2019 Assembly Choreolabs

Choreographic Labs are an opportunity for choreographers to set/reset/create a work and Assembly participants  to learn or participate in the creation of a work at the Assembly.  The work or work-in-progress is rehearsed daily and will be presented on Saturday, February 16 in a site-specific location.

Assembly participants who wish to take part in the choreolab experience must attend the first meeting/audition on Thursday, February 14 at 8:30 am in Studio 452.

Below are the wonderful choreographers who have agreed to facilitate this creative experience at the Assembly!

Jee Eun Ahn and YeaJean Choi

Lab Concept: Jee Eun Ahn and YeaJean Choi are originally from South Korea and begin dance studies in South Korea. As Korean artists, both Ahn and Choi value one of the significant aesthetic in Korean dance “정 (Jeong) 중 (Jung) 동 (Dong).” Jeong, Jung, Dong is a movement energy flow which means creating the infinite calm energy flow through the use of the center of gravity in the human body. Performers will create this energy by following Korean Flag patterns with flocking scores. This will be a fun research journey to see how the Korean dance aesthetic can be interpreted differently at the specific site in El Paso.

Jee Eun Ahn is a choreographer, performer, and educator from Seoul, Korea. She holds a MFA degree in Dance Performance and Choreography from Florida State University. She formerly trained at Korea National Ballet School and majored in Dance Education at Seoul National University. Jee, as the former co-artistic director of the 아이노스(Ainos) Dance Company in Korea, has choreographed and danced at prestigious festivals both at home and abroad. Since she has moved to the States, her choreographic works and dance films have been selected at Women in Dance Leadership Conference, Wave Rising Series, KoDaFe in NYC Dance Festival, Dumbo Dance Festival, Reverb Dance Festival, Sans Limites Dance, ACDA, and many more. Jee also has been selected in Doug Varone’s Devices 4. Jee is currently an assistant professor in dance at Texas A&M International University.

Yeajean Choi is a dance artist who creates multimedia and site-specific performances. Choi received her M.F.A in Dance from Texas Woman’s University. Originally from Seoul Korea, Choi earned her BFA in Korean Dance from the SungKyunKwan University and receive MFA in Dance from Texas Woman’s University. Her choreography and dance films have been presented nationally/internationally. Currently, Choi is a full-time professor and a coordinator of dance at Universidad de las Américas Puebla. Choi and Martheya Nygaard launched the social media-based company, kNOwBOX dance, to connect interdisciplinary art, technology, and artists, and to re-envision the process of art making.

Samples of prior work:

Chicken Bank Collective

Chicken Bank Collective is an interdisciplinary and international arts collective. We are committed to our communities, constantly making room for co-creation, researching the intersectional points shared by our disciplines and looking for their expanding possibilities. CBC consists of 6 women: dancers, teachers, choreographers, musicians, visual artists, videographers and a documentalist. We come together from different cities in México and the United States to work with what we can reach out to: our stories, the stories of the body, the stories of the places that we come from and where we travel. Our mission is to weave communities between borders through the art of movement. Tejiendo comunidades entre fronteras a través del arte del movimiento.

Somos un colectivo internacional de arte interdisciplinario que está comprometido con la comunidad y constantemente generando espacios para la co – creación y la investigación de los puntos de intersección y las posibilidades expansivas de nuestras disciplinas. CBC lo conformamos seis mujeres: bailarinas, docentes, coreógrafas, músicas, artistas plásticas y videoastas. Convergemosdesde distintas ciudades de México y Estados Unidos para trabajar con lo que está a nuestro alcance: nuestras historias, las del cuerpo y las de los lugares a los que vamos y de los que venimos. Nuestra misión es tejer comunidades entre fronteras a través del arte del movimiento.

zap:::mcconnell > an investigator of dance/theater/movement/performance. I am a visual artist, director, teacher, performer, environmental activist, beginning filmmaker and odd job wrangler; animated by passionate beliefs and visions that flower out of my fierce love of the natural world. For over 2 decades, I have experimented with cross pollination of arts, fusing that in installation site specific work, featuring dance. I make things. I travel a lot. I am dedicated to paying for my carbon footprint in co-creating community projects, as I continue to broaden my awareness of different ecosystems, cultures and communities. Luckily this requires full participation. I am usually fueled by music. Currently I am a candidate for an MFA in Dance at Hollins University, a co-creator of Chicken Bank Collective- an international interdisciplinary all girl group, and reside at my art studio: CABIN.

Cinthia Pérez Navarro is a Mexican dancer, teacher and independent stage creator. Her interest is focused on improvisational, somatic and movement practices. Her work is sustained by a stronger sense of community and generating a creative, free and integrated space in the performing arts. Dance Degree at UDLAP, Cholula, Mexico. She has participated in international festivals such as Performática (2007 – 2016), American Dance Festival NC (2010, 2018), International Festival of Improvisation of Contact Uruguay (2011), SOMA Fest CA (2012), Festival of Dance On-Site / In- Sight NC (2016 – 2017) and 1st – 2nd National Encounter of Contact Improvisation Mexico (2016 – 2017). Currently Cinthia lives in Puebla and ventures as a Somatic Movement Educator, a choreographer in Proyecto Segundo Piso, performer in XIPE Colectivo Escénico and she coordinates the Puebla Contact Improvisation community. Since 2014 she is a member of Chicken Bank Collective, collaborating in the creation, management and production of artistic residences.

Julie Rothschild is the Director of FloorSpace Movement Studio in Boulder, CO, Independent Dance Artist and Educator, Alexander Technique Teacher, and Nordic Ski Instructor. Her passion for movement and performance began at a young age, and continues to lead her in unpredictable and wondrous directions. She has collaborated, choreographed, performed, taught and apprenticed with a wide and wonderful assortment of dance companies and artists throughout the world.

Links to Site Specific work CBC was part of:

Jeanine McCain

My recent choreographic research involves using movement to explore personal histories, with particular attention to a sense of place and how we are shaped by our physical environments. I’m interested in how the ways we move, the ways we interact with each other as humans, and the ways we hold awareness about the deepest parts of ourselves are intrinsically connected to the landscapes in which we exist.

For Choreolab, I’d like to explore the duality of how our bodies are an inseparable part of our physical landscape, and yet a single body or group of bodies moving can act as a landscape of its own. What kind of story is told when we move together? What kind of story is told when individuals break apart? How does this change how we understand the landscape and our relationship to it?

I’m very interested in working with dancers who are interested in improvisation and contributing to a collaborative process. I plan to use flocking as an initial exploration of our bodies in coexistence with the landscape, and then see what arises as the flock breaks apart. Ideally, I will hold the vision for a tightly structured score based on our work together, but the dancers will also bring their own connections and movement inspirations, based in the site work, to the development of the piece.

Jeanine McCain is an interdisciplinary dance artist and educator based in Philadelphia. Her current performance research integrates dance and video technology to investigate personal histories that explore a sense of place. McCain’s work has recently been performed at the International Interdisciplinary Artist Consortium and Moving Arts Lab at Earthdance in Western Massachusetts, Sans Limites Performance Series in New York City, Philadelphia Fringe Festival, and Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema in Colorado. Her interdisciplinary performance research has been presented at the Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences, the Temple Critical Geography Conference, and the Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities. McCain holds an MFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a BA in Dance and Theatre from the University of Montana. She is currently an Associate Professor of Dance at Ursinus College.

Distortion Variations

Choreographer: Martheya Nygaard, kNOwBOX dance

I am interested in creating a distorted immersive performance that will take place near a large architectural structure such as stairs, breezeways, or fountains where performers and I will create 4 variations of a solo phrase. Variation one- performers create a solo phrase inspired by the architecture. Variation two- we apply distortion methods to re-imagine variation one. Variation three- we re-imagine variation two where bodies are now in physical contact with the architectural structure. Variation four- we re-imagine variation three not in physical contact with the architecture but with other bodies. The variations of solo phrases explore how distort the performers’ relationship with the architectural structure. I define “distortion” as the act of altering something to become grotesque, complex, and ugly. The three methods of distortion for generating movement are: deconstructing the body, twisting the body, and challenging movement patterns. These three movement generation methods create an uncomfortable, unnatural, grotesque movement vocabulary that challenges the possibilities for what dance can look like. These three methods are also applicable when working with the performer’s relationship to the architecture. These movement generation methods are applicable for any performance outcome as they stimulate a process of generating unique movement phrases for any duration.

Martheya G. Nygaard is a dance artist who has cultivated the concept of “distortion” as an aesthetic philosophy, to challenge and expand notions of contemporary dance. Her work has been presented both nationally and internationally. She holds a BFA in Dance from Sam Houston State University and MFA in Dance from Texas Woman’s University. Currently Martheya is an adjunct professor for Tarrant County College and Eastfield College. Martheya dances professionally for Out On a Limb Dance Company and Jordan Fuchs Company. Recently Martheya and YeaJean Choi launched a social media based company, kNOwBOX dance, to connect interdisciplinary art, technology, and artists, to re-envision the process of art making and sharing. For more information visit www.martheyamovement.com | www.knowboxdance.com

Slaughter the Oxen, Burn the Yolk

Laurie M. Taylor, Visiting Professor
University Calgary, CA

The piece speaks to the idea of leaving something behind, in exchange for (or rather in pursuit of) something greater. The purpose of this work conceptually, is to examine the juxtaposition of safety/security vs. risk/reward. Choreographically, the movement will reflect this, offering a unique fusion of rigidity and vibrational movement, alongside more sustained somatic and improvisational vocabulary. The title is inspired by 1 Kings 19:19-21. While this is not a “religious” piece, the scripture provides a context which “grounds” the overarching narrative of the movement.

This work will explore four (4) areas of interest:

  1. Questioning the mundane, it’s inability to excite while simultaneously (and often superficially) offering security.
  2. Dealing with anxiety and uncertainty of the unknown.
  3. Accepting the fact that risk may not actually yield reward; finding the willingness to take the chance anyway.
  4. Being comfortable with the uncomfortable; the growth and maturation processes of journeying through the unknown.

Laurie Michelle Taylor is a Liberian-American choreographer, artistic director and Visiting Professor at University Calgary. Her work centers around intersectionality, identity politics and diversity consciousness, both in and beyond the performing arts world. Laurie’s movement philosophy re-contextualizes modern/contemporary forms through a widened African Diaspora lens. As a performer, she has toured nationally/internationally with Urban Bush Woman, Nicholas Leichter Dance and has performed at the Joyce Theater, Madison Square Garden, the American Dance Guild Festival, The Association of Performing Arts Professionals Conference (APAP), Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Central Park Summerstage, and The Moonwalk for Breast Cancer, among others. She is an Alvin Ailey New Directions Choreography Lab Fellow, A Mertz Gilmore Foundation LSC Grant recipient, and a two-time Jerome Foundation Awardee. Laurie’s commitment to hybridized movement vocabularies are outlined through her work with various cultural organizations in Liberia, West Africa and the U.S., respectively. She understands her responsibility to impact society with innovative content and a deep sense of artistic agency, offering new perspectives to dancers through transformative systems of teaching and learning.  “…full of sass and life.” – The New York Times

Link to previous work: Numinous Traveler (2017)