Throughout my life, I have believed in dance as a powerful tool for transformation, providing a context in which we may discover our shared humanity through the moving sensing body. In all aspects of my work as choreographer, dancer, teacher, and citizen, I rely on the body as the source for creativity and communication.
New works are born within me through the mystery of an image that arises, or through a deeply felt sense that emerges from within my body. When an image, feeling, or heartfelt concern won’t ‘let me go’, I recognize that the seed of a new work wants to emerge. I allow my intuition to sense into something before beginning to structure a dance. It feels as though an unfolding work comes through me rather than being actively created by me. Initially, when I sense a new work arriving, I feel and intuit my way into its path of becoming.
The somatic practice Continuum has become an essential aspect of my creative process. I have introduced Continuum to dancers for many years. Instead of offering a movement system to acquire, Continuum offers a process using breath and sounding that initiates biologically based movement. It synthesizes movement, science, aesthetics, and an inclusive world view. Continuum is not a replacement for dance training, but a way to enrich training. I view varied dance techniques, dance styles, and exercise systems as languages we choose to master and “speak.” Continuum is a more primary exploration of the body’s actual fluid substance and how that moves within us. Exploration of the fluid realm enables us to “speak” a dance language with a spacious quality of more volume and presence.
Bringing Continuum to choreography supports my desire to communicate effectively. The essence of fluid movement is that it radiates and spreads outward. A characteristic of all fluid systems is that they function in resonance or immediate communication with all other fluid systems. I ask dancers to take responsibility for the resonant field created between them as much as they tend their own bodies. Moving together increases the resonant field of communication between them, and I believe this field of resonance expands to include and perceptually touch the audience during a performance.
Space is an active participant in Dance. The shaping of negative and positive space is as significant to me as is the sculpting and shaping of the dancers’ bodies within the choreography. It is my hope that viewers can participate and enter the experience unfolding on a stage, instead of observing as a bystander. I hope the audience members becomes participants instead of neutral witnesses.
I ask dancers to work with an authenticity of feeling and intention, so that an extra added layer of “performing” is not needed, as I believe it interferes with the simplicity of truthfulness. The openness of the performers as well as their commitment can be a portal for greater participation with the audience and the larger universe.
“I strive to explore the relationship between our common human spirit and
its physical expression. I like to think of my work as a journey — a rite of
passage that enables the dancer and the audience to mutually rediscover
an often forgotten ground.”