My choreographic work is primarily motivated by visual art, rather than music, as its fundamental principal of organization. While charting this line of aesthetic inquiry, while often proposes new territory for dance, it is important that the initiation of a project receive the right resources – and the right environment – from the beginning.
Following my daily practice, I would have a feedback session by Skype with other collaborators – or even other Civitella Ranieri Foundation fellows, and make notes. I would then review the revisions, chart progress, engage in creative conversation, and revise.
These daily practices began to take on a ritualistic quality at Civitella, if I may speak honestly. I observed that the “ghost” of the founding family, and all their kindness, felt present during the residency.
While I created 122 drawings, 2 videos, and an installation based on Mediterranean Migration, some of my works involve text, social interaction, and working in unusual spaces.
My work at Civitella Ranieri Foundation moved fluidly between performance, text, drawing, and video. We knew from the start, that our project would be designed as a mobile work for performances in museums, galleries, and public spaces – so the Civetta studio was perfect for me. I am very appreciative of the space.
One of my takeaways from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation residency, is that it’s important to listen: we have to listen to people of all cultures and inflections; we have to listen to elders who may come to us from a different time; we have to listen to memory, instinct, and that unknown “itch” which drives us as artists to uncover something meaningful during creation.
Over the course of our residency, myself, Antoine, and other residents and staff of the Foundation would stroll through, over, or across the grounds on a daily basis, with a mixture of appreciation, incredulity, and routine ambivalence depending on the time of day.
This is the specific kind of environment that the Civitella Ranieri Foundation and the region foster, in general, but I think for my community of collaborators in particular – and I believe for other artists as well. It was a transformational residency, and brought out our most brave and unlikely work, with an opportunity to share it one day in the library, including a small performance on Monday, June 5 – fresh “out of the oven” and attended by about 30 people.
As a performance practitioner, artist, and choreographer, I couldn’t help noticing that the grounds of Civitella Ranieri Foundation are astonishing – but also could become utilized in new ways: maybe like natural performance space waiting to be reactivated.
Thinking of the origins of dance, or dance theatre, in the Greco-Roman tradition, the marriage of dance and space normally took place in a similar type of castles or garden spaces, often in the Mediterranean Basin.