Workshop: Power Play – Experimenting with the Creative Process with Jessica Murphy & Cylene Walker-Willis

Power Play: Experimenting with the Creative Process

Jessica Murphy, Adjunct Professor
Collin College, Richland College, and the University of North Texas, Texas, USA

Cylene Walker-Willis, Professor
Oklahoma State University, USA

When it comes to your creative making process, who holds the power? Are you more of a “guide-on-the-side” or more of a “sage-on-the stage?” What about the people you work with?
In this class we will explore a range of choreographer-performer relationships and working strategies as it relates to your contemporary dance-making practices. We will begin with some guided improvisation as a movement generation tool and as an entry point to discuss the level of decision-making that can be done within each of these working relationships. As the class progresses we will learn a more solidified phrase of choreography and experiment with performance strategies to find ownership within the movement. Come prepared to move, create, and “try on” new ways of making dances. All levels of movers and makers are welcome.

Jessica Murphy is a teaching artist with a curiosity about how groups of artists make work collaboratively. She received her Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance from Texas Woman’s University and a Master in the Art of Teaching degree and Bachelor of Arts degree from Sweet Briar College where she double majored in dance and education. Jessica has shared her love for teaching and choreography throughout Virginia and Texas to students with ages ranging from 3 years to 90+. Murphy’s philosophy of education is student-centered and she is experimenting with more collaborative methods to make her dance-making process reflective of this philosophy. Born and raised in Virginia, Murphy currently resides in Texas where she serves as an adjunct professor of dance at Collin College, Richland College, and the University of North Texas. To see more of her work visit

Cylene Walker-Willis is an educator, choreographer, and artist. She graduated from Texas Woman’s University with a Master of Fine Arts in dance. Walker-Willis has a passion for facilitating community dance projects. In 1998 she helped build Second Man Ministries, a local liturgical dance and drama company, as a performer. She then became its director in 1999, directing and producing plays, musical dramas, and dances until 2003. Walker-Willis is currently a professor at Oklahoma State University as well as Ballet Coordinator and Hip Hop instructor at Dance Star Productions. Walker-Willis is the owner of Brave Productions and Creative Director of Brave Art Dance Theater in Stillwater, Oklahoma where she has been producing work for the past four years.

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