My choreographic practice always begins with the small gesture. I have spent my career listening to what the flick of a wrist or roll of a shoulder wants to say; the gesture rubs up against the limits of verbal language. By attending to the gesture, I invite my audiences to witness movement speak, to practice listening with the senses, dissolving templates for finding meaning. I choreograph to explore what movement can reveal about the human condition that language often hides.
I move between the small gesture and broader geographies of knowledge. The rural Northeast where I grew up, over three decades in the San Francisco Bay Area; the year I spent studying in India; and a practice that includes research and performances across the USA and Europe, have influenced my entire career, teaching me to recognize and break down movement hierarchies. These geographies live in my body, encouraging me to examine the artifice, authenticity, and objectivity in and of the body. I create forms to locate and excavate a physical archaeology, drawing landscapes into the body and out again. I engage with geography as movement information to construct a body capable of expressing ideas about place, space, and interpersonal relationships.
When I gather with dancers, the work is made with and about each group. I develop scores based on a cross-section of questions designed to establish present context and physical connections between dancers during the rehearsal process: How does this group come together? What movement language can we create at this intersection of time and space? How do we physically connect to people in our lives? Why do things happen where they happen? This process regards the effects of geography on dancers’ experiential and performative movement, their relationships and sexuality, their experiences of alienation and belonging. Together we strive to connect our personal bodily histories with the larger culture, and with ideas about physical intelligence, self-expression, and live performance.