Jennifer the Leopard
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Jennifer the Leopard

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Program Two of the New Original Works Festival at REDCAT will open tonight featuring a performance by Jennifer the Leopard. Jennifer the Leopard—a.k.a J-Lep—is not a band, though they are not not a band either. J-Lep is a collective composed of Lauren Fisher, Stephanie Hutin, Lana Kim and Marissa Mayer—four women who combine sound-making with visual practice and performance with participation. J-Lep performs a band in order to create what they’ve always wanted to see: a process that involves as many props as instruments and as many hours of girl talk as rehearsal. This weekend, Jennifer the Leopard will realize a concept they crafted specifically for NOW Fest, supported by the funding and assistance provided by REDCAT as well as the dedication of collaborators who’ll be tapping and screaming and dancing and maybe even storming out. This interview by Drew Denny.

When did y’all form a band? Or do you not call yourselves a band?

Lauren (drums): We’re still working on our answer to that question. We don’t have a problem with people calling us a band because we’re not not a band, and we’re not more than a band. We’re a collective, and we’re all visual artists—
Stephanie (vocals): We perform a band.

Like you’re a pie chart, and band is one piece of the pie?

Lana (guitar): Or like a little circle and another circle—
Stephanie: It’s like a big circle inside of a circle that’s a little bit bigger. The first circle is the band. Outside that is girl talk and eating and t-shirts.
Lauren: Every practice, we sit here and talk shit and eat. Then we play like for an hour—we play our set one time through—then we’re like, ‘Woo, I’m tired!’ Because we all work—
Stephanie: Then we congratulate ourselves for being so great.

That’s healthy.

Lauren: We used to clap for ourselves. The first time we played at our first practice—the very first note we played became a song that we made up on the spot. We recorded it and put it up on Myspace immediately. We didn’t now how to play our songs for a while!
Lana: That’s how we still operate.
Lauren: But we learned how to play our songs when we started getting shows-

Were you musicians before J-Lep?

Stephanie: Lauren was, Lana has played, Marissa has played, too… I haven’t. I’ve been doing performance art for 15 years—wait, I’m not that old—12 years! I went on tour with a circus. Lauren and I met at grad school. We were doing research about the performative aspects of animation because we were both doing experimental animation at CalArts. I knew that Lauren and I were on the same wavelength—we knew what we wanted to see. That’s the genesis. We’re making what we want to see. I know we’re not the first to say that, but if what we wanna see is only good for us then that’s great. The more we’re happy with what we do, the better it is for us. Now we’re totally stoked that people care but at first we just wanted to have fun and see what we could do.
Lauren: Going beyond that, it wasn’t that we didn’t care about people. We wanted people to see—but we weren’t worried about what people thought. We felt like it’s so honest. We weren’t like ‘We can’t play shows until we’re all perfect musicians’… Our first shows we would always screw up—like we always do. Then I think about how I’m so nervous about the REDCAT show because it’s absolutely the most people I’ve played in front of ever since I was 15. But this is the best band to do that with…If we fuck up, we all look at each other and start laughing. Its not like everything comes to a halt, and someone’s gonna be like ‘What the fuck are you doing!?’
Lana: Did that happen with your other band?
Stephanie: Raw?
Lana: Rand?
Marissa (bass): Rune?
Stephanie: Rorschach Test!?
Lauren: I was 15 years old, and we were called ‘Head.’
Stephanie: Like H-E-D?
Lauren: ‘Head’ like BJ. We had a big tryout for the Sycamore High School battle of the bands. We got up—it was the senior council that was judging—and we started playing our Bush cover—seriously we did “Machine Head”—and my stick flew out of my hand, and the whole song just went like bflghhfffgggg… Most drummers keep sticks nearby, but I didn’t know that… I know that if that happened to us, Stephanie would say something funny and it would become part of the show. Not gonna happen though! For a long time after that I taped my sticks…

To your hands?

Lauren: No—like grip tape, but maybe I should! It might make me much better—I could tape 5 sticks and we’d be like ‘dddrrrrdudud!’
Stephanie: Marissa and I have known each other since we were 15—she used to slap the bass! My only experience was being in choir.

Where was that?

Stephanie: Miami.

Where are the rest of y’all from?

Lana: Vegas.
Lauren: Cincinnati, Ohio.
Jillian: I’m not in the band, but I’m from Miami—I’m Marissa’s sister.
Lauren: Jillian will be doing something very special—

Is it a secret?

Stephanie: She’s a dancer.
Marissa: She’s our fly girl.
Lauren: We have 25 people on stage with us—we call them our sub-audience. We’ve had two rehearsals with them, and they’re gonna do interactive things with each song.

Is it all choreographed?

Lauren: It is but loosely. It’s more about giving them props and letting them do things than like ‘OK on the fifth measure, everyone will do the wave’. We want to keep it very loose—

But will there be the wave?

Stephanie: Maybe if we get another grant—
Marissa: We could get like 10,000 people!
Lauren: We love our collaborators—if it was just us playing at NOW Fest it would be totally weird and not as cool.
Marissa: We’d like to thank the people!
Stephanie: They have to dedicate more time than I probably would—I’m sure they are all busy because they’re awesome. It’s very flattering… Maybe they just wanna be on stage at REDCAT too, but it’s really cool that people want to be a part of this—and they’re really cute because some of them have come up with their own ideas. At the beginning, we told them that we were accompanying them and we wanted their input about how we could make our idea better. Some of them came up with some really nifty surprises. There’s gonna be some tap dancing.
Lauren: Someone’s gonna scream.
Marissa: Someone’s gonna leave.
Lauren: We have a living room full of props—

You have a megaphone!

Lauren: That’s what happens when you have a budget—you can buy totally weird shit.
Stephanie: We have whistles!
Marissa: We’re actually gonna involve the entire audience so by the end of the show its gonna be one huge performance. That’s the big secret, so I don’t know if you should—

Do you have plants in the audience?

Stephanie: No, we talked about that… but there are actions and people can choose to participate.

So you’re depending upon spontaneity?

Lana: Yeah.
Stephanie: And something else we wanted to say—where we wanna perform is L.A. That’s why we wanna be in L.A. RECORD. We are L.A. This is our community. We don’t think this could happen anywhere else. Slam!
Lana: None of us are from here, but this is our home.

How was the grant writing and proposal process?

Stephanie: A friend of mine who’s a performer—and a fan—she was like ‘Is J-Lep gonna apply for NOW Fest?’ I had not thought of it but I did say, ‘Yes, we are!’
Marissa: You had to look it up—
Stephanie: No, I had been before! I don’t think we had established that that was the direction we were going in… I think we gave ourselves a month before the deadline. We all were into it, and we came up with an idea for a project that we just couldn’t do elsewhere. We worked together—we created letterhead!
Lauren: We sat around and really synthesized it, and came up with the sub-audience idea. We thought if we actually had resources—if we had it our way—how would we present this band? When we had our first rehearsal with the sub-audience members, I remember seeing them do what we had been talking about—
Lana: My heart leapt out of my chest!
Marissa: To see them do what we had been talking about for so long…
Stephanie: And the fact that they are all incredibly good-looking!

Did they audition for you?

Stephanie: No, we only hang out with good-looking people.
Lauren: It’s all colleagues and friends. Three of my colleagues from my day job are in our sub-audience—

What do you do?

Lauren: I do motion graphics, animation, design.

So you probably have cool colleagues?

Stephanie: That is a cool part of us. Because we’re not 25—we have established day jobs that we are invested in. We have that mutual respect of each other and our professional lives but we also create together. All of us bring a different point of view—

What are your day jobs?

Stephanie: I work at the Claremont Colleges—I’m the Director of the Media Studies Production Center, and I teach there.
Marissa: I work in commercials—I’m a production supervisor. I work freelance, and it’s very time consuming—I’m lucky to work a lot!
Stephanie: Marissa’s also a screenwriter! She makes lots of interesting videos!
Lana: I’m an executive producer of music videos at the Director’s Bureau.
Lauren: Lana has a cool job.
Florencio (manager/Stephanie’s fiance): You guys should bring resumes to shows and pass them out!
Lauren: I think it’s amazing that we’ve stayed together for 2 years—since July 2007. I’ve been in bands before, and it’s so amazing to be with people where its not like, ‘Come on, we have to do this…’ We just really wanna be doing this! Sometimes we come to practice on a weeknight, and we’re so tired we just spend the whole night talking—we don’t really end up rehearsing but it’s so good. I’m really amazed by us like, ‘We’re great! We’re having a band!’

How has your experience been at REDCAT—are they nice to you?

Stephanie: They’re wonderful!
Lauren: A couple of the guys we’re working with are our former classmates. Chris—the lighting director—came to our rehearsal, and he’s been talking to us about what we want. We don’t have the language to talk about lighting. I’m like, ‘Maybe pink?’
Marissa: ‘We want it to be dark!’
Stephanie: ‘Then we want it brighter!’
Lana: ‘Like a lamp that you turn on in your room?’
Lauren: They’ve been really cool, and they’re excited.
Lana: And supportive.
Marissa: Like they actually want us. It’s not as if they made room for us. They want us to perform there!
Lana: Did you guys see George [George Lugg, Associate Director, REDCAT] talking on Raw news? He was talking about the shows and what a wide, um, array?
Stephanie: Arrangement?
Lauren: Assortment?
Lana: Assortment of shows there are in NOW Fest and how cool they are, and he was like ‘One artist is gonna have their moms…’ He was super psyched—he was giggling!
Lauren: I think it makes them laugh—the shit we’re coming up with! Unfortunately all our moms can’t be there every night, but we’re having our moms sit on stage with us. They’re gonna have mics and in between songs they’re gonna be like ‘That was really great, honey!’
Lana: Or like, ‘I didn’t know that you knew how to do that!’ I don’t think my mom has ever seen me play music. In high school I never let anyone watch me play guitar—like in my room with my headphones on, playing guitar along to Nirvana! Recently I’ve started bringing home my ukulele—my little niece really likes it. But my mom sings and growing up everyone assumed I would have a good voice—which I don’t. They’d look at me when I was little, grab my cheeks and be like, ‘You probably have the most beautiful voice from your mom!’Aand she’d be shaking her head whispering, ‘No—no, she doesn’t.’ I mean not really, but sort of… On top of that I’m shy. I mean—not anymore!
Lauren: You’re adorable on stage! Every time my friends come to see, they’re like ‘The guitar girl is so adorable, and she has an ear-to-ear smile every time!’
Lana: Because it’s funny! Because I laugh every time I mess up—which is all the time!
Lauren: Which is awesome!
Stephanie: Because the song goes like ‘ding ding-ding-ding ding ding-ding’ and if it just goes ‘ding ding-ding diiiiing ding-ding’, I mean, it’s OK—
Lana: It’s true I only play three notes—
Lauren: I feel like the bitch of the band cause when there’s a wrong note I shoot the side eye—
Lana: I look at you when I mess up. I look at you a lot.

After this performance—after the grant and all the assistance and support—will it be hard to go back to bars and galleries?

Stephanie: Well, certainly it will not be the same but it’s always fun to perform! We’ll probably need a little break to regroup, but we have a few things in the works that are new. We’re gonna try to keep the ball rolling… Right now—the past two or three months—we’ve only been doing this. We’re ready to look at the documentation and see where we can go from here.
Lauren: If we’re gonna set a bar—I’m just really excited to have a PA.We’ve only played with a PA one time—at the Smell—and it was amaaaazing. We were like, ‘We sound so good!’
Marissa: We’re the best band ever!
Lauren: So minimum requirement is a PA.
Marissa: We’ll save our t-shirt money…
Lauren: You know about our Drew Barrymore story?

Oh, the other Drew.

Lauren: We made these really awesome t-shirts, and she was photographed by the paparazzi wearing our t-shirt—Marissa sent me a link, and there was Drew Barrymore wearing a shirt that Stephanie and Lana and Marissa screen-printed themselves—
Marissa: Think she’ll come to the show?
Stephanie: If she wants to come to the show, she can!
Marissa: She can be VIP!
Stephanie: She’s totally awesome.
Lauren: She embodies our spirit. We wrote a song about celebrity sightings, so it was that much more amazing.
Stephanie: We’re really excited about that kind of stuff cause we’re not from here. I mean, we know the deal.

You don’t scream at them.

Lana: You pretend like you don’t see them.
Lauren: Then you write a weird hip-hop song about them.
Lana: You whisper to your friend and giggle and look at them sideways—I didn’t realize I was doing this, but this guy in art department on one of the first films I worked on told me Tobey Maguire was bowling next to us, and I totally didn’t care but I guess I kept looking over cause the art department guy came over to me and was like, ‘Lana, honey, this is L.A. and we don’t do that!’ - L.A. Record


By Randall Roberts

Until a few days ago, Jennifer the Leopard was an unknown animal to West Coast Sound, and, in fact, existed way beyond our imagination, as if you'd told us that a bear-squid had been found in a lake near Tahoe. But we got word that the band had snagged two nights at Redcat on July 30 and 31, which prompted an Internets look-see, which resulted in discovering "Move Your Legs," their so-called dance number, which brought a little joy and more than one LOL. (Go to their myspace page and listen to the song while reading this NOW).

It was with the first command: "Move your legs," that snagged us. When the line came, "move your hair," we were sold, followed by, in no particular order, "move your dick," "move your car," "remove that grimace from your face," "move your cankles." Clever, yes, catchy, yes. Primitive, too. We sure do hope that the smart and opportunistic remixers get a hold of that song. Samples galore. "Celebrity Sightings" is less successful, though not without its charms.

"Celebrity Sightings" name checks Doughboy's and a Don Johnson sighting M Cafe on Melrose.

The band's stated goal is "to fuse feminism and cock-rock into a new genre of post-punk under the guise of an "all-girl band," and we wish them all the luck in the world. They will aim to do just that at the New Original Works Festival 2009 at Redcat. It's part of a bill that also includes video artist Carole Kim collaborating with dancer/choreographer Oguri and musicians Alex Cline and Dan Clucas. A mix of live-feed video and layered projections, says the lit on the fest, "form an immersive installation that refracts the live performances ... The inventive media artist and her collaborators use time and technology to twist the myth of Narcissus, with a visual vocabulary that evokes a dreamlike state in which past and future mysteriously entwine."

This could be great. Consider this an early warning. Snag tickets here. - L.A. Weekly


Women artists are center stage at the sixth annual New Original Works Festival, which opens Thursday at REDCAT, CalArts’ downtown theater. Women created or perform in seven of the event’s eight pieces, exploring topics such as sexual politics, self-identity and the vagaries of life and love.

The strong female presence is a result of natural selection, says Mark Murphy, REDCAT’s executive director. These days, experimental material is often dance-based, he explains, “and a lot of the most interesting choreographers in L.A. happen to be women.” He adds that women also are producing “some of the really interesting interdisciplinary proposals.”

The festival begins with the exception to the trend, “Abacus” by Lars Jan’s art lab, Early Morning Opera. The elaborate multimedia work riffs on PowerPoint presentations, R. Buckminster Fuller, televangelism and what Jan describes as “people making arguments to other people by visualizing information and putting a spin on it.”

Also appearing in Program 1, which runs Thursday through Saturday, are “Bahu-Beti-Biwi” (“Daughter-in-Law, Daughter, Wife”) — in which Sheetal Gandhi blends traditional North Indian music into a contemporary vocal-movement piece about women’s evolving familial roles — and Ayana Hampton’s sexy, subversive cabaret send-up of celebrities and celebrity worship.

Two music-media projects make up Program 2 (July 30-Aug. 1). Using live-feed video, layered projections and multiple scrims, Carole Kim’s “N1” immerses the audience in a dreamlike re-imagining of the Narcissus myth that features butoh master Oguri and the acoustic work of instrumentalist Dan Clucas and percussionist-composer Alex Cline. The band Jennifer the Leopard — the creation of the performance art-inspired punk collective of Lauren Fisher, Stephanie Hutin, Lana Kim and Marissa Mayer — offers up a post-punk mix of feminism and macho glam rock.

In Program 3 (Aug. 6-8), choreographer-dancer Meg Wolfe presents an intensely physical solo on a bare stage accompanied by Aaron Drake’s electronic collage music. Multimedia artists Zackary Drucker, Mariana Marroquin and Wu Ingrid Tsang stage a meeting of “Politically Involved Girls” (“P.I.G.”), taking on transgender politics and other issues with a nod to the Andy Warhol-Paul Morrissey satiric film “Women in Revolt.” And solo performer Lauren Weedman tells tales about how being an expectant mother affects her view of life, whether she is working in a hospice or visiting the tattoo parlor.

“Besides the number of female artists, “ says Murphy, “it’s interesting that so many of this year’s works share a very personal and entertaining response to social and political issues — as opposed to using a sledgehammer approach.”

REDCAT — the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater, which is tucked in the southwest corner of Walt Disney Concert Hall — is one of the few venues in L.A. that regularly produces works and works-in-progress by local artists both through the NOW Festival and Studio, its quarterly lab series.

“We look for vitality and quality,” says Murphy, who runs the festival with George Lugg, REDCAT associate director. “By vitality, I mean the originality behind what is being proposed and not just the slickest, most advanced proposal.”

Another consideration is the importance of giving a career or project a chance — or, in some cases, a second chance.

“Abacus,” for instance, was set to debut at a Fuller exhibition last year at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. But, says Jan, that plan was thwarted by financial and other problems. His company couldn’t find a space for this kind of public showing until the NOW Festival.

“There’s hardly any opportunity for the creation of new work unless you self-produce,” says Murphy. With festival honorariums topping out at $2,000, he adds, “we can’t make anybody rich–but if we can remove the financial as well as practical issues of space, design team and so on, we can allow people to focus on what they have to say and they are more likely to take greater risks.”

Jan, an L.A.-based director and media artist, calls REDCAT “the absolute nexus” of the city’s burgeoning live-performance community, given its technical resources, CalArts’ devotion to interdisciplinary art and “an audience whose literacy is very high.”

“We get students and skate punks and intellectuals,” says Murphy, as well as artists whose interests range from animation and computer graphics to traditional dramatic forms. After a show, performers often drop in on the theater’s crowded lounge. “Everybody comes early and stays late,” he says.

The NOW Festival, which will present its 50th production this year, is especially attractive to the growing number of artists who love to merge new technologies and genres. “Some of them really tax our abilities,” Murphy admits happily. “We’re well-equipped, but it does take a lot of effort.”

He notes that Kim’s “N1” requires specialized lighting and an unusual variety of projection points and surfaces and employs nearly every inch of REDCAT, including the loading dock. “It’s quite complicated. And after a 15-minute intermission an entirely different piece has to share the stage.”

Kim, who lives in Pasadena, began as a visual artist and now tries to marry video installation, music and movement: “I’ve been pulling the moving image off the screen and into space to create three-dimensional environments for live performance.”

She says she and Murphy have talked about her project for several years. “This is the first time an established venue is allowing me to do what I want to do,” she says. “I’m grateful they are going for it.”

-- Karen Wada - L.A. Times


by Tanja Laden

What happens when four female filmmakers/artists get together to form a “performance-art inspired punk collective”? Jennifer the Leopard. An innovative blend of art and music, it’s a mutual collaboration among motion graphics guru and drummer Lauren Fisher; fellow CalArts alum and front woman Stephanie Hutin; bassist and Hutin’s high school friend, Marissa Mayer; and Lana Kim, who has held on to the same guitar since the age of thirteen. Following an Echo Park rehearsal for their show at REDCAT’s New Original Works Festival, Flavorpill sat down with the quartet for their first interview to discuss music, irony, and Drew Barrymore’s wardrobe choices.

Flavorpill: Did you come together out of your mutual interest in film or music?

Stephanie Hutin: It was a social thing, but we also have a really high level of respect for what we all do individually as artists, so it was more to have fun. Now we’re taking this performance seriously, but we never took ourselves seriously. We never wanted to be musicians or anything. We still don’t feel like we really are, except Lauren is a real musician.

Lauren Fisher: The first time we played together, we made up a song on the spot and recorded it into the onboard mic of one of their laptops. We played it once, and they were like, “Let’s make a MySpace!” and literally within an hour and a half of our first band practice, we had a MySpace page and a song. That was how we operated for about a year.

FP: How does filmmaking compare to performance-based music, in terms of the creative process?

LF: It’s way more fun. I do motion graphics for a living, and when you sit in front of a computer and you’re dealing with animating all day — even if it’s for Dane Cook or something — you come home, and it’s like, “I don’t want to look at a computer. I don’t want to look at a camera. I don’t want to think about animation.” So I think this has been a great thing post-grad school, to have a creative outlet. It doesn’t have to be film. It’s not like I don’t ever want to make a film again. I definitely think this feeds into that practice, but filmmaking is like raising a kid. It’s super hard, it takes a long time, and our band practices, when we were writing, in an hour and a half, we would have a song.


Photo credit: Tanja Laden

FP: You’re not a band, and you’re more than a collective. What do you like to be called?

SH: We perform a band.

LF: We’re not not a band, but we’re not a band. I don’t think we police what people call us. A lot of people call us a band, and we’re OK with it. That’s why NOW Fest is perfect, because we probably wouldn’t be in NOW Fest if we weren’t dissecting what a band is, if we weren’t self-aware in that sense, ’cause they don’t want bands — they want multimedia and performance, and things like that. Maybe this is our opportunity to make that part of what we tell people, and part of the language, and how we talk about ourselves. But we’re not like, “We’re not a band!”

Marissa Mayer: We were always more into the performance-art aspect of being a band.

SH: Everything we do is completely sincere. There’s nothing ironic about what we do. There are a lot of comedic elements, but not ironic. We don’t want anyone to feel like we’re making fun of things that already exist out there.

FP: How do you feel about irony?

SH: Well, we have a lot of really hot women performing with us, and that’s not ironic. That’s for real. We did that on purpose. We hang out with hot women.

LF: I think that irony can be a little bit a negative thing.

Lana Kim: A little condescending.

LF: I think it’s more about just really putting ourselves out there and having fun and not having to go there. I think a good example of it is, we’re having our moms sit on stage with us when we play, and they’re gonna have name cards and a microphone, and in between songs, they’ll be like, “That was really, great, honey.” Just really anything that would be a faux pas or weird, we’re doing it. Plus, it’s just hilarious and ridiculous.

SH: And that is the whole point. We want to do what we want to see. One of the people that has helped us a lot with the staging and the theatrics of putting together this show is our theater director, and when he met with us, he was like, “I just love it. It’s just…stupid!” Then you could see on his face, he was like, “Oh, I didn’t realize…” And we were like, “No!”

LF: I want it to be stupid, but not vapid. To me, there’s a really big difference. I do think that there’s something that touches your spirit about it. It’s not like a guilty pleasure or something. It’s stupid good.


Photo credit: Tanja Laden

FP: How is being part of the NOW Festival different from your previous performances?

SH: REDCAT is the only time we’ve sought out a venue. We thought this could be our opportunity to do more what we’re interested in, which is performative work. Putting together a grant with four people is a thousand times better than putting together a grant with one person.

LF: There are three elements: there’s the band, the sub-audience, and then we’ve done a new video piece for every song. The sub-audience is really how we’re taking this to the next level. We started from nothing. We all have very little experience, and now we’re a band, and we’re playing shows like NOW Fest, and it’s kind of like the thing where anybody can do this. Anybody should be doing this with us.

FP: How do feel about Drew Barrymore wearing your clothing? How did that happen?

SH: Oh. My. Goddess. Oh, my goddess! Our manager has been working with her, and when he suggested giving [a shirt] to her, I was kind of appalled by the idea. I thought for sure she would be like, “Ugh, this happens to me all the time.” But I think the quote is, “Wow, thank you so much, I love it!” So then we were joking, we said, “Oh, yeah, in a couple of days we’ll see it in People.”

MM: I didn’t know the shirt was given to her. Someone IMed me the photo at work. They were like, “Celebs are wearing your T-shirt.”

SH: They thought it was photoshopped. They thought we did it ourselves, ’cause it would be something we would do.

LK: I was screaming for two days. It was really weird.

LF: It was full circle, because one of our first hits was “Celebrity Sightings.” It was the second song we wrote, I think, and it was all about how dumb it is to see celebrities, but it’s awesome at the same time. - Flavorpill


Program Two of REDCAT's annual showcase of interdisciplinary performance works weighs in as an evening of paradoxes -- both the exhilarating, boundary-breaking kind and the more superciliously bewildering, curatorial variety. The former is delivered via "N1" and its inspired partnering of live-feed video artist Carole Kim and L.A.-based butoh master Oguri, with musical support from avant-improvisationists Alex Cline and Dan Clucas. Ostensibly a choreographic re-conception of the Narcissus myth as a solo dance journey, "N1" is more properly a duet in which the spiritual interiority and time-bending precision of Oguri's butoh-derived physical vocabulary is captured by Kim's high-tech video processing and then projected onto a cage-like set of layered scrims and variously sized screens. The resulting spectacle both preserves the intimacy and gestural tensions of the "live" dance even as it explodes the subjectivity of the dancer in a dazzling, multi-dimensional, cubist montage of varying scales, disorienting angles and points of view. The narrative reaches it's violent climax in a tour de force sequence in which a bloodied and battered Oguri seems to descend into an underworld of menacing shadows only to dissolve in an eye-like pool of unblinking light. Chris Kuhl's expressive, high-key lighting lends the proceedings an atmospheric, appropriately film-noir flavor. If the technical complexity and visionary aesthetics of "N1" could be compared to a game of three-dimensional chess, then "Leop Year (No Jamming)," the seven-song set by art-school rockers Jennifer The Leopard is the evening's game of checkers. Vocalist Stephanie Hutin and bandmates Lauren Fisher, Lana Kim and Marissa Mayer archly ironize '80s Brit-pop and late-'70s No-Wave into a perniciously perky pop repertoire they perform to self-referential comedy videos and an onstage posse of prop-wielding friends. (Bill Raden) - L.A. Weekly


Discography

J LEOP EP (2007)
J Leogend (Currently Recording)

Photos

Bio

Jennifer The Leopard is a performance-art inspired punk collective, based out of Los Angeles, made up of collaborators Lauren Fisher, Stephanie Hutin, Lana Kim, and Marissa Mayer. Working together since 2007 and comprised of four media-makers who come from diverse backgrounds, congregating to hone in on various themes ranging from celebrity sightings to knife fights, to a jazz operatic in french, with a particular focus on New Media and technology.
www.j-lep.com

LaurenFisher is an artist and filmmaker. She earned her BFA in Photography from Ohio University and her MFA in Experimental Animation from California Institute of the Arts. She works as a motion graphics director for New Wave Entertainment where she animates and designs title sequences, logos and various animations for film, television and the web. Her films explore documentary subjects through live-action and animation and have been shown at LAXART, Echo Park Film Center and several other venues outside of Los Angeles. She has been playing the drums since she was 15 and dreams of one day having giant muscles.
www.thelaurenfisher.com.

Stephanie Hutin is an artist and filmmaker. She earned an MFA from CalArts in Experimental Animation and Integrated Media and she founded The New School for Post-Animative Thought through her collaborative work there. Hutin focuses on the performative aspects of animation, which often leads to community based collaborations, meant to challenge the way frame by frame works are read. In 2001, she co-founded Big Skills, a platform for experimental design, film, and animation projects with her partner Florencio Zavala. Her work has been shown at the Museum of Modern Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA),Torrance Museum of Art, LA>www.stephaniehutin.com | www bigskills.com.

Lana Kim is an artist and filmmaker. She works as the Executive Producer of Music Videos for the Directors Bureau, but also has directed videos for such artists as Stephen Malkmus and Mika Miko. Working in many mediums, she has shown in group shows at GRSF Gallery, New Image Art, Subliminal Projects, and her video and animation work in many festivals around the world including ResFest, Los Angeles International Film Festival, Mirrorball, onedotzero, and the American Cinematheque. She really loves animals and is currently working on a field recording project with her dog Solomon.
www.sweetyousimpleme.com | www.the-rivalry.com | www.thelanashow.com

Marissa Mayer is an artist and filmmaker. She works freelance as a Production Supervisor on various commercials. Her favorite place to work is The Directors Bureau with Youree, Emily and Daniel. She describes her experience script supervising Daft Punk’s Electroma, an inspiring example of the do-it-yourself process for her group Jennifer the Leopard. In addition to her commercial and feature production work, Marissa has shown her video and animation work at various group exhibitions around the Los Angeles area including the Echo Park Film Center and LAXART in Culver City.
www.powerballad.com.