As an artform based in the body, I believe that dance is uniquely situated to be a catalyst of human connection and empathy, through the interrelatedness of our own corporeality and the carriage of our common humanity and experience. It is my belief that the purpose of dance is to create work that connects and communicates with intention and purpose. Whether it engages people in the depths of their human experience, shines a light on things that our culture keeps in the dark, or celebrates the beauty and joy of experiences sometimes overlooked or forgotten, I believe dance is meant to speak. It is through this visceral communication that I believe empathetic connection can be found.
The desire to speak through art has been innate in me from the very start. In order to achieve this, I expressed myself first through poetry – sorting through grief, asserting my beliefs, celebrating beauty, and speaking my truth. Once I learned to exercise my voice as a choreographer, I brought this same intentionality, with the added element of written or spoken word often becoming the source of my movement inspiration. Outside of the written word and poetry, another primary source of creative inspiration for me are stories of real people. Throughout my career, I have created work exploring stories of brokenness, redemption, depression, grief, loneliness, and salvation. Above all, emotional honesty is what I value most in my own performance, and as the core of my work.
Currently I am investigating and working with how I can create work to impact the present state of our country and our culture. Of particular interest to me is the way human experience can live in embodied memories, and the potential that creating work from this place of embodied memory can have to create experiences of Kinesthetic Empathy within an audience. While empathy can be evoked by various mediated forms, to create an active, relational empathetic connection requires presence. Dance, as it exists in the theatre, is one of the few experiences in our culture today that still requires one to show up, to bring your corporeal existence into a space with other bodies, and to engage in a common experience. It is through these experiences that I believe choreographers have the power to facilitate human connection, and in connecting people, create social change. As an artist, it is my intention to catalyze the potential for empathetic engagement within our audiences, and with each other.