Wednesday, November 13, 2019

HOMEmade Soup

I often think of my work as a collage or a soup. There's a lot that goes into the pot (or on the paper, or into the research and rehearsal process), but the ingredients meld and blend until sometimes they're not distinguishable as their own, but as the greater part of the whole. A little salt? You might not be able to taste it as salt inside of the soup, but you might notice a huge difference in the flavor once it's added (or when it's missing...).

Refer back to my earlier post about the Metaphorical Soup.

So... what's going into HOMEbody's HOMEmade soup? In no particular order, but very specific in choice:

1. Stories and stories and stories of home. Very personal stories from my dancers, stories from published authors, storytellers, and other mediums. For all of that in one place, click here. 

2. My dancers and the very specific way I've chosen them. I'm admitting a sort of bias here, which I feel important to acknowledge as a social researcher/ dance anthropologist/ person in 2019 America. All of my dancers are professionally trained and white; I know there's a disparity of ethnicity on stage. However, in order to move forward from this current moment in my artistic journey, I needed to reflect and tell MY story. I can't speak for or from any experiences that aren't my own. So, my dancers - albeit much younger than I am - are white and are professionally trained which might assume a certain level of socioeconomic status. The assumptions aren't necessarily or always true, but those are all aspects of these stories. There is a diversity of age on stage. I wanted and tried for a greater range, but life, schedules, time and travel got in the way. My limitations have informed the process.

3. Paul Fejko's music. Paul and I have been collaborating for almost 9 years in some form - from working together in the classroom to other professionally produced performances. He sometimes describes his music as the soundtrack of a horror movie. I think it's multilayered, nuanced, and demanding - reflective of the stories we carry in our bodies.

4. White costumes. White light is the absorption of all light colors. White is the color of the Women's Suffrage Movement.

5. Nov. 21st. November 19th is the internationally declared celebration of Women's Entrepreneurship.  Because of schedule conflicts, we couldn't have the performance ON Nov 19th, so we're celebrating a few days past. The Women's Entrepreneurship Summit in NYC is the previous week. But everyday is Women's Entrepreneurship Day!

6. Alvernia University in Reading, PA. I grew up in Reading and Alvernia has a deep history in my family. I'm honored to be sharing this challenging and exciting work in this place that has been both challenging and wonderful.

7. Jake Buczewski's video. Jake is not only a video storyteller, but he's also my cousin. And he's from Reading. He lends another perspective to my own challenges of growing up as an artist in a town that didn't always feel receptive. And he knows me as a family member, not just as a professional artist.

8. The movement vocabulary. Some of the movement has been generated from improvisational prompts. Some of the movement comes directly from codified dance techniques that I've studied. Some of the movement is in homage to people and other movement that lives in my memory and in my physicality.

9. A new way of relating to audience. We're trying something out.... you'll have to come to see what it is. Get tickets here. 

10. Performance practice, feedback, and photos from the journey. Each moment that the soup is tested and tasted, we get more information on how to enhance the recipe and flavor. Thanks to everyone who shared in these experiences at Widener University's Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities symposium in Chester, PA; Sarah Carlson/ DanceLink's presentation of Rising Tide in Bethlehem, PA; and KYL/D's InHale Performance Series in Philadelphia, PA!

pic by Juliana Wall

10. And your stories... you bring your own experiences as you witness the performance. What are the ingredients that you add to the soup?

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