As long as I can remember, dance and my life have been intertwined. Whether dancing underneath myself in line at school or spinning in the yard until I got dizzy and fell down, I was always moving. Rather, I am always moving. My adult self is a choreographer, performer, educator, and dance filmmaker working primarily in the field of contemporary dance. These days I consider myself a multidisciplinary artist as my work takes many forms.
When I am not dancing I play violin, write, read voraciously, and travel. I chose to channel my desire to make things into dance as a profession for several primary reasons:
1. I realized that I could not sit still enough to play music or stand still enough to paint on an all day basis.
2. After being exposed to contemporary dance, I fell in love with the stage as a blank canvas on which anything could happen. I found a place where all of my artistic interests could collide into something all my own.
3. Dance is the hardest thing I have ever done. I love the demands it places on the body and the mind simultaneously. I love that it is impossible for me to take dance class and do anything productive with my body when my mind is not clear. I enjoy flying through the air and hurling myself through space. Sometimes when I am doing so I think of all the work that I invest to make that “effortless” moment occur. I appreciate the wisdom inherent in the body that I am aware of as a dancer. I appreciate what my body tells me about my whole self when I take the time to listen.
I love all aspects of making choreography, from allowing the first sliver of an idea to float around, to playing solo in the studio, to working with dancers, to seeing the piece through to completion and missing the process of the process.
When I ask others about their creative process, the answer is always fascinating, regardless of whether the artist in question is a young student or a seasoned professional. I like knowing how people internalize and frame what they see and experience in the world. I spend a lot of time wondering what makes people tick, which might be why I make a lot of pieces about psychological issues.
As I’ve grown older, I have become more and more enthralled with this part of art. I often prefer the rough draft to the final product of the works that I see, whether pencil sketches or choreographic work. There’s something raw contained in these unedited moments that I find captivating.
I can get lost in writing as much as I can in dance. I have many ideas about dance, art making, and the creative process that I wish to explore on these pages. In my capacity as a dance educator at the University level, I have been known to write academic papers about various topics. Lately I have decided that this format would be more appropriate for my current interests. A blog feels less formal and more immediate. Instead of spending months on one paper, I look forward to sharing my thoughts in a more continual format and having a dialogue with my readers. The part of me that likes to make things relishes the sense of completion that comes with hitting the complete button a more frequent basis, something creating long-term movement and media projects does not allow me to do enough sometimes.
I invite your participation on this journey. I hope these posts to be the starting point of a conversation. Please share your comments, ideas of artists to profile, creative food for munching (books, images, etc.) Is there a question I should be asking? Is there something obvious I am neglecting?
If you enjoy what you’re reading, please share my link with others.