photo by Lise Metzger*

Legacy &nAction: Donate Now

Hi and welcome to the website. And welcome to my new blog! Please feel free to visit often.

July 19, 2016

Things to read, watch, and listen to:

I was a part of a great video created by Mitchell Rose. I loved sharing the virtual stage with 41 other friends and colleagues - and this is the only time you'll see me wearing red.

I was interviewed by Ted Merwin on what happened to Jewish Dance. It gave me a chance to reflect on some of my older works and think about what projects might be on the horizon.

My dear friend Tom Hall invited me for a conversation on WYPR. We talked about my new position at Arizona State University, my love of Baltimore, the transformational capacity of the arts, Critical Response Process, and my hopes for the future.

And finally, thanks to social media, I uncovered a podcast from my time at Donors Forum in Chicago last summer where I discuss collaboration, "soft rigors," and being an environmentalist.

July 7, 2016

I founded Dance Exchange forty years ago this month, and artistic director Cassie Meador has assembled a lovely array of alumni and current artists for the celebration. I'll be there, and I hope we might see you there, too.

As many of you know, I'm starting a faculty position at Arizona State University this fall. I'm thrilled to have been invited to ASU and hope that I will be able to consolidate some of my many interests in one place.

I'm pleased to announce that John Borstel will be joining me in Arizona as the Director of Critical Response Process Initiatives. There is a lot of momentum around CRP across the U.S. and internationally; John will help to harness this energy through his organizational capacity and future goals for CRP…and he will do all this while also working our next CRP book, a collection of essays about CRP by practitioners around the world as well as by John and myself; the book is scheduled for publication in 2018 from Wesleyan University Press.

Based on my recent CRP seminar at ICON (Innovative Conservatoire), London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama created some short videos about CRP-in-action. These videos help give context to what a CRP workshop is like:

May 14, 2016

The spring has been full of Critical Response workshops, both at home and abroad. In January, I made my third trip to introduce CRP to graduate students at Yale School of Drama. It's enlightening to see the different ways people are using CRP as a part of their artistic practice or in their everyday lives.

John Borstel and I led a CRP keynote for 4,000 participants at the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) in March. It was a challenging and rewarding task to bring CRP to such a large group of participants.

I also made a visit to Helsinki to lead a three-day CRP seminar for conservatory faculty from across Europe, through ICON. There is a real hunger for new ways of giving and receiving feedback in conservatories. One participant noted after the week, "I feel that I can use the structure of Critical Response to interrogate myself in a really useful way…so the pain of not being wonderful /perfect/inspirational is transformed into proper perspective and use."

Closer to home I led CRP workshops with Baltimore Participatory Action Research, and co-led with Vincent Thomas a CRP/movement workshop for Baltimore Racial Justice Action.

May 5, 2016

Exciting news continues for Healing Wars: Parables of War, a documentary film focused on some of the development process of Healing Wars, has been acquired for distribution, allowing the film to be distributed across North America and Europe (and of course online and streaming). The film, directed by Nina Gilden Seavey, was part of the National Civil War Project and has won a number of festival awards. Parables of War shines its lens on a very particular part of my work, making it possible for audiences to see art in action. There will be a free screening of the film and a Q&A on Thursday May 12 in Takoma Park, MD.

If you missed it, I moderated the Pecha Kucha plenary at APAP NYC – it was a pleasure to share the stage with thoughtful, courageous artists.

January 29, 2016

Healing Wars has occupied me for the last four years, and it continues to surprise me: the piece was recently nominated for a San Diego Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Touring Production for its run at the La Jolla Playhouse in September-October 2015.

This nomination was a complete shock to me since I'm a newcomer to the theatre world (I was just as surprised when Healing Wars was nominated for six Helen Hayes awards after its premiere at Arena Stage). I am truly grateful for this honor.

I set several structural goals for Healing Wars to stretch myself in new directions. One example: could we open up new touring venues for movement-based narrative work like the kind I've been making for the past 40 years? The subject matter remained relevant and the structure of the piece demanded a lot of the audiences, who seemed to enjoy rising to the challenge. I'm thrilled that this piece had such a rich life in regional theatres and at university presenters.

I remain convinced that building a piece slowly over time, inviting audiences in along the way, and asking outstanding professionals from a variety of fields and organizations to question me makes for a great laboratory.

January 7, 2016
I'm pleased to share that in fall 2016 I will be starting a faculty position at Arizona State University in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. Dean Steven Tepper and his associates have a big vision for art in the world that mirrors much of my work. I am thrilled to be invited to ASU and hope that I will be able to consolidate some of my many interests in one place. I intend to keep my ties to Baltimore as both the city and its people have become so important to me. There are also a few key partnerships around the world that I will maintain.

With the support of ASU, I hope that the Atlas of Creative Tools (formerly the toolbox) and Critical Response Process will be able to grow and reach more through the resources of this fine public university.

Check my calendar page, and if you're in or around DC, you can see someone else's view of bits our Healing Wars development process at the AFI screening of Nina Gilden Seavey's "Parables of War". If you go, let me know what you think! I've spent my life making what might be called "non-fiction dance," yet to be the subject of a documentary film was full of surprises.