Under the pale moon

Pale Moon premiered in 2009 after I returned from a Fulbright residency in Taiwan. While there, a friend of mine mentioned that the Chinese character for expatriate was both poignant and complex, a combination of three characters: other country, floating, and child. This dance came from a motion-based investigation of place, and displacement, in the moving body. I imagine the performing in the company of the light of the moon.


I had the real pleasure this week of working with Marissa Sheffer to re-configure Laura’s solo, Pale Moon, for her. Actually, Laura and Marissa started the process in May and this was my first time to work with Marissa, who is now with METdance in Houston. And actually … this is the first time to make work with her after knowing her for almost five years: Marissa and I didn’t have the opportunity to work together choreographically when she was a student at TCU, so we are diving in now.

under the barre

Laura’s solo was developed in a distinct way, and is particular to her, and to the process. Marissa is coming into the details beautifully, and at the same time, clearly making it her own.

under the pale moon

The sun brings definition to Studio C every late afternoon and while this dance is designed to suggest moon light, I am always fascinated by the impact of the sun’s architecture. This quick moment of repose in the middle of the dance seems timeless in that framework.

in the light of the moon

As an aside, Marissa did the lighting design for the dance I made at TCU last spring, Threshold. She created a world apart for that work. She is a multifaceted artist.

So we are looking for a place to perform. Let me know if you have ideas.




wild geese in chase

Turn about is fair play?

Two days before I left Maine – in August – the geese that had been gliding on the estuary for the afternoon took flight. The sun was on its way to setting; I was surprised: they usually stay the night on the water. I was standing in the front yard; they flew directly at me as they were coming off the water, and then overhead. It felt a bit like I was the at the other end of the chase!

geese on blue

Return to Rwanda

Adam, John and I recently returned to Rwanda to speak in person with Godelieve, to jump start our conversation on how to focus the grant funds in support of SEVOTA, and the build of a sustainable relationship between the SEVOTA communities and TCU.

On our third day in conversation with her, Godelieve invited us to the SEVOTA Center that is part of her home in Rukoma (formerly Taba, Rwanda). There she had gathered scores of women from the Gitarama province. In this photograph, you can see that she had picked up a map of Rwanda in the meeting room, and was showing us the various provinces where SEVOTA centers are located. On the table, to the right, is the hand-blown glass globe that we presented to Godelieve in March of this year, as symbol of the TCU Global Innovator Award.

While we were there, in a speechlessly moving act, she acknowledged the award she had received from TCU, and presented it to the women present. As I watched the award travel around the room,  from one woman to the next, hand to hand, I realized I was witnessing a ritual claiming that had come from a genuinely collective authorship. It was a moving experience on the most profound of levels. The longer I am with Godelieve, the more I wonder at how I am so fortunate to have come to know her, and learn from her what it means to be a leader and active force in change.

GM map and globe

For more information on the project, go into “older posts” at the bottom of the page.

and now,

unexpectedly, Collette and I have the opportunity to set up the architecture of this work in a different way; in the way I originally imagined it: with a disappearing apex.


String structure Exchange

. . .potential for multiple experiences of the work.

EXCHANGE Choreography Festival

Collette and I are in Tulsa, OK this week to participate in the EXCHANGE Choreography Festival: More than Movement, produced by The Bell House (Rachel Bruce Johnson, Artistic Director; Alicia Chesser, Curator and Assistant Artistic Director.)



Berceuse is on at tomorrow at 6 pm:

Exchange Choreography Festival
July 26-28, 2018
Location: Tulsa PAC Liddy Doenges Theatre, Tulsa, OK 

110 E 2nd St, Tulsa, OK 74103

There will be a moderated dialogue and a discussion with the audience as part of the presentation.












Godelieve Mukasarasi receives TCU Global Innovator Award

Thanks to Alex Masi, I have some photos to share from the Global Innovator Award presentation to Godelieve Mukasarasi, Director of SEVOTA in Rwanda.

Godelieve Mukasarasi

Just before coming to Fort Worth, Godelieve was in Washington DC to receive an award from the US Department of State, presented by Melania Trump.

Godelieve in DC

The ceremony started with a beautiful film that Adam created for the event – a collection of photographs and video clips from various sources, including our January visit in Rwanda with Godelieve.

Next the TCU Rwandan community, led by Pacifique Rutamu (in front, and center), danced for Godelieve. They used the dancing to bring her to stage, along with the presenters.

men dancing



Finally, Elizabeth Gillaspy (Director, TCU School for Classical & Contemporary Dance) and Anne Helmreich (Dean, TCU College of Fine Arts) presented the award – Irené Kwihangana translated, and SCCD dance majors, travelers to Rwanda, presented the actual awards.

SCCD22 copy

Group photos to further convey the festive nature of the evening.

TCU Rwanda




TCU Endeavors Magazine

Had a lovely interview with Beatriz Terrazas back in the fall.  It would seem being able to condense an hour-long conversation into so few words, still capturing essence, is somewhat like composing minute-long dances, or piano works.  (p.15)  SDR 2

Lori Diel’s work is in here as well! (p. 11)


Photo: Alex Masi  Dancer: Laura Mobley

Agahozo Shalom Youth Village

One of our TCU friends, Pacifique Rutamu, graduated from Agahozo Shalom Youth Village. https://asyv.orghttps://asyv.org ASYV was founded by American Anne Heyman https://asyv.org/our-founder/  The framework of ASYV mirrors that the model of residential youth communities built in Israel after WWII for orphans of the Holocaust . https://asyv.org/the-asyv-story/https://asyv.org/the-asyv-story/ The goal of ASYV, therefore is …to heal and educate vulnerable Rwandan youth, helping them to realize their maximum potential, and become socially responsible citizens.

Before arriving to ASYV, Pacifique had told us that Ms. Heyman searched throughout Rwanda to find an inspiring site and, guided by a Rwandan proverb that states If you can see far, you will go far – she settled the village into the hilly terrain north and east of Kigali.

see far go far

We had lunch at ASYV – it was delicious – warm, grounding. We had just come from the Kigali Genocide Memorial and speaking for myself, the beans and rice helped to fill some quite vacuous spaces in my body.



We met director, JC (Jean-Claude Nkulikiyimfura) and public relations fellow MC (Marie Claire Levy), and Fulbright Specialist and volunteer, Phyllis Lerner for a tour as well as some of the incoming first year students. Competition is fierce to enter ASYV. Teachers across the country make recommendations – about 2500 in total – and only 128 students are chosen to enter each year. Notably, 2/3 are young women and 1/3 are young men. Rwanda is prioritizing the education of women.

see far go far 1

We toured the campus – it’s several acres. We started in the dining hall/gathering space, went up to visit the classrooms, amphitheater, residential section and agricultural and livestock sectors. In that oh-so-small-world way, when we arrived at the amphitheater, I put two and two together, and realized that new friend and TCU partner, Shelby Sullivan,  Volunteer Coordinator of Refugee Services in Texas (Fort Worth division), had been to ASYV!  We were talking about Rwanda before the trip – in November – and she mentioned ASYV and how remarkable it was both for how it was designed and developed, and the success it has had. She mentioned weekly performances in the amphitheater. It turns out that Pacifique was on the dance team – he performed regularly in ASYV’s amphitheater. And, of note, when he was there, the team won 2nd place in national competition. Shelby was one of eight fellows at ASYV in 2015. Fellows rotate yearly and are the cousins to the eight households where the students live with a Mama. The residential living spaces and the village itself were created to reflect family structures.  It is truly lovely to have found another in my immediate sphere who has a clear picture of where we were, what we saw, some insight into the feelings we experienced, and the spirit of the people we met.

Godelieve Mukasarasi

Global Innovator - MukasarasiTCU will present this award to Godelieve Mukasarasi on Saturday evening, March 24th during the DanceTCU Concert. There is a reception following the concert to honor Mrs. Mukasarasi.

W.E. Scott Theater / Fort Worth Community Arts Center / 1300 Gendy Street / 76107                          Tickets $15 General Admission / $7.50 Students with ID                                                                                                  Ticket purchase on line: dance.tcu.edu