Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Dancing in the Community

Join me tonight on BCTV.org for the second episode of The Greater Reading Area Dance Exchange! I'll be talking to Barrio Alegria, a community organization using a variety of art forms to create positive social change! 

Click here to access BCTV.org's live streaming platform. Click "Watch Now" and then select "BCTV.org".

See you at 6pm!

But, if you missed the show, you can view it through BCTV.org's YouTube channel! Click play below:





Monday, September 27, 2021

Thank you, Harvest Moon!

Thank you to everyone who celebrated the astronomical calendar's harvest moon with JCWK Dance Lab's Harvest Moon! 

I'll be processing over the next few weeks and have the opportunity to share this research, again - in a new way - at the National Dance Education Organization's National Conference. I'm excited to look at the data, unpack feedback, and reflect on this journey. 

In the meantime, here are the additional two poems that were created as part of the audience engagement experience. 


From 9/20, the actual Full Moon


From 9/25:




 

Sunday, September 19, 2021

The Harvest Moon Rises

 Harvest Moon - JCWK Dance Lab's virtual event - opened last night. 

After a series of dance films, the audience collaborated on a Group Poetry Creation led by Dr. Phillip Tietbohl from Poetry that Works. The poem was in reflection of the films. 

Here is what the audience developed, together:









Dr. T created the images with the text from the Group Poem. 

Tonight, Alvernia University Theatre's Dr. Nathan Thomas is facilitating a more traditional audience/ artist talk back. Harvest Moon continues on 9/20, 9/24, 9/25, and 9/26 with different audience engagement opportunities each night. 

To join the experience, please click here. 





Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Reach for the Moon

 


"Reach for the Moon...
even if you miss, you'll be among the stars."

Happy September! When was a time that you reached for the Moon? 


Nine months ago, dance artists Sarena Kabakoff and Kalila Kingsford Smith supported me in reaching for the Moon. The pandemic, isolation, and the darkness of winter prompted me to create light in the only way I know how. I needed to create a small community and I needed to create a dance. 

What started as a small, personal prompt has turned into a creative community collaborative experiment. In January, engineer/ psychologist/ poet Dr. Phillip Tietbohl allowed us to use his poem "Full Moon" for inspiration. 

In February, long-time collaborator Paul Fejko granted me permission to use his music for that first dance film which premiered in the Reading Theater Project's 5-Minute Fringe and the Lehigh Valley Dance Exchange's Virtual Dance Exposure. (Thank you, Paul, RTP, and LVDE!).

In March, I reached for the Moon again and approached Jill Haley about creating music for the project. (Thank you Jill!) I dreamed about a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) experiment that became Harvest Moon. Jill, Sarena, Kalila and I dove more deeply into lunar cycles and celestial patterns, Zoom and internet technology, film making, and gravitational forces through movement, music, imagery, and metaphor. 

Reading Musical Foundation provided us with a special projects grant for Jill's music. (Thank you Reading Musical Foundation!)

By April, we had created two dance films and in May, began exploring how to create a digital, immersive audience experience. Dr. Nathan Thomas and Dr. Tietbohl agreed to lead two different audience engagement models as part of the full performance experience. 

In June, I committed Harvest Moon to the FringeArts Fringe Festival. 

July and August continued rehearsals, research, and film making. 

And now it's September. It's time for the lunar and virtual Harvest Moon. 

Please join us for an experimental evening of music, dance, film, and audience engagement. Dr. Tietbolh will lead a Group Poetry Creation after the live-streamed dance films on 9/18, 9/20, and 9/25. Dr. Thomas will lead a more traditional talk-back on 9/19, 9/24, and 9/26. 

Tickets are pay-what-you-wish and are available by clicking here. You'll get links to both the live-stream and the following Zoom experience when you purchase your ticket. 

Thank you for sharing this dream! 

Monday, August 16, 2021

August Updates

There's a lot going on... 

July 25th - Reading Theater Project's In Nature's Studio was an awesome success! It was really hot and humid, but that didn't stop so many people from coming out to the Reading Public Museum's arboretum and touring the artistry. I was reminded of my days being a street performer at Busch Gardens - so much fun! 

July 30th - A dream of mine has begun to take fruition. For the past several years, I've wanted to discover and highlight dance in Berks County. My company, JCWK Dance Lab, is investing in a service project to do just that. The Greater Reading Area Dance Exchange (GRADE) was born. I created a website (click here) and a Facebook page (click here) and BCTV.org invited me to create a pilot show! It aired on BCTV.org's platforms five times in the beginning of August. You can watch it on YouTube:


August 6th - I shared research on using dance in the digital sphere as part of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education's annual conference. 


August 9th - I led a group of Berks County youth in dance practice and performance. We explored the halls of the GoggleWorks in collaborative team-building/ confidence-boosting/ dance-making in the opening day of RIZE's Solidarity camp. RDG Magazine did an article on the camp. Click here to read more. 

And... Harvest Moon is fast approaching. Thanks, PhiladelphiaDance.org and BCTV.org for sharing!

Click here to read the press release on PhiladelphiaDance.org

Click here to read the press release on BCTV.org


Monday, July 19, 2021

Inspired by Nature

 Up next... 

I'm so excited for this project because:

  • Joy! I'm dancing outside! by a river! in response to visual, aural and natural art! 
  • Collaboration - between artists who are long gone but who have left behind their impressions and artists who are creating new art with and from current situations and past stories.
  • Concert dance performance in Berks! I've brought two local dancers into this work as well - I'm so excited to explore more dance in Berks. 
  • Live performance research resumes! I'm using this opportunity to research one of the pieces for Harvest Moon.
  • Connections and community! The Folks at Reading Theater Project and the Reading Public Museum have been wonderful to work with - thank you!

See you on Sunday!



Thursday, July 1, 2021

Thank you!

 

Original photo by Bill Hebert.