CLEAR is a real-time composition exploring the wholly uncomplicated practice of co-creation. In the urban environment life becomes increasingly complex by the day, posing new challenges and requiring complex decision at what can be an overwhelming pace. For an hour, settle with us into a state of attunement where intuition becomes reality, a wish can manifest in an instant, and all the beauty we create will arise, live, and vanish from our experience without hesitation. CLEAR is a unique opportunity to witness how very human we can be.
CLEAR is the fourth major work of JKLM Studio. Previous works include Nomads, Indigo, and Afterdance.
A special thanks to Velocity Dance Center and the Access Velocity Program for their support.
Kara Beadle is a movement artist from San Antonio, Texas, who values improvisation, collaboration, and an active experience shared between performer and audience. She received her B.A. in dance studies from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas, in 2016. At Ponderosa in Stozenhagen, Germany, Kara began exploring movement with citrus in the piece Tinted Tangerine. She continues this exploration now as a Seattle-based artist. Since moving to Seattle, Kara has performed in Open Studio #32 at On The Boards, Boost Dance Festival, and Full Tilt.
Tiffany Bierly is a Seattle based dance artist who hails from Central Pennsylvania and is an educator, performer, and choreographer. She recently graduated from Texas Woman’s University with a MFA in dance. Previously, she received her BA in Theater with a dance performance focus and a BS in Kinesiology at Pennsylvania State University. She has performed in the DC Fringe Festival, the Painted Bride in Philadelphia, Austin Dance Festival, and the 254 Fest in Waco, Texas. Tiffany has presented her choreography at the American College Dance Festival at the College of Brockport, as well as DanceUpClose and DanceMakers Concerts at Texas Woman’s University. Tiffany studied dance at Ponderosa Movement and Discovery in Stoltzenhagen Germany and at the Dublin Dance Festival in Ireland. Tiffany has also participated in the Bates Dance Festival and the Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation. Beyond performance and choreography, Tiffany has taught dance and fitness classes at various studios and senior centers in Pennsylvania and Texas.
Hilary Bowen is an emerging dance artist currently based in Redding, California. She spent most of her life in China and grew up navigating between worlds. Hilary graduated from the University of Washington in 2015 with a BA in creative writing and dance. Previous forays into the world of improvisation include her senior research project From the Studio to the Pasture, which investigated the connections between dance and horses. Improvisation fascinates and inspires her because it is the intersection of people and their plans navigating spaces that often call us to be highly flexible. And in those moments of openness breathtaking possibilities are released. Hilary is grateful for the opportunity to be back creating with JKLM.
Spring Cheng is passionate about improvisation with elements such as movement, music, theatre, voice and the alchemy of those. For three decades, she has been cultivating her life force, called Qi in her native Chinese culture, through movement traditions such as Qi Gong and Tai Chi. Currently Spring is pursuing channeling this life energy into creative expression in a way that resonates with the field of the audience and the larger collective. She has been performing and producing shows at Velocity Dance Center and Taoist Studies Institute. More at springcheng.com.
Emily Curtiss graduated in May 2016 with a BFA in Choreography and Performance from the University of Montana. She culminated her time at UM by producing her own evening-length production of performance improvisation. While in Montana she also performed with Bare Bait Dance Company and Headwaters Dance Company. Since moving to Seattle she has been dancing with SeaBus Dance Company and JKLM Studios, participated in the Bridge Project, Converge Dance Festival, Seattle International Dance Festival, Full Tilt Dance Festival, and showed choreography as a part of the I C O N I C Art Exhibit. She also has a passion for teaching dance, and enjoys teaching creative movement for children and OULA dance fitness. More at http://emilycurtiss.weebly.com.
Racine has always had a love for movement. Her earliest memory of dancing was taking a community dance class and performing when she was eight years old. Since then she has been chasing opportunities to perform, move, and train. This journey brought her to become a certified yoga teacher and move to Seattle in 2014 to train in dance actively. She has performed with Noelle Price and Leah Jones. She’s participated in TakePAUSE and Tint Dance Festival, and will be extending her education at Gibney Dance in the winter and at Trinity Laban Conservatoire for her MA in the fall of 2019.
Kori Martodam grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and graduated from Denison University in 2003 with a BFA in Theater and Contemporary Dance. After teaching and traveling for several years, she returned to Cincinnati and embarked on a career in Nurse Anesthesia. Kori currently works as a CRNA at Swedish Medical Center and practices dance at Velocity. The greater project of her life is the weaving together of these two disciplines of art and science; balancing sense with expression, and certainty with what can be discovered in following a hunch. Improvisation is an opportunity to play in the unfolding of experience and to simultaneously perceive and make meaning. Kori feels very lucky to improvising in JKLM Studio, and grateful to be working with an ensemble of such wonderful people.
Leah Russell comes from a background based in physical theater. She received her BFA in acting from Cornish College of the Arts but quickly discovered a love for dance. Her primary interest lies in exponentially expanding the possibilities for finding freedom of expression within the body. She draws from a variety of movement styles including contemporary technique, hip hop, yoga, and capoeira, to create a movement style that is athletic and dynamic. Improvisation is her true love and she is delighted to have the opportunity to create work with a talented and dedicated cast.
I have this feeling that improvisation as a performance technique is thought of as a feral, distant cousin of what most people call “legitimate” dance. Legitimate dance is the kind thing that is repeated and perfected and founded on years of technical training within a codified vocabulary. I am in love with and continually compelled to make excuses after improvisation because of this feeling. In a few days my company and I will begin a week of intensive rehearsal, dancing together daily from 9am–5pm, putting 50+ hours of our time an attention toward being able to “just go out there and make something up” called CLEAR next Friday and Saturday night. Before we begin, though, I thought I might address the question: So what are we doing?
The answer has both global and specific components. Globally, we are preparing to perform together in front of an audience in a standard proscenium setting. The audience sits and watches; we perform. Hopefully something worthwhile if not profound is happening. A few weeks ago I saw Taylor Mac at the Moore here in Seattle. I read judy's (Taylor's preferred pronoun) creative manifesto after the show and was struck by judy's idea that “as a theater artist I'm not a teacher; I'm a reminder. I'm just trying to remind you of things you've dismissed, forgotten, or buried.” I find the humility and audience-empowering stance of that idea liberating. I believe it's true. So as a company of dancers about to make a new work, we will ask ourselves, I will ask myself, what I wish to remind my audience of, what feelings and images I want to offer as an inflection point in the greater on-flowing of life. CLEAR will, as the title suggests, be an experience of transparency, but the specifics of how it is encountered and in what way we want to manifest transparency in performance will be one of our first conversations in rehearsal.
Specifically, we are a group of eight women with professional training in dance, theater, and stage-based performance. We are eight people with a huge variety of life experiences and diverse aesthetic sensibilities. We are about to evolve together a common language of expression for CLEAR, to fashion an aesthetic ecology of what we collectively know and feel CLEAR to mean, and to practice techniques of communicating with one another and the audience (using our moving bodies) to manifest meaning in real time. Chris Aiken, one of my longest-standing and favorite teachers of improvisation, stated in an interview several years ago that “meaning comes from the interaction of my wishes and my experiences in relationship to what is actually tangible and real.” I interpret that statement to include the element of imagination; that manifesting meaning involves the imagination and memory insomuch as we are motivated toward that which we have found to be or imagine to be pleasurable, and are deterred from that which is not, unless a greater purpose steels our endurance of it. But is it the abstract—remembering, wishing, longing—that motivates in many cases. The real and the now are quite placid, should a person suspend the mental time travel to experience them. Thus we will study our wishing, our longing, our memory, our imagination, and how these thing galvanize and inform our movement. We'll also study, as a break from all of that business, the present as well.
During our intensive we will engage and tune not only our physical movement skills, but we will practice as composers of time, space, rhythm, form, emotion, meaning, and stillness. This is the work. We know how to dance. How do we utilize arrange our capacities and choose from numerous options in real time to desired effect? By practicing judgement at the speed of impulse. By becoming familiar with instinct. This is the great experiment and the questions we seek to answer to in our week together. We hope you’ll follow the unfolding of our research!
More soon, Kori Martodam JKLM Studio
JKLM Studio began in 2017 as a collaboration between Kori Martodam and Jonathan Lilly. JKLM existed to fulfill a shared vision of bringing Nomads, a series of reflections on home, travel, and what is essential in a meaningful life, to the stage as an evening-length work of improvised dance. Kori and Jonathan collaborated on several other works following Nomads, and worked as well with a group of brilliant and talented dancers from Columbus, Ohio as a part of the supergroup Sea↔Bus. It’s been nothing short of an amazing journey. Recently, Jonathan has charted another course, and while he no longer plays a direct role in developing the performance work of JKLM Studio, he continues to support JKLM behind the scenes. Going forward, Kori Martodam will produce and pilot the work of JKLM Studio, and is eager to launch JKLM’s fourth work, CLEAR, this June.