Classes: Mondays 10am-12pm Sept. 11 – Dec. 11
Performance: Showing Dec. 2 7:30pm (5:30pm rehearsal)
Taking two everyday forms of movement, we will allow these forms to disorganize within, and to be disorganizing of, our bodies. This process will lead us into understandings of function and form, and also into expressive potentials that arise within experiential states of disorder. As we explore in solo, duet, and ensemble improvisations, moving periodically in contact and/or with eyes closed, the lines between states of order and disorder will be at times stark and at others blurred. The sensations that arise within this unstable and unbound matrix range from relaxing to energizing, and from disorienting to freeing.
At the end of the series a score that sources these explorations will be performed by class participants at Brooklyn Studios for Dance.
About the Artist: Kathy Westwater, recipient of the 2017 Solange MacArthur Award for New Choreography, creates art that exists in the human body. Described by The Brooklyn Rail as “at the limits of the human,” her work responds to contemporary experience and the societal landscape in which it manifests by reimagining the body’s movement potential. Westwater’s most recent work, Anywhere, asks how a dance might engage with and itself be a monument. Other major works have explored the built environments of landfills and parks (PARK); phenomena of war and pain (Macho); the intersection of human and animal culture (twisted, tack, broken); psycho-physical states of fear (Dark Matter); and interactive virtual environments (The Fortune Cookie Dance).
Developed in New York City, since 1996 her dances have been seen at New York Live Arts, Franklin Furnace, Danspace Project, Joyce SoHo, 92nd Street Y, Movement Research at Judson Church, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Dixon Place, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Performance Space 122, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Brooklyn Studios for Dance, Temple University, Pratt Institute, Reed College, and many parks and public spaces, among others. Her work The Fortune Cookie Dance is cited in The Drama Review as an early example of online interactive dance and archived in the Walker Art Center’s Mediatheque Archive.
She has received commissions from The Lumberyard, New York Live Arts, Temple University, and Danspace Project; and awards from Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Puffin Foundation, Franklin Furnace Fund, Meet the Composer, and New York Foundation for the Arts. Westwater was Artist in Residence at Brooklyn Studios for Dance throughout the 2016/17 season; and she has been the recipient of numerous other residencies, among them, New York Live Arts, Temple University, Djerassi, Movement Research, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, iLAND, The Field, Rockbridge Artist Exchange, Millay Colony for the Arts, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and Pratt Institute. Early support for her work included space grants from 92nd Street Y Harkness Center and Brooklyn Arts Exchange, a fellowship from Summer Stages Dance Festival, and being named a Mellon Anchor Tenant Artist by the Joyce Theater Foundation.
Inspired by early studies with Simone Forti, Dana Reitz, and Sara Rudner, Westwater has since been described by Rudner as a “seminal artist.” In addition her own work, Westwater has danced in reconstructions of Forti’s groundbreaking works Slant Board and Huddle at Lincoln Center and Steve Paxton’s influential Satisfyin‘ Loverand State at the Museum of Modern Art. She originated roles in Historias and Familias, both by choreographer Merián Soto & visual artist Pepón Osorio, and performed them nationally and internationally, including at Jacob’s Pillow, Lincoln Center, and Dance Theater Workshop, among many other places. Historias has been recognized as an American Masterpiece by the National Endowment for the Arts. Westwater has also performed in works by Sally Silvers and K.J. Holmes.
Since 2000, Westwater has taught at Sarah Lawrence College. She is also on the faculty of Movement Research, and serves on its Artist Advisory Council. Through workshops, talks, and writings she has explored the intersections of art and society at, most recently, UC Berkeley, University of Michigan, UCLA, and Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
Westwater received an MFA from Sarah Lawrence where she was awarded the Bessie Schönberg Scholarship, and a BA from William and Mary where she studied political economy and dance. Dedicated to advancing the working conditions of artists, as a founding member of Dancers Forum she co-authored The Compact.