Watch “RAIN – an interactive poetic experiment” on YouTube


Dancers really need paid blogging services, I just can’t keep up.

But please!!! Give me some YouTube likes and participation in this new project! Be sure to read the WHOLE description and share with your friends. Coming soon, a FRAMe to the classic Mozart Moonlight Sonata with pianist Dyane Rogelstad.

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Copy, Create, Collaborate! – Choreography Challenge

Today’s addition to the growing 30 day choreography challenge was inspired by a phenomenal masterclass I just got to take with the Paul Taylor 2 dance company!!!

They are in residency at UNCC for three weeks while director Kim Jones resets Paul Taylor’s lost work TRACER.  The New York Times has featured the project this summer and I’m SO thrilled to get to see it when their done!  How Do You Reconstruct Lost Choreography?

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So here’s my Choreography Challenge Day 5 – Copy, Create, Collaborate!

COPY – Pull up a YouTube clip of one of YOUR favorite choreographers works and learn a few phrases. Notice how they move, what makes their technique unique, expressive, and emotional. Try to COPY it!! 2-3 phrases tops.

CREATE – As soon as it’s solid in your brain and body, and without peaking at the video, create your own 2-3 phrases. Memorize your work but don’t take too long with it!!

COLLABORATE – Put them together!   And make a video 😀

Time: 30 minutes tops

Journal: How did you feel learning the choreographers phrases?  Did your piece look anything like his/her work? What was different? What was the same?  Was it fun?

(disclaimer: I am not advocating steeling another persons choreography for personal profit. If you blog your work be sure to give appropriate credit for the inspiration!)

Have fun!

Choreography Challenge – the next submission! Days 3-4

Wow, life is really getting ahead of me these days! BUT I did have a chance to go down to the park and try out some new improvs for my 30 day challenge.  See my blog Choreography Challenge – First Days for days 1-2.

Day 3 is simple.  Get outside, warm up, and then find things that make SOUND.  You can use sticks in your hands, throw leaves, crunch them under your feet, or maybe find a great echo!  I found a bridge with nice vibrating thump that I could manipulate with my feet. And the railings made it even better!  As you warm up, play with what KINDS of different sounds you can get from your chosen objects/surroundings. Then improv 2-3 short phrases before moving on to another spot. DON’T overdo one area! The goal isn’t to create a masterpiece or have perfect technique, it’s to PLAY and walk away feeling more in tune with your world as a mover.

Here’s a couple videos I managed. One on the bridge, the other on a raised cement pad that was uneven.  The bugs out here are REALLY noisey so you may have to IMAGINE the kinds of sounds I’m making, haha! Oh well 😀  It’s all about surround sound right?!

In this improv I was inspired by the pad but also by the passers by and the possibility of shyly experimenting with the concrete where I’m not quite sure if IT, or others, would approve.

Day 4:  Yup, you guessed it.  Follow the same pattern but only use YOUR OWN body to make the sounds.  Shoes, clothes, skin, mouth? Why not! Hair? toes, bum, etc. etc. etc.

Choreography Challenge

Oh what a beautiful morning! 

Except on the internet where there are dozens of writing challenges and photography challenges and fine art challenges for 30 days of inspiration and, SO FAR, the only dance and choreography challenges are simply to do it every day. AHHH!! 

I’m a busy mom and student. Coming up with my own inspirations on the fly for an entire month is daunting. Especially since I may never foot off our property in a given day  don’t money to visit expensive museums and galleries for inspiration.  
So while I’m at it I’m going to make a list of prompts, for dancers, choreographers and teachers, to get moving and creating in the daily spaces we have already.  These will be inspired by themes in The Intimate Act of Choreography (by Bloom and Chaplin), and I may use a few of their own projects as well because they are wonderful.  

I’m off to continue our homeschool day of chores and to start my creative scratching (See Twyla Tharp’s Creative Habit) on this challenge! 

Dancing in Seminary- A part of my art journey

Last year I was invited to create a piece

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for my theology class, in place of a paper. The assignment was to integrate an important aspect of Christian theology into our lives, so making a dance fit the bill quite well.

I had a month to read my text, research, build a concept, attempt to get in shape enough after months of small children and moving across the country, find another dancer, choreograph to that dancer and be ready to perform. No problem. Oh! Gotta cut music, get permission and not fail my other classes, lol. It was fun, and we did it.

This is the first piece I have shown of my work in a long time and the first I’ve performed in a couple years. As an artist I tremble, knowing all to well the critiques that could be made, and the changes I want to make to develop it even more! But as a part of my art journey, the one in which I am not compared to anyone but myself, I am so blessed that God has worked in my life, healing by body to move and having the privilege to perform IN A SEMINARY!! To give glory to God through dance. This is only the beginning.

Below is the write up I prepared and presented before the performance. I was also blessed to be able to speak to the group before hand for several minutes, and Elizabeth and I were able to give some demonstrations concerning the appreciation of dance, but that is not in the video below.

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Thank you to the many who bathed this in prayer, supported the project and attended! Special thanks to my mom for the inspirational trip to New York during it’s conception, and most of all to my amazing husband and children who are my heart.

Hypostasis
An exposition on the nature of the Trinity

     The 5th century of Christianity saw one of the greatest and most vital controversies in Christendom, the nature of Christ.  Nestorius had challenged convention by suggesting that Christ had two natures since humanity and divinity could not possibly be combined into one (Dr. Donald Fairbairn, “Lecture on the Great Schism”).  In attempting to refute him the church entered into a lengthy dispute which involved, not only the nature of Christ, but the nature of the entire God-head.  The conclusion of the Chalcedonian council was that the Trinity had one nature, or ousia, but three persons (Fairbairn, “The Great Schism”).  It is easy enough to say in English, but in Greek and Latin there was some continued dispute about whether to say phusis or hypostasis to represent God’s “personness”, but the intention and meaning of both parties was the was the same (Wahba n.d.).  Peter Toon, in his book Our Triune God: A Biblical Portrayal of the Trinity, says this about YHWH “He is a marvelous mystery, a plurality in unity, and a unity in plurality,” (Toon, 95), and it is this mystery which Hypostasis seeks to explore.

     Every dance begins with a theme and inspiration.  The Trinity itself is mine, and more particularly our personal understanding of the Trinity and relationship to it.  Because of it’s strong sense of individuality and independence Western thought tends towards pantheism, Toon says, citing observations made by Alexis De Tocqueville in Democracy in America (Toon, 18).  In Christianity this tendency appears in the habit of thinking of God as disinterested and detached from us and our daily lives.  Or, perhaps He is interested, but He gave us the ability to think for ourselves didn’t He?  Herein lies my chorographical theme of Idea, a Christian perception of the God-head more in keeping with classic Greek philosophy than Biblical Christianity.  In stark contrast to the invisible Idea is the tangible Object.  This theme is meant to show how silly and fruitless it is to try to live with God conversely as a mere physical Object.  This dance suggests that neither of these relationships are sufficient, or accurate of the reality of the Trinity, and puts forth for discussion a third alternative embodied in the word hypostasis itself.

     1st Corinthians chapter 13 says, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then we shall see face to face.”  It is impossible to truly represent the entire God-head through any earthly means, but as Paul suggests in this verse there is a very true sense in which we can see Him and know him. It is dim, a mere shadow of reality (The Last Battle, C.S. Lewis), but true none-the less.  The word hypostasis reflects this well.  Literally it means understanding and actively it means “that which gives support” (Toon, 41).  Toon affirms that it is the active sense which is used by classic Trinitarianism and the Council of Chalcedon to explain how the persons of the Trinity relate to each other.  Hypostasis pushes both the active and literal sense of the word by suggesting ways in which a human life lives and interacts with the Trinity the way the God intended.  Comfort and support give way to collaboration and togetherness.  There is interaction, intimacy and artistry, ultimately telling a story common to all Christians through the movements of the dance.

     Dance is the sign language of music. Like any art it can be used for beauty or ugliness, but it is nevertheless powerful because it uses the vulnerability of the human body to impress upon the human soul the intentions of the artist in a way that is personal.  As the name Hypostasis suggests, there is a personal God whose mysterious “personness” demands recognition and contemplation. This artist would like to suggest that through the exploration of Hypostasis this evening you contemplate three questions; Who is God? What is my relationship with Him? And, is it what it ought to be?  Further, that you allow yourself to be personally affected by the spiritually formative nature of the piece, which all art and creativity naturally bear (Wes Van der Lugt, “The Beauty of Holiness”).
Video: click below
Hypostases – choreography by Rachel Davis, performed by Rachel Davis & Elizabeth Witham</strong

“Festival” by Sigur Ros used with permission. Cut by Nathanael Davis for Hypostasis, 12/4/2015