I dance and make dances in an attempt to make sense of the world around me. I am a full-time faculty member at UCSD, in the Department of Theatre and Dance, where the courses I guide question what dance is and can be. Early on, I received a full merit scholarship to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, intensively studying the techniques of Martha Graham, Lester Horton, and Ballet. I was a company member of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company (as well as teacher and choreographic assistant to Bill), The Lyon Opera Ballet (performing works by artists such as William Forsythe, Stephen Petronio, Susan Marshall, Maguy Marin, and Angelin Preljocaj), and McCaleb Dance, directed by Nancy McCaleb (eventually becoming the Associate Artistic Director). I want to dance forever, so I became interested in continuing my dance training and practices by seeking ways of moving with greater efficiency and sustainability. Contact Improvisation, Trisha Brown-like qualities, Deborah Hay’s questions and choreography, and somatic approaches to dancing has transformed and expanded my movement capacities. As a Feldenkrais Method practitioner, I have come to understand how to move using only as much effort as needed, moment to moment. As a dancemaker, I am a collaborator. I’ve made dances with Anya Cloud, Karen Schaffman, Liam Clancy, Leslie Seiters and my most frequent collaborator and partner Jess Humphrey.
Most recently I’m noticing how my research and creative work identifies as political. Not by way in which the work itself represents, acts, or dances out some political situation, social injustice or inequity, but by attempting to create a context in which the value system of the process, as well as the systemic structure of the work itself, is the actual, desired change. The work is radically alive and of the moment. Curiosity drives the process and it is tangential. It celebrates the multiplicity of the group and is not a creation of one author. It demands responsible citizenship by making a space for Otherness (that which is alien or divergent from a certain kind of normativity). I identify as queer, as is the process.
I like to imagine my dancemaking practices as a space of negotiations. In these negotiations, we attempt to be honest about the divergent ways that we experience and imagine time, space, energy, motivation, embodiment, intention, relationship, and propriety. We will share, we will be together, we will make mistakes and offenses, we will apologize earnestly, we will check ourselves, we will keep going. As elusive as the concept is, I imagine dance as a place in which we can practice embodiment together from a place of love, and let that generate a beauty that we may not understand right away, and that we will consistently need to reevaluate.