Currently I dance and create with Dance to the People (DTTP). DTTP is an itinerant dance project that aims to provide an open space for dance training, movement research, discussion, and performance. We are constantly working on new projects and performing in New York. The projects we are working on are:
A continuing exploration of mine is to connect with nature through dance and movement with a focus on presence and with an intention to lesson the anthropocentric relationship I have learned to know and return to an authentic self and an authentic movement free of internal and external judgement. A work in progress, Evolution is not Anthropocentric explores how artists can seek positive actions to change the way humans relate to the ecosystem, and through dance establish new movement values that encourage ecological balance.
The exploration began when I was in graduate school and in 2015 that lead to the creation of choreographed piece with DTTP. I developed a practice for embodied research that I still lead with Dance to the People today, and then brought ideas from that practice and other workshop ideas into the studio space.
In the practice:
We go to the beach/park/outdoors, and we do:
20 min walking meditation
20 min dancing with eyes closed
20 min dancing with eyes open
We practice authentic movement, responsive to the senses, the present moment, and free of internal or external judgements.
Starting 2019, we have directed our efforts to investigate our relationship to waste and disposable values, thus connecting further with social justice and decolonization. We continue to offer movement meditation experiences that helps us shift our consciousness to a non-anthropocentric view of life. After the movement meditation we walk and collect discarded items, keeping a present focus on the journey and the discovery, seeing the trash as we see the nature, later with the collected trash items we move. Some items we keep and have used for costumes or performances, others we return to the dumpster, and one time we found good mangoes so we ate them.
Narrentanz premiered November 6, 2015 in the Williamson Theater at the College of Staten Island. The piece is inspired by Madness and Civilization by Michel Foucault, conceived and guided by Maira Duarte, received movement input from DTTP's guest artists Benedetta Capanna and Cameron McKinney, and was largely created with movement material from the dancers in NY: Joanna Stone, Michelle Applebaum and Miu Soda, and the dance students of the College of Staten Island: Crystal Zabas, Andrea Gonzalez and Joanna Mengani.
This piece was created thanks to the support of the CUNY Dance Initiative, which provided funds and rehearsal space at the College of Staten Island for the years of 2014 and 2015.
Check out my blog post: THE MAKING OF NARRENTANZ, A JOURNEY INTO A PIECE OF MADNESS.