“Rest not, till you rivet and publish yourself of your own personality.” –Walt Whitman
I am constantly publishing my personality. No one has complained yet, which is good, since I cannot stop making dances. I need to choreograph, to express, to connect, and to produce performance pieces. My liberal arts education was rigorous and based in an academic school curriculum, thus leaving me with a strong scholarly sense of movement and composition.
Literature frequently influences my choreography. I find relationships between the written word and movement, using text to inspire, shape, and inform my compositional choices. I go beyond just visually representing a piece of poetry or acting out a well-known narrative. I might interpret the text on a structural level, or abstract the words themselves. Sometimes I interact with the text from a scholarly perspective, finding something new in a character or a plot, and then present this new knowledge through movement. Inspiration comes from the world around me as well, not just literature. Ranging from tragedies such as Guantanamo or the Columbine shooting, to the mundane, like the rolling patterns of an egg—all suggest interesting choreographic possibilities.
My process-based working style is very collaborative. I value the dancers’ contributions, discovering their strengths and using those to the work’s advantage. Their input, perspectives, and unique way of moving all contribute to my choreographic choices. Like an archeologist, I uncover different layers of the dancers I work with, finding new treasures with each rehearsal. This gives each piece a life and vitality that otherwise gets lost. This philosophy enables me to choreograph for a variety of skill levels, which ultimately widens the dance community.