A R T I S T S T A T E M E N T
I am a dancer, choreographer, artist, and filmmaker.
Whether I’m working on a live performance or choreographing for film, I use movement as a means to create a sense of community and connection between audience and performers, and to evoke reflection on the universality of human experience.
I am interested in using dance as a form of communal therapy by illustrating novel perspectives on issues that emphasize the shared or common nature of timely social issues.
Movement, for me, is inseparable from storytelling, and I've been drawn to storytelling my entire life. I believe that it is the capacity of movement to convey meaning that makes good dance so compelling. Because my work focuses on this relationship, I consider myself a visual storyteller. In dance, I endeavor to create a series of meaningful images or moments, which then can then take on new or more complex meanings through their juxtaposition.
Each movement has meaning, and by using this approach it allows me to move with texture and communicate ideas that cannot be expressed adequately or with full freedom in verbal language. This is where I believe the therapeutic potential in dance lies. As humans, we have emotional responses to our problems and struggles, and we experience emotions like rage, fear, love, and terror with our physical bodies. There is so much about our emotional experience that simply can’t be captured in words, and dance offers us a physical language for expressing ideas about these experiences.
When I choreograph, I like to focus on creating the most intimate connection between the dancers and the movement possible. In order to accomplish this, I draw from a variety of dance traditions, including Modern, contemporary, ballet, jazz, and African dance. I also choreograph with specific dancers in mind. Each dancer I work with has a unique relationship to movement and his or her body, and I strive to explore these relationships by drawing on the strengths and talents of each individual dancer.
I also use film to augment the communicative possibilities of dance. Through the use of cinematic techniques, I can contextualize or recontextualize movements in a way that allows for a greater expression of meaning. Film allows me to shift the focus of a piece to the nuance and sensuous particularity of simple movements, which can be very emotionally poignant. It also enables me to utilize different forms of media in order to create a more multi-dimensional experience that can be tailored to specific audiences.
photos by Samantha Ruby