Since the beginning of my choreographic adventures, I have been driven by the interplay of solo exploration and collaboration. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I have become curious as to how and why these concurrent models of choreographic development have sustained me. Specifically, I wonder how to continue this model while existing in isolation and how to extrapolate the model to a less bifurcated practice of solo-group-solo-group...
I have coined the term "open-source choreography" borrowing from publicly accessible models of computer programming, which attempt to democratize access to software and programs. Open-source choreography takes a singular thematic program and recruits improvisational, performance, and choreographic input from participants across genres and media.
The primary charge of this choreographic praxis is to decenter and destabilize traditional models of knowing and power relationships within the dance field. The first project in this process, MASCCHAOS, recruited 29 virtual collaborators from across the US to consider performance in relation to the isolation of the pandemic. While the ultimate "showing" of the work was a "solo" the process of the project was inextricable from the collaborative improvisational exchanges.
The current focus of open-source choreography is operating under the umbrella Jack and Diane. This project takes root in John Cougar Mellencamp's famed love song, reflecting rosily on the love affair of two young, red-blooded heterosexuals in Middle America. This construction of "Americana" invokes the evasive histories of whiteness within music and society more broadly. It also romanticizes the heteronormative American Dream, which is obsessed with youth and fears death. I trace these histories through as the child of an immigrant and a placeless queer moving through the Southeastern and Midwestern United States in order to confront whiteness's conformist cultural influence. I hope to recomplicate our relationships to performance (music, dance, theatre, jazz) by excavating that with myself and my collaborators.
Texas Dance Improvisation Festival
Invited instructor for event in San Marcos, TX October 6-8, 2022
Jack be nimble (2022, in process)
Created in collaboration with Jacob Henss.
Jack and Diane (2022)
Performed as part of Split Buell at the Temple Buell Architecture Gallery. Featuring costumes by Larissa Almanza.
photos by Natalie Fiol
Jill of all trades (2021, in process)
Created in collaboration with Rachel Rizzuto.