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After the last two days of sharing and taking you back to the intersection of creativity and spirituality I thought it might be fun to take a walk down memory lane and share a little about the first seeds of the abundant work that followed from my first professional work called Venation. 

I was so inspired by the Tao Te Ching, Qigong and energy work in general that I wanted to research energy more and pull together the eastern and western essence in this process. So off I went to look to science, specifically contemporary physics, to see what I could see. And there went the box to the lid that has still yet to be closed. 

I researched and researched from both a traditional and contemporary perspective using imagery and concepts from both to create a men’s quartet that would gain a lot of traction by premiering at a shared concert with some of my colleagues in the Chicago modern scene and danced by myself, Raven, Krenly and Troy. It was a powerhouse premier that ended up being performed in several venues and festivals throughout the next few years. 

It was my first taste of doing that kind of in depth research and work which carried me even further down the rabbit hole of inspiration. Oddly I continue the investigation as a way of explaining my belief that “choreography is the art of shaping energy in space”. This very simple belief system for myself was the best way I could explain how I made dances or more honestly how I see dances being manifested in space by how my eyes see time falling bodies organized in an artful and poetic way. 

I worked this way for several years before deciding to run off to graduate school where I would have to really justify my process, clarify the research and be able to qualitatively and quantitatively convince my thesis panel of my beliefs. I remember Donald McKayle expressing what a unique way of looking at dance making and the way I see energy as a way of making sense and the matter of dances. 

This would continue in this fashion until the premier of Amaranth Contemporary Dance in 2006 for a concert entitled Experiment in White. This title was a nod to the company I had in Chicago, Cerulean Dance Theater, and our major concert Experiment in Blue. It is very clear my need to connect the dots, pay homage and to remember where all of the work comes from. The heart has been the energy throughout this process and will always be the fire energy necessary for the art of making dances. That and the art of using conscious movement to heal ourselves physically, energetically and spiritually. Art is really from the heART. 

The photo is from a shoot to promote Venation. Photo Credit: William Frederking