Here and Not Here (2017)
This intergenerational dance brings together pre-professional dancers and children to excavate the grief process through memory and companioning. The memories of the departed circulate through space/time and within the bodily memories of the grieving and their fellow travelers. As Brandon Shaw (2015) relates, "Death, then, is not only becoming inanimate, becoming "it," but a dispersal, becoming "they."
Inspired by photographer Chino Otsuka's Imagine Finding Me, Numinous explores if and how bodies become mobile archives for memory and time. For this work, I collaborated with a production designer, costumer, sound editor, and photographer to the experience of self-realization as uncanny and transcendent.
Body Stories applies methods from narrative inquiry and arts-based research to the collaborative construction of a shared aesthetic, a juxtaposition of connection and dislocation. The dancers search for connections with and past each other toward something that seems ungraspable. They hover in suspension, then collapse, dissolving into the floor. They melt into an embrace and struggle against a confining grasp. They speak their stories aloud, snatches of sentences or a back and forth exchange. Sometimes, they speak with boldness; other times the words seem to struggle to make it past their throats. The ambient sound score serves to highlight--rather than dissipate--moments of tension, forcing the dancers to attend to each other in the space, rather than rely on rhythmic structure to find a sense of shared timing. They dance with and through their stories, reaching for something that, paradoxically, seems just beyond the limiting confines of physical bodies in space and time.