Dance as Public Art

Hello again! The semester at USF is winding down, and I am looking forward to summer projects. I have my first rehearsal for the new solo I wrote about in my last entry this Thursday, so I am working on some rehearsal strategies/scenarios that Nathalia and I can use as structures for improvisation. I am also going to try get some solo studio time for myself so that I can develop phrase material for us to use as a common movement vocabulary. I’ll let you know how it goes….


Ok. So another project I am working on is “urban duets.” Like I mentioned previously, I am really into site-specific work. I love seeing and placing dance in unexpected spaces and situations; I am very interested in the resonance of bodies and objects in space - how what happens in a space leaves an imprint that becomes part of the space, a memory archive that exists whether or not someone can “feel” it. (I could go on and on about this, I love the idea of traces, echoes, and memory – hopefully I’ll circle back around to this at a later date.)


*Mission Statement Alert* I seek to normalize dance by devising strategies for people to see more dance in their daily lives. This is a big one for me – I think about this all this time – more about this later – I realize I’m writing that a lot, but it turns out I have a lot to say, and it’s really easy to get side-tracked. Anyway – it’s important, because my desire to normalize dance for non-dance populations is integral to this “urban duets” project.


I am working with my dear friend and collaborator, choreographer/performer Elsa Valbuena on a new structured improvisation that we will perform in urban, public spaces in downtown St. Pete during “business” hours, preferably in locations and at times of commuter traffic when people are going to work. I think that one of the biggest obstacles for the sustainability of the field of dance is the simple fact that people don’t know how much it really costs to make a dance. I want to make a poster board with the actual cost of making and performing the “urban duets.” We will display that while we dance to give people a context about the labor of art-making while they are on the way to the labor they themselves perform. We are going to perform regularly in the same location over the course of a few weeks and then try to talk to people about it. I would like to know what it would take for someone who has never seen a dance performance to pay to see one. And what is like for someone to see dance as public art? And how much would someone pay to see a dance performance?


We are aiming for late summer to start performing the duets --- I’ll keep you posted!