I dance to express myself, and when I create and put movement on stage, I do so in hopes that those watching will be able find some expression of themselves as well. Often, I tend to shape movement in ways that allow glimpses of aesthetic beauty in gross distortion and displacement of the physical form, through exploring the architecture of the body and how it can be manipulated to reference or represent various parts of our lives and our spirits. Because I generally attempt to create an experience over a message, my choreographic work allows audiences to choose what they see and feel, rather than presenting a straight and narrow path to follow. I aim to allow them to fully experience and relate to the work in their own way, finding whatever gives it meaning or makes it relevant for them.
To generate a significant experience however, requires an honest quest on my part to find the raw emotionality of my inspiration, which is almost always either history or contemporary social issues. Whether it is plucked from academic scholarship or first hand sources, stories of our ancestors, and of ourselves, connect humanity and its struggles through time and space. Regardless of changing contexts, we are all united by the emotions we feel and the ways in which we connect to each other, especially in moments of upheaval, conflict, and brutality, such as antebellum slavery, the upheaval of the 1960s, and the current Syrian refugee crisis. These are the moments that I am drawn to, that I will continue to be drawn to, and that inspire my desire to share the bond we all have to each other and to our past. By distilling moments, either past or current, down to their truest experiential form, my pieces create an ambience that gives audience members a space through which to enter and experience their own unique connection to the work.
Art, for me, is a medium to investigate our meaning on this planet. It pushes me to ask questions about our roles to each other, to ourselves, and to the progression of time. But what words can’t get at, what explanation can’t explain, movement can. Movement makes a connection possible between the mind, body, and spirit, in turn opening an entrance into our true selves. The mere act of observing that connection, as an audience member, is another way of tapping into that entrance. Therefore, I strive to give audiences a feeling, a shared experience, a shared attempt to enter that space within, because at the core of existence is our experience of ourselves. However different our circumstances and contexts may be, the journey to find that which lies within can be mutually shared and understood by all. In creating that experience through my work, I hope my work can not only aid in finding our individual selves, but also aid in finding the similarities we all share, leading to a heightened sense of compassion for everyone in this world.
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