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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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.

Art and Car Trouble

Wouldn’t you know that the day I get to go SOAK in a free art gallery and relish the delight of resting in the presence of inspiration, would also be the day I don’t get home till 1am and have my car towed?  Yes it was.  Fortunately I overheated near the heart of traffic for the Friday Panthers game, so it was safe to walk the 20 minutes to the gas station and back.  Two friendly cops directing traffic also proved excellent guardian angels and made sure my little VW Golf didn’t get towed to an impound.  Not so fortunate was the car itself. She has a blown head gasket and possibly more internal damage since the cops gave me a limited choice on parking places that were a few hundred feet from where I first stopped.

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I maintain the grace and provision of God, however, since we’ve been offered the loan of TWO cars in the interim weeks, and friends from out of town were able to rescue me :D.

Enough about the car, let me tell you about the ART!!

I drove into Uptown Charlotte for the Goodyear Arts  July/August exhibition on Friday evening.  This arts center thrives on the truth that artists need “Space, Time, Money and Community” in order to do what they do.  Artists can reserve free studio space and enjoy the fellowship and critiques of fellow artists of all kinds!  There were no dancers or other performers at this month’s exhibition but I did find this ad 😉


I’m hoping to start something similar with the ArtsCharlotte Performing Arts group this coming year.  Since our group is a mix of dancers, actors and musicians our gatherings will be open places for people to move, improvise and create collaboratively.  Sound Fun? Sign up for our newsletter to stay tuned for updates!

The exhibition itself was very eclectic. You could easily tell that some of the painters and photographers were very new to their work, while others had a more defined aesthetic and talent in communicating it. For example, one artist had about 50 photographs on display of city bus stops.  I love the concept and instantly thought of a dirge of creative ways to tell that story! But the photographs were so identical in content and aspect that I felt bored, and didn’t return to the exhibit. Less wou
ld have been MORE in this scenario. By contrast, another artist used multiple spaces throughout the event center to treat her viewers to a multi-sensory experience of her art as you went from one to the next.  She used art, sculpture, enclosures, the written word, spoken word and sound to communicate her exploration of art and language.  It sensed a real flow from one portion of it to the next and walked through several times.

Could both have been better?  Yes. But isn’t that what we ALWAYS think about ourselves and our work?  The question is, did you take a risk?  Were you willing to let your self be seen through your art?  My constant effort in creativity, whether I’m writing a poem, setting a piece or writing school curriculum, is be excellent in my work and to LEARN something new.  It’s in communities like Goodyear Arts where the experienced and inexperienced can mix without fear, and we all help each other in the learning part of the process.  Overall, I enjoyed the whole adventure!

 During a video presentation I found a lit seat near the door to journal a few ideas about  art appreciation and interpretation, which I’ll go into more detail  on in my NEXT blog! 

Choreography Challenge – First Days

I must confess that I’ve bit off quite a bite trying to write and DO my own choreography challenge, but it’s coming along!  For those who don’t know yet, I’m creating a 30 day challenge of creativity for MOVERS.  At present it’s 30 days that can be in more or less days depending on the schedule of the Mover :), because if you’re like me you have a lot going on.

So I’ve written two days of challenges so far.  Day 1:  The first is to take photos or videos of creative movement inspired by your household chores! Everyone has them, we all loathe how they get in the way of our imagination, so USE IT.  While it might feel mundane, I found that trying to do dishes, play with my children and take these photos was a lot of fun and gave me a much broader perspective on the kids of creative inspirations in my own home.  I recommend repeating this one.

Day 2: This exercise is straight from the Intimate Act of Choreography with a slight adaptation.  Chapter 3 on Speaking Body isolates the specific movement of body parts in order to help the mover to be able to speak LOUDER and more poignantly with even the smallest appendage. How?  By experimentation of course!

Body Discovery (pg 17) Start with your hands, your non-dominant hand, and begin moving it.  Make small movements and gestures taking pains not to move any other part of your body.  This is where I deviated a bit. I started my improve while on a late night walk :).  Sometimes I just can’t sit still but I’ve done this improv both ways and they are both fantastic for different reasons.  Let your had become more animated, then let it start moving your arm joint by joint and JUST as you get to the shoulder, pass the movement over to your other hand.  Again, begin small.  Next try it with your toes and feet, then let your feet and arms dance together. “Com on, hand, try to ripple, spurt, stiffen, quiver, clench, scratch, hang, pulsate, drum, point….[Let it] show off a bit! It likes that…throw it away.”  Now do this with other body parts.

I recommend trying this for several days in a row, either for Days 3-5 or overlapping the next challenges.  Body discover is a lot like massage. The more you release the mental muscles the more parts of your “speaking body” you will discover.

That’s what I’ve got for today! I’ll create several more this week and post them over the weekend…Stay tuned :D.

 

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! 

Can integrative arts include business and religion? – A part of my art journey

FINALLY!    Article of Inspiration:  Am I a Dancer Who Gave Up?

This article is a wonderfully articulate story about an artist whose passion couldn’t just be dance, and I can totally relate.  Am I a dancer? A theologian? A non-profit administrator? An early childhood educator?  A professional MOM? Every one of those titles takes work to combine with one of the others, and as someone who has always longed for a truly integrative arts journey, one is not enough.  Can “integrative arts” include people who professionally integrate their arts with traditionally non-artistic disciplines?

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Shawn Lent, who writes the article, is a dancer and choreography, but she is also a business manager and does international diplomatic work for the U.S. Did I mention she’s working in some of my favorite countries too? Like Egypt!

For many years I have had friends and family as me if I’d given up on being a dancer. No, of course not! It’s a part of who I am and I take it with me anywhere. I believe Shawn says much the same thing as I have for all these years.  And why not?

We might not know what to call ourselves, but this is a demographic I can get behind. Dare I say it, a profession?

Enjoy all you artsy peoples!!

 

Who Has Seen the Wind – a part of my art journey

I was so surprised to be allowed to perform a dance piece last semester for a seminary theology class.  The purpose of the project was to reflect a certain point of theology and integrate it with a practical area of ministry in which we find ourselves.  For me, my dancing has always been worship, but with a deep desire to go beyond the perceived “liturgical” dance traditions common to western Christianity, and use the art to challenge perception, create questions, and demonstrate its unique beauty.

So, with that I am VERY excited to announce my next dance performance in the community!

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The Promenade  is an outdoor location, pictured below. The piece will be performed around the fountain at about this time of the evening.

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Choreography is almost finished. Now it’s only a matter of the weather 😀