In the room where [MILK & BONES] happened

Last night, I attended the dress rehearsal for Sea<>Bus Dance Company’s MILK & BONES, an hour-long improvised dance performance. If you aren’t familiar with improvised dance performance, it is what you think it is: the performers create the dance in the moment, as you witness it. Although a score (sort of like a script laying out the action in the dance) is usually developed to structure the performance, what happens on stage will be new every night.

…which brings me to Hamilton (stay with me). I saw Hamilton a few weeks ago when it toured through Columbus, and it lived up to the hype. I haven’t seen a musical in a few years, and I was completely lost in the lyrics and music and set changes and costumes and dancing. There is something so powerful about seeing a whole world unfold before your eyes, brought to life by performers who are deeply invested in the story they tell. Continue reading

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My daughter’s choreography

In October, my daughter Meryl was born via c-section after about 30 hours of labor. During my pregnancy, I often thought that how I felt during the 40-week journey to giving birth resembled the way I felt during the process of making a dance: stressed, excited, nervous and consumed by questions and dreams and what-ifs. In both pregnancy and the choreographic process, the unknowns speak much louder than the knowns, and only so much preparation is possible in advance of stepping on the stage or arriving in the labor and delivery room.  Continue reading

Rehearsal 2

This post is part of a longer series documenting the process of creating a lecture demonstration entitled “Movement moves: translating dance” which will be presented at the CORD/SDHS joint conference at The Ohio State University in October, 2017. You can view other posts from this series here

In our second rehearsal, Charles and I started with an improvisation designed to break us out of our normal movement patterns and expand our choreographic choice-making. Then we went straight into developing “challenge” phrases for ourselves. I want each of us to have solo material that is complex and demanding, and I think Charles gets close to this for him. I saw him do things this phrase he’s never done before physically and dynamically. Mine, though…I don’t know. I found myself questioning my choices a lot in this assignment. Even though I was working against some of my preferences for circular movement and initiation points, I think I could go further into complexity. Continue reading

Contracts & agreements in our first rehearsal

This post is part of a longer series documenting the process of creating a lecture demonstration entitled “Movement moves: translating dance” which will be presented at the CORD/SDHS joint conference at The Ohio State University in October, 2017. You can view other posts from this series here

During our first rehearsal, Charles and I came up with what I’d like to consider our contract for our process:

I don’t have to do anything you do. You don’t have to do anything I do. 

This emerged when I created a movement that descended to the floor and then Charles followed me there. Getting down to the floor and back up again is usually easy for Charles, but he’s recovering from a shoulder surgery that makes putting weight on one of his hands more difficult than normal. He did the movement throughout rehearsal to try to make it work but by the end decided he would rather do a different movement rather than go to the floor. Continue reading

Translating dance: 2017 edition

In October, I will present a lecture-demonstration at the 2017 CORD/SDHS Joint Conference at The Ohio State University called “Movement moves: translating dance.” This project stems from research I started during my second year of grad school in Dr. Harmony Bench’s course, Bodies on the Line. (You can read the posts I created to track that process here). In her course, I became increasingly interested in how movement moves from one body to another through the process of teaching and learning movement material. I began to think of learning to dance as a process of translation: the young dancer watches and copies the teacher’s movement until shuffle-ball-change can be performed without thinking; one dancer teaches another a sequence of choreography until both can perform it together in unison. But what is lost and found in the translation of movement from one distinct body to another? Physical structure, dance training, culture, trends, and personal history (among many other factors) influence how dance material is learned and performed, and how meaning is constructed for an audience. Continue reading

One second later

It’s amazing how quickly time goes by in an MFA program. I’m heading into my final semester of the MFA in Dance at The Ohio State University and I’ll graduate in early May. Between preparing for my MFA project (presented at Urban Arts Space just a few weeks ago) and looking for jobs, I knew that this year would be one of unknowns. And, now, I find myself thinking about how simple that uncertainty was, and how ordinary. Continue reading

“Molly and Nancy”

This fall, I started working on a duet with Nancy Morcos and Molly Stack, both students in my contemporary class at OSU this fall. Nancy is a Program 60 student who takes two dance classes a semester, and Molly is a freshman BFA student. We are early in our process, but I wanted to share a bit of what we’ve created so far. In this dance, I’m using the choreographic process to highlight each dancer’s idiosyncrasies and performance qualities. This interest really developed because Molly and Nancy are just so different in their approaches to moving, creating material, and performance sensibilities, and I started to see how their differences accumulated to create a compelling relationship. More to come….