Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Dislocation Express, V-Blog #8: Sonsheree Giles

There is a lot to be said for accessing our creativity in more than one artistic field. I have based most of my research over the last decade on interdisciplinary performance creation and have found it consistently challenging, growth-inducing and rewarding.

And lately I have focused on how to make the Dandelion ensemble as self-sufficient as possible--handling not only the performance of dance, music and theater, but also the video editing and projections, lighting design, set and prop construction, costume design and collective approaches to production management. I feel energized by diving into new artistic situations in which I am way out of my league, but have to somehow create something.

And while it's empowering to be able to do all of these things "in house," it's also exhausting. I find for myself, and for my collaborators and students that taking on many of the aspects of performance directly allows us to move forward with limited resources, but it also very easily over-extends us. We end up going to rehearsal and working hard, then heading home to construct or design things, edit, brainstorm, and more for hours on end. Without a lot of awareness and self-care this could be a recipe for early burn-out.

But even in the midst of mega-multi-tasking, I prefer to stay outside of traditional artistic boundaries--bringing what I learned from decades of serious dance training into my encounters with music, theater, visual art, writing, video and anything that a production seems to call for. And I love working with artists who do the same.

Sonsheree Giles is one of those artists. Not only is she one of the fiercest dancers around, but she designs and constructs costumes for many of AXIS' pieces,  has taken on the role of Associate Director for the company and comes to rehearsal each day in outfits that are works of art in themselves. She brings a great integrity to everything I see her do, and is able to remain attentive and open even in the most trying of times.

Link to v-blog:

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