As an artist/scholar (who is, dancer/performer, choreographer/writer, director/educator, leader/visionary, and practitioner/theorist) my work investigates embodied imagination, improvisational composition, and nonverbal/non-discursive ways of knowing. My transcultural transdisciplinary work examines the body as a medium to communicate.
The themes of my choreographic work are varied. My spiritual adoption by a Mexican family led me to investigate Mexican culture and Frida Kahlo for over 30 years resulting in a six-year creative process and December 2015 and April 2016 NYC previews of the 60-minute ?Las Fridas: A Movement Installation and Offering? with female-male and male-male casts.
My lifelong solo heuristic artistic journey included my burning desire to re-enter the performance arena in May 2015. Over the next year I developed a 60-minute solo program including movement and text, abstract and literal action, drama and comedy. Of the current program?s three works, I performed one, ?The Metrics of Awakening,? as an abstract athletic expanded 60-minute solo improvisation including original text, vocalization, and self-generated percussion in May 2016.
In an earlier phase of my artistic production, for nearly 20 years, I was concerned with exacting polyrhythmic athletic virtuosity. I was inspired by a wide range of concerns.
One work, inspired by a Paul Klee painting and accompanied by Poulenc’s Organ Concerto, explores children’s games, the secrets they contain and what it means to be invisible. Another relates Mexico’s Day of the Dead to the AIDS crisis. I have also “updated” the concepts of the Bauhaus through an homage to one of the original members of the Bauhaus I knew, Andor Weininger; explored the figure 8 in spatial, corporal, and rhythmic patterning juxtaposed with clown elements; and investigated relationships with family, ancestors, and the earth.
I have explored the roles of dance and the dancer in different cultures and traveled and interacted with people from all over the world. My work has enabled me to dance and teach in a variety of cultural settings, including El Salvador during the last year of the war; Paris, France; Northampton, England, where we brought a dynamic new form of arts-in-education to the country, particularly to students who were developmentally disabled; the South Bronx, Manhattan’s Lower East Side, and Far Rockaway, Queens; rural Cambridge, New York, where we brought teenagers and senior citizens together for a project combining oral history and dance; the Adirondack Mountains; Ljubljana, Slovenia, shortly after that country’s return to the Western bloc; Puebla, Toluca, Mexico City, and seven small towns and country fairs throughout the State of Mexico; and the Peruvian and Ecuadorian Andes. I developed a Peruvian-U.S. company of 19 dancers and musicians and created a commissioned dance-theater work for the National Dance Company of Ecuador based on current events and social themes of those countries.
Other transformative experiences included working with a traditional Quich? Mayan dance and music community in Chichicastenango, Guatemala and seven schools in New York City and State; researching dance in Havana, Cuba; and lecturing about developing a dance company to artists and managers from Eastern Europe, the newly independent states and Russia in Volgograd. These journeys fill me up with sounds, images, experiences and motion, and inspire me with new dreams for new ways to move and to speak through the dancing and moving body. I come home filled with new perspectives on what it is to be alive and full of dreams about the future. I return feeling connected with a transcultural and transdisciplinary community of artists.
Whether I am speaking with a classical Chinese dancer from Beijing in Queens or with a modern dancer living in Scotland who hails from Ghana or with an experimental choreographer in El Salvador, or with a 5-year old child in Arequipa, Peru who spontaneously shares a joyous ancient folk dance with me at the moment of our meeting, I am exploring what the creative process means to me and to fellow human beings. My creative work is an exploration, and a way of experiencing the world. I enjoy sharing my love of dance and creative processes by creating, performing for, and sharing my experiential knowledge with children and adults. I passionately love sharing my visions and resulting dance-theater images and performances with those who have had and with those who have not yet had the opportunity to experience contemporary concert dance and movement-theater arts firsthand.
My work begins and continues with questions: What is dance? Where does it come from? Why do I dance? What am I saying with this or that juxtaposition of bodies, momentum, and rhythms? Where does this particular action want me to go with it? How can I give birth through motion in the blankness of an empty studio to an inspiration that is obsessing me? In what part of a particular performer’s body does the mystery of a certain image live? How can I create an anti-violence statement without it becoming violence itself? Why do I cry over this section of the performance every time I see it? Why don’t I get bored even after having seen this dance 50 times? Why is this dance-theater performer so compelling? What will my next performance be? The questions keep coming and I keep asking them.