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groundwork noun ground-work \
:something that is done at an early stage and that makes later work or progress possible. Syn: basis, bedrock, cornerstone, footing, foundation, ground, base, root
Since I began dancing sixteen years ago, movement has always been how I express myself best and most unselfconsciously. Dance has been my outlet, my solace -- the place I go to turn myself inside out. My passion for studio art has always run alongside my love of dance -- parallel, but never competing, always friendly. It seemed only natural to marry the two areas of my life into a collaborative project of explosive movement, bold choreography, and indelible mark-making. I've engaged the help of dancers who I've grown up with and who I trusted to help me lay the "artistic groundwork," for what's to come.
The work employes the messy unpredictability of charcoal drawing, and india ink staining. We worked with fabric and paper, exploring the different ways in which the materials captured our movement. We ground the charcoal to a dust, and danced through it. We used the charcoal in vine form to draw various elements of choreographic details. We inked up our hands, feet and limbs, smearing the ink on the surface as we went, responding to and mirroring one another's motions and rhythms.
With a team of dancers by my side, I look to explore the beautiful messes the body can make as it brushes against different surfaces. The serendipitous strokes, smears, blurs and scuffs create a snapshot where the choreography, bodies, medium and material all meet, and are captured. It is an ever-changing process, as the bodies react to the material, and the material reacts to the body, as the dancers interact with each other, and themselves. The languages spoken are wordless. We speak with gesture and punctuate with physical force. We are translators.
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Willigan, Rowan Olivia, "-Groundwork-" (2015). Senior Projects Spring 2015. 376.
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