ARTIST STATEMENT

Dance-making is the one way I have to be brave.

My work democratizes performance through the unexpected. Through this, I champion unexpected bodies, telling unexpected stories and personal histories, in unexpected and hidden places. I am a believer in the beauty of vulnerability and humanness.

Art takes us to places - sometimes uncomfortable places - where we would not have gone willingly. I have learned to embrace this within my work. The work might be hard on the audience, but it is always harder on me or on the performer. I also predominantly work from personal experience - life and memories, and the feelings and challenges that swell up from those experiences - and while many can relate or see how that work can be broadly identifying, it is still me at the end of it. What audiences are feeling is not a generalization, but empathy, compassion, empowerment - as if it had come first from them and then reflected into the work. Due to the nature of my work, both in its implication of the artist and subject matter as well as the physicality, I believe passionately in the creating dance that does not distract us from real life.

While I develop work with professionally trained dancers, I also work with non-dancers and non-performers. Through this work, I have developed different methods to generate movement, including task-based exercises, verbatim theater and autoethnography, imagery, and other improvisations. These methods have layered my choreography with eccentricities, and physically challenging work that initiated through close collaboration with each performer – fully excavating and acknowledging their individuality. Similarly, recent explorations into mixed ability work have refocused me away from common solutions to narrative or movement-based dilemmas. Instead, each body is treated as a site for transaction and transference of ideas. I am inspired by these challenges, and find these opportunities important for investigating the state of dance and championing unexpected bodies in the performance space. I promote social awareness and engage the community at-large by creating dialogue focused on community interactions. Much of this comes out of my own lived experience. Many of us are identity-hungry and fight daily to maintain our own truth. Hence, my passion resides in crossing barriers – commonalities over stereotypes, and noting the parallels between different people and backgrounds – cultivating geo-social identity through performance.