Follow along on social media to get the prompts and see some incredible dances! Share your own videos (no previous choreographic experience required!) using the #MonkeyhouseNACHMOChallenge hashtag in order to be featured!
Finally, don't miss the NACHMO Boston Concerts at the Dance Complex on Friday, February 9th and Saturday, February 10th!
N: You are interested in dance and science. Can you talk about how those two things come together?
M: Definitely. Ever since I was little I have been fascinated by science - loving rocks and cloud formations. Later, I became invested in physical therapy as a career through anatomical courses and various dissections, which lead me to self-design a major in Dance Kinesiology at Mount Holyoke College. Therefore buried in Gray's Anatomy and scientific textbooks, I found a love of physics through translating principles to dance. Albert Einstein inspired my first choreographic plunge in 2014 as well as Thomas Edison’s phonograph and motion picture inventions fostered my curiosity with science and art. In each new creation, I hope to further explore this kinetic interaction and stimulate the perception of dance as a scientific sport.
N: Can you talk about the dancers you’ll be working with? What are you looking forward to and what are the challenges of working with this particular group?
M: Yes, they are great! I am working with Katy Esper and Nora Buonagurio. We have been dancing together since 2015, therefore there is already a foundation of collaboration and trust. I am looking forward to being on the sidelines and watching these dancers take lead of the material. The challenge of working without a soundscore is that there will be no musical cues or counts and therefore Esper and Buonagurio will need to be extra aware to clearly converse physically and verbally within the space.
N: Who are some of your favorite choreographers?
M: Some of my favorite choreographers include Jiří Kylián for his harmonic combination of fragile movements juxtaposed with a sharp attack. Adele Myers prompted my love of athleticism and risk-taking. Jessica Lang inspires me with her brilliance in installation and innovation in each new work. Ohad Naharin pushes me to create work that is socially and culturally poignant. Andrea Miller allows me to be ok with the quirky. And as always, Fred Astaire has always been an inspiration; a brilliant technician, incorporating clean and syncopated rhythms.
N: What changes in your process to build a piece in such a short time span (one month)? How long do you usually take to create work?
M: What I create for NACHMO will be a rough draft of an idea. I usually spend 1- 3 years on a piece. This includes many smaller showings and refinings of sketches, which allow me to spread out in as many directions and as quickly as possible. From these reworkings, I will compress the dances into a comprehensive whole. I just had a big finale to the work I had been creating for the past year and a half. Therefore what I am creating for NACHMO 2018 is completely new!... movement - concept - dancers and collaborators. Excited to see where 2018 takes me!