This Spring RHDT performed as part of the United States Artists Assembly in Chicago where I was honored to recieve the Sarah Arison Choreographic Fellowship.
In April we were in residence at Dance Place in DC, performing my solo show Cookie’s Kid and an excerpt from Dining Alone. We fell in love with the diverse and welcoming DC audiences and especially Christopher K. Morgan who hosted an artists’ lunch where we were able to connect with local DC dancers in a very interesting and lively conversation. Congratulations to Christopher for recently being named the new executive artistic director of Dance Place!
With carillonneur extraordinaire Sam Hammond 200 feet high in the Duke University Chapel Bell Tower.
In July I made my yearly dance pilgrimage to the American Dance Festival where I had the opportunity to connect with two Duke University scholars as part of my research for my newest work Make Believe. They introduced me to carillonneur Sam Hammond, who invited me into the bell tower at the Duke University Chapel for a mini recital. I cannot express with words what an incredibly moving experience it was to be in the bell tower amongst 50 bells, some as large as 11,200 pounds, which rung with such power that my bones seemed to be vibrating. Needless to say I left NC with an incredible amount of inspiration and energy to create this new work.
Also in July, I was lucky to teach as a part of the Youth Artist Leadership Program at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center in Miami. Started by Tarell Mc Craney in 2015, the program is an intensive arts excellence program that matches gifted inner city students with mentors who will engage the students community mindfulness, enhance their leadership skills and nurture their artistic ability.
In August I traveled to Alabama to participate in an artists’ forum to celebrate the Alabama Bicentennial Dance Project. Led by the Alabama Dance Council, this project aims to celebrate and honor Alabama’s different cultural perspectives. What a joy to brainstorm with such a phenomenal group of artists! I will be back in Alabama in January to teach at the Alabama Dance Festival and I look forward to how the collaborative project will unfold in 2019.
In September I was commissioned by the Jose Limon Dance Company in New York to create a duet entitled Querida Herida (Beloved Wound). The female trio premiered in Miami at the South Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center and later at the Aaron Davis Hall in NYC. Tilt magazine said of the performance that “Its unpredictability sent the house roaring with laughter.” Click here to read the full review
In October RHDT traveled to the O’Shaughnessy Theater at St. Katherine’s University in Minneapolis for a short residency where we continued to workshop our newest work Carne Viva.Our performances of both Carne Viva and Cookie’s Kid were met with an enthusiastic audience and was described by Sheila Regan of The Star Tribune as “riveting” and “enchanting.” Click here for full review
In December we traveled to LA for a unique performance as part of The Music Center’s immersive late night event Sleepless. This special edition of Sleepless was created to celebrate Cuban artists both in Cuba and throughout the diaspora. Referencing the forbiddance of Cuba and utilizing the unique restraints of the stunning Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, I created a series of “peep shows” that pulled strongly on Cuban iconography. Working in such an intimate space felt like going back to my cabaret roots and I look forward to continuing to develop this material with my company back in Miami.
Although this year has been complicated and at times difficult, I am grateful to have received many encouraging messages that have motivated me to continue to believe in the limitless possibility of a life in dance. This year I was blessed to receive the Miami Dade Choreographic Fellowship and generous support from the New England Foundation for the Arts and the MAP Fund for the creation of my newest work Make Believe, which is set to premiere this summer at ADF. I hope to be able to leverage this support to make a radical shift in my creative process and to broaden my horizons in terms of collaborations and fundamental administrative support.
Thank you for your friendship and thank you for taking the time to read this email as I am sure you receive dozens this time of year.
I hope this New Year brings you health and laughter and that we find more opportunities to connect and share in 2018. My gut tells me it is going to be an amazing year.
All my love,