Ms. Sefton's work and art extends and expands upon her native Southern California childhood. The daughter of two disparate disciplines-aerospace engineering and the visual and performing arts, Ms. Sefton's work has always echoed tensions and themes from her home and family. Her father's precision and secretiveness born of his career as an engineer brought to Southern California during the Cold War is reflected in her work as is the more flowing dynamic influence of her mother, an accomplished visual artist and performer trained at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore in piano. Growing up on the edge of the San Fernando Valley in wilder times, her family witnessed the test rocket launches emblematic of the Cold War struggle. Coyotes howled in the distance during her childhood. Next to these wild, raw beginnings, stands her mother's family reflecting a more classical, almost aristocratic style (her grandfather served in Cuba's diplomatic corps). Her father's family reflected the rugged, self-sufficient and inventive farmers of the Midwest. Ms. Sefton can recall her father stitching up his own thumb after an accident in his shop. From these two families and the rugged Southern California landscape of her childhood, Ms. Sefton has drawn inspiration, energy, and creativity into her own unique and challenging style of choreography. Clairobscur Dance Company embodies that choreography, that energy, that creativity.
Since 1988, Sefton's Clairobscur Dance Company has served as the embodiment and vehicle for her artistic expression. Producing, choreographing and directing her own concerts as well being presented, her work reflects the history of her divergent influences yet consistently communicates the energy and dynamicism that has always characterized her choreography Ms. Sefton's work is both issue based and emotional. Addressing such varied topics as loss, surveillance, bullying, anger, dependency and where does dance belong? Her work struggles, confronts and inspires.
Laurie Sefton earned a BA in Dance from UCLA, where she received several scholarships including the Jean Irwin Memorial Award. She performed her own choreography at American College Dance Festival where she was awarded a scholarship to study to Kei Takei and the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company. Her early training included Ballet, Graham, Limon and Horton techniques. Including studies with Don Martin and Ellie Johnson (original Lester Horton Company members) as well as Milton Meyers and Ron Brown. In 2009 she was the subject of a "Meet the Artist " Profile on Dance Channel TV and her concert "This Facility is Being Monitored for Your Protection and Security" was a LA Weekly "pick of the week." She is a recipient of a 2010 Hothouse Residency at UCLA's Department of World Arts and Cultures and has been a Help Desk/LA Artist since 2010. She received both the People's Choice Award and the Festival Champion award at the 2012 Rocky Mountain Choreography Festival. In October 2012 Ms. Sefton's premiered her latest work "Bully" with original music by Mark Hadley at Peery's Egyptain Theater in Ogden, Utah. She has taught her original repertory to students in Utah and Los Angeles and most recently was commisssioned to set one of her works on Francisco Gella's pre-professional group Colabo Youth Dance Collective.
Her choreography has been called "innovative, compelling and accessible" where "the details are the substance" of her work. Her choreograpy has been performed in Utah, Texas and Germany as well as throughout Southern California including at Diavolo Performance Space, ARC (A Room to Create) Pasadena, the Center Stage Theater, the Electric Lodge, Highways Performance Space, Sushi Performance Space, and UCLA.