2017 Launchpad Artists

Invertigo Dance Theatre

Invertigo Dance Theatre was founded in 2007 by Artistic Director Laura Karlin. Pioneering the dance theatre presence in Los Angeles, Laura harnesses the expressive nature of movement’s ability to tell stories. The company has grown steadily since its founding, as new audiences discover Invertigo’s fresh, vibrant, and sometimes provocative works. This growth was acknowledged when Dance Spirit Magazine named Invertigo one of the “top six trend-setting companies to watch in LA.”

Invertigo has performed original evening-length and shorter works across LA, in venues including the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Ford Amphitheatre, Los Angeles Theatre Center and Grand Park. The company is regularly invited to perform and give master classes at festivals, such as Celebrate Dance, the LA Dance Festival, and the LA Dance Invitational. Invertigo’s new works are frequently commissioned and often include original music that is performed live onstage.

In addition to Invertigo’s performances, the Dancing Through Parkinson’s community program provides donation-based classes to people living with de- generative conditions, and the Invert/ED education program provides a range of dance education and performance opportunities to local schoolchildren. Throughout all company initiatives, Invertigo is committed to paying fair wages to company members and commissioned artists.

Hakim Bellamy

Hakim Bellamy, the inaugural Poet Laureate of Albuquerque, NM (2012-2014), is a national and regional Poetry Slam Champion and recognized author and performer. Bellamy received honorable mention for the University of New Mexico Paul Bartlett Ré Peace Prize, a W. K. Kellogg Foundation Fellowship, the Food Justice Residency at Santa Fe Art Institute, and a Citizen Artist Fellowship from the Kennedy Center for the Arts. His poetry debut from West End Press, Swear, won the Tillie Olsen Award for Creative Writing from the Working Class Studies Association. His poetry has also been featured on AlterNet, Truthout, CounterPunch and the nationally syndicated Tavis Smiley Radio Show. Bellamy is on-air host for the New Mexico PBS show, ¡COLORES!, and does acting and voice over work in addition to his poetry. Bellamy holds an M.A. in Communications from the University of New Mexico and is the founding president of Beyond Poetry LLC.


Seffarine is led by Moroccan singer Lamiae Naki and oud player/flamenco guitarist Nat Hulskamp, with Bobak Salehi (Persian kamancheh/sehtar/violin), Damian Erskine (bass) and Manavihare Fiaindratovo (percussion). Seffarine's recently released CD “De Fez a Jerez” was recorded in Spain in collaboration with several of the leading artists of flamenco music, including Diego del Morao, Tomasa la Macanita and Luís de Perikín. Their diverse backgrounds meld to create what Bass Player Magazine describes as a “gorgeous intersection of Spanish flamenco, Arabic and Andalusian music, Persian classical, and jazz”.