Since Fall 2005, Julia Mayer's primary focus has been a solo movement practice that she has developed on Friday mornings at Links Hall. Each week, she steps into the studio and puts herself through a fairly strict schedule of meditation, free-writing, warming up and authentic movement that awakens that day's dance. And then she dances. One long juicy dance. She works with many of the attentional strategies she learned from Deborah Hay, tricking herself to keep paying attention, to stay alert to the dance, to notice when she starts to think she knows what it is and, if she does, to move on.
DURING THE CDF YEAR
Julia was eager to push the inquiry of her solo practice into group work. She explored engaged, highly attentive movement strategies with a small group of experienced dancers, a parallel universe to her solo practice. It was an opportunity to gain more practical, embodied knowledge and language about shared moments of the body moving.
"Dance and dancers for me are a way to witness the beauty of the human. I want dance to be a shared, open experience. And more, I want it to be a movement adventure that invites dancer and viewer alike to find creative impulse in unexpected places. So the dance invites the dancer to be seen engaged in an experience, an agent in the creation of a danced moment. The dance is not a representation, but simply, stunningly, a revelation of the now."
Julia uses improvisation and play as tools to practice making choices in the moment, which is critical even when performing set choreography. This approach can blur the conventional distinction between rehearsal and performance. Questioning this distinction allowed Julia to engage with her dancers in a way that was non-hierarchical, trusting and welcoming of their foibles. "I try to select performers (whether trained dancers or not) whose light and playfulness allow their humanness to be patently readable."
The dance is informed by the writing, by the morning, by the action movies she has watched with her son, by everything she does during the rest of the week. It is all part of her consciousness and physicality as a moving artist and she considers all of it to be part of the dancemaking process.
June 14-29, 2008
Saturdays and Sundays, 4 pm
Bethlehem United Church of Christ
2746 N. Magnolia Avenue
Dancemaker Julia Mayer developed strategies to activate awareness of one's self and surroundings in performance. These movement adventures shifted the focus from steps and stage design to the performer and audience's shared experience. In her new quartet, Mayer and collaborators glided from improvised movement "maps" to composed sequences that captured the character of each dancer. As much cartographer as choreographer, Mayer guided the dancers' journey, relishing the serious pursuit of play.
Choreography: Julia Mayer
Dancers: JulieAnn Graham, Julie Hopkins, Julia Mayer, Margaret Morris
Music: Marc Riordan, Josh Sinton, Fred Lonberg-Holm