Choreography

My choreography happens in the sparsely inhabited space between classical ballet and experimental/improvisational dance. I am a classically trained dancer, and life-long ballet teacher, but also a performer and choreographer whose career has been grounded in improvisation and post-modernism. Curiosity guided my professional journey away from tradition, and now it guides me back. I believe the ballet vocabulary is fertile ground to explore universal human experience, which is what makes dance a powerful art.

I am still consumed with interest in the process of studying ballet, in my body and in the bodies of others. The quest to accomplish the physical challenges, to embody the vocabulary, is engrossing for dancers. Through constantly inquiring practice—Can I do this? How can I do this?—one learns not just how to do steps, to dance, but who you are as a dancer and as a person. The details of how bodies negotiate the rigor of the vocabulary, how their struggle reveals them, are deeply compelling to watch. This is what I illuminate in my work. I see the virtuosity that exists in the body of a classically trained dancer, and I work to access that, compounding its meaning through structures that allow improvisational choices. The choreography gives dancers space to reveal something vulnerable, vital and present, through both virtuosity and creative intelligence.

My work explores the material of ballet itself—the steps, the stories and characters, the way it is taught and learned—to reveal meanings untapped on traditional stages. I show the form close up, performed in small studios, galleries, even hallways. I want to show ballet vocabulary and tradition rigorously explored, expressedby dancers who are perhaps heavier, older, more “ethnic,” less traditionally “feminine,” but who are risk-takers, intelligent and interesting. I want to examine the steps and stories so familiar to so many, and unearth the deeper voices beneath the glittery surface.

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