(some) words being used to capture our world, mapped on (a) body
Headlines is an ongoing research project that began in September 2017. It is a text-based daily movement practice and regenerative structure for a solo performance piece.
>>Premiere: Feb 2018, NACHMO Boston (Further performances: Sasso & Co pres. Deeply Rooted, ArtBeat, Salem Arts Festival, Providence Dance Festival)
Movement + Journalism: Responding to Catastrophe, Upheaval & Stories
Like many, I’ve noticed a huge uptick in recent years in the number of news articles, editorials, and features that I read and share, in an effort to comprehend the momentous-feeling shifts and stories happening in our world. My process with this project is to write down a few excerpts from the articles I read each day; distill down the words; and document a short movement response – generally improvised, but occasionally set as a phrase corresponding to the sourced syntax.
The central intent is not to comment on issues, but to physically respond to the language being used in the media to capture our world. I’m interested in the range of “scenes” that emerge and analyzing them for common themes or physical narratives.
My goal is to generate a string of vignettes or mini-solos to be woven together into a regenerating solo performance piece. Currently, I have two fully formed versions completed for performance (from 2018 and 2020) and a deep, active well of source material and short phrases/improvisations.
On a general note: there’s so much commentary out there about pollution – of our planet, of our bodies, of our minds. I believe that dance and the thinking that accompanies it can be a valuable antidote, as it encourages tuning back into natural impulses; feeling connections to the environment and other bodies; and appreciating nuance. As an artist, I hope for this to be a small-but-mighty effort towards not only staying informed and seeking out powerful writing; but demonstrating how human movement and performance art continue to be vital ways of interacting with our world and seeking truths.
Submit an Article –> Watch it Come to Life!
Read something recently that moved / stopped / angered / interested / pleased / concerned you? Even just a word, a phrase, or an image? Send it over! I am currently accepting submissions and suggestions beyond my own daily media intake to expand the range of this project.
“[Pencils] help to rescue us from oblivion. Think of how many of our finest motions disappear, untracked – how many eye blinks and toe twitches and secret glances vanish into nothing. And yet when you hold a pencil, your quietest little hand-dances are mapped exactly.”
“Impoverishment through surplus…”
“In the sweep of American history…”
“Waging a battle against evil has a narcotizing effect.”
“…a pitiable spectacle instead of proud and complicated.”
“The destruction of the country’s last unspoiled places is a loss that can never be reversed.”
“The orange dunes frosted with snow…rolling hills with the alien-looking white peaks…”
“…doused in sludge.”
“…small detonations of knowledge.”
“…complex daily negotiations over his freedom.”
“…trumpet fanfare that did a good job of getting our attention. Now what I’m hoping for is specificity. What can I do differently today than I was doing yesterday?”
“It transforms what ought to be a movement for women’s empowerment into an emblem of female helplessness.”
“Are you? Are you? Are you? Whore.”
“…bringing a localized struggle into the global slipstream.”
“Silence in the name of unity.”
“…words ripped from a greeting card, felt pointedly avoidant.”
“We should sit with it, wrap ourselves in the sorrow, distress and humiliation of it. No one is coming to save us.”
[Sources: New York Times; The Atlantic; Slate; The New Yorker]