they | them
performer | choreographer | educator
March - May 2019 solo research project.
Rooted in sensation, this solo project works with the word “leave” as a prompt for improvisational movement and text, and somatic memories of my familial history with Lithuanian-American folklore and dance gatherings. I am investigating the emotional landscape of the loss of connection to those communities in adulthood, and the generational trauma experienced by the women in my family.
I am questioning my relationship to the Lithuanian folk dance form and how it influenced my movement and socialization as a dancer. I am questioning if my relationship to that dance form and those communities is still relevant to me now. I am curious about the binary gender roles of the Lithuanian folk dance form; though I love the form, the binary gender roles within it do not align with my personal identity and feminist research.
I wonder about the disintegration of a group structure; what happens when what was viewed as a utopian society, reveals a crack and begins to crumble? How does this disillusionment connect to a sense of one’s identity?
I connect these ideas and questions to my physical research through the body. The sensations I connect to through my imagination call me to: run, and keep running, to fall repeatedly, to remain in constant, off-balance motion, to charge forward, to keep lifting and arcing up through my upper body as I run backwards. I attempt to find a formal folk dance structure with my body, but repeatedly interrupt that attempt with chaos. This manifests in flailing, animalistic crawling and bouncing, vocalizations, and stutter-stepping. I’m excited by the sense of wildness that I feel, teetering on the edge of being in-control and completely out of control. I work to abandon all sensibility of ‘dance technique’, but remain connected to my energetic sense of the space I am moving within, and the mobility of my spine.