Wish you were here 2020

(2020) Live stream performance. Art Martyrs Relief Society, Seattle WA.

 

Collaboration between myself and Dani Blackwell. Focusing in on the body, specifically the torso to show fleshy articulation until exhaustion, then the face to remember self, still thinking of flesh as Dani paints the face to look like a skeleton remembering the bones that are underneath providing the structure, then the self is released by throwing handfuls of flowers into the sky.

 

Body hands      Chest squish          Face paint

Foreign and Familiar 2019 film

(2019) video

 

Filmed for the Georgetown Super 8 Film Festival. Brad Curren and I came up with a loose story idea set in the defunct rail yards of Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood. Sourcing my dinosaur mask as a way to look into abstract representation in hopes of finding further meaning in the story of the dinosaur mask. A small world is born of forgotten things left to collect dust.

 

Core 14 2019

(2019) Improvised performance. Zebulon. Los Angeles CA

 

Asked to perform in Chantael Duke’s improvised performance score, movement artists were paired with musicians in different duets and other combinations and given a set amount of time to improvise together. Photography by Rebecca Green.

 

Give us a voice 2019

(2019) commissioned choreography

 

Choreography set on ten young women in North Star Ballet School’s advanced level. This work was created in collaboration with the students. I’ve been interested in exploring different ways of integrating text, voice, and clear messaging into my choreographic works. This interest began with creating gifts of performance for my mother. When I arrived at North Star, I had decided that I wanted to ask my cast of ten young women the question, “what do you have to say to the generation that is leaving you this earth”. We spent a good portion of our first rehearsal time talking about this question. I wrote down each answer, after hearing all the thoughts, I explained that I wanted to build the choreography around the words that we had just discussed. Collectively we settled on “give us a voice” as the text and title for the piece.
My aim was to push these young performers to not only realise my movement ideas, I wanted them to realise their voices individually and as a collective by building vocalised text into the choreography from the very start of rehearsals. I had decided beforehand that the sound used in this work was to come directly from the performers live. Exploration of repetition, abstraction, volume, and exhaustion was the ideas I built, and shaped this work vocally, around. I feel that younger performers often have to be shown how to learn a section of choreography so that they can know this movement sequence without having to think about what step comes next. When this effortlessness is found, the next step is to run this movement sequence to the edge of exhaustion so that the dancer’s ego is shed. When this is found ten dancers can perform as one, their awareness of the ensemble grows and is able to collectively lift each other up. A clear image of the body being propelled by muscle is the intended result. This is quite a lot to ask of young performers, I feel though that this is the most important concept to have been introduced to in the development of a young professional dancer. I was quite proud of what these ten young women accomplished in our time together in rehearsal. This work was set to premier in Fairbanks in April 2020, unfortunately Covid-19 had other plans, so for now the premier is on hold.

 

We Love This 2019

(2019) Commissioned choreography. North Star Ballet, Fairbanks AK

 

In collaboration with long time friend Oscar Gutierrez, commissioned by North Star Ballet, Oscar and I created a twenty minute duet about friends seeing each other after a long absence.

 

Tech reh

 

Artville Residency 2019

(2019) Leadville Colorado residency

 

The month of October, high in the mountains, served as a time for allowing space. My time was spent walking, seeing mountain tops, movement researching/choreographing, environment sketches, mural painting, all while living with dear friends.

 

 

I was able to create the movement framework used for the choreographic commission at North Star Ballet in Fairbanks Alaska following my residency. My environment sketches serve as a personal photograph for my eyes, a drawn memory of any location that captures my attention.

 

 

My friends like to walk. While at Artville I was invited to go for a three-day walk along a section of the Continental Divide Trail. I have for quite a long time fantasized about long distance walking. This served as a beautiful introduction to this revealing and healing path.

 

 

I visited the peaks of five mountain tops over 14,000 feet while at Artville. I have a long standing practice of planting a handstand at the top of high points. I aim to try and pretend that while in the handstand, I’m actually rightside up and holding up the mountain and world in my hands. As a student of my own body, I love the reality of walking up a steep mountain, the physical strength and stamina needed to listen to and work through rapid altitude shifts is humbling to say the least.

 

Drinking with destructo

(2018) video

 

My second music video for the Seattle band the Corespondents. I have a long standing collaboration with band member Douglas Arney. Working together we came up with the concept for this video. Shot in one day in an abandoned bowling alley. This video plays with time as we progress through a chaotic environment of play and destruction.

 

 

Psychic Radio Star 2016

(2016) performance premiere

 

Part of a series of performative gifts for my mother, this solo performance commissioned by On the Boards, Psychic Radio Star explores an aspect of my relationship with my mother, related to the performance Mother for you I made this.

As I have grown up, my mother wants to hear about my life as an artist, and upon hearing, her reply has become, “I’m famous too, I’m a Psychic Radio Star”. Through this performance I imagine who her Psychic Radio Star is. This self given title is so evocative I can’t help but think of images of: 

  • unfathomable universal forces, 
  • mythology of the galaxy, 
  • ancient cave paintings, 
  • neon fish, and 
  • the dark shadowy depths of the sea. 

These images evoke memories of growing up with my mother: her sensibilities and joys; her hobbies and eccentricities; and her complicated, beautiful mind as it slips, piece by piece, into unbalance.

Through this work I feel that I am able to provide a voice for my Psychic Radio Star mother, while encouraging a healing and constructive conversation around the failed mental health care system in America. A major goal of this work is to engage with community/organizations through the idea of art as therapy. In the hopes of creating a safe place for anyone to talk freely about their own experiences with mental health.  As I continue to explore my mother’s story – I also tell my own.

Collaborator Credits:

Jen Zeyl Artistic Producer.

Danielle Blackwell Costume Designer. 

Paurl Walsh Sound/Composition. 

Leo Mayberry Video. 

Jessica Trundy Lighting. 

Weirdo Set painting. 

Steve Carlino Stage Manager. 

Adam Michard Tech Director. 

Anthony Rigano Photographer. 

Anthony Jepson, Kyle Loven, Erik Andor, Tim Stackpole, Lily Raabe, Kaleb Kerr, Benjamin Maestas, Larry Browning, Lia Surprenant, Anne Marie Minnick, Brandon Estrella, Matt Sherrill, Equinox Studio’s, Pol Rosenthal, and NKO Rey.

Commissioned solo performance. On The Boards, Seattle WA. 

Psychic Radio Star is a recipient of the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project Touring Award, and Production Residency Award, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. As well as the 2016 Artist Trust GAP Grant, and a generous grant from the Bossak/Halibron Charitable Foundation. 

 

Psychic Radio Star previews:

Questions & Answers with Michèle Steinwald and Ezra Dickinson
OtB Writing Corp Profile by Michelle Penaloza
Seattle Times Preview by Brendan Kiley
Seattle Magazine Fall Arts Preview

Psychic Radio Star Reviews:

NKO Rey OtB Blog
Natalie Singer-Velush OtB Blog
Markeith Wiley OtB Journal

 

Want to Support more work like this?

 

Performances:

(2016) Premiere On The Boards, Seattle WA.

(2016) Solo performance of Birth, preliminary choreography for Psychic Radio Star. Velocity Fall Kick-Off. Velocity Dance Center, Seattle WA. 

(2017) Dance showcase for Pacific Northwest Performance Platform during APAP, Gibney Dance, NYC. In this showcase I took the end of birth into life sections from Psychic Radio Star and performed them with the fabric and costumes for a live audience in the round. I employed two assistants to help with the performance which was about fifteen minutes in length.

(2017) NDP Commissioned Tech Residency, On The Boards, Seattle WA. Funded through NDP’s residency Grant, this residency was used as a way of preparing the piece to tour in the future. All tech elements were re-created and in some cases refined as needed for touring the piece. 

projects: Kyle Loven

Kyle Loven

 

RETRACES (2015-16)

Performer and choreographic collaborator

 

Photos by Tim Summers

Performances:
12th Ave Arts, Seattle WA (premier)
PushOFF, The Culch, Vancouver BC

Centrum Residency 2015

(2015) Centrum Residency at Fort Worden in Development of Psychic Radio Star

 

In residency at Centrum, Paurl Walsh, Anthony Rigano, Danielle Blackwell and myself worked to generate source imagery and build a sound library for use in development of Psychic Radio Star. Paurl Walsh took sine wave recordings of each unique room/space with any amount of reverberation. This allowed us to extract an exact copy of the echo of each space at Fort Worden. Photographic documentation by Anthony Rigano created the building blocks for ideas that would grow into the performance work Psychic Radio Star.

 

Photos by Anthony Rigano