Empower One Another was a collaboration between Nozama Dance Collective and OnStage Dance Company. Here are a few thoughts from Jennifer Crowell-Kuhnberg of OnStage!
Nicole Harris: Collaboration can be rewarding and difficult. What is one great moment and one challenge you’ve faced during this process?
Jennifer Crowell-Kuhnberg: My collaboration with Erica Nelson was very rewarding and ran very smoothly. We worked so well together and I felt like we were able to mesh our ideas and styles quite well. I think we each contributed equally to the piece but also felt comfortable to suggest adjustments. Our dancers were also phenomenal in generating movement phrases and improv based on our prompts and allowing us to cherry pick our favorite pieces.
N: In addition to collaborating in the studio you have been collaborating with Nozama on this entire project. What is something you’ve learned through this experience?
JCK: I have gotten to know Gracie Novikoff so well in the last few months and it’s been a joy to, not only work together on producing this show, but also to build a friendship. We have very similar sensibilities and goals when it comes to our respective companies and it’s been great to learn, share and reflect with her on both our mutual and varied experiences as dance company directors. That Director role can feel isolating sometimes so it was helpful for me to connect with her in that way.
N: Why was it important to you for OnStage to be part of this project?
JCK: It’s my continuing goal to have OnStage be an open space for emerging dance makers and a safe space for experimentation. When Gracie came to me with this idea, I saw it as a perfect opportunity to provide those much needed resources and help support her goal of collaboration for this project.
I think more companies and choreographers should be seeking out ways to collaborate or support each other.
Since moving my company to Malden, I’ve also been on a mission to bring more dance artists into this city and hopefully get my local community more involved and more exposed to this type of performance art!
N: Where else can we find you this Spring/Summer?
JCK: We have so many exciting upcoming projects:
Malden Dance Mile OnStage is collaborating with Monkeyhouse to produce the first-ever outdoor dance and movement festival to Malden. Find us on the Malden Community Trail on Saturday, April 27 from 12-3pm for performances, choreography games, dance class demos and more, featuring tons of local performers!
Later that evening, OnStage will be performing at the West Medford Open Studios event at 4pm at 400 High Street in Medford!
I will be showing work at the AS220 Modern Movement Festival in Providence, Rhode Island on April 25 and 27.
OnStage Dance Company’s Season Seventeen Performance will be held at the BU Dance Theater on June 15!
And I am currently auditioning dancers for a reboot of a special project called “What Is Love?” which will debut in July at OnStage!
N: What other local companies/ choreographers do you recommend people check out? Why?
JCK: Obviously I want to encourage everyone to check out the other performers in this series and support the other projects they have going on!