Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy holidays

Where ever you are, and who ever you are, my heart felt wishes for a safe and warm holiday season, filled with love.

I hope you have a moment to breathe. To be aware. And to smile.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Performance as research

I'm interested in the research of the performer. The investigations that go into a body of work. The kinesthetic understandings. The work that the performer does... more than just the work of doing the steps. The work of practicing and researching the lived experience of the performed moment.

I'm including a video from "Doris Says..." Megan Quinn graciously performed "Song of Euterpe" again, for me. We've been working on this piece for over a year, now; Megan has performed it in various stages, in various forms of refinement. After this, the sixth performance of the work over the year, Megan said to me, "I think I'm finally getting it."

And here lies one of the core issues of our research. We, as performers, are constantly searching. Constantly figuring things out. And, like research done in any laboratory, it takes time for us to figure things out. This is the importance of the rehearsal process. The research. The practice.

I'm posting Megan's September performance because it's beautiful to look back on the video from a year ago and see how much she has grown as a dancer and performer. It's beautiful to see the research lived before my/your eyes. It's exciting to see the process unfold. (Go back to November 2010 to see one of her first performances

What has unfolded? Megan has a more expansive use of her kinesphere. Her weighted is dropped and her movement pathways are more clear. I interpret this as young performer developing a more mature understanding of her body in space; of her body as a technical instrument. I see a deeper awareness of her relationship to her audience. She has a more clear relationship with the music.

Why is this important and what implications might this have? A sensitive, mature performer is aware of her place in space and of her audience. These relationships translate to everyday life. A performer who is adept at negotiating space and time and people and who can translate these skills to multiple stages, will also be able to translate these skills to multiple "real-life" situations. For example, business presentations, customer relationships, inter-office interactions... training through artistic performance has multiple benefits to the non-arts sector... more research to follow!

And it's continuing...

Thanks, Megan!

Here's the youtube link:

Review of Ties that Bind and NGPP's latest project

The Nora Gibson Performance Project performed December 2nd and 3rd at the Painted Bride Arts Center. Here's Merilyn Jackon's review for the Philly Inquirer:

and some pics:
photo by Eve Gibson

photo by Bill H. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

How Philly Moves

JJ Tiziou created this wonderful project. Check it out!

"It uses dance to talk about... everyone is photogenic... and that's not the end-all idea. That idea has a bigger principal that is this underlying truth of life of valuing your neighbors and valuing ourselves... It's about community and collaboration and that's what's really special about it... Bringing people from all over and seeing what a beautiful diversity there is and how much in common we all have in this shared beauty of our human experience." ~~JJ Tiziou

Thanks, and congrats, JJ!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Dancing is Defiance

It has been the core of my philosophy that dance is a form of social justice.

Let me break it down:

Throughout history, power has been exacted on one party by another through manipulation of the body. An idea cannot be silenced unless the body that houses that idea is silenced. The body holds the stories of an individual and of a people. Knowing the body provides an opportunity for one to know the self and the self in context of the larger community.
Dancing connects the body, the mind, and the spirit of an individual. Through regular practice of dance, the practitioner develops a better understanding of these entities (the body, the mind, and the spirit); therefore, developing a deeper understanding of the self. Understanding produces empathy. I believe that empathy produces a sense of respect and community. Through developing an awareness of the self, the dancer develops an awareness of other bodies in space in his/her community.
In our 21st Century society, our identities are relegated to e-mail addresses, two-dimensional photos, and cell-phone numbers. Dancing reminds us that we are three-dimensional beings. Dancing provides an opportunity to live and engage with the very thing that makes us human: our bodies.

Thank you, Psychology Today for this article:

And keep dancing!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

At the Bride... (the Painted Bride Arts Center in Philly, that is...)

Rehearsal for Phase 2...

The Nora Gibson Performance Project with Jennifer Morley's Figments and Olive Prince Dance. Friday and Saturday at the Painted Bride Arts Center. It's a really intense show... you don't want to miss this. Kinda like slowing down with a really complex glass of wine or spending an entire afternoon getting lost in a book of poetry, an art museum, or a field of high, green grass and wild flowers.

Yep... you need to go there. Take a deep breath and dive in head first... (or, just get your ticket and stay glued to your seat).