In the daily “performance” of living, we all compose our own experiences in real life in real time. A coherent performance of group improvisation, however, is a complex task that must be informed by rigorous physical investigation and shared inquiry as a part of a group.
Like You Mean It approaches the classroom/studio as a site for the collaborative exchange of ideas, opinions, perspectives, experiences, and knowledge. We work to create a community; then we create in that community. Improvising dancers bring the body into situations, which are beyond the control of any one individual. Performers then become responsible for enlivening unfolding scenarios through their collective choreographic rigor. Ultimately, we coax the group to engage in a shared endeavor to initiate, build, transform, and interrupt emergent events in service to an unfolding dance.
Like You Mean It models a meeting place of our values that becomes richer at their intersection. We expand that attitude to include the shifting identities of dancers’ moving selves. We hope that through this work, dancers will contextualize their improvisational experiences to inform their own interests and particular practices as dance artists.
Master class: Conscious trip; not just dancing around
This class focuses on generating improvisational compositions in the body and collectively as a group. We work to develop movement with clarity, specificity, and dynamic physicality. Through skill-building exercises, we examine formal composition with choreographic rigor. We may choose to address working specifically with text, props, sound collaboration, and/ or performance qualities and states. We stumble into improvisational dance-making in a series of scores designed to facilitate both risk-taking and nuanced attention. Participants begin to confront performance skills in small groups. In the discussing, watching, and doing of specific scores, the group acquires a set of shared tools and points of view about perceiving and participating in these dances. We conclude the workshop by making an ensemble piece entirely from scratch, integrating the ideas explored during the workshop with the past experience of each dancer.
Intensive workshop: Spontaneous Combustion: Crafting performance in the moment
Implode: Expanding Possibilities, Encountering Risk, Chance, and Choice The first class addresses the improvisational creation of personal movement vocabularies; increasing self awareness in movement; learning to negotiate the play between following impulses and developing cohesive solo material; and practicing surprising oneself—moving beyond a familiar range—and then reining it back into control. Dancers will play with the extremes of consciousness in movement and individual choice making.
Explode: Ensemble Making, Composing as a Group In the second class, dancers will expand attention to include the whole group and awaken a responsive body that integrates personal movement impulses with a larger group awareness. Transitioning between perceiving composition and generating composition, dancers will begin to explore making improvised pieces by following prescribed scores and naming what emerges in order to establish a group sensitivity.
Blow it Up: Refining Composition, Getting Performance Ready The third class synthesizes experiences of the previous day and allows participants to further refine their specific performance ensemble dynamic. The new ensemble will move to recognize and create coherent pieces from scratch. The group will begin to develop organized dances even in the absence of any pre-determined details.
Performance: Spontaneous Combustion & Like You Mean It Workshop participants will put their new skills to the test in front of an audience. The newly-formed ensemble collaborates to make a group piece, followed by a performance by the Like You Mean It trio.
Performance and Teaching engagements
Colby College Strider Theater (Fall 2012) Massachusetts Dance Festival (Summer 2012) Mercersburg Academy Summer Dance Intensive (Summer 2012) Beloit College: Grand opening of Hendrick’s Center for the Arts (Fall 2010) University of Wisconsin Whitewater (Fall 2010) Ohio University: “Environment at the Boundaries” with Sonict Duo (Fall 2010) OhioDance Festival Oberlin College (Spring 2010) ACDFA Midwest Region (Spring, 2009, Spring 2010) Taffety Punk Theater: Washington, DC (Winter 2010) Ohio University (Winter 2009, Winter 2010) University of Michigan (November 2009) Michigan Dance Project: Ypsilanti (Winter 2009) Epiphany Dance Experiment: Chicago (Fall 2009) Minnesota Fringe Festival (Summer 2009) World Dance Alliance-Americas:University of Wisconsin, Madison (Spring 2009) Green Street Studios: Cambridge, MA (Spring 2009) Spontaneous Combustion Workshop Performance: Columbus Movement Movement (Winter 2009) Sneak Reviews Series: Cleveland Public Theatre, Parish Hall (Fall 2008) AGORA Art Festival Performance Grandview Junction Studios: Columbus, OH (Spring 2008) Premiere Performance, The Ohio State University: Columbus OH (Spring 2008) Performance Improvisation Ensemble; a course for undergraduate dance majors (New course design and instruction, The Ohio State University (Winter Quarter 2008)