artist statement (2020)
I am an improviser. This is a performance aesthetic and a way of building together in collective. I see improvisation as a way to build dialogue across disciplines, as a way to be a fully present whole person while dancing alone or with others, and as an emergent strategy model by which I aspire to live.
I am a space builder. I mean that literally with wood and nails and extension chords, and also with the intangible alchemy of gathering people together in an intentionally hosted space. Spaces and places to me are sacred, and I often find myself in deep relationship with them. I tend to relate to objects and architecture in an animistic way. I have seen how people, when given space (like plants in the earth) can thrive beyond what we can imagine now. Space grounds us and makes everything else possible.
I am an independent, self-determined artist. I have consistently created my own opportunities, out of necessity, and out of passion. I love solo and collective work where artists are seen each as individuals whose souls can shine. When I rejected the hierarchical structure of dance companies, I found a solo practice that gave me more than the abusive dance world ever could. I believe we must know ourselves to share ourselves, and also that our true selves emerge when in dialog with others. I am interested in art-making structures that empower ourselves as artist to create the opportunities we want, with what we have.
I am a dancer. I am a dancer. I am a dancer. I produce, I create, I gather, I write, but everything I do is in service of creating a world where we can each move from our souls with our full body. My art-making process always begins from movement first: I compose in the doing. Art helps us to understand our place in the world. Space grounds us in relationship to what we already share. Movement enlivens places. Artists offers people a new way of seeing what is already there.
I am a mixed-race, pansexual, Jewish but interfaith-raised, half-Chinese granddaughter of immigrants, woman of color. But, when I describe my work, I don’t start from these identities. Instead, I create and produce work that invites artists to bring their full selves to the stage. This is one of the reasons I insist on improvisation over set choreography, in solo work and devised collective process over interpreting repertory. I believe that we are each a product of our lived experiences and as a performer, sharing live, lived experience is what I do. As someone who often code-switches between cultures, faiths and disciplines, I know that learning from difference is the way forward. I am interested in art that brings us together to witness the sparkling peculiarities of each person.
I love food. Food is culture and community. Sharing it, we care for each other, just as the land has cared for us. Outside of the dance studio, I am an beginning organic farmer and rooftop gardener. Sharing of food is often incorporated in small but inextricable ways into my performances or the events I produce. This is aligned with my belief that artists have a responsibility to consider their audience’s experiences. Following the examples of women in my family, I embrace hosting as a practice, a responsibility and a way to create welcoming inviting spaces.