At 34-years-old, dancer/choreographer Hassan Christopher is in mid-flight. “This is a leap of faith,” he says with a chuckle when asked about his success in Los Angeles.

Since arriving in 1999, Christopher has been the recipient of numerous awards for original choreography.

“The thing I love about L.A. is that you cannot take it as face value. What you see is not what you get,” muses Christopher while reclining on a couch in the corner of his downtown dance studio simply called, the Open Space.

It is both a rehearsal space and performance venue, which Christopher hopes will be a meeting ground for dancers of all types to inspire one another and promote positive social change through movement. The Open Space sponsors the monthly performance event “Anatomy Riot,” which features original choreography from young dance artists.

This weekend, the space will host its very first edition of “Spontaneous Combustion,” a brainchild of Christopher’s whereby three artists of different disciplines are “locked in” the space for a 24-hour period and given the challenge to create an original piece to be performed at the end of said time period.

“I just want to see what happens,” Christopher says with a mischievous smile.

It’s antics like these that have earned Christopher the mad scientist reputation. As one enters the studio, with its beautiful wooded floors and, yes, open space, one feels a definite vibration. “Potential energy,” Christopher calls it, with that same grin on his face.

Multiple creative projects have this young artist on the move. Besides the day-to-day running of the studio and producing events, he also teaches and performs regularly.

“My goal is simply to get to a place where I can be creative everyday. It is a dream in process,” he explains.

The words echo in the empty studio space, dreamlike themselves, and one feels a creeping sensation of inspiration.

Spontaneous Combustion takes place May 3 at the Open Space located at 209 S. Garey St., Los Angeles. For more information, e-mail