Artist / Scholar Statement

My research and practice are centered in art and community. With focuses of dance and culture, somatics, concert dance, site-specific improvisation and durational performance, I investigate ritual and transformation.

Drawing from my research of global theories and practices of ritual, it is my intention to encourage the health of humanity via community-art performances, exhibits and dances for the stage. I make work for both the concert stage and site-specific, community-engaged pieces.

I have traveled and immersed myself in different cultures for years and continue my practice of participating in this world with an awareness of cross-cultural connections. Wherever I go, I search out the movement forms. I am attracted to the interrelatedness of culture and the consequential capacity for creating a sense of unity. Field-based research plays an imperative role in my work as an artist and contextualizing relationships in an intercontinental configuration. I explore different parts of the world to participate in the culture, learn the language and expand my reality.

In this, my body serves as the archive or storehouse for these field-based inquiries. Performance is a way of communicating what I learned, what I experienced, ate, smelled, loved, hated, feared, desired – memories from the field – translated into the language of dance. My body transmutes the information, synthesizing my field-based research into the language of art — symbolic representations of the experiences. The corporeal acts as a repository, storing the ethnographic information, of which I inevitably design the knowledge of my somatic experience into a dance piece.

While with the Minneapolis-based company Three Dances, our mission was to make concert dance accessible to audiences, exploring the intersection between art and entertainment. Three Dances placed dance on and off the stage, bringing it to new audiences by performing not only in traditional theatre settings, but also in a shoe store display window, a bookstore, a church, a living room, bars, art galleries and outdoor festivals. In keeping with this mission, my pieces following Three Dances have been seen at a backyard barbeque, a fashion show, a house, a lobby, a lake and traditional theatre spaces.

Today, I continue my work with the public in community-art projects rooted in ritual and transformation. I am an advocate and activist for dance and believe in the healing attributes of art. It is my mission to bring the healing inherent in art to the public at large. Art and performance can more efficiently allow for a transformation of the participant’s psyche in the concert of ritual. Simply put, I believe dance and performance can be healing. I believe we all have the ability to create, move and healed.