My most recent dance, BLEED, premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival in December 2013 and is currently on tour in the United States through fall 2015. BLEED is the culminating work of a two-year research project during which I constructed three other pieces, Secret Mary, poem, and Sister, all from very different source material and each with an entirely different cast. I then collapsed these into this fourth work simultaneously remembering and forgetting the previous dances. All eleven of the performers from these works form the ensemble for BLEED, yet the specific movement material from those works is gone. Ghosts of the other dances resonate through the new work and shape its form, but they are subterranean and exert their pressure on this new construction from the caves of memory.
The ephemeral—overly romanticized in dance history in my opinion—is an actual tool for me and is integral to my process. In this expanded version of a concept that has always been central for me, erasure is a form of construction. Each image or section of a dance is absent in the next, but its essence remains to color the forthcoming events. Because inference, essence, quality, reference, and affect seem to be some of the purveyors of meaning in dance, I long ago ceded any desire for the expression of specific ideas to the ambiguous contours and endless associative pathways of the choreographic mind.
My experience with crafting dances has been a journey away from the exigencies of definition or resolution that might be useful in the construction of "cogency." I have moved decidedly toward abstraction and its potential to mirror consciousness. I work with a willfully convoluted palette where recognizable imagery and the anomalous enjoy equal value. I am not looking to shape hidden stories into dance but rather to understand how the sequencing of events accrues meaning in choreography.
Photos by Paula Court