Since 2006, Like You Mean It (LYMI) has been teaching and performing nationally. There are many kinds of spontaneous action. In LYMI, we resist vehemently a definition of improvisation as “doing whatever you want.” Instead we focus on attention to detail in crafting real-time performances. Without a set of predetermined structures to guide a performance, we focus on choreographic development and logic. Though we have multiple influences as a collective, we align ourselves purposely with the lineage of dance artist Judith Dunn and musician Bill Dixon, who developed an approach to performance rooted in the free jazz tradition. We contextualize our practice in multiple terms: historical, theoretical, and physical.
Our approach to improvisation actively calls attention to myriad complex thought processes that occur simultaneously in order to make a cogent piece for performance. One must pay acute attention each moment; cultivate awareness and adaptability; track a piece’s trajectory; understand dynamic relationships among performers, lighting, and sound (which are also improvised); focus on movement dynamics and discovery while subverting familiar patterns; and, finally, have a holistic understanding of the piece and choose an appropriate end. A fundamental part of LYMI’s research is through our collaborative teaching process. In teaching together, we learn from watching dancers wrestle with ideas we’ve presented, we fluidly follow surprising trajectories, and we uncover new information that has a direct impact on our practice and on the original teaching practices we invent and adapt.
Noelle Chun’s performance, choreography and teaching has been presented across the Mid-Atlantic through her own independent work, with the improvisational trio Like You Mean It, and through site-specific events with Foreground Dance. Past projects have been supported by grants and fellowships from the Greater Columbus Arts Council and Ohio Arts Council. Noelle considers collaboration and improvisation to be at the base of every creative process, where movers and thinkers actively contribute and make direct decisions inside of the process that engender spontaneous, subtle, and ruminative works. She has served on faculty at The Ohio State University and Ohio Wesleyan University, teaching improvisation and technique courses. Currently, she works as a community organizer and administrator with VSA Ohio and as a member of They Might Be Dancers. She holds a BA in Anthropology and Theatre Arts from Beloit College in Wisconsin, and an MFA in Dance from OSU.
Adriana Durant is a dance artist and educator. She has a MFA in Choreography from The Ohio State University, a BFA in Performance from Emerson College in Boston, and a k-12 certificate in dance from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. She has worked as a Teaching Artist with Hubbard St. Dance Chicago, Striding Lion Performance Group, Chicago Dance Institute, and the Old Town School of Folk Music, professor at Columbia College and Ohio University, and guest artist at numerous universities, dance companies, and high schools. Adriana is an instructor for the annual summer intensive, the Now and Next Dance Mentoring Project and teaches master classes and workshops nationally as a member of Like You Mean It, an improvisation trio focusing on group composition in performance. Adriana is currently the upper school dance teacher at The Latin School of Chicago.
Annie Kloppenberg is Assistant Professor of Dance at Colby College in Maine, serves on the Board of the American College Dance Association, and has given academic papers and published scholarly work on improvisation. Annie curates and founded Moving Target Boston, an ongoing, professional & pre-professional guest artist series. She has developed choreographic projects in residencies at Mass MoCA, The Boston Center for the Arts, DTW (now NYLA)/OuterSpace, Colby College, Bates College, and The Taft School; received choreographic Fellowships through the Boston Dance Alliance and Summer Stages Dance at Concord Academy/ICA Boston; and has shown her work throughout New England, in NYC, and internationally in South Africa and France. As a performer, she has worked with the Headlong Dance Theater, Bebe Miller, and is currently working with Lisa Race and with collaborators Rachel Boggia and Meredith Lyons, has developed Foreword/Afterword: a piece in two parts, which is a performance structure, workshop, and lecture. For more information, visit: www.forewordafterword.com and www.anniekloppenberg.com.
ED Luna (sound & Photography)
Ed Luna (M.A., Ohio State) has been involved with the academic dance community for some fifteen years and the underground dance community for over twenty years. After discovering the joys of the early 1990s electronic music scene (primarily in the Midwest, and the musical bastions of Detroit and Ohio), he co-founded the influential arts collective, elemental, whose heyday from 1993–2000 saw the group collaborate with musicians, visual artists, dancers, performers, and designers of every conceivable stripe. With this experience as an experimental DJ, performer, and event curator-choreographer, Luna delved into a graduate program in the Department of Dance at Ohio State, where he pioneered a form of live sound-scoring, using the DJ approach to create abstract, improvised sonic environments suited for improvisational movement. In this capacity, he has had fruitful collaborations with such artists as Bebe Miller, Chris Peck, Kristin Hapke, Meida Teresa McNeal, Mikey Thomas, and Jeanine Thompson, and Like You Mean It.