Tuesday, September 27, 2022

What is "We Are StarDust"?

When was the last time you looked at the night sky? When was the last time you stood with the night and allowed the distant stars to reveal themselves to you? 

I am left in awe when I allow myself time to be present with the stars and their stories. 

I know, this isn't new. People have marveled at the stars as long as there have been people. What is new is that art, science, and technology invite us to experience the stars with an increased depth of understanding and wonder. 

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson reflected, "the atoms that make up the human body are traceable to the crucibles that cooked light elements into heavy elements in their core... so that when I look up at the night sky, I know that yes, we are part of this universe, we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts is that the universe is in us."

What if we treated each other with the same awe and wonder with which we stand in the night sky? What is we recognized the magnificence in our physical and social environments? 

We Are StarDust is the current research campaign of JCWK Dance Lab. It investigates the science that our human bodies are made of the same stuff as stars. Like stars, they (we) deserve respect, awe, and wonder. In reflection of this research, this campaign has several layers. 

  • Performance. I am leading a small ensemble of dance artists in researching the science and mythology of several star clusters. We have performed this work over the summer in collaboration with Reading Theater Project and the Reading Public Museum. We are performing again in November in Bethlehem, PA. Click here for upcoming events and more details. 
  • Education. I've led mindful movement workshops around Pennsylvania inspired by this research. 
  • Practice. I've created a graphic and merchandise to materialize the We Are StarDust campaign. Click here to order yours and share your magnificence. Remind yourself and those in your communities of your stellar connections. 
Find JCWK Dance Lab on the socials and share a pic of your own experience of We Are StarDust.
 

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Creatives as Entrepreneurs

Thank you, Berks Arts and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts for recognizing that artists and creative people are also entrepreneurs!

JCWK Dance Lab is a recipient of the Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator Program. Stay tuned to see how we're growing and creating Joy, Connection, and Wellness through Kinesthetic stories in Berks County! 




Monday, August 15, 2022

Small Things with Great Love

 Do Small Things with Great Love. ~Mother Teresa



The above image is of JCWK Dance Lab artist Cady Monasmith. Someone caught this special moment of her performance as part of "In Nature's Studio," a collaborative performance produced by Reading Theater Project, JCWK Dance Lab, and the Reading Public Museum in July. I love how Cady looks so invested in exploring something so small. Her gaze and posture tell the story on an important, tiny, Something. 

As we begin the transition into the fall... with academic and event calendars quickly filling, I wonder, what are some of the small things (and the larger ones) to which you're being attentive? Transitions can often overwhelm us with the expectation of the next thing. This image of Cady reminds me that each small moment carries a gift of great love. 

Here are a few of the upcoming moments for JCWK Dance Lab:
  • Tuesday, August 16th JCWK Dance Lab celebrates the first anniversary of The Greater Reading Area Dance Exchange on BCTV.org. Click here to live-stream on Tuesday at 6:30pm or catch up on this and other episodes of G.R.A.D.E on BCTV.org's YouTube channel. 
  • Sunday, August 21st is another installation of "In Nature's Studio." This performance is inspired by the Reading Public Museum's exhibit "The Occult." Join us in the arboretum on Sunday from 5:30-7pm for a guided tour or explore on your own. Click here for more information. 
I'd love to be able to share these moments with you. 

What are some of the small things you're experiencing with great love as we begin this transition into fall? Let me know... 

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

#NationalMoonDay

 It's National Moon Day. Today in 1969, NASA's Apollo 11 landed on the moon. 

A lot has changed since 1969. And a lot hasn't. 

The recent images from the James Webb Space Telescope released by NASA remind me how small our perception of space and time is. I'm also reminded of the power of a few people to make a difference. 

So, in honor of National Moon Day, I encourage all of us to look up, connect, find our joy, and to make positive waves of change by being our authentic selves. 





Friday, July 1, 2022

JCWK Dance Lab In Nature's Studio

 Save the dates! 

A next cast of JCWK Dance Lab will be dancing at the Reading Public Museum in collaboration with Reading Theater Project's In Nature's Studio. 

When: July 10 at 5:30pm 

Where: Reading Public Museum's Arboretum 

What: In Nature's Studio brings performing artists out from inside the theater to the beautiful Reading Public Museum Arboretum. Audiences may experience In Nature's Studio through a guided walk or on their own independent journey. Tickets are free, but donations on site are welcome. Reserve your guided walk time by clicking here. 

Read the press release here. 

Art work by Andrew Pochan





Monday, June 27, 2022

Hip Hop in Berks County

The Greater Reading Area Dance Exchange is a platform I've developed through JCWK Dance Lab. It's a show on BCTV.org where I interview local adult dancers, educate our viewers about different styles of dance in Berks County, reveal opportunities for adult dancers, and share the ways that dance can be a vehicle for non-violent, positive social change through conversation, curiosity, sharing, and play. It's also a Facebook page where I post any adult-based dance information I come across that's happening in Berks County. 

Last week I interviewed local Hip Hop artist, Richard Maldonado, Jr. I've known Richie for several years and I'm so grateful for his tenacious passion and commitment to community. Check it out: 



Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Make Some Noise

Today's National Tap Dance Day. 

But I don't feel like celebrating. 

Yesterday, the U.S. witnessed another elementary school shooting. 

Another. 

It feels more appropriate to scream, shout, make some noise. 

So maybe Tap Dancing. 

Metal on wood. 

...

Dancing won't stop bullets, but it does bring us together to create joy and build connections. Dance is wellness - mental and physical (May is mental health awareness month). Dancing shares out stories and develops empathy. 

We could all afford to dance a bit more these days. 

There are many ways to make noise. 

There are many was to be seen and heard.