Nicole Harris: You are building two solos for this performance.
karen Krolak: Yes, through the Musings this year, I began to explore some choreographic ideas related to The Dictionary of Negative Space: an interdisciplinary lament.
N: Can you talk a little about what the dictionary is and how the pieces relate to it?
kK: The dictionary began as my thesis project for my MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts at Sierra Nevada College. It examines the negative space within the English language, the vast chasms of unnamed ideas related to mourning, trauma, and repair and it was inspired by the car accident that killed my mother, father, and older brother in 2012. By the time we began to plan Re act…, I had a two ideas for pieces based off of this research.
kK: So, in the Dictionary of Negative Space, entries are labeled by the number in the bracket. For instance,  is the place where a deceased person was last seen alive by the speaker.
Exactly two weeks before the accident, my father, Kwaq7aj’, and I went to see Monkeyhouse’s creation in Luminarium’s very first 24hr ChoreoFest. I decided to create a choreographic score to guide someone from the Dance Complex to the place where we said goodbye that day. When I began mapping out these activities, a little more than 5 years had already passed.
Odd, I just remembered that I started working on the score after I left a showing that Luminarium presented at Green Street Studios this fall.
Anyway, it was challenging to recreate exactly what happened. How long did we wait for the walk signal? Where exactly was our table when we sat down to eat? Since I did not know that this would be my last outing with my father, I did not memorize as many details as I wanted later. More importantly, I realized that I had tricked myself into thinking that this was my father’s  because in reality both of my parent’s  no longer exists. That place was destroyed a few years after the accident. I had latched onto the goodbye from the day of ChoreoFest because my brain clearly did not want to deal with another missing thing.
As I wrote out everything that was tangled up in my head, I realized that I was not writing instructions for my father’s . I was writing out my father’s aaaaaaaaa (n.[usually plural] activities that seem ordinary but take on new significance when they are the last moments spent with someone). I edited my thoughts down to just the verbs to emphasize those actions.
N: The one for Olivia Scharff was also influenced by a walk you went on in Malden Center. Can you explain what you saw on the walk and what path the idea took once you were in the studio with Olivia?
kK: Right, I had received an email from Mobius and discovered that they were planning some dadamobile events in Boston at the Farmer’s Market on Copley Square. One of them was just a few hours after the email arrived and I had some free time. Two moments on that trip sparked an idea of how to approach this solo.
First, while I was sitting near Copley over by the Finish Line for the Boston Marathon, a man approached me to use my phone. Having just recently adjusted to a new phone, I was hesitant to hand it over to a stranger. He was clearly in distress and wanted help to contact a medical clinic. I offered to call the clinic for him. As we navigated the phone tree, things got very frantic and confusing for him. He was in a treatment program for opioid addiction and had missed the time that he was supposed to contact his nurse that day. While he and I were sharing the phone in this awkward uncomfortable duet, people were just rushing by us and stepping over us. It was very similar to the feeling of Elizabeth’s phrase from that Musing.
Then on the way home from the T in Malden Center, I was behind three strings of children on walking ropes. I was still worrying about the man from Copley. Juxtaposing the security and calm of these kids making their way to the Ed Emberley Park against the man’s isolation and despair, I began to wonder about a person who realizes that they are all alone on their walking rope. Once again, I understood that I was exploring yet another entry from the dictionary but I will let people guess about which one until they come to the show.
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