Posts from the ‘Process Notes’ category

It is true. Nothing bonds a group of people more than a little alcohol (ok, 4 pitchers of beer) and good (greasy) food. Last Sunday, mvworks 5 gathered for our first burgers and beer, and once again McMannus did  not disappoint.

I can not express how confident I am in the current company. New, old, and in between, all of the dancers are committed, genuinely interested, and working toward the same goal. Every Wednesday morning I am grateful for their presence and their willingness to do the work required to create a piece anchored in their ability to be themselves.

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We have begun a search for genuine movement vocabulary for each dancer. Our current process entails journaling, movement investigation, and show and tell. Our strategy involves using self recognition (of positive and negative traits) while dancing to produce the purest sharing of ourselves with the audience.

At the beginning of each rehearsal we write down a list of traits we both like and dislike about ourselves. We investigate these traits for 30 – 45 minutes through movement improvisation. Then we watch each of our movement phrases and tell the dancer what we saw. At this stage in the process the dancer is not allowed to share the traits they are working with. This feedback system gives the dancer the ability to hear what is being portrayed solely through movement without the viewer overlaying their personal representations of their traits.  For example, if someone is working with strength but we see stubborness or anger, the dancer can continue to look for a truer expression. If we know we are looking for strength, we may see it.

Eventually, once the movement vocabulary has been refined and structured, we will share our traits with each other. We will then begin a similar process but one structured for a group a people.

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Michael Ingle likes making stuff, moving his bod, the feel of the sun on his face, challenges, contradictions, wide-open spaces and also trees. Born and raised in Topeka, Kansas, Michael was a shy tike who loved drawing, collecting things and playing soccer. He began dancing while at the University of Kansas where he earned a BFA in Art History. Since moving to New York City in 2007, he has had the good fortune of working with delightful artists like Ellie Goudie-Averill, Emily Pope-Blackman, Paul Singh and Sarah Young as well as creating and performing his own work. Presently, Michael has the glorious privilege of working with these awesome folks: Tyler Ashley, Daniel Clifton, Hilary Easton, Dawn Poirier and, of course, the lovely Megan Spenger. This is his first project with mvworks. (thanks to my peeps for standing by me/putting up with me. it is all for you, my loves)

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Yarden was born and raised in Rishon Le’-zion, Israel. She danced for The Boomer Dance Company as a teen. After serving in the Israeli Army she begin to study and explore Gaga – a dance technique conceived by Ohad Naharin, the artistic director of The Batsheva Dance Company. She was very lucky to work in couple of projects with The Batsheva Ensemble. Since moving to NYC, Yarden has danced in works of Stefanie Nelson Dance Group, Oliver Steele, and presented her own work at Triskelion Arts. She is thrilled to work with Megan and with this lovely, inspiring group of dancers.
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The time has come to hire two new dancers.

here is what I’m looking for:

1. man or woman

2. interested in collaboration, but can take direction

3. values both physical and emotional rigor in performance

4. available for weekly rehearsals, a residency or two

5. appreciates long creative processes (my is around 2 years)

here is what I provide:

1. paid rehearsals, residencies, tech rehearsals, and performances

2. a thoughtful process that will push your limits, but will pay off

3. a pre-existing group of wonderful dancers who are eager to get to know you (Alli Ruszkowski, Richert Schnorr, Tara O’Con, Kendra Portier)

4. bonding over burgers and beer (vegetarians allowed)

5. as much visibility for you and our work as I can possibly muster

If interested please email me at megan@mvworks.org.

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Well, my first true APAP experience was everything everyone said it would be. It was crazy, exhausting, full of opportunity (which you have to hunt down like a bloodhound sniffing, running, sniffing, running), and inevitably always requiring a cab/blackberry/lunch on the run. But even though there are visible bags under my eyes and my back and legs are tired, it was completely worth it. I danced, watched my dance unfold in front of dance legends, and I networked with the best of them. I am grateful for the opportunity, hopeful that more people will associate my name with quality work (weather they liked it or not), and I’m excited to harness this energy and let it propel us into our next process. Speaking of our next process… here is our updated blurb:

mvworks is currently working on a new evening length piece that will explore the contrasting ideas of independence, community, love, religion, and conformity. We will look at the power of the individual and the danger of the mass, while not forgetting the fear of being alone. The work will continue our investigation into audience and performer relationships, kinetic transfer, and will utilize a wide-ranging movement vocabulary from technically based phrases to an unpolished movement style.

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Thanks to my lovely parents the set has arrived, my fabulous team has hung the speakers, lights, and drape, and the dancers worked their butts off. I’m still working at 2am. Yes, I do believe we have completed the task of load in.

I love working in the theater. Set pieces and theater seats instead of a desk and chair, speakers and lights instead of copy and fax machines, sweat instead of carpal tunnel. There is nothing quite like it, though I imagine a chef feels the same way about a gourmet kitchen. I seem to find a particular calm in the theater. Even if we are behind, or if something goes completely wrong, I know it will all work out. And, it always does.

I wish I had this level headedness in other aspects of my life. For those of you that know me, you know that I tend to over plan, want everything, and tend to stress easily if my plans and or systems are interrupted. Maybe all I need is more time in a theater. There’s a new years resolution…spend more time in a theater as my artist self. I think I can manage that.

Forgot why I was in a theater?
…within us.
presented as part of COIL 2010
Jan 6 at 6:30pm
Jan 8 at 9:30pm
Jan 9 at 4:30pm

BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW! Friday is already sold out!!

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I just returned home from mvworks’ mandatory burgers and beer night out. The consensus: we are all a bit nervous but really excited.

The smaller performance space is sure to create some anxiety and possible changes once we get back into the theater, but honestly I can’t wait. We have been hard at work and it has paid off, …within us. is truly a stronger piece.  I am so pleased with the whole company for allowing the space for changes to be made while also holding true to the original intention and meaning of the work. I am particularly proud (if I can use such a word) of Kendra, our newest company member, who dove in head first and has become the partner the other dancers and the piece needs. Her addition brings strength, vivaciousness, and tenacity.

Even if you saw the work in May, I honestly feel that (if you enjoyed it) you should return and experience it again. The confines of the theater will make everything more intense, the clarity of intention we have found in recent rehearsals will transfer to you as a viewer, and the movement additions/changes will provide a fresh feeling.

As always, at this stage of the process I feel overwhelmed with emotion, to do’s, and limited time, but in the end, what an honor to work with these people, to remount my work, and to share it with presenters. Ready or not, here we come, again.

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