Karen Sherman & Dance

May 29, 2014


"I make dances and that is the world in which I work. I identify as someone who makes dance but I also don’t feel that dance has to do everything for me, and also I haven’t often thought of myself as, necessarily, good at dance... Often when I am making a dance I do other things as an escape from the dance. Sometimes it’s because I want to do something else, like downtime things, or I want to do something that is more tactile and more actualized than dance because dance is so abstract. I mean it’s abstract in that it only exists when you are doing it. You have to have people, if it’s a solo, you have to have yourself, and be capable, and able, and physical up to par to rehearse, Then everybody has to to show up, on time, and you have to have a plan. I love all of that about dance, how hard it is to manifest, and how inexact it can be. Like, you are aiming for one thing and then something else happens, and that is really incredible. But, I think sometimes I crave, more static, tactile processes. So, often I am doing other things for that reason, like building stuff or making music, because it is more fun. Actually making dances, a lot of the time, isn’t very fun for me, making dance material. So I do these other things because they give me more pleasure and because I am less invested in them."

-Choreographer Karen Sherman in a great interview with Anna Marie Shogren (read it here)

I have been doing a lot of tactile things, many organized activities, and lots of practical, linear jobs. It makes me so glad that something as mysterious as the process of making a dance exists. I've been thinking a lot about how easy it is for days and days to pass without being aware of your body beyond knowing that it needs food and rest. Not at all in dance-- your body's intuition and capacity for holding experience is everything. 

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