Finally, don't miss the NACHMO Boston Concerts at the Dance Complex on Friday, February 9th and Saturday, February 10th! You can catch Kristin's performance on Saturday!
N: You put together the incredible Tiny and Short concerts at the Dance Complex. How did you get involved with that? What is a piece you saw there that really impacted you?
K: As a Project Lead at The Dance Complex, I regularly have the opportunity to coordinate a number of interesting creative programs on behalf of the organization. Tiny & Short in particular was the brain child of myself and Executive Artistic Director, Peter DiMuro. When meeting about another program, Peter looked at the calendar and said he didn't like how empty February was looking. I made a joke that I would plan him a show... and then that joke became a reality. I noted that I wanted to do a concert of all short pieces, and he noted that he wanted to bring Ten Tiny Dances back to The Dance Complex: thus, Tiny & Short was born, and after its success in February, The Dance Complex decided to produce it again this past fall. I really appreciated that in this second production, people really embraced the spirit of the show. In particular, I loved the piece that Rebecca McGowan presented in collaboration with Veronica Barron and Julia Friend. All of the Tiny dances were restricted to a 4X4ft platform stage, but these artists took the constraints a step further and squeezed an entire set design on the stage, complete with live music and an additional platform on which Rebecca performed beautiful Irish step dancing. They also lit their own piece, playing with different types of lights and shadows to produce a truly beautiful performance.
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?
K: I think the number one thing that the time constraint changes about my process is that it removes the ability to censor myself. I feel like most of the work I have made, whether at studios, in college, or professionally, takes FOREVER to create because I am constantly changing my mind, throwing ideas away, or second guessing my artistic intuition. The first time that I participated in NACHMO, I didn't end up building a piece at all. I felt so paralyzed with anxiety over the limited time to create, that every time I was in the studio, I threw out the entire piece I had created the rehearsal previously. I ended up improvising for the performance, and felt that I had totally wasted the opportunity. I pushed myself to participate again the following year, and was able to create a piece, but I was working off of an old framework so I felt like I was breaking the rules. This year, with Tony's help, I have decided to let go of all the self-judgment, and just go with impulse. I have found it to be very freeing, and honestly, what Tony and I created in one rehearsal is already far more interesting to me than many of the pieces I have created over months and months of rehearsal.
N: Can you tell us about ...that’s what she said?
K: ...that's what she said is a dance theater production and social media project dedicated to providing a platform for women to share their stories. The performance itself features 9 local female choreographers in various stages of their careers who are all making work that speaks to the female experience. The social media project is related, in that it shares stories and images of women in an effort to bring to center stage a picture of life from the female perspective. I started thinking about and planning ...that's what she said about a year ago. I had been thinking of all the shared concerts I have been a part of, and how often times, you come in, perform, and don't really talk to any of the other performers. I just thought it was so unfortunate that so many of these showcases don't directly support and facilitate connection amongst the performers. I wanted to create a show that would build a community, and because of my personal interests and passions, I specifically wanted to create a show that would build a community of women. My favorite piece of my own choreography is Pillow Talk, which I created in 2014. The dancers whispered throughout the entire performance, and a great deal of feedback I received was in response to this whispering: what were they saying? why couldn't we hear them? And so when thinking about my show, I realized that the best way to build community while intriguing audience and inspiring discussion was to incorporate story telling into the theme of the production. We recently launched an IndieGoGo campaign to cover all production costs for the show, and I am proud to say that we managed to raise 100% of our goal in under two weeks. I am in the process of setting a stretch goal of $5000, so that we can provide choreography stipends that more accurately reflect the worth of the work being created. I am also in the process of gathering more stories from women of all backgrounds for my social media campaign. Ideally, it would be great to have enough participants that I could create a corresponding movement piece which would feature a diverse cast of dozens of women... but we'll see! Anyone interested in participating can email me at email@example.com for more information. Additionally, if anyone is interested in following the project or learning more, please follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@followwhatshesaid), check out our IndieGoGo, or visit our website!