Archive for the ‘Writings’ Category

Spring Festival 2015: meet the writers

MOVEMENT RESEARCH FESTIVAL SPRING 2015

legible/illegible: opening beyond the space of identities

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ALL SPRING FESTIVAL 2015 POSTS

Tune in to the MR Spring Festival online to follow blog postings by the curators and our team of festival writers, Jaime Shearn Coan and Tara Willis. We have asked the writers to respond as artists, and as such welcome their unique vantages. Read along in real-time as each share their impressions of the various festival events. In casual blog form, these writings will be offered as open-ended dialogues.

~ the curators (Layla Childs, Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, and Samita Sinha)

 

ABOUT THE WRITERS:

Jaime Shearn Coan is a writer and PhD student at The Graduate Center, CUNY. His writings on dance can be found frequently in The Brooklyn Rail. An inaugural Poets House Fellow and recipient of a 2014 Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant, Jaime recently served as dramaturg for choreographer Mariangela López’s El Regreso. Jaime’s poetry chapbook, Turn it Over, from which he’ll be reading at The Poetry Project on May 22, is available from Argos Books.

Tara Aisha Willis is a dance artist and PhD candidate in Performance Studies at NYU. She is Co-Managing Editor of TDR/The Drama Review, an editorial collective member of Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory, co-editor of a forthcoming issue of The Black Scholar with Thomas F. DeFrantz, and a summer Thesis Writing Mentor for Hollins University Dance MFA’s. Her writing is forthcoming in Movement Research Performance Journal #46. Tara also coordinates Movement Research’s Artists of Color program.

Please note: Cassie Peterson was unable to write for the festival this year;  Tara Willis stepped in!

Performance Journal Sparks Controversy in Congress (1991)

pj-3-by-annie-sprinkle

We’ve dusted off the archives, and we have a lot of incredible back issues and a full in-print set available. For a limited time we’re offering a discount code for 50% off select issues (see below), such as PJ#3, the Gender Performance issue from 1991 which sparked a lot of debate in US government halls. Read about the controversy in the Washington Post article below!

For a limited time only, you can use discount code MRHOLIDAY to take 50% off the following journals:
PJ#3 Gender Performance, PJ#18 Release Part 1, PJ#19 Release Part 2,
PJ#22 Ownership, PJ#23 Now
Click here to purchase PJs

NEA Wants Grant Money Back

washingtonpostThe Washington Post

September 30, 1991 | Todd Allan Yasui

In yet another flap over federal funding of the arts, a New York dance group announced last week that it does not plan to honor a National Endowment for the Arts request that it return part of a grant.

The NEA contends that Movement Research Inc. violated the terms of a $4,400 general services grant when it published an issue of its biannual Performance Journal in August that “does not appear to speak to the dance community on issues specific to dance or performance art,” according to a letter sent earlier this month to Movement Research from Laurence Baden, NEA deputy chairman for management. The issue, titled “Gender Performance” and guest-edited by writer and filmmaker Tom Kalin, includes nude and semi-nude photographs and essays addressing the impact of homosexuality, transsexualism, transvestitism and sexual identity on the arts.

The letter also states that Movement Research violated a grant condition that prohibits the use of federal money for material “intended to influence the public to lobby members of Congress with regard to pending legislation.” Page 8 of the journal is a provocative full-page notice – which consists mainly of a close-up photo of female genitalia – urging readers to call members of Congress to express their opposition to the Supreme Court’s decision that upheld the right of the federal government to deny funding to clinics that provide abortion counseling.

The NEA also contends that the organization was misleading in its application because it did not indicate that someone other than a Movement Research staff member would “determine the editorial content and oversee the production of the journal.”

Guy Yarden, co-director of Movement Research, said his organization does not plan to return the money because it believes the NEA’s request is motivated by fear of political pressure from critics of the agency, and not by a violation of specific legal terms of the grant. “Technicalities can be found in anything, but I don’t think that’s what generated this current situation,” said Yarden. “It’s the content of the issue.”

“I would also say that we’re aware that in the NEA’s regulations … lobbying cannot be paid for with federal funds,” said Yarden. “But when Tom {Kalin} decided to put {the notice} in the issue, it was thought of as an advocacy art project… . When we put it in, it wasn’t {considered} lobbying.”

Jill Collins, an NEA spokeswoman, would not comment on the situation, saying only that “we are attempting to resolve this.”

The NEA letter asked Movement Research to return $1,400 of the original grant money, an amount determined by an endowment auditor. Yarden said the figure was “arbitrary” and that even Movement Research staffers didn’t yet know how much NEA money was used for the publication.

Yarden said Movement Research’s board of directors has yet to decide what it will do, but he said the group hasn’t ruled out legal action.

“We completely stand behind Movement Research on this issue,” said David Mendoza, executive director of the advocacy group National Campaign for Freedom of Expression, “because this is yet one more instance of the chilling effect that is happening with the NEA. … The idea that the NEA would request that part of a grant be returned after the fact is completely ridiculous.”

“It’s a public issue and it also is very important to us that it’s clear that we did not go out of our way to make this a public issue,” said Yarden. “In essence, we’re responding to what we perceive as attacks. We didn’t do this, the NEA did this.”

As of Friday, the NEA had yet to receive any official notice from Movement Research, according to Collins. The group has until Oct. 10 to respond to the NEA request.

Todd Allan Yasui

http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-1087540.html


[For the NY Times  article, click here]

Frances Alenikoff, In Memorium, by Wendy Perron

Another lovely writing on Frances Alenikoff by Wendy Perron
http://dancemagazine.com/in_memoriam/4524


Frances Alenikoff, Dancer and Visual Artist, Dies at 91, from the New York Times

Read this article on the life of Frances Alenikoff written by Margalit Fox for the New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/09/arts/dance/frances-alenikoff-dies-at-91-founder-of-2-dance-companies.html

Post (Para?) Studio Dance: A Walk through the Labyrinth, by Biba Bell

From the Studies Project: WHAT IS CONTEMPORARY DANCE  and WHERE DOES IT COME FROM and WHERE IS IT GOING?
Initiated by  The Bureau for the Future of Choreography

Post (Para?) Studio Dance: A Walk through the Labyrinth
by Biba Bell

When invited into the conversation proposed by The Bureau…

[What might a flowchart for contemporary dance look like? Where and when does your flowchart for contemporary dance start? Where does it end? What are your ideologies and how do you name them? What are your histories and how do you write them–especially those that have not been formally written?]

… I immediately focused on the question of the contemporary. What makes dance contemporary? Is it a moment, perspective, set of materials… what does it look like? What is it aligned with or against?

I’ve been teaching in Detroit some the past year where there are a lot of competition studios and this is the main point of entry for many of the dancers that I’ve worked with in the University. So, to them contemporary has a different meaning – more along the lines of a genre, Read the rest of this entry »

Frances Alenikoff

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Frances Alenikoff, celebrated artist and owner and founder of Eden’s Expressway. Frances passed away peacefully in Southampton Hospital after a last visit from her daughter Francesca Rheannon, grandson, and great-granddaughter.

The Movement Research staff is enormously grateful to Frances Alenikoff for her continuing belief in the mission of Movement Research. We will miss her and her spirited example of what lifelong artistry is.

alenikoff-s-hands-frame Read the rest of this entry »

  • June 29th, 2012
  • Movement Research Staff

My Thanksgiving Day love letter to Movement Research

So I’ve been meaning to blog for a while…
Last week, I went to Movement Research’s Town Hall meeting. The topic was “sustainability as a performer”, and various things were touched on over the course of the discussion. Questions came up like: What does it mean to be a performer? How can we sustain ourselves economically? How do you gain experience as a young performing artist?

I spent the meeting wandering past and around the circled chairs, listening in patches from differing distances as I followed my one-year old daughter toddling in and out of the room. Trying to occupy her enough for us not to be too distracting, I also knew she would eventually fall asleep if I let her roam. During the last ten to fifteen minutes of the town hall, I stood at the edges of the space holding her warm, sleeping body, eager to soak in the conversation and anticipating the end when everyone would clap. (and I would have to zoom out to avoid her waking up – I wasn’t fast enough.) The two of us were engaged in our own dance. The whole time I was thinking about what sustainability means to me.

Read the rest of this entry »

S.O.S.

I’ve been having an ongoing discussion with Manhattanville College students in my contact improvisation class about improvisation and choreography. I am often troubled by how those terms are used. What do those words mean? Why are those terms habitually used diametrically? If choreography is “the composition and arrangement of dances” (from Merriam-Webster dictionary online) or “also know as dance composition” (from Wikipedia), does choreography equal composition? If improvisation is “to compose, recite, play, or sing extemporaneously” (Merriam-Webster online), is improvisation instantaneous composition? Is the defining difference between choreography and improvisation time of deliberation? Read the rest of this entry »

well, well…

I interviewed brilliant improviser Lisa Nelson via skype yesterday.  First skype experience for me.  I loved the weird delay and sudden stops of Lisa’s video image as we were talking.  Reminds me now of the work I have done with her, the Tuning Score.  Measuring time in a single image, how long can we look at one thing without wanting it to stay the same, to change, to transform, to watch it die or find a verbal call to reconstitute it.  We do this again and again.  As we improvise in our work, in our lives.  The sense that time is not linear, but spirallic.  My computer tells me that spirallic is not a word.  We dancers make up our own words to describe a process of animating the physical language we are.  Did language not come from what we do, what are actions were? Creating our desires or desiring to create. To survive beyond desire, the desire to speak, to do more than survive.  To do it well?  Is being comfortable a sign of wellness?  Does surviving well mean we lose the edge to our curiosities?  Well, deep down, passing through layers of silt and stone, to find clean water.  Pull it up.  Drink it.

Two weeks until the first class of the Movement Research Fall Festival.  It’s already started…

K.J. Holmes, Co-Curator MRFF, among other things…

IT’S ABOUT DEVOTION or INTERVIEWING STEVE PAXTON.

Driving through the rain last night, heading right smack into a rainbow on I90, like he was the treasure I was headed toward.  No doubt about that.  I was excited, nervous, and slightly lost, on my way to Earthdance.  And then there it was, all lit up at the top of the hill, just like the last time I saw it.  God, I love that place.  I scrambled out of my car, left the dog in the front seat, and ran up the stairs.  Steve was just coming out of the main house, and we hopped in his truck to go up to the B&B of sorts, to have some quiet.  So stay tuned, you’ll hear the interview right here at MR, ‘cause I got it, the recorder worked and everything! And he WAS everything; charming, thoughtful, dismissive, honest and very moving.  Very, very moving.

Sondra Loring, co-curator of the MR Fall Festival 2011

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