studies with students

As a teaching artist creating work with students, I try to act more as a guide and director rather than giving movements from my own body. 

We work together to improvise and create a movement vocabulary, mini-studies, ask questions about performance practice, and weave together materials and ideas into a larger structure based on what they have created.

sun breaks down (2016-17), with the Dance Company of Middlebury

 

Created during my directorship of the Dance Company of Middlebury's 2016-17 season, "sun breaks down" is a highly physical study in group emotion and choreographic dynamics for eight dancers. We worked together to imagine worlds where sensation and thought were shared, the power of the crowd, the zones and metaphysical boundaries between people (and what would happen if those were erased?) and the choreographic exploration of upheaval as a physical concept. For the students, this became a process of learning advanced performance techniques like high-level partnering, ensemble awareness, and how to train for long, athletic dances.

This concert and tour centered on themes of boundaries and borders between nations, people, and ideas, and was produced as part of an international collaboration with Mexican choreographers Omar Carrum and Claudia Lavista, who are both dancers and renowned choreographers of Delfos Danza Contemporanea, and directors of the escuela profesional de danza de Mazatlan (EPDM). In addition to sun breaks down, they set a repertory work on the company entitled Dulce Silencio (Entorno), and we spent two weeks in residence at the EPDM before premiering both works at the Angela Peralta Theatre before bringing the work back to Middlebury. Both events featured student dancers from each institution.

Performance : Miguel Castillo, Deborah Leedy, Mandy Kimm, Otto Pierce, Liv Reuss, Andrew Pester, Lorena Neira, Emily Schreffler

Lighting Design & Technical Direction: Jennifer Ponder

A special thanks to Omar Carrum, Claudia Lavista, and all of the students and faculty at the EPDM in Mazatlan - we couldn't have done this without you, and thank you for a beautiful collaboration, and many friendships, across borders, nations, and languages.

Premiered at the Angela Peralta Theatre, January 2017 and the Mahaney Center for the Arts Dance Theatre, 2017.

                          full work in performance:

                         "sun breaks down" photostream (photos by Colin J. Dunn):

Abandon (2016)

 

Created with four student dancers at the Middlebury College Dance Program, "Abandon" was created in collaboration with the Music Department's Collegium Choir, directed by Music faculty Jeff Buettner. We worked with the madrigals of Monteverdi, and approached this project as a pilot for studying fundamental to advanced partnering techniques in the choreographic structure. In essence, it became a study of partnering, momentum, and presence - an introduction to advanced performance techniques.

Danced by : Matthew Blake, Mandy Kimm, Deborah Leedy, Liv Reuss

Music directed by: Jeff Buettner

Music performed by: Jeff Buettner, Cynthia Huard, Lisa Wooldridge, Annie Beliveau, Zac Lounsbury, Tevan Goldberg

Lighting Design: Jennifer Ponder

Premiered at the Mahaney Center for the Arts Dance Theatre and Bach Festival; March-April 2016.

                         full work in performance:

 

                         "Abandon" photostream (photos by Gigi Gatewood):

blood pumps heart [2014]

                           

Created as part of a yearlong artist residency at the Middlebury College Dance Program, "blood pumps heart" is a highly physical study in movement invention and raw kinetics. From a choreographic exploration based on random number generation and randomized spatial design, four dancers are challenged to redefine their inner landscapes through animal architecture, tensegrity, and pure physicality.

Performance : Miguel Castillo, Vanessa Dikuyama, Krystal Egbuchulam, Connor Pisano

Choreography & Costume Design: Scotty Hardwig & the Newcomers

Music & Sound Design: Scotty Hardwig

Lighting Design & Technical Direction: Jennifer Ponder

Created at Middlebury College as part of a yearlong artistic residency in the Middlebury College Dance Program, this "Newcomers Piece" was created for freshmen dancers who had not yet been a part of a dance program production. A special thanks to Jennifer Ponder for her brilliant instincts in stagecraft, to Christal Brown for her tireless energy and fierce presence, and to these powerfully embodied and primal newcomers for there talent and openness.

Premiered at the Mahaney Center for the Arts Dance Theatre; November 21-22, 2014. 

                          full work in performance:

                            "blood pumps heart" photostream (photos by Scotty Hardwig):

 

These, Our Wings (and other metamorphoses) [2014]

This work was created with the talents of Doug LeCours and Sarae Snyder as part of the Dance Company of Middlebury (2014-15). Our microclimates, and all the moments and changes that make us up, rest in the hands of others. We become the object of our own experience. What is left of rebellion in this brave new world? What is left of love? Grammar? Moving together? We began with text explorations, and created all of the piece with text and narrative, then took it out that layer to create an odd gestural landscape of transformations and impulses.

"The piece has become about how we made the piece. Our task has become to recapture the first genesis of the gesture." - Doug LeCours

"I got a grammatically correct fortune cookie... it said: you will encounter a smaller version of yourself." - Sarae Snyder

       -- Performance : Doug LeCours & Sarae Snyder

       -- Music & Sound Design: Scotty Hardwig

Created at Middlebury College on commission for the Dance Company of Middlebury, with a special thanks to Trebien Pollard for his energy, presence, and open-minded brilliance. First premiered at the Vermont College Dance Festival (FlynnSpace; Burlington, VT), and performed January 2015 at the Ailey Studios as part of the Dance Company of Middlebury's (DCM) Spring Tour.

                          full work in performance:

                         "these, our wings" photostream:

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the words we missed [2013] 

Full-length footage from "the words we missed" --- this live/digital dance-installation was part of my thesis study in dance and digital technology at the University of Utah and created in collaboration with student undergraduate and graduate dancers from the U of U Modern Dance Program. This quiet piece explores the missed moments and lost opportunities between four people living their own, isolated lives.

choreography, concepts & media design: Scotty Hardwig

performance: Nathan Dryden, Kelly Bruce, Florian Alberge, Laquimah VanDunk

text & music: the cast + Jonsi & Alex

documentation: Stephane Glynn 

Performed Spring 2013 at the Marriott Center for Dance -- Salt Lake City, UT

                         full work in performance:

your eyes through a thin spiderweb [2011] 

Created as a series of fragmented vignettes and then woven together into a whole, "your eyes through a thin spiderweb" (2011) was a compositional exploration created with undergraduate students at the University of Utah. We explored a variety of inner environments, states, and trio landscapes to explore new movement vocabularies and relationships; then crowd-sourced sound played from randomized playlists.

       -- Performance : McKenzie Barkdull, Michael Garber, Breeanne Saxton

       -- Lighting Design: Cole Adams

Performed Spring 2011 at the Marriott Center for Dance.

                         full work in performance: