Choreographers Corner- Trolley Dances 2015: Anne Gehman

At San Diego Dance Theater, we LOVE our faculty member Anne Gehman; she is a special part of the SDDT family! Her unique style, depth of knowledge and radiant energy make her a wonderful teacher and choreographer. We are itching to see what she will present for Trolley Dances 2015: Catch the Rapid!!! Check out her thoughtful interview:

Tell us about yourself.
TheThirdThing photo by Jim CarmodyI feel very fortunate to call San Diego my home of 6 years. Though my dry skin misses Florida from time to time. I’m Co-founder and Producer for youTurn Arts Exhibition in San Diego. I am currently an instructor for San Diego Dance Theater and an MFA Dance Theatre candidate for UCSD.  As an artist, I’m currently interested in dances which make space for dancers to be themselves in the work.  Lately, the dances I create have become less hierarchical and less character driven in process.  In the dances, we explore relationship dynamics between the artists in the room. Collective human experiences emerge from a deep interconnectivity of voices, bodies and backgrounds.
Tell us a bit about your Trolley Dances site.
We are in-doors, with bathrooms and air-conditioning. Ask any veteran “Trolley Performers,” this is a high commodity and rare occurrence for the annual site specific event! The site is light, airy and home to relics of tremendous diversity and harmony. I’m inspired to create dance in this space because of the unique crossroads of energy that permeate its walls and floors. Stay classy San Diego, ENJOY this site! (watch this sweet little sneak peak video of Anne’s piece and see her site!)
 What about your dancers and the concept of the work?
In a museum of any kind, there is a sense of hyper-awareness which manifests within the body.  I believe this emerges from inhabiting a space full of “priceless” relics. Our bodies are so intelligent they can instantly inform us of “how” our thoughts are creating our experiences.  In such a space where the objects are displayed with gravity, importance and care, one can look to the sensations of their body-mind experiences to inner-stand the subjectivity of each object. Our inner-standings may be circumstance of cultural conditioning and hierarchical belief systems, but at least we have the opportunity to learn this about ourselves within present moment interactions. The body-mind begins to chew on the meaningfulness or arbitrariness of each object and from this, collective behavioral practices emerge. How may we allow new ways of seeing and experiencing to flow through us? In truth, we are the subject, we (the spectator) are the vessels that bring potentiality into aliveness, we unleash the aesthetic rapture. “We” in our experiencing the works of art are the death and rebirth of beauty.
LeftEyeRightI photo by Jim CarmodyThis dance, Giving Way, is a doorway into another way of seeing and experiencing site-specific dance.  The dance emerges from the hyper-awareness and high stakes of inhabiting and touring this particular space. The dancers in this work are incredibly generous with themselves. I am continually, nourished by their investment in the movement and with each-other. The choreography asks the dancers to be fully present with their agreements and decision making in the space. While creating the work, we have experienced moments of near collisions, surrender, high stakes, shaking medicine and taking flight! My deepest hope is that the work, Giving Way, provides nourishment for both the performers and spectators.
What is on your Trolley Dances playlist?
Nina Simone’s “Turn Me On” & Ambient sounds such as Singing Bowls.

Thank you for sharing Anne! Trolley Dances 2015 is right around the corner, so get your tickets and hop on board: http://www.sandiegodancetheater.org/trolleydances.html

photos by Jim Carmody: (top) The Third Thing & (bottom) Left Eye Right I by Anne Gehman

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