Artist Statement- Choreographer and Director of Multi-Disciplinary Performance Installations

NPR-500--097.jpg

I am a Toronto, ON and Kansas City, MO based choreographer, director and dancer. As an artist I have been steeped in the traditions of ballet, modern and contemporary dance, contact improvisation, authentic movement, Gyrotonic and Somatic Experiencing.  My personal movement style occupies a vacillating identity between highly technical dance and emotionally expressive physical theater. I construct dance based performance installations by combining my skills with those of actors, dancers, visual artists, lighting designers, videographers, vocalists and musicians to construct performances that are sensorially integrated and surpass anything I could create alone. Each work’s generative process, narrative, and final performance is inextricably linked to the talents and personal histories of the collaborating artists.

The resulting works have been staged in office buildings, on street corners, haunted house basements, parks, art galleries, and on occasion in theaters. I select locations that allow me to remap relationships between audience and performer through new forms:  one-on-one dances, remote viewings (dancer on the street, viewer with binoculars from the sixth story of a building), or supplying the audience with disposable flash cameras to light, frame and document the performance.

At the outset of a project, there are no wrong choices. I foster an egalitarian process, where all collaborators engage in experimental play.  As time passes, a unique vocabulary emerges, arrived at by the group’s collective experience. As the choreographer and director, I subject this language to a process of transposition, amplification or concentration, until a palpable emotional chord resonates. Each rehearsal hones the work closer to its true intention. Through steady observance, I unfurl the hidden narrative of the piece, and simultaneously reconstruct my own creative identity to accommodate its nature. By sidestepping the corporeal structure of codified dance, I unearth the memory recorded in our muscles and bones. Together with the audience and performers, I tell its story.

An auspicious moment arrives in the middle of every project, when I realize that the work has assumed creative control and has begun “making me.”  At this point I am convinced that the piece has the power to move the audience.