Journey to Rwanda

Since developing this site, I have been thinking of it as an image-based means of communicating what I am working on as a choreographer, and the pathways of those works into performance and/or the residencies, workshops and retreats that involve wild goose chase dance. I’ve just returned from a TCU sponsored trip to Rwanda and the nature of the experience was such that I would like to share it more broadly: I would like to acknowledge those with whom I traveled, those I met and danced with during the time we were in Rwanda, and what I learned. Additionally, it is my intention to share in a way that points readers toward ways that they, too, can engage if interested.

On January 3, I left for Rwanda – joined by faculty, students, staff and guests of TCU. I will introduce you to those I traveled with and then to the places we went and the people we met. Our goal – as part of the TCU QEP from whom we received a generous grant – was to lay the groundwork for relationships that would be sustainable. Speaking from my own point of view, I had no idea how rich this journey would be for its breadth and depth, and we all have John Singleton, TCU Director of International Student Services and ardent believer in engaging the world with TCU international students as guides, to thank for that.  John designed the schedule which included visits to arts, community and memorial centers where we met Rwanda’s leaders and visionaries, and the evening round table discussions with those change-makers and additional Rwandans who are engaged in arts, education, reconciliation and peace making.

Adam and John

John is on the far right in this photo. Left to right are Raavi Ballot, Elisabeth Pierson and Adam McKinney, fellow travelers you will meet soon.

Irené Kwihangana, a TCU junior from Rwanda, majoring in mechanical engineering, served as Country Director. He worked together with John to create programming, to translate for us (Irené speaks four languages fluently), and to secure internal travel arrangements. Irené and his friend, Ituze Christian, direct an NGO in Rwanda called Anointedhttp://www.anointedrwanda.org  Their NGO supports children at the juncture between primary and secondary education – a point at which many students drop out due to lack of finances for school fees, books and uniforms.  I hope you’ll read more about this organization and its goals and visions on the website.

Irené

Irené Kwihangana at Gisimba Arts Center.

That’s it for today. I’ll continue introducing you to the people involved and the experiences we had over time as I continue to process.

country 5

Rwandan countryside. Land of 1,000 hills. And endless farms.

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suspended

I’ve started to work on suspended again. This is the work I started with Alex and Laura in residence at wild goose chase/the landing in summer 16. We’re working Erin into Alex’ role so that we have multiple options. Alex took these photos. Check out her Austin-based company:  http://swngproductions.com

Parallele -2_previewParallele 2_preview

 

Coming soon

wildgoosechasedance.measuring time.color

During sabbatical leave in 2017, Susan worked with composer Gregory Biss to craft nine microdances – seven for stage performance and two dance for camera works. She collaborated with dance artists over the age of 40 to investigate liveliness – and – the ways in which virtuosity is defined during various eras of a performer’s career. These dances will be performed in three arts and community centers in downeast Maine in the coming week.

For in-process photos, go into earlier posts from this year.

 

Thanks to Jasmine Bibbs for the beautiful poster design!

 

 

 

Authentic Movement Retreat at the landing

wild goose chase dance/the landing and New York Dance Therapy NYDanceTherapy.com hosted the first Authentic Movement Retreat at the landing with seven women from the New England/New York area. After two choreographic residencies at the landing, this is the first retreat and – what a ride. As Nancy described it: a roller coaster ride to lightness!

 

ensemble

I do love this photo. You can see all of us and – reflected in the window to the left – the space where we engaged in practice.

For those of you who are not familiar with Authentic Movement, here is a description from Suzanne:

Based on the principles of Freudian free association and Jungian active imagination, Authentic Movement is the ritual of tending to, responding from, and acting on one’s genuine movement impulses. It is a powerful way of bringing unconscious psychological material into known consciousness in the presence of a witness, allowing one to truly be in the present moment. This process of moving in the presence of another offers opportunities for a greater understanding of one’s own creative potential while directly addressing a basic human conflict between the desire and fear of being seen.

Exploring the camera in dance

As part of my sabbatical adventure, I spent some time with Jana learning the basics of Final Cut Pro, and working with her to create two short dance for camera versions of the work I did with Yunyu and Shugi, and with Loretta. It’s fascinating – so like choreographing in many ways; so unlike it in so many others! And wow – I have only just barely scratched the surface of that technology.

Jana and Susan

Jana performs with Cocodaco Dance Project in Chicago, and teaches at Foster Dance Studio. You can see her in action here, in the professional company:  http://www.cocodaco.com/video/ 

Final day at the Opera House

Greg – composer – joined us at the end of the development process. First time to experience music and dance together in the liveliness of interaction. Pure pleasure.

 

Thanks again to Meg, Kate, Pam, Amy, and Isaac at OHA for their support, and to Isabelle and Joe for sharing their home with us during our time in Stonington.

Continuing to build

Dancing with these two is a lively experience. Fast-paced at times and yet always with the space to address all manner of detail.

 

The theater at Opera House Arts is ideal for crafting solo and duet work.  In this closely knit space, you can feel the immediacy of a decision made/investigated.