mara is a Non-Binary multidisciplinary artist from Round Rock, Texas, known for pushing boundaries and challenging societal norms through captivating dance performances. With a diverse background in various dance forms and training at the prestigious California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), Jules seamlessly blends technical precision with raw emotion, inviting audiences to delve into the complexities of their own lives. They do this through their skills of choreography and fashion design.

As a collaborator and choreographer, Jules crafts thought-provoking works that explore darker themes with a fresh perspective. Drawing inspiration from horror and southern traditions, they shed new light on these topics, sparking conversations and evoking powerful emotions. Their performances, which have been displayed at RedCat, LA Dance project, Sharon Disney Lund, The Ebell of Los Angeles, and Stomping Ground LA, weave together vulnerability, strength, and an intensity that leave a lasting impact on audiences through movement and world building.


September 23, 2023
9:30 am - 12:00 pm


Heidi Duckler Dance
View Organizer Website


Overland Ave on the Creek (at the base of the Julian Dixon Library)
4975 Overland Ave
Culver City, CA 90230 United States
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