We had the pleasure of performing select pieces from our repertory for the Arlington Alive Summer Arts Festival at the Regent Theatre on July 13th, 2013. This was the first time we performed a solely repertory show, so it was a relief not to be premiering new work. We spent a couple of hours of rehearsal time re-staging each piece to account for folks who couldn't make the performance. In this process I got thrown into the mix to fill in some spots and am grateful for the opportunity to perform in three of my pieces, two for the first time.
"The walk was so cold, but the colors"
Choreographed by Jessica Muise with the dancers
Dancers: Jessica Muise, Diana Pilarski, Alyssa Rosenfeld, Tara Sujko, Audrey Zaferos
Music by The Books
"The Last Bird"
Choreographed by Jessica Muise and the dancers
Music by Zoe Keating
Dancers: Alexandra Botti, Caroline Carbo, Etienne Hernandez, and Jessica Muise
"How Come You Never Go There" (excerpt)
Choreographed by Jessica Muise
Dancers: Madeleine Chansky, Jessica Muise, Alyssa Rosenfeld and Cara Spilsbury
Music by Feist
Intimations Dance is excited to announce summer and fall classes. We'll regularly share pictures and videos from company classes on facebook and on the blog to peak your interest. Hope to see you at at class!
Intimations Dance Open Company Class at Green Street Studios (Summer)
Join Artistic Director Jessica Muise and Intimations Dance company members for a summer modern class series.
Mondays 6 - 7:30pm
Session Dates: 7/22 - 8/26
Green Street Studios, Studio 1
185 Green Street, Cambridge, MA
Sliding scale $10 - $15
Class Description: Let’s wake up the psoas, lengthen the spine, get friendly with the floor, connect with our breath and move inside phrase work with multiple orbits and pulls of gravity. The warm up will strengthen and stretch the spine and core muscle groups pulling from Graham, Hawkins and Limón techniques. We'll focus on floor work, some improvisation and new phrases each week. Flyer below.
Intro to Contemporary Dance (Fall)
Get a taste of Contemporary Dance, a style made famous by Fox Network's TV show So You Think You Can Dance. Contemporary dance draws on ballet, modern and jazz dance technique to create expressive and fluid movement. Begin with a strength and flexibility warm-up and across-the-floor exercises.
Each class, you'll learn new themed choreography set to contemporary music. We will also learn about the the history of contemporary dance through readings, video clips, and short in-class discussions. Bring a yoga mat for the warm-up.
Wear comfortable athletic clothing or dance wear; no special footwear is required.
Hosted by Newton Community Education
Newton South High School Dance Studio
9/25/13 - 10/23/13
Registration coming soon!
Here is all the good stuff (program info, video and photos) from our most recent work and performance for ArtBeat Somerville. Feedback is welcome in the comments:
Music by The Books
Choreographed by Jessica Muise and the dancers
Dancers: Alexandra Botti, Caroline Carbo, Madeleine Chansky, Kristina McCarthy, Alyssa Rosenfeld, Kara Zabatta
As a gardener, I am always amazed by insects' roles and abilities in an ecosystem as some of the smallest organisms visible to the naked eye. Some insects carry over three hundred times their weight, others furiously decompose to allow for new life and re-birth, and some fly upwards of seven miles a day in search of pollen, always managing to find a way home. This piece explores insects' ability to communicate location to each other; the location of flowers, the location of light, the location of home (or making the decision to find a new home). One name humans have given to their process of knowing is 'path integration', a continous integration of movement cues of distance and direction to find their way.
Tomorrow we'll present new work entitled "Path Integration" for ArtBeat at the Somerville Theatre at 2:30pm. The theme for this year's festival is "micro". I thought immediately of insects, being some of the smallest organisms visible to the naked eye, and yet we know very little about them. As a gardener, I am always amazed by what I learn about their abilities and roles in an ecosystem...leaf cutter ants can carry 300x their weight, others furiously process decomposition for re-birth, bees fly upwards of 7 miles a day to find pollen to make honey. The structure of their neurons are also almost identical to ours. It is not surprising to see in popular culture insects as characters, like ant colonies that band together and realize their strength in numbers have been used as metaphors for rebellion and revolution, or butterflies are a symbol for freedom and regeneration through their metamorphosis (even when distilled to a commonplace tattoo).
Through improvisation, discussion and writing exercises, we explored our own experiences using insect and bee behaviors as the starting point, including swarming in bees, nest-moving in ants and moth flight patterns when exposed to light, and transferred that into choreography. We honed in on these organisms ability to communicate location, to find flowers, to find light, to find home, and often find a new home. Bees "waggle-dance" in a pattern angled in relationship to the sun to tell other bees where to find flowers. Moths fly in spiral circles back and around again to a light source when located. When finding a new home, ants will leave trail pheromones to lead the way to a potential new home. Then, somehow, through the actions of many individuals, an ant colony will decide to move, eventually carrying their nest-mates along for the ride.
One name we've given to other organisms way of knowing place is path integration. From wikipedia: "Studies beginning in the middle of the 20th century confirmed that animals could return directly to a starting point, such as a nest, in the absence of vision...This shows that they can use cues to track distance and direction in order to estimate their position, and hence how to get home. This process was named path integration to capture the concept of continuous integration of movement cues over the journey."
I always wonder when I see a lone insect walking or in flight, if they know where they are, if they know where they are going. I watched a grass-hopper once at the bottom of a tire divot in the sand trying to jump out, over and over and over. I thought maybe that was all he/she would do that day. Were they trying to get somewhere? Where are we trying to go?
This Saturday, we are performing at the Regent Theatre for the Arlington Alive Summer Arts Block Party. The performance is part of a day-long event featuring local artists, musicians, theater and dance groups. We are one of two dance groups sharing the stage for the evening show beginning at 6:30pm.
The event is free and open to the public, and we hope to see you there. Intimations Dance will be performing select pieces from our repertory, including "The walk was so cold but the colors" and "The Last Bird". RSVP here to our facebook event.
I am still feeling so blessed by our experience at Global Water Dances a few weeks ago under the beautiful sun surrounded by so many beautiful people. Five Intimations dancers spent the day at the foundation ruin of the Old Manse inside the Minuteman National Park in Concord, MA dancing for water in front of a gracious audience alongside CreationDance and Skyloom, our hosts, culminating with a procession to the bridge over the Concord River.
What is Global Water Dances?
From the GWD website: Global Water Dances is a world event first launched in June 2011. On a single day, a series of dances centered on water issues are performed beginning in the Western Pacific Rim, then encircling the globe. These dances are also broadcast online. Global Water Dances will start with performances in countries in the Pacific Rim, rolling westward through the time zones. Global Water Dances is a bold visionary artistic initiative focused on the critical need for safe drinking water. Already today, there are an estimated 5 million deaths per year globally from polluted water. By 2025, over half the world's population will be facing water-related problems. (See Water Issues page for more info.) Global Water Dances is a model of how to use participatory art-making to raise consciousness about environmental problems and how to bring people together to work on solving these problems. Participants and viewers of Global Water Dances learn about the critical role of humans in protecting water supplies.
We created a new 5 minutes piece to present for Global Water Dances. I was inspired by a village I lived in South Africa for a time, Gwexintaba, and what that experience taught me about my relationship to water. The village is literally at the end of the road, no electricity or running water, nestled in hills that led out to the ocean. I was drawn to a permaculture project there in its infancy, and stayed with my partner at the time to teach a 5-week interdisciplinary arts camp, we called Magwa Environmental Education Through the Arts. Every couple of days we had to fetch water, walking through a swamp, on unstable tree trunks and planks to reach the spring. I always had taken water for granted until I lived there. Growing up, and still today, I turn a piece of metal and water pours out, like there is an endless supply. But, there is not. Much less than 1% of the water on the planet is drinkable, and we are very quickly making that resource even scarcer through pollution and waste.
During rehearsal I was reminded of that place immediately, specifically of an image of women washing clothes. We would often walk to the gorge and waterfall on the edge of the village. We'd see women washing clothes in the small pools of water at the edge of the waterfall, using the flat rocks as washboards. That is where the movement began. The piece became a reflection of that experience, and an offering of gratitude for our access to clean water, and a call to action for the audience to question their daily relationship with such a precious and limited resource on this earth.
Here is a reflection from the director of Skyloom who so graciously hosted us... "“Intimations” dance group under the direction of Jessica Muise presented a water dance inspired by Jessica’s time living in South Africa. The dancers performed in silence with strength, determination, fluidity and deep connection to the earth.". To read more about her reflection and details of the event, see her post here on the Sacred Dance Guild's website.
Here is a video and photographs from the performance. Performing dancers are Alexandra Botti, Diana Pilarski, Alyssa Rosenfeld, Kara Zabatta and Audrey Zaferos. We are looking forward to exploring more site-specific work, and participating in Global Water Dances 2014.