Thursday, December 6, 2012

Endings performance!

Want to see the first sneak-peek into the February thesis work?  Come on out to Endings this Friday at 7pm.  The show is free, and features work my the MFA candidates at Temple University.

I am presenting a new duet, which is sweet, beautiful, and sensitive.  Come see Alison Liney and Megan Quinn perform "Real-time Bodies." The show is FREE!

What: Endings
Where: Conwell Dance Theatre, 5th floor at Broad and Montgomery
When: 7:00pm, Dec. 7th 2012

See you there!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Remembering Internal Extremes

Sharing some research for my thesis:

From More Than Meat Joy (1979) by Carolee Schneemann:

“Gesture is three-dimensional in quality; it is nureo-muscular: remembrance and recognition are linked to basic kinesthetic identification. Gesture is in the spine; it is intangible and cannot be grasped without feeling it. 
Physiology of the Dancers
With the dancers I find two channels of movement occur:
1. a naturalistic attitude of the body in actual space.
2. involvement from within the body as projective space.
I want the dancers to reach for extremes. The material I present requires breakthroughs in intensity, in emotive location…strong feeling for concentration on new movement…or familiar movement performed as if it were uniquely present for them. This demands resources of available psychic energy which may never have been called for before in their dancing.
Their odies are capable of feats; in so far as possible they are—as a group—inquiitive, adventurour. Grounded in their implacable and moving traditions they scent clearly the forms which they must search to break clear of past traditions. Itis not enough to see this necessity; only a few are held by an emotion desperate and strong enough to carry them through. Their own needs are in process; my visions of movement often upset them—they cry ‘impossible’ just as a traditional cellist does when instructions call the bow to the bridge! I have been able to perform all I asked of them.”(p. 16-17)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Corvidae Video

Tonight, I realized that I had neglected to upload this footage from last year's fringe performances.  So hop in this time machine with me, and we'll throwback to last year at about this time.

This was post-Atlanta, where two of my old friends were marrying each other and where I reconnected with many dear friends as well as my mother's side of the family. It was post-Seattle, where I mourned the loss of my grandmother, one of the truly greatest people I've ever had the honor to meet, with my father's side of the family; there I also visited with a close friend from college, astonished at how much she had grown.  This was after all of that, when I was back in Philly and processing the tumultuous summer.

Corvidae (referenced earlier on this blog by it's working title, "Crow") was the product of that processing. Using imagery from my own personal associations, and created in collaboration with two lovely dancers (Shailer Kern-Carruth and Celia Murawski), Corvidae is centered around our kinship's ties to location and how we nurture (or neglect) connection across time and space; it investigates how we navigate those long-distance relationships with those we love, and how it feels when they're gone for good. 

You can watch the video here:

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Updates - Book in the works, Lure series, and "Indelible" video

Dear readers and friends, my apologies for being remiss in my updates!  This summer has been busy, busy, busy.

First, I'd like to let you all know that for the past year or so, I have been working with my mentor and teacher, Amanda Williamson (along with co-editors Glenna Batson and Sarah Whatley), on editing an academic volume titled Dance, Somatics, and Spiritualities: Contemporary Sacred Narratives. Right now, we are just about in our peer-review stage, and then the book is set to be published in the Fall/Winter by Intellect Ltd!  I spent a week earlier in the summer in the UK with Amanda, intensively editing the chapters before this review. In the book, many seminal figures in the dance, somatics, and spirituality fields speak openly about their work and their own understanding of the numinous.  More info on that as the publication progresses, but let me tell you that I am incredibly honored and excited to be a part of this groundbreaking work. 

Secondly, I was thrilled to recently show some excerpts from my earlier work "the melting point of feathers" at Angler Movement Arts Center's Lure performance series.  It was a part of Frankford Avenue Arts' First Friday festival in Fishtown, Philadelphia.  I was fortunate to be able to step in and dance a role with Megan Mizanty, one of my original performers.  Meg also presented her solo, "Little Battles," which is a favorite of mine.  I have been teaching Kid's Dance (creative movement) and Adult Beginner Ballet at Angler over the summer, and it is just such a beautiful space right here in my very own neighborhood! Here are some more photos from the show: 

And Meg's "Little Battles" (photography by yours truly, haha):

Lastly--and perhaps most excitingly--I finally got my video from the theatre performance of "Indelible [I closed the book and I changed my life]" that was staged in May in Conwell Theatre as part of Temple University's Endings concert series.  For me, this was a cast of dancers I'd never choreographed on before, and I really loved working with these dancers! They really dedicated themselves to going through a process in which I saw them grow tremendously from day one to our final performance.  It is now live on youtube, so enjoy! 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Indelible [I closed the book and I changed my life] - a dance documentary

Indelible [I closed the book and I changed my life]
By Becca Weber

    This video installation is a dance film and documentation of a site-specific performance work. Situating the work, which questions our embodied histories, within the confines of a library challenges the Cartesian distinctions between mind and body.  The library, while a physical location, remains a site firmly situated in intellectual and mental territories, and thus is rarely a place of embodied exploration.  By performing movement explorations in this space, we disrupt the “safe space” of the hierarchy of mind over body, and reinforce the plasticity of our bodies—its ever-alive and changing nature which reflects our own individual histories.  This site-specific dance also highlights the physicality of the books, and the presence of bodies—of both performers and studious “audience” members—in the space.  By situating our explorations in physical intersubjectivity, we hope to transgress the boundaries between mind and body and the social codes of behaviour in public spaces of the mind to reunite the body and brain, the physical with the intellectual. Elizabeth Grosz claims in an analysis of Deleuze that the space in between two things is where thought originates; “becoming” which is the method of transformation for the two things creating this liminal space, “is bodily thought, the ways in which thought, force, or change invests and invents new series, metamorphosing new bodies from the old through their encounter.” (Grosz 2001, p.68-69) Becoming enables singular parts to be released from the system of the whole, transforming possible experiences. By prioritizing the relational aesthetics of the dancers to each other and to the books, “Indelible” engages in this bodily thought and transforms individual participants and witnesses experiences of this intellectual space to raise physicalized experience to an equal plane of value.  Thus, the work actualizes an alternative method of engagement in a space dictated by the hierarchies of academia. In the silent space of the library, our movement is the nonverbal communication, giving voice to the knowledge of histories in our bodies and aligning them with the knowledge in the books.

    These themes were cultivated from a multi-part movement exploration of themes inherent or implied in Bruce Smith’s poem, “Untitled [I closed the book and I changed my life].”  The choreography stems from a collaborative creative process which examines our own embodied histories—specifically, our deliberate, chosen past actions to create change in our lives. The movement utilizes a playful, and at times fraught, interaction with books as metaphoric representations of this change/decision.  “I closed the book,” “I turned over a new leaf,” “I’m beginning a new chapter of my life.” We tend to think of these touchstones in our lives as memories which live on in our minds, yet we keep rereading the same lines over and over, rediscovering familiar patterns at different points in our lives. When we create change, are those changes lasting?  Or do we always carry our past histories with us, our embodied memories affecting our currently-enacted lives?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Indelible [I closed the book and I changed my life] - to come!

Since January, I have been working on a new piece for six dancers, which we recently turned into a site-specific piece in Paley Library at Temple University.  We are performing the stage version at Temple University's graduate concert, ENDINGS on May 4th at 7:30pm.  It's a free show, so come out if you're around!

Here are some still shots from our site-specific performance in Paley Library:

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The words behind the work

For the piece I am currently working on, I found a poem that, for me, compiled all the layers of the questions I was interested in asking. Here it is:

Untitled [I closed the book and changed my life]

I closed the book and changed my life and changed my life and changed my life and one more change and I was back here looking up at a blue sky with russets and the World was hypnotic but it wasn’t great. I wanted more range, maybe, more bliss, I didn’t know about bliss. Is bliss just a rant about the size of the bowl? The trance was the true thing, no, the rant, no, the sky, now, that icy whiteness.