I am a professional modern dancer and arts administrator. I am a classically trained dancer of Western forms such as ballet, modern, and jazz, and I love dancing contact improvisation and participating in performance improvisation. In May 2009 I earned an MFA in dance from the University of Colorado in Boulder, where I concentrated in somatics, pedagogy, performance, and choreography. I moved from Boulder, CO, in August of 2009 in order to pursue professional dance with the Khambatta Dance Company, run by Cyrus Khambatta. While in Seattle, I originated the Dance Institute component of Beyond the Threshold International Dance Festival, which I continue to administer. From 2010-2012 I lived in Gifu, Japan, and danced with ModernDanceYou Co. Currently I live in the greater DC area and dance with The Playground (Daniel Burkholder) as well as my own company, ACW Dances. I am also a certified Classical Pilates instructor.
My personal dance aesthetic is geared toward the highly athletic and daring. I enjoy integrated, full-bodied movement that takes advantage of the proclivities and talents of the dancers. I am drawn to the absurd, and to revealing human interaction in space and time. The less predictable the movement and the spacing, the better. I appreciate the rare occasions when a choreographer surprises me by making the less predictable (and to me, usually the more interesting) choice. The more unique, well-executed and non-traditional partnering in a dance, the more I enjoy it. And of course, it always helps if the choreographer has worked toward a conscious development of a theme in movement, story, and/or relationship.
One of my goals for this site is to provide a place where people who are interested in learning about modern dance may come to read about the events I see, the trends I notice, and the development of our dance awareness (or lack thereof) in society at large. I hope that my posts on dance performances will point people toward modern companies they may enjoy, companies that deserve a greater recognition in the arts landscape. Other posts may help us all think about the place in our society that dance occupies, how important that place truly is, and how we all can work together to secure a better future for dance and all the arts. I have also recently decided to pursue the production of my own work. To that end I have embarked on a mission to make this site into a functional webpage as well as blog. I welcome any and all support; if there is an aspect of this site that I can improve, I would like to hear about it.
The site’s name, All The Modern Dances, encapsulates my mission: to engage with current modern dance trends, to create new modern dance work, and to openly discuss modern dance. I took it from a T.S. Eliot poem, reproduced below, which discusses a young woman who enrages her relatives with her scandalous behavior. It doesn’t take a poet or poetry analyst to recognize what Eliot’s going for: here’s a heroine who smokes and dances her way across a boring land, infecting it with the possibilities of future generations, all the while watched over by the (disapproving) forefathers of modernity. It’s the cycle of life we all engage in, it’s what we all do: break out, push the world forward, then step back and watch the coming generations do the same. Life is one long modern dance, and I look forward to adding to the discourse.
Miss Nancy Ellicott
Strode across the hills and broke them,
Rode across the hills and broke them –
The barren New England hills –
Riding to hounds
Over the cow-pasture.
Miss Nancy Ellicott smoked
And danced all the modern dances;
And her aunts were not quite sure how they felt about it,
But they knew that it was modern.
Upon the glazen shelves kept watch
Matthew and Waldo, guardians of the faith,
The army of unalterable law.