Some recent thoughts on the auto-ethnographic process: When choreographing identity
you are tasked with sifting through and deciding which aspects of you
that you want to investigate, question, make visible, and manipulate through the art making process.
In this undertaking,
you begin to reorganize your everyday priorities in attention.
You begin to notice parts of you that perhaps you’ve avoided in the past.
The heightened attention you give to these parts may cause t
At the beginning of this month I spent 9 days in Missoula, MT working with the dancers of Bare Bait Dance Company. The rehearsals over the week were a whirlwind, especially considering that I was also attending the first week of the Spring semester online; but I think the piece came out strong. It was odd to reset this work. It was a piece I was making last year (before the pandemic, before I moved to Columbus). The original cast was an incredible group of five collaborators
When I reflect over my first semester of grad school, the first thing that comes to mind is a swelling feeling of gratitude for my cohort. The eight of us went through massive life transitions in a time filled with uncertainty, and actively supported one another through it. I am grateful for my individual relationships with each of them, and grateful for the group dynamic we’ve developed together. About halfway through the semester, Jackie Courchene suggested that the eight o
The original idea for this piece was an all-day durational traveling performance. Katie O’Loughlin (fellow MFA and roommate) and I had grand schemes of choosing locations around the city where site-specific sections of choreography would happen, with performances happening in transit using public transportation, bikes, or scooters in between. We thought it would be a great way for us to get to know our new city. Fairly early on in the planning stages of this version, we reali
Early on in the semester I reached out to Jackie Courchene and Yukina Sato Crul (two fellow 1st year MFAs) to ask them if they would like to collaboratively create a group piece together. We decided to see what we could make while maintaining social distancing rules. I offered to them a costume idea from a piece I had been working on for the last year: hazmat suits. The hazmat suits provided a very specific impetus. We quickly realized that making a piece about Covid-19 was i
The initial impetus behind this work was the idea of physical restraint. Physical restraint by a person of authority or a person in power. When I received restraint training as a public school educator, the majority of it was training in de-escalation. Training in how to avoid a physical confrontation. Training in how to help a person in your charge calm themselves down. Training in how to respond so that an escalating individual sees you, yes, as an authority, but not as a t
An Experimentation with Communicative Processes in Dance Screenshot by Mollie Wolf. I started this process with an open inquiry about body to body transmission. In Sensational Knowledge, Tomie Hahn discusses what she terms “‘dance speak’…a metalanguage, a unique dance instructional language reflecting a varied and deeply complex matrix of information. This ‘dance speak’ comprises a fragmented yet completely fluid combination of the musical vocal line, instrumental vocables, e
Americanness, as an identifier, has always been tricky for me. For most of my life I have been resistant to labeling myself American, because I see ‘America’ as an oppressive world force, a place of inequality and hypocritical values. As a kid, I could never understand why every single morning we were required to stand with our hands over our hearts, staring at the dinky flag in the corner of the classroom to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Most days I quietly refused to par
Study in Alien Body – Solo A: In the first weeks of my Choreography Workshop class, my professor Susan offered a challenge to me—to explore various personas within myself and to create a study placing those personas into conversation. It sounded like an interesting prompt and a nice way to check back in with my moving/making self after a six-month-long, stay-at-home-order hiatus. Entering into creative process again was…difficult. I felt rusty and distracted and out of touch
This is an odd time of uncertainty, social distancing, and expanded at-home experiences. Making work during this time is anything but normal. These contexts are preventing me from approaching process in the ways that I would normally (with ample time spent in the studio sweating, partnering, and collaborating with other people). Our current circumstances have brought up fears and insecurities around art-making that are new for me. The thought of the solo artistic endeavor is