Sara Pizzi and Aika Takeshima are immigrants, activists, LGBTQIA+, choreographers, and dancers creating the premiere dance work, L Train.
How it began
Sara and Aika met in 2019, while attending the dance program at Peridance Center in New York City. Soon, they felt their artistic mission and vision pairing creatively and began to create their own collaborative work in 2020, when in 2021, they decided to define their collaborations under the name sarAika.
sarAika’s Work Presents:
conceptual dance, interactive performances, contemporary dance movies, improvisation-live shows, collaboration with painters, videographers, musicians, visual artist. The success of all of this work allowed them to perform in many areas of New York City (like Dixon Place, Art On Site, GreenSpace) during the slank timing of covid-19 pandemic. Starting from small projects, now Sara and Aika have the huge opportunity to present in one of the most famous Queens theatre, their first contemporary dance production. On January 21st and 22nd, at Green Space.
Sara and Aika are going to premiere their first conceptual-contemporary dance production L train.
We make art about and for humans
Art as a social action
the L Train
L train is one of the subway lines in New York City that connects communities from Eighth Avenue in Chelsea, Manhattan, to Rockaway Parkway Canarsie, Brooklyn. It also briefly enters Queens at Halsey Street, serving the neighborhood of Ridgewood, home to our choreographers.
Every piece we choreograph is based on our immediate and daily emotions that resonate within society.
Fundamentally our work discusses how life is unstable, how everything changes quickly without letting us realize it, how many people left our life, how many people we forget, how unpredictable relationships are, and how easy it is to feel replaceable.
All these questions lead to the conclusion that life seems like the L train line: everyone goes same direction but nobody has the same destination
This sentence resonates in our minds, bringing to the affirmation we both wanted to create a piece about the L train line; so fascinating and so close to be a metaphor of life. Together we mold this concept about life and the MTA NYC Subway, together to compose the structure and narrative that brings the L Train to life.
A few years ago, one day, everyone was going home.
〜Might see you again without knowing it.〜
When I was sitting alone concentrating on something in the L Train, I suddenly noticed that I didn’t feel annoyed by the noise or existence of the brakes, air conditioners, a couple sitting diagonally in front of me, a couple sitting next to me, a few persons who were alone, and a group of friends. Actually I felt a little comfortable spending time, sound, space, smell, and everything together thinking that
“Now everyone is going home together, but each of us is going to have our own life tomorrow. We won’t see each other any more.”
“But maybe one of them is another person’s favorite cafe clerk, and they might spend the same time together again without knowing it.”
Another day.Everyone heads somewhere.
～Thought we would be together～
6 or 7 people got off the L Train at the same station as me. To get to my destination, I went straight from 14th street, where the exit of the station is, to 13, 12, 11, until 8th street. Surprisingly, we all kept same formation. We marched together on the same road at the same speed … Of course we are strangers. “How long will we be together?” At first, I was only curious about the surprises, but gradually “How long can I be together?”
When the first one left us, I noticed that I felt a little sad. But soon another person came from somewhere and entered this formation.
We repeated this until the 8th street where I have to turn left.
It was getting more and more regrettable for me to approach the 8th street. Because I started think that “We are protecting this formation together. We are team.“
At the 8th street. Turn left. I left.
I don’t know what happened to them after I left. But of course, at one point, everyone would have left the group and the formation disappeared…
These two events connected inside me.
We have no control over what happens around us.
Disasters and COVID-19 pandemic are prime examples.
Things we think would last long often don’t last long.
Right now, even at this moment, it doesn’t last forever and it is invaluable.
This is what I want to convey through this work.
Partners, friends, patterns of things, jobs, people around you, personalities, perspectives … everything is subject to change.
Then where is stability? Things change in the last few seconds. Even before I noticed it … It’s just like the L Train. Everyone is heading in the same direction, but no one has the same destination.
We realize what we have when we lose it.
Nothing is forever, nothing lasts, bad and good things too. And this fact can be a relief as a harsh reality. And I always realize too late how special it can be: a hug, an eye crossing with a stranger, a moment of silence in the middle of the noisy crowd.
This is when I realized I wanted to create a dance piece related to the L train. A train that I take everyday to leave and to come back home. My everyday commitment to connect, to disconnect and to reconnect.
This day was a 6pm train: rush hour.
〜How easy we are replaceable.〜
Train Packed. Luckily I sat down, and until I got out of the train nobody moved, beside the sitting spot in front of me. For 20 min I stood in front of a pattern of: 1-2 stops, the person in front of me left, a new person on the train entered to keep that spot, 1-2, the person in front of me left. A simple gesture, meaningless for most of the people around me, but inside myself I felt a deep sad sensation of how easy we are replaceable. At work, in the love life, in life in general: no matter how good you can perform at work, no matter how many “I love you” in a day you can share with your partner, how long you feel your friend and family will never leave you, at the end, someone always leave, suddenly or not. At the end of this thought, I felt like a game piece: one is good, easy to replace.
Everyone is important, but none is essential.
Same train, 7.10am, same train-car.
Another mind blowing episode happened this time in the morning. Same train, 7.10am, same train-car. Everyday I saw the same girl, always standing up, leaving a few stops before me. Every morning, the same eye contact, the same small indiscrete smile. Should I say hi or not? Do we know each other now? And it was unbelievable the sense of emptiness I felt when, from one day, I did not see her anymore. How many questions. Is she ok? Where did she go? What was her name?
“A stranger is my friend, one I don’t know. A distant distant stranger. For him my heart is full of nostalgia. Because he is not with me. Why does he perhaps not exist at all? Who are you who fills my heart with your absence? That you fill the whole earth with your absence? » Par Lagerkvist.
Absurd is how coincidences do not look like so.
Another day, same train.
Union Square, train packed, I rescued a sit. From the opposite entrance, a guy sitting next to me entered. All the travels he has not moved since my stop that he stood up with me. Going to the same exit, walking in the same street, at one point walking on the same stairs: we were neighbors without knowing it. In how many cases out of a thousand could this have happened? On the L train, it happened.
It is fascinating how all the times we enter inside a train car, there is already a prefix situation:
couples, families, singles, people reading, sleeping, listening to music, chatting, dancing, begging for change. Everyone has their own story that exists with and without you. People enter with you, after you, someone stays longer, shorter. Someone is loud, someone invisible. Someone goes out with you: you had a ride with them and you don’t know if you are going to see anyone again, or even if you are going to realize it. And what happened next to those people who were riding with you? Is that couple going to be together tomorrow? Are they going to break up or get married? Is that family going to be happy tomorrow? What about that person who was begging for money? What about that person who was reading a book? And listening to music?
This, for me, has a strong metaphor of life.
We come to live in a prefix situation, people were there before us, we have the choice to make some changes, to make a revolution or to keep the same order. People come and go, for a short ride or a long ride, a ride that is going to change your life, or is going to be the same as always, people that are going to change your life and people who you will forget. How many people entered our lives? How many people did we forget about? How many people changed our lives? How many people stayed in our life?
And this is the L train: We are not in control of events. Even if one moment, right now, is precious, it is not going to last forever. Relationships, patterns, work, view, people, personality, thoughts are subject to change. Where is the stability? Things change even in a few seconds, without acknowledging it. At the end, life seems like the L train line: everyone goes in the same direction, but nobody has the same destination.
6 acts, each of them has a different theme.
As shared before, L Train is rotating around the metaphor of the instability of our life; but, as the subway is not made to carry one person, this life cannot be interpreted by only one point of view. Many people are riding with us, and everyone has their own story, destination, dreams, goals, traumas, believes, thoughts. This is why L Train is divided into 6 acts, each of them has a different theme.
All of these six themes are what we felt when we saw a change in our relationships / relationship with ourselves: how to deal, what triggered it, keywords, lessons learned, or when I saw someone else, what still hurts and how much I could let it go…
L train is not only a dance piece, it is us.
It is our evolution, our thoughts, our expectations, our willings, our wounds, our deals, our imagination, our daily life, our process of connecting, disconnecting and reconnecting with ourselves. Our past, present, future. Our learning process, our mistakes, contain moments of happiness, sadness, anger, uncertainty, and a sense of loss. It is unapologetically us. It is our path, and we want you to ride with us, together, until destination.
This big project needs your support.
Please consider making a donation so that this project can continue to evolve, perform and inspire.
We believe this is crucial for both artists and the art community during a time in which art has been deeply impacted.
Any small or big donation is going to be fundamental for the realization of this project.
Your support will define the realization of our dreams, the empowerment of the dance community and the longevity of dance.
The funds will be used 100% to compensate for the time, dedication and commitment of our dancers and collaborators, to cover the rehearsal space and to pay our effort, giving future to the dance community supporting emergent artists.
If we go over our goal the funds will be used to bring the L Train and our artists to perform in a bigger space on a bigger scale.
The L train is not going to end that night.