Thursday, March 27, 2014

Be/Longing: Light/Shadow tonight at Cheyney University

Merilyn Jackson wrote for the Philly Inquirer:

"In this evening-length work, he creates a chiaroscuro of light and dark, movement and stillness, inhaling and exhaling, sound and silence..."

"...dancers who tap into a reverence for humanity while exemplifying excellent modern technique and ensemble dancing..."

Read more From Kun-Yang Lin, a premiere of contrasts

Photos by Bill Hebert

Bill Hebert (Bill H) has a photo journal on the Dance Journal. Check out more of his photos from the performance here:
Bill H - Behind the Lens

And here's the info for tonight's performance at Cheyney University:
Cheyney Arts and Lecture Series


Marian Anderson Music Center Auditorium
Cheyney, PA 19319

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Taking the stage

We've been in the theatre all week for tech - lighting, sound, spacing, getting used to the distance between the audience and us as performers. These are all elements that can only exist in the theatre.

In the studio, we've been doing a lot of physical, intellectual, and emotional research to prepare for this step. This week, we have a few days to investigate how this research will translate in this space. The Mandell Theater is beautiful. Cory Neale's sound design fills the space. Stepen Petrilli's lighting design adds magic.

In this article: Metro Philly KYL/D Be/Longing Kun-Yang discusses some of his inspiration points and his research process.

And below is a link to more research:

Yes, that's me screaming. (As several students at a recent lecture that I presented with Executive Director Ken Mentzner asked.) And I don't usually scream, or get really angry for that matter. But this process has challenged me to ask some hard questions and return with some difficult, honest answers. I've been challenged to reflect on who I am, who I was, and who I want to become. Where do I belong and how do I create a world in which I want to live? How do I be strong within myself and maintain a sense of gentle compassion? Of what am I scared and from what do I hide - how do I confront these and move beyond them? In our world, especially in light of recent events in Europe, these questions become relevant on a micro and macro level.

Please join me this weekend. In the words of my fellow artist, Liu Mo, Be/Longing: Light/ Shadow is:
"a really strong emotional dance piece..."

Get tickets here.

See you in the theatre!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Where do you BeLong?

I continue to learn about myself through each process. The journey is exciting. I appreciate the opportunity to learn about the people who are on this journey with me. Here are some more behind-the-scenes insights into our own processes as artists in working with KYL/D on Be/Longing: Light/Shadow.

"Our dancing journey isn't that really different from anybody's life journey. For me, dance and life are one in the same. Dance is a reflection of that vigor for life..." ~Evalina (Wally) Carbonell


"(In this work) we are connecting with being dancers, but still being human. Dancers are interesting people. We exist in a world where there is never enough. We're always pushing limits, pushing our bodies, pushing the way we think about things..." ~Eiren Shuman


"The work here (with KYL/D) is very unique. There's a certain intention that's required for everything. It's no longer just about movement.... It's shifted my way of thinking, in the way that I approach my work. Working with him (Kun-Yang) has definitely changed my approach to life, in general."


Get tickets here for KYL/D's Be/Longing: Light/ Shadow: Tickets

Sunday, March 9, 2014

More Light to be Present: Collages 1

An acupuncturist recommended that during the winter, I eat warm foods and try to spend a few minutes in the sun everyday. "It's hard when it's so cold," she admitted, "but it helps to have a dog." Dogs make everything a little brighter, even the dark days of winter. And they do require time outside, but it's hard to chase balls or frisbees when there's a foot of snow on the ground. 

But, the seasons are again changing and it's time again to change the clocks, look to spring, and create new changes and adventures. Change reminds me to be present.

"The creative mind is wired with the ability to feel with great depth and passion. Creative people often experience the world in a way we call skinless - as if they lack the protective shield and instinctive filtering that we normally use to cope with the barrage of sensory information that comes at us all.... good strategies for managing this hypersensitivity... (develop) creativity" ~Jeff and Julie Crabtree 

Change demands awareness and presence. Change means new experiences to process. Change means endings. Moving from the studio into the theatre: changing space, changing environments. Change means finding a sense of self in the constant motion: grounding. Change means new beginnings, adventures, and stories that have to be created.  

Photo by Zac Gotlib

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Finding light in shadow

Recently, a student asked me of working with Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers - how has the process changed you? Honestly, I looked at her, smiled, and shook my head. "Wow! That's a loaded question and not one that I was prepared to answer, but this is it. This feeling of vulnerability is real and in this moment, I'm going to share that this is challenging for me to talk about. I'm still processing and growing and changing and being in the middle of it is dark and murky and sometimes scary because I don't know what I'm going to find, but you asked and your question is honest and so deserves an honest answer, complete in words and feelings. This process has particularly changed my acceptance of my shadows. I've learned that my shadows are just not shortcomings or challenges or things about which I am embarrassed. They are still all of those things, but I do not need to be burdened by them. I'm learning that in order that in order to more fully experience the light - the happy, beautiful, exciting, wonderful things about life, I need to acknowledge my shadows. Once I can fully experience my shadow, I have a deeper range with which I can experience light.

I've also come to recognize and be more comfortable with the continuum of light and shadow - the range from light to dark. Life isn't black and white. You can't experience the shadows without the perspective of the light... I'm sure there's more... but that's where I am right now."

Recently, Terry Gross from NPR's Fresh Air interviewed Director Alexander Payne. One of my favorite moments from that interview follows:

"You see... she has very ready access to emotion. And that's what... the great actors have. And that's why life is often so difficult for them because they can't keep their emotions tamped down, as like... you and I can. So then if you put an oil pump on that spurting oil well of emotion, then you can be a professional actor..."
"... there's a way in which, I've observed that actors and directors envy each other. I think a director envies an actor's ready access to emotion and how beautiful that is. And I think actors can envy directors dealing more clinically with emotions, ordering them about dispassionately..." ~Payne

Check out the full interview here: Terry Gross interviews Alexander Payne

Below are a few interviews of the process of Be/Longing from myself and some of the other artists of KYL/D. We're having another Open Dialogue this Saturday, March 8th from 4-5pm at CHI MAC. Come see some of the process for yourself!

"This process has been helpful to me in acknowledging the shadow, and accepting the shadow, and moving with the shadow to better appreciate the light." ~JCWK

"It's made me more aware of my shadow... like last season I had this issue where I couldn't get anything right, and it was really hard for me and there were a lot of ups and downs, but mostly downs... but this season I've learned to let go of those issues and know that I'm dancing for me." ~Brandi Ou

"The part I find most interesting is the "Be". One of my favorite things about working with Kun-Yang... is that it's about being, being honest, being in the moment and being truthful with that." ~Vuthy Ou