How is this for change?
Artist Statement, February 2008:
I began my involvement with dance as an energetic child who enjoyed being in motion and exploring life’s possibilities while playing dress-up. Noticing this, my parents enrolled me in dance class, and a pairing of innocent preferences developed into a passion for the art of dancing. My formal dance education at the U of M helped me identify the capability to focus on an objective, utilize determination, put to work my ability to be resourceful, and to correctly attend to my strengths and weaknesses regarding the pursuit of a multi-faceted career revolving around dance.
Though in hot pursuit of a professional life with variety, I have been surprised since graduation to note how important the production of my own creative work has become. I have seemed to lock into the medium of movement because it has constant shift – no two performances are ever the same. I have also begun to notice my increasing disillusionment with words. In a society that is increasingly injected with more digital images and sounds everyday, there is something refreshing about working with and viewing a physical, human body. Further, the rapidly-spreading societal plague of being ‘too busy’ and in need of constant convenience makes me feel as though people are frequently missing out on the small but poignant moments in life. If there is any a time to stop and notice, it is in witnessing the messages human bodies can transmit while moving with intention. I have often thought that my interest in this subject matter comes from my inherent need for organization and resulting tendencies to miss out on chance happenings. I yearn to break free from such habits, and look upon creation of performance art as a chance to communicate how I constantly see related predicaments in others. It is the central idea helping people identify and address their tendencies toward such complacency in life which pushes me forward.
Artist Statement October 2009:
A Twin-Cities-based performer, choreographer, producer, administrator, teacher and writer/theorist, I seek to refine my creative interests in rhythmic and musical dance, specifically jazz and socially-related forms, through a series of many expected and unexpected experiences.
I began my involvement with dance as an energetic child who enjoyed being in motion and exploring life’s possibilities while playing dress-up. Noticing this, my parents enrolled me in dance class, and a pairing of innocent preferences developed into a passion for the art of dancing. My formal dance education at the University of Minnesota helped me identify the capability to focus on an objective, utilize determination, put to work my ability to be resourceful, and to correctly attend to my strengths and weaknesses. In the pursuit of a professional life with variety, I have enjoyed working in many capacities as a dance artist, yet the production of my own creative work has consistently come to the forefront of my efforts. In the search to define my creative impulses, I have been trying to break down why it is that I love to dance, and have come to find one constant; I love to create and match with my body the rhythms and musical qualities that I hear and sense.
I enjoy dancing socially just as much as I enjoy dancing in a concert setting, and the common thread between those two things is music. Musicians savor a close relationship between their ears and mind, and by throwing in the additional element of the eyes, musically-motivated dancers develop a keen relationship between the operation their body and the acting of listening to music; in short, they create a visceral absorbing of and response to music. Our bodies run on the rhythm of the heart, and this intense human experience alone is enough to create purposeful, satisfying, engaging and visceral dance, particularly when matched with just the right tune. The sheer variety of rhythmically connected music and dance creates seemingly endless possibilities for movement and idea explorations, as well as an electric environment fostering the constant wonder of could be done next. Truly understanding musicality, rhythm and honesty in emotion can provide a solid base for successfully and whole-heartedly catapulting into new musical and movement territory.
Within these explorations, I seek to define how dancers can embrace integrity and honesty to their personal experiences as a way to access a piece’s intention, providing them a way to truly connect to and therefore better understand and present the work. Intention within my work often relates to how embracing the need for constant convenience and the idea of being ‘too busy’ can cause people to miss out on the small but poignant moments in life.
My enjoyment of creating and matching with my body the rhythms and musical qualities that I hear and sense, connecting to the music, versatility, the creation and embracing of humanness and personal integrity through abstract movement, and the desire to assist people in opening up their eyes to the small, poignant moments are the things that move me forward (well, in many directions actually) as a choreographer and versatile dance artist.
Reading one against the other really puts into perspective how much I have come into my own regarding my thoughts on dance in the last year and a half. I was about to type 'how my thoughts on dance have changed,' and realized that to be far from true; this new artist statement sums up the things that have always been operating in the back of my head, even through my time studying modern and post-modern dance in college. While delving deeply into that kind of thought around dance was something I value and would never take back, I am feeling relieved that I have found the right place for that information in my brain, and am beginning to learn how to let my heart lead instead.
And when my heart leads (and lets my head come with), I know now what is powering it and how to describe it.