like a portal into the multiple directions
dance has taken me
next to so many people
in performance and collaboration
processually learning and sharing
as a witness and guide
my body, my desires
my curiosity, my rigor
how to see another
how I might want to be seen
to offer ways to feel possibilities
to find yet another way to communicate
at the intersection of myself and an other
"... an exploration of a sassy, messy femininity larger and more complex than societal expectations"
- Julius Ferraro, Phindie
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I have always wanted to share what I am doing. Not because I wanted others to do what I was doing… okay wait, maybe that isn’t totally true… I definitely don’t like being alone. I love troubleshooting with other people. So no, teaching wasn’t about getting others to be like me, but rather to be with me. Any time I learned something in dance class I would share it with my friends on the playground. I started assistant teaching in my little sister's classes to help with tuition when I was young, and I can’t remember a time in which I didn’t have a class to teach since. The passing it on, remixing, and redistributing, it is so necessary for me to feel connected to others and for me to learn myself. Teaching is a reflexive space where I discover meaning while moving. It is in the space of simply trying, noticing, and sharing that I understand the depth of connection that satiates my desire to feel with others. My students are always teaching me. They ask me questions verbally, but also through their movement. When I notice something not going as well as it could, it sparks a fire of curiosity that I research myself though anatomical function and play that generates movement phrases as a possibility for sharing the research. By the time I share it with my class, my curiosity has exponentially multiplied - and now our questions are in the room for us to investigate together. I like to hear from them how they play, what they are prioritizing, how they are making sense or nonsense of it all.
A few years ago while teaching Studio Practice at University of the Arts a students asked me what I ate for breakfast in the middle of class. I answered honestly, “a granola bar and an apple… why?” Digressing, that wasn’t the real question, but rather he was trying to figure out how I was so energetic, so seemingly happy. I had never been asked this question by a student before and I felt the answer flow out of me.
Well this is sort of my best case scenario. Here we are in this beautiful room, with John Levis playing the most beautiful music that conjures imagery and qualities expanding each dance we do. I am surrounded by all of you who are here to dance, flying through this room together, feeding off of each others energy. I am seeing you shift and refine in ways that amaze me and challenge me to find different ways to challenge you. How could I not be completely excited right now?
Teaching is joy
Dancing with the Artifacts of Pain
Professor: Thomas F. DeFrantz
Course: Fields, Forces, Relations: Dancing’s Possibilities
January 9, 2019
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