Performance • Philadelphia, PA, USA •
“I currently reside in the New York City and Philadelphia Region and run a small dance company called WanderLustCollective.”
Unraveled Artist Interview:
Q: What is your philosophy on dance? If you do not have one, please talk about that instead.
A: My philosophy on dance is based on the idea that EVERYONE can do it. People think dance takes a complicated mix of secret knowledge, ability and rhythm, but dance at its core is much more basic. Dance is movement and change. Moving from sitting on a subway seat, to standing, to walking and navigating out of a subway car is its own dance. Those pedestrian gestures, awkward moments and simple actions are what interest me about dance. Sure you can get academic about absorbing meaning, and technical about the physical steps (don’t get me wrong, I think that stuff is great too), but dance has much more to offer. I think a lot of western dance exists in an elitist place because people think “they just don’t get it,” but everyone moves and there is no one thing to get. Dance is successful when it moves you either physically or cognitively.
Q: What feelings affect you and influence you the most?
A: I am a very visual and kinesthetic person so those elements are very inspiring to me. My projects often work with story telling because there is inherent movement and change. Sound often parallels my movement quality and narrative drives my movement intent.
Q: How do you understand the interface between sound and visual?
A: So important! Movement can exist without sound and sound without movement, but they compliment and embellish each other so well. I like working with directly with live musicians and composers on projects because it creates space for a conversation between the mediums. Sound and visual co-influence each other even if they are intended to say different things. Sound is fascinating because it is a mystery to me. There is so much I don’t know about it sound and yet amazingly my body reacts instinctively. The connection is automatic.
Q: Briefly explain how you begin your creative process and how you decide when something is done.
A: My creative process often starts with a flash of an image or movement. It is not something I can sit down and do on command because usually it is the result of processing and exploring other parts of my life. For example, I am a Speech Pathology Graduate student, and I am working on a dance on film piece having to do with movement as a tool for communication. I flesh my ideas out through visual mood boards, collaborating with other artists, improvising movement and finally setting choreography. I never feel like my projects are “done,” I could always refine them further, and that is why it is important to set deadlines. If I indulged that idea I would never finish anything!
Q: Do you believe in the process more than result or result more than process? Why?
A: I’m an idealist and I believe in process. If I emphasized the “dance product” I would be selling dance. I’m more interested in the journey than the destination.
Q: Why do you value being part of an independent artist community?
A: Being a part of an independent artist community is so important to my life as an artist and also as a person. I highly value the work of my peers and frequently collaborate with them on their projects as well as my own. I am a member of several collectives and can not imagine working any other way–they hold me accountable, question and support my work.
Q: What is the range of methods, materials and styles you are most comfortable working with?
A: I am really open minded when it comes to different artists to work with; I love collaborating with theater and sound artists as well as other visual artists and dancers. Devising work is a strong way to create, but I also enjoy reinterpretation of existing works. Movement, visuals and lighting are all mediums I am comfortable working with. Recently I participated in my first acting role, which was exciting to experience. Currently I am working on my first dance on film and exploring the camera as a framework for movement. Dance theater, modern dance and ballet are the styles I am most experienced in, but I like the challenge of having medium I haven’t mastered–that is when the discoveries happen!
Q: How can people support you further?
A: Support the dance community! Take a dance class or see a performance. One of the most frustrating things as an artist is having a performance with an audience comprised of only other dancers. My work is created for people who think dance isn’t for them and it is a shame when dance is not shared. I am always looking to collaborate and you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.