Tag Archives: dance

Musings of the Soul

by Aurora Art

Bursting with Joy

Bursting with Joy

I have been creating what I like to call Organic Abstract Art on my ipad now for about a year. I am self taught, and follow no rules other than the often untamed but fearless musings of my soul…

Dance of Souls

Dance of Souls

My training as a dancer and my work with textiles combine in my art and allow the creation of pieces that have depth of both texture and movement – abstracts that come organically from inner impulses – to me it is as if I am dancing when I create my pieces –I have always believed in the beauty of improvisational dance – the creation of a pure moment – and so it is when I create these pieces…

Continuous Energy Flow

Continuous Energy Flow

Energy and Flow feature again and again in my pieces – the energy that is within us all, is all encompassing, and from where creativity flows …

Natural flow

Natural flow

Flow to unfold all …
Fleeing familiarity
And swiftly turn to face freedom…

Art is indeed food for the soul, which in turn nourishes our awareness and consciousness…this piece I created for my cousin Maren (meaning sea) we were very close when we were children although our meetings were few  – magical days spent by the waters edge.

Maren

Maren

See you then the world little one, from afar
Never in it, but as if from a distant plain
Take the sorrows and let them wash over your skin
Enfold in your small tiny arms each weeping joy
And every moment, devour it in your sweet breath
Innocent eyes on every beauty feast

Take the blood that runs in your veins
And run with it to the waters edge
Where you drink of sweet purity
To cleanse your inner heart
And there do rest and stay awhile
To listen to the earth singing to you
Its sweet song of life

I love discovering new textures and delve deeply with effects and layers.

Inner Elegance

Inner Elegance

I have no fixed image in mind when I start and they are often created very quickly…with swift dance like movements.

As My Soul Dances and Plays

As My Soul Dances and Plays

Yooxayatangi

Yooxayatangi

I am constantly surprised by the textures that can be achieved … almost like textile art.

Deepsea

Deepsea

Dark Matters

Dark Matters

Being a dancer by nature, I find words often limiting and prefer the art to speak for itself…

From Where it all Comes

From Where it all Comes

Cold Abstraction

Cold Abstraction

Between Worlds

Between Worlds

Vulnerable Homeless

Vulnerable Homeless

Quiet Confidence

Quiet Confidence

Justwhenyouthinkyouknow

Justwhenyouthinkyouknow

in Harmony

in Harmony

 

Artist: Aurora Art

Learn more about Aurora and her art here:

Twitter: @Auroraart1

https://society6.com/auroraarts

https://crated.com/AuroraArt

http://www.redbubble.com/people/auroraarts1/portfolio

 

 

 

Triptych Collective presents “Traces” at the Neighborhood Theatre

The Triptych Collective is a group of performance artists interested in bringing a unique blend of live music, dance performance and visual art to non-traditional spaces in order to make thought-provoking and socially-engaged performance art more widely accessible.

“Traces” is a compilation of Triptych Collective works-in-progress for the Fall 2014 season. The show features work by Collective artists Reba Bowens, Sarah Ingel, Caitlyn Swett, and Eric Mullis and also features Hectorina’s performance musical “Collywobble.”  “Traces” was performed Thursday, November 20, 2014, at Neighborhood Theatre in Charlotte, NC.  Each of the artists writes about her or his piece below.

www.triptychcollective.com

www.facebook.com/triptychcollective

Twitter: @triptychcollect

“Traces,” from the November 20, 2014 show:

 

The Artists: 

Sarah Ingel

Must make much much much more more more effort

Observing popular culture trends surrounding reality television and celebrity culture, society has developed an overwhelming need to build people up only to see them fall. With accessibility to the details of peoples lives at an all time high, our need to know more has become a staple of our society. Gossip, positive or negative, feeds our desire to become part of the world of the notable and notorious. But when our feelings of curiosity outweigh our feelings of empathy, an act of dehumanization occurs. We all exist with an internal world and an external world, but what happens when these worlds overlap? Must make much much much more more more explores the effects of our consumer culture, the need to know, provide, and iconize information about our internal worlds, and the consequences these cravings have on the individuals of our affections. When does private become public? When does this conflict of worlds turn a person into a battleground of confusion, depression, ego, and alter ego? How does our desire encounter our embarrassment of our desires and result in a revelation of who we truly are? These queries, and much much much more more more, have fueled the movement scores and improvisational structures that make up a piece dedicated to depicting our struggle with the division and intersection between our own public and private selves. “Do you wanna see me be her?” –Marilyn Monroe

 

Caitlyn Swett

[untitled]

I have been very lucky to experience a variety of different creative processes, ways of creating dance, and working with many different themes and conceptual content. Even in my own work, I have felt that each creative process has been significantly different from the last. Perhaps it is the collaborative nature of Triptych Collective’s work that produces a diverse repertory, thus presenting many different experiences through dance. This season, instead of being able to say “this piece is about (insert concept here),” the ideas I have been working with, both conceptually and aesthetically, have developed and unfolded into something different and unexpected. Though the movement was generated around ideas of silence and conversation, through this process I have given myself the permission to create a work in which the movement is enjoyable to perform, view, and experience. My collaborators and I have had many conversations about the way that we connect to the piece and with each other when performing. I am interested what connections an audience makes, how this may differ from the connections we are making, and how an audience digests and responds to a work without the lens of a concrete idea or story that a choreographer may place upon them. I am interested in how I can create a thoughtful piece that evokes conversation and asks questions without having a piece be “about” a single thing. Further, I am interested in the responses, conversations, and possibilities that can come from a “lens-less” way of viewing dance.

Triptych photo 1

Reba Bowens

Finding My Voice

After writing a short blog about my development in capoeira, a Brazilian martial art created by slaves combining music, dance, acrobatics and other aspects of Brazilian culture, I began to think about my relationship or my connection to creating movement. I was questioning what movement means to me and understanding how my movement vocabulary has changed since being more immersed in capoeira. Is my desire to create movement something of a spiritual or therapeutic release for me? This question has and I think will continue to plague me not only as a dancer but as a capoeirista, capoeira practitioner. The first draft of this piece will be shown on November 20th at the Neighborhood Theatre along with other work presented by members of the Triptych Collective, XOXO Ensemble, Sinergismo, and Hectorina’s “Collywobble.” This piece is a personal reflection that will be continued to possibly include at least one or two dancers, and a live or recorded reading of excerpts from journals of my thoughts and feeling in understanding my movement.

Eric Mullis

Later Rain

Triptych photo 2

This work is my second collaboration with XOXO Theater director Matt Cosper.  Matt and I collaborated on Animus in the spring of 2014 and decided to start a new project in the summer. We reflected on our own experiences with ecstatic religion and began to research the history of the Pentecostal Holiness movement in America.  We are interested by the fact that ekstasis can be found in religions around the world and in popular culture as well (festivals, holidays, etc.) and want to explore how losing control of the body and self is understood in different social contexts.  For example, it is interesting that the Holiness movement sees being filled with the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues as signs of divine presence whereas other mainstream Christian denominations are wary about those beliefs and experiences.  This is just one example of howekstasis is interpreted in different ways by different people in different cultural traditions.  We are hoping that Later Rain will encourage audiences to consider the relationship between ekstasis and broader social values.

triptych photo 3

Ophelos by TAPROOT

The goal of Creative Thresholds has always been to explore different genres and art forms, particularly those that trouble and work those boundaries. Until now the focus has been on writing and visual art. It’s time to expand and what better way than by sharing an excerpt from the collaborative performance ensemble TAPROOT‘s original production Ophelos?

photo by Reuben Bloom

photo by Reuben Bloom

A young woman struggles against a destructive cycle of violence to save the man she loves from succumbing to a culture of vengeance. Enter the  violent, sensual, immersive theatrical experience of Ophelos

Ophelos 1 Reuben Bloom

photo by Reuben Bloom

 

Ophelos is an original performance piece told through movement, masques, music and shadow. It is designed to give the audience a performance experience which breaks down the fourth wall, with action taking place throughout the space. Based on the Scandinavian folk tale of Amleth with text from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Ophelos transcends time using Shakespearean language, 1930s inspired costuming, original music, modern dance techniques and a unique understanding of multidisciplinary performance.

 

Ophelos is being performed throughout April 2014 in the Charlotte, NC area.

Tickets – Sliding Scale $15 – $25

Kadi Fit – 19725 Oak St #6, Cornelius, NC 28031

Purchase tickets here
 
Upstage – 3306 N Davidson St, Charlotte, NC 28205
 
Purchase tickets here

photo by Reuben Bloom

photo by Reuben Bloom

TAPROOT is a collaborative performance ensemble working to build community and create innovative cross-disciplinary performance experiences through artistic collaboration that speaks truth and challenges audiences. All of TAPROOT’s original and collaborative works have worked to engage the greater Charlotte community by inviting public participation in feedback sessions throughout the development of each piece. TAPROOT also regularly offers free or low-cost programming that encourages artists to expand their techniques, ideas and peer communities. Learn more at TAPROOT’s website or Facebook page.

Spotlight: An Interview with International Dancer and Choreographer Nicola Ayoub

Nicola Ayoubby Melissa D. Johnston

I first met Nicola Ayoub as the spunky pilates instructor who kicked my butt in class each week. I learned quickly, however, that her passion, talent, and determination weren’t confined to being a teacher at a pilates studio in Atlanta, GA. Nicola was a gifted dancer who had trained and performed with the Atlanta Ballet. In addition, she worked regularly with Full Radius, a modern dance company. Now she was moving to France. Where she would dance. Period. (Even if all the hows weren’t worked out—yet.)

And dance she has. In the seven years that she has lived in Paris, Nicola has become an award-winning, international dancer/choreographer. She choreographed a bilingual one-woman show dealing with self and cultural identity, “The Language,” which was awarded Paris Jeunes Talents in 2008 and first place at the Parisian choreography contest Tobina in 2009. She’s toured Milan, Berlin, New York City, and Seville as well as performed regularly in Paris. She represented the USA in UNESCO’s 2011 production “Astro-Ballet” and traveled to Banjul, The Gambia on a Fulbright grant to work with the country’s first theatre troupe. If that weren’t enough, she also began a dance company, 3 D Company, with partner Guillaume Morgan.

Nicola’s work is fascinating, creative, intelligent and powerful. Her positive attitude towards life and the pursuit of her dream continues to inspire me. I am honored to have gotten a chance to speak with her recently.

When did you first realize that dance was your passion? How did you decide to follow it and what keeps you energized in its pursuit?

I always wanted to perform. My first memories are of making up little song and dance numbers pretty much anywhere and for anyone who would watch.  I was 12 years old when I realized that dance was my passion and that was the thing I wanted to do with my life- be on stage and shine for the audience. Thus, at 12 I decided for myself that I would audition for the Atlanta Ballet’s pre-professional program. I called and planned my own audition, did it, got accepted, and then told my parents that dance would be my life. It is still the performing on stage that keeps me motivated to dance. Also, the chance to learn from other choreographers- their movement languages and ideas. I am always learning and hungry to learn more in this creative job.

"What I thought I knew" (duo with Asha Thomas)

“What I thought I knew” (duo with Asha Thomas)

In many of the dances you’ve choreographed and performed, you deal explicitly and implicitly with identities that are hybrid, “in-between,” straddling the borders of culture, language, and nations. “The Language,” a bilingual performance in which you use words, music, and dance to share the joys and confusions of an American living in Paris, was first inspired by your Lebanese heritage. In “What I Thought I Knew,” a duo with Asha Thomas, you both draw from your personal narratives to explore the internal realizations and revelations formed in living away from one’s home. Has the creation of dances and their performance brought a new understanding of self- or cultural- identity for you? Has it changed the way you think of the concept of “identity” itself?

Yes and yes. Self and cultural identity inspires all my work. Living far from home made me reconsider my values, my past, and who I am now. The story for “The Language” was my autobiographical experience as a foreigner in Paris and a lot of the clichés that go along with being the overly smiley American here. In France, I felt and still feel very American, but when I go back home I feel a little out of place, like something is missing. I’ve lived in France long enough that it will always be part of me too, an added layer to my identity. It is true that the original idea for “The Language” stemmed from my own identity questions about being both Lebanese and American. Until my first trip to Lebanon I was always proud to say how Lebanese I was. Then finally visiting my paternal country I realized just how very American I was/am. I think more than blood, where you grow up, what language you speak, your education, your travels, and experiences shape the person you become, in short, your identity. Through the creation of dances I’m finding how identity is also something malleable, time and experience change parts of you.

Nicola Ayoub

In “The Language,” you say, “My language is a system of symbols so that I can communicate to you my yearning, my yearning to understand and be understood.  Words alone cannot convey to you how I feel.  The body tells much more.  Les mots parfois sont inutiles. And words about the body are never as illustrative as body language by itself!” How do you think words and body language function differently in their symbolization? Do they tap into different symbol systems? I realize this question may best be answered by seeing you dance and perhaps also by we, the readers, becoming more aware of our own bodies, but perhaps words can catch a faint glimpse of the difference.

Body language tells the truth; it has weight and substance. Words can be strong too, but they mean nothing if the body language with it is false. For example, I could say “I am so happy you are here. I welcome you to my home.” Sounds nice, but imagine me saying that with my arms firmly crossed, shoulders up and tense, jaw locked, and legs squeezing together and you would definitely know that my words probably meant the opposite.

Dance is a universal language. In my opinion, open arms, a twirl, a hip sway- all that is much more inviting than the word “welcome.” For Atlanta readers, the perfect example of such a warm welcome is my Uncle Nick in his restaurant Nicola’s.  You see generosity come to life through movement and music.  Incidentally, my uncle is also my biggest dancing hero.

I totally agree about your Uncle Nick! I’ve had the honor of experiencing that generosity–and of taking part in the wonderful dancing there as well.

You’ve performed in “Astro Ballet” with a multi-national cast at UNESCO in an effort to promote the peaceful use of space through dance. You’ve also spent two weeks in Banjul, The Gambia, working at the Ebunjan Theatre with their troupe to help create and perform “Mystical Strings” and give the first modern dance show in that country. Could you say a bit more about these experiences? Do you think dance can really have a role in helping people from radically different backgrounds and experiences understand and relate to each other?

Yes! As I said before dance is the universal language. In the “Astro Ballet” the other dancers were Russian and spoke very little English, however, they all used classical ballet vocabulary (which is French and used by all ballet students worldwide) so I knew exactly what they were talking about with phrases like “arabesque, glissade, grand jeté.” Technically, the piece was very ballet based and we all shared the same vocabulary for these moves so I had no problem learning the steps called out or working with the other dancers. For the project in Banjul, the students had no formal dance training, no terminology so Asha and I had to be clear with our own movements and ask them to copy us. They learned some in this manner, but the first two days we thought they would never catch on to certain basic modern dance steps. Then we asked them to improvise to live drum music and WOW we saw some amazing natural dancers. Once we saw what their strengths were we could incorporate these moves into the choreography too so that they felt comfortable and then add new steps on top of it without frightening them.

I think music plays a huge role in this process as a guide, support, and inspiration to the dancers.

Banjul students after "Mystical Strings"

Banjul students after “Mystical Strings”

What are your current projects? What are some of the projects you’d like to pursue in the future?

This spring I am performing with the company Karma Dance Project (works by choreographers Alexandra Bansch and Gigi Caciuleanu) in France and Italy. Also collaborating with Greek choreographer Taxiarchis Vasilakos for his new creation “All is One.”

Specifically for next season, I want to expand the duo Asha Thomas and I started last year “What I thought I knew” and get it programmed in a Parisian theatre. Generally, I would like more choreography outreach projects abroad like I did in The Gambia. I’m hoping my dancing future will give me the chance to travel even more, meet new people, learn new dance styles, and share my own experiences.

You’ve been very successful in living your dream. If you had one thing to say to artists struggling to follow their dreams, what would you say?

It takes so much longer  “to make it” than you think and that is hard (the repeated rejection, the waiting, the lack of money I know it all well). But if you really want to be an artist, if you are starving to perform then persevere. Yes, perseverance will be your best friend.

***A wonderful update: In July 2013 Nicola and her partner Asha Thomas will be participating in another dance outreach program in Contonou, Benin, sponsored by African Regional Service (US Embassy).***

“The Language/femme fatale solo”:

UNESCO interview for Astro Ballet:

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