Titles & Phrases

I am midway through the 9 month Icons Choreography Program with Vlad Angelov. This fall we have studied the history of choreography up to Contemporary Dance-Theater. Vlad has challenged our cohort to be provocateurs, problem solvers and authors of our own stories.

We whipped up phrases weekly to explore construction and deconstruction tasks. Through the improv fest we soaked up Juliana Ponguta’s spice-of-life Contact Improv, the Forsyth system for organizing dance movement as reimagined by Vlad Angelov and finally were able to sample Nancy Stark Smith’s Underscore broken down by Ken Manheimer. ASL translators were present to translate for large contingent of deaf dancers present that day.

From exploring my astrological sign, genetic modification to prop play we definitely have been actively creating during these months which has felt great. Wonder how to unfold the creation of a new work? Me too!

I am challenged to ink my thoughts and pencil my drawings. Need to look at other disciplines to find parallels and note the latest in dance technology and use of props or visuals within a choreographic work.

Reflected on a “bad dance” made during a workshop with a group from students and dance teachers at American University taught be Larry Lavender. In this experiment, Lavender pointed our “bad dances” were actually not that bad. Lavender’s workshop helped me consider my biases. How do I distinguish the needs and skill set of the choreographer apart from the lens of the dancer/performer. Is it necessary or even possible to remove my own perception of the work?

My passion for watching, writing and discussing dance performance is one I share with many people but mainly my mother, Dr. Luella Christopher and our friend Dr. George Jackson. I have been going to the Kennedy Center since I was barely able to see over the standing room ledge. I teach 18mos-adults and love diving in to a dancer’s vocabulary and imagination. I enjoy diversifying our notion of dance.

It is amazing how a singular base phrase can be enough to create an entire dance. Now to see if I’m up to the task.

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