Sunday, July 26, 2015

National Dance Day 2015

Every day should be National Dance Day. For me, it is!

National Dance Day is July 25th and was officially named by the Dizzy Feet Foundation.

"Dizzy Feet Foundation was founded in 2009 by producer Nigel Lythgoe and director Adam Shankman, among others, to support, improve and increase access to dance education in the United States" ~from the Dizzy Feet Foundation website

Across the country, dance communities celebrate this day with performances, classes, and dance-related excitement.

This post is a day late because I was performing in the 3rd Annual Come Together Dance Festival, presented by the Koresh Dance Company.

This year, I had the honor of performing with Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers. I love Come Together because:
1. Dancers in the Philly area are so busy! We are often rehearsing and performing with our own projects and don't get to see the work of other artists! (Not to mention that we can't always afford tickets).
2. Time to share! Share each others' work! Share ideas and conversation between call and the performance! Share thoughts and feedback during the performance! Share new friends, dancers and choreographers!
3. Community! or ComeUnity! Come Together featured break dancers, modern dancers, ballet dancers, tap dancers, and traditional Indian dancers. There were dances in bear feet, socks, ballet flats, pointe shoes, tap shoes, and sneakers. Dances with unique and beautiful costumes (extravagant and minimal), lighting, and props. Dancers of every shape, size, color, background, and makeup. And the backstage area where everyone is waiting to perform is full of support! The hallway fills with applause as the last performing group enters from off stage and shouts of "Merde!" to the company heading on stage.
4. The Suzanne Roberts Theatre is beautiful! The stage is a nice floor on which to dance, the audience is a great size, the lighting and production capacities are beautiful! And Koresh always has a sweet team of professionals working the technical end and capturing the moments of the performance.
5. I am reminded of how lucky I am to be a professional dancer. This is a challenging vocation, but I am grateful to know that so many others share my drive, dream, and passion. (And challenges and shortcomings). Each of us, in our own way, figures out how to make that dream survive.
6. Dance brings people together. All of the performances had full audiences! Not only did we get to share with other artists, backstage, but with a full house (over 400 people) every night. Dance is powerful and transformative. It creates joy.

Koresh needs some help to make sure that Come Together is complete - even after the final performers take their bows. Their Indiegogo campaign is open for a few more days. Please help keep Dance in Philly alive: Come Together Indiegogo Campaign

KYL/D performing at Koresh's Come Together. Photo by Bicking Photography
(I'm in the green socks).

Thank you! Thank you, Koresh! Thank you, KYL/D! Thank you Bicking Photography! Thank you dance artists! Thank you to all of the audience members and supporters! It was an honor to share the stage with you and perform for you!

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Protected - more questions

For the Dance Journal, Gregory King wrote, "Athletic and nuanced in its presentation, The Protected revealed King in positions of defiance and strength when she stood in an open stance with her chest listed and arms raised above her head and bent at the elbows. She was unapologetic in her demeanor as she overpowered the space with her deliberate musculature. King danced fearlessly..."

Read the whole review here: Artists at Home

A "performance" is like a "publication". What is shown (through the stage or through text) is fully developed, thought out, and researched. But the action of "putting it out there" (read: the work for performance and/or publication) also proves to be influential in the choreographer's/ author's research.

Because the creative process is organic, it's never "really" finished.
~Should the work be left to gestate, it might produce different results.
~Should the audience experience the work at a different time or place, he/she/they might have different interpretations of the work, based upon his/her/their lived experiences and what they bring to the work.
~What would happen if the creator could re-visit the work:
       ~ with his/her new lived and researched experiences?
        ~ with feedback from other professionals in the field?
         ~ with feedback from audiences who are not experienced in the field?

How do lived experiences change with time? How do the memories of lived experiences change with time?

A moment from "The Protected" caught by Bill Hebert. 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Dance "Hacks" - Part 2

Thanks so much to everyone who read and responded to my article and question about dance "hacks"!

Here's the article: Dance Advantage - Dance Hacks for Performance and Summer Training

And here are some of my fav responses from people, personally and virtually:


"The night before a show, I rub my feet in Icy-Hot - mainly the arches so they're warm."

"I always have a theraband, make up remover wipes (for sweat in addition to make up), deodorant, and a mini first aid kit. And of course water and extra socks!"

"And two tennis balls placed in a sock for my tight calves and upper traps. I even take this on long airplane flights to massage my back while I'm sitting. A granola bar too!"

"Extra warm-ups! A sweater, leg warmers, and/or socks/ slippers."

"A journal and a pen. I have a digital device, but I also really like the ability to write things down. There's a different connection in my brain when I write with a pen as opposed to when I type."

What are some things that you carry with you?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Dance "Hacks" and Necessary Dance Bag Items - Post 1

Warning: This is the first of a series of posts.

I am lucky to perform different projects on a regular basis. I learn so much from performance.

From the performance itself:
What is the work communicating to an audience? What am I communicating to an audience?
What is the work saying to me, in real time?
How do I negotiate real-time, unexpected challenges? (A lighting error, the music goes out, another dancer makes an unexpected choice?)

From the preparation for performance:
What do I need to be ready for the performance, physically, emotionally, and psychologically?
To that end, I have shared these dance "hacks":
Dance Hacks for Performance and Summer Training

Hack: A clever solution to a tricky problem - according to

What are your dance (or life) "hacks"?