Choreographic statement- Creative Research

In my choreography, both solo and group works and in collaborations with other artists, I find inventive and unanticipated intersections between narrative and abstract forms. This is not an unusual approach, but I have discovered that the ways in which I source and research other media: visual art, personal revelations, political and social issues, story telling along with a strong commitment to collaborations with other artists and the performers allows my work to come to life in a vivid, unexpected and compelling way. Collaborating with my sister, a writer, actor and video artist on a project called Headless Woman in the mid 1990’s spurred the use of text, song and gender dismantlement. A collaboration with Thaddeus Bennett, a founding member of Chuck Davis’ African American Dance Ensemble, resulted in a duet called Animal Stories, confirming my connections to the story-telling culture of the American south and to fanciful role playing, (I became the dog, bull frog, dead cat, snake who had starring roles in the various tales.) Working on a difficult and revealing solo created by Paul Matteson pushed me to perform with a boldness and complete lack of inhibition-- while hopping excitedly up and down, licking the inside of my elbow, repeatedly hurling myself to the floor l was asked to sing, “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?” in a tone that contributed to my public undoing. A choreographic intensive taken many years ago with Joe Goode forced me to consider the uses of voice and words and sparked my search to craft text with decisiveness and urgency.

Traveling to other countries, most notably and recently, Argentina, Colombia, Italy and Cuba to work with artists and dancers opened me up to acculturated choices and ways to exploit or avoid them. At the Universidad de San Buenaventura Cali, I presented a paper on the Performance of Improvisation as part of Il Encuentro Universitario de Danza Contemporanea. Delving into the myriad processes of investigation that promote the development of learning by engaging in forms of divergence, diversity, imagination and symbolic representation is a foundation of my research and choreographic investigations. Political protest resounds throughout my work. It is the site of struggle and resistance, the medium I have at hand, and the form I have been working with for many years to address and question the polity and its policy. At the center of any consideration of dance as a medium for political resistance is the premise that the human body can be understood as a site of struggle. That said, humor, satire and foolishness are always valued and explored. It is not my goal to present a polemic. I leave plenty of room for the viewer to find their own questions, answers and connections. I want to create space for the viewer to insert their history.