A practice in presence.
The kickoff to something else.
Dance is an innate practice in empathy, particularly when you are dancing with others. What does the dance look and feel like in their
bodies, how does that inform the look and feel of the dance in my own body? I started from this place of curiosity of what is it to be in the shoes of these vibrant dancers at this very moment in their lives? What are their concerns? What are their motivations in dance right now?
Here. We go. is a not the answer to these questions, but a jumping off point. It’s a reflection of what’s present and how that leads, entices, tricks us to the next moment, place, event. There’s so much ahead for these young ladies, but they’ve got experience. They have much to say and tell.
I knew I wanted to explore how we could build a sense of play to practice owning their individual voice, metaphorically and literally. How do you structure dance making to empower someone to stray away from what they’re familiar with, to stay with what’s uncomfortable and see how that blossoms into something surprisingly brilliant? Well, we play with blurring the lines between the informality of our interpersonal relationships and the formality of presenting how seriously we take our art. And we play with tradition and breaking it. We don’t want to abolish our traditions that made us who we are, but we want to know what it is like to create our own ones too.
Performed at Dance Fremont
March 31, April 1, 7, & 8, 2017
in this body
of this time
in this place.
I’m a sucker for a good beat. In syncopation, my pelvis drops, acquiescing to gravity, like a playful partner. The rest of my body responds by catching the weight at the bottom with the help the muscles, fascia, and bones I take for granted. On a cellular level, I galvanize energy towards action through the alchemy of pleasure. I meditate seriously, with the mantra – it’s just a dance.
Furiously happy arms and ooey gooey gestures
She dodges obstacles only she can see.
Hopping fences and sliding on tobagens
Her imagination is unleashed, but she is still grounded.
Live in my body began as an improvisational solo practice. I intentionally started with the very big and ambiguous question of what does it mean to live (inhabit) or be live (nowness) in my body? How do I as a performer locate a meditative, activated state in which I invite being seen? How do I as a choreographer simultaneously attend to composition and form? How do I balance or be playful with how these two intentions sometimes conflict with each other? I perform this practice. I practice this practice.
Kick off to Velocity Dance Center’s 2015-2016 Season
Featuring durational installation of 30+ simultaneous performances
Installation Design: Tara Tamaribuchi Gibbs
Concept & Performance: Noelle Chun
Score: Over the course of 3 hours, demarcate the “end” of each improvised dance by transcription of a title (created by the performer or audience member) on a visible list. Caveat(s): continue practice for all 3 hours without leaving space; consider other performers and stimuli in the space; pacing can be useful and not; there is nothing to demonstrate aside from the making of dances in real-time.
Artifact of selected dances:
Slow Motion Sandwich
Twister played on difficult
I lost at Twister
Where did I leave my microwave?
Getting up off the floor is a hard thing
I Started to Read your Mail
Laying Down but not Taking it
Fad dances gone viral
Smashing feels so good
Where did the sun go?
Watching me watching you
Explosions, the small kind
Stuck in Traffic with your Mom
Catch me please body please
It’s Getting Late
The Wall Hi-Fived Me
Quintessential Hair Flip w/Bang Bang
Circles til Vertigo
Sour is not the Taste you Want to be Left With
Before I enter a process, I’m asked the question how would you describe this dance that has not yet come into being? Each dance I make crystallizes at a different point in time, sometimes months into the process, sometimes right before it is performed. I realized particularly with It’s not raining, it’s Tuesday, I often find myself hoping the dance describes itself, as I’m just as interested in how the audience can describe the dance as much I can describe what I’ve just made. Here’s my attempt to describe what I was working with on this dance.
My vision of utopia is in the studio, where moving bodies and interrogated language form new, never before seen realities. Taking heed to Stephen Duncombe’s observation that “utopians too often consider people as organic material to be shaped, not as willful agents who do the shaping,” I invite people into the studio that desire to be agents of change within the process, purposefully reinvigorating and rattling my own and others’ perceptions. My role as a choreographer becomes creating a space where “individuals are possessed by a strong impulse to speak words and show their bodies”1, and to identify containers for definition and meaning, which are consistently being modified and recreated.
1 From Tadashi Suzuki’s, Culture is the Body.
It’s Not Raining, It’s Tuesday
It’s Not Raining, It’s Tuesday (2015)
It’s Not Raining, It’s Tuesday (2015)
I was fortunate to dance in Alice Gosti’s ambitious project How to become a partisan, which first premiered in Seattle in April 2015. The durational performance, mined sound and movement material from the historical events of the partisan movement in Italy during WW2. Individual singers, choirs, and other musicians filled the space with rich and reverent sound. I was one of seven dancers part of the “herd” exploring the spaciousness of Saint Mark’s Cathedral through individual and group movement.
Protecting the Herd is the sister performance to How to become a Partisan, with attention to the herd of movers in a different performance venue/environment.
Physicalization of a FB thread
What does good natured antagonism look like?
Harlem globetrotters, book as basketball
Paradox of attempting to be spontaneous with what you’re going to say, while declaring in the moment what action you plan on enacting
Change – how your body strategizes around exhausting all options
Loud/soft; low/high; active/passive
Words can make sense or nonsense of things
Language about language
How would you describe what cinnamon tastes like?
What kind of process generates novelty?
Hot Toddy for my Body was a quartet created from a 3-month residency at Studio Current in the Fall of 2014. The dance’s initial inquiry looked to ways of physicalizing ideas of ensemble. When do individuals evolve into a group? When does a group become an ensemble? How do we fluidly move through these definitions of being and belonging in our own personal trajectories? It similarly follows my pursuit in honoring the individual, but finding ways to collectively construct a new reality. In this way of dance making, my aim is to research identity of the individual and collective, working within a framework of time and space to fulfill responsibility, assume/reject expectation, and question/articulate role.
Hot Toddy for My Body (2014)
When I first moved out to the Pacific Northwest, all I noticed was the mountains. It immediately changed my psyche. I told my friends I noticed my orientational metaphor expanding from the habitual horizontal nature of the plains to a more whole, three-dimensional awareness of what was also above and below. I felt reinvgorated to do something, take action – to become acquainted with this new place and new people. In that spirit, Mountains Have Feelings Too is a vulnerable act (though all dances are, but maybe this one slightly more so), representing a need to connect, in a shared space, in real time.
How do we communicate experiences that are ineffable, intrinsic, private, and consciously recognized? This is the stuff of dreams, but also the reality of dancers. In the body, how do we convey emotional, physical, and metaphorical weight? Beyond formal compositional concerns of weight (affecting the body in time and space), I was also drawn to the emotional component of physicalizing weight, viewed as a practice in empathy. Whether we’re in the studio or talking to a friend in a cafe, we may consciously or not recognize the expression of weight in ourselves and in others, and find corresponding ways to react, respond, and engage. When we acknowledge weight through sensation in our own body and witness its manifestation and transformation, we practice empathy. For a moment, we are privileged to possibilities outside ourselves.
Mountains Have Feelings Too (2014)
Mountains Have Feelings Too (2014)