The Expanse will be performing in Kinetic Studio’s First Ideas show on Saturday and Sunday of this weekend.
The group includes 9 talented musicians and movers relating to each other in space through sound and motion. The members are: Doug Cameron, Kira Daude, Nick Dourado, Jackson Fairfax-Perry, Ellen Gibling, Andrew Jackson, Andrew MacKelvie, Susanne Chui, and Kathleen Doherty.
I’m feeling incredibly lucky to correspond with a dance scholar and writer on faculty at Arizona State University, Dr. Naomi Jackson. She sent me some questions for the dancers while I tacked a couple on the end as a collaborative effort to dig deep into the artists’ processes.
How would you describe your main idea or concept for the upcoming showing?
Our group is an ensemble of improvising artists, who studied together in the summer through CMW (Creative Music Workshop). We had a desire to continue working together, and our concept is based around researching, improvising, practicing, and learning together, through music, text and movement.
What is your creative process for this work and how is it similar or different from ways you have worked before?
Our ensemble has been meeting weekly since the beginning of September. We begin sessions with a group mediation, and then a different member of the ensemble leads each week. The leader guides the group through a warm up (body and/or musically based), and then we explore different improvising scores. These scores integrate different components of music, movement and/or text.
What kind of movement style have you chosen to work with and can you give an example of how some of your movement choices relate to the theme of the piece?
The movement style varies based on the desired improvised score we are exploring. Many times our movement will be spacious, and will incorporate elements of text and/or other vocal work. We like to explore different ways to interact with one another, and with the space we are in.
How would you like the audience to engage with your work?
We would like the audience to go on a journey with us. As an ensemble, we will be creating on the spot, and we would love the audience to feel the excitement with us of that unique element.
What kind of feedback do you feel would be most beneficial to you at this point in the process?
How did the audience feel? What were your reactions to the combinations of art disciplines? Have you experienced improvised performances before? How did this compare to other experiences you have had?
What excites you about your first idea?
The opportunity to share something new. Something we have only just begun exploring, and to have the ability to show and discuss with others what they witnessed and experienced.
How have you approached the research for this idea?
All of the ensemble members have studied improvisation through the Creative Music Workshop, and most members through various other practices and studies. We approached this idea with the feeling as an ensemble, so every member of the group has the opportunity to share their visions, goals, and wishes.