In January 2011, I watched Erica Frankel, a dancer I met at NYU create and document new choreography every single day. I was inspired by the challenge and the opportunity National Choreography Month presented; a call to action to set aside excuses and overcome obstacles to create new dance work. In 2012, I set aside my excuses and created new work, in four 1 1/2 hour rehearsals. We performed for the camera in the studio on the last rehearsal.
In 2013, Nachmo founders Sharyn Korey and Anna Brown-Massey suggested I organize a Boston showing for choreographers to share their work. I was both afraid and excited. If I organized a showing, I would have to submit my own work to be performed for the public, which would be in many ways for my company Intimations Dance.
Put excuses aside. I sent an email out to the Dance Action Network, an list-serv hub for dance happenings in Boston. Crickets. I posted on facebook, on my website, and emailed again. I almost called it off. Meghan McCaffrey, founder and artistic director of Impact Dance Company encouraged me not to give up so easily. So I sent one more email. Over 10 companies responded to my email, and from there the show fell into place. Green Street Studios contacted me about hosting the event and suddenly I had a venue, a date, and a 75 minute run time show.
80 audience members, including many dancers, teachers and choreographers from the Boston dance community, came out to see 9 new works. In addition to challenging choreographers to an intense month of dance-making, Nachmo hopes to create connections and gather energy that will last throughout the year. I am thrilled to have this event contribute to an already vibrant dance community here in Boston.
Here are some photos from the event by Kristophe Diaz and I look forward to Nachmo 5 and the second annual Nachmo Boston showing.
We were supposed to have our final rehearsal for the inaugural Boston Nachmo informal showing yesterday. Winter Storm Nemo had other plans and dropped over 2 feet of snow in Boston. Public transportation is still out of commission and parking bans leave little opportunity for parking outside the dance studio, so I had to cancel.
I am happy I don't have the task of rescheduling the informal showing which is thankfully set for next Saturday night, but I did have a small freak-out trying to get alternative rehearsal space in lieu of yesterday (thinking worst case what if we couldn't find another rehearsal time? Would I be happy with the dance we've made? Is it finished?). I am not sure if I'll ever quite feel like dance work I make is ready. Before almost every show my work has been performed in, the last rehearsal is a blur of last minute changes, additions and subtractions, a final push to see the vision inside my head out in the world on real bodies. It is hard but I think necessary to allow for uninvited interruptions like Mother Nature that mess with our time and space to have their influence on the dance work I am creating. So we'll rehearsal for an hour or so before the show, and what happens will happen and again on stage.
Under 2 feet of snow, we are all happy the inaugural Nachmo Boston informal showing is next week. Here is the press release with all the details from the show. Hope to see you there!
For Immediate Release
Announcing the inaugural Boston celebration of National Choreography Month
Nine Boston Choreographers present new works on February 16th 2013
Boston, MA, Feburary 5, 2013 - It's here. Announcing the Inaugural National Choreography Month (Nachmo) Boston performance. On February 16th, 2013, nine Boston based dance choreographers will be presenting new dance work created in the month of January. Green Street Street Studios in Cambridge, MA is hosting the informal showing at 7:30pm.
From solos, to duets and groups presenting a diversity of dance styles, the event will showcase new work created by Boston Community Dance Project, Cambridge Dance Company, Ara Glenn-Johanson, Impact Dance Company, Intimations Dance, Kara Fili and Tara Weaver, Sarah Mae Gibbons and Renee Amirault, Valerie Angell, and Zoe Dance Company. The informal showing will celebrate the vibrant creativity of the Boston dance scene and hopes to forge new connections that will strengthen our community.
Tickets are only $5, and all costs directly support the space rental and performance fees. The show is expected to sell out, so please reserve tickets here: http://www.intimationsdance.com/nachmo-boston.html
About National Choreography Month
Nachmo is your yearly choreographic kick in the pants conceived by Sharyn Korey and Anna Brown Massey. Nachmo spurs dancers to choreograph by challenging you to work against a deadline. Choreographers have one rollicking month from January 1st to the 31st to forge new steps and complete their pieces.
National Choreography Month Website
Nachmo Boston Facebook Event
For more information, please contact:
I've been collaborating with 16 dancers to create work for Nachmo 4. This year I'll be presenting the work to the public at an informal showing on February 16th at Green Street Studios.
With only one rehearsal left (out of 5 total) I am feeling more anxious and excited as ever to share new work. I am trying to suppress the sometimes incessant inner questioning: am I creating the work I'm supposed to with the 'right' music and structure and story and movement? Will people 'like' this work? What will they think (if anything) at all?
In rehearsal yesterday we took all of the pieces we created through structured improvisation and stitched them together, all of us surprised when the music ended and we were 'finished', after an hour of allowing aural and visual cues to lead the way and a flow sense of mind making decisions of what to put where when and why.
The where and when are the easy decisions for me. The why is much more elusive, harder to articulate and define. Last night I attended the Dance Complex's Shared Choreographer's Concert, a program that pairs choreographers with mentors over 3 months to develop new works. To conclude the show, choreographers answered questions from the audience. One question was how the mentoring process changed or influenced their work, and a choreographer responded that the mentorship focused her attention on why she was making decisions about time and space - understanding why dancers were doing what where, who enters and exits, what music to use and what risks to take.
Is articulating and understanding why each move exists where and when necessary to make work that resonates with others? Or can I trust the different way of knowing that I tap into when choreographing?