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I am fascinated by how the room one enters shifts the logic of the body that has entered it. How sometimes a loud, sticky train can get stuck to your forehead or a drive in the woods will roll up your arm; how the textures of our childhoods rest quietly on our skin, how our bones sink into new homes again and again with subtle differences. There are an almost infinite number of physical paradigms, created by our personal histories, hidden within the singular container of one’s body. In my work, I unspool and rearrange known social spaces, creating surreal, embodied, and sometimes theatrical scenarios in an attempt to examine the multifaceted body as it moves through the world. Searching for both our unique and collective experiences, I investigate my own memories and those of my collaborators, questioning how we live within our physical selves, our ever-shape-shifting homes, as we transition contextually: from being students, customers, lovers, in charge, not in charge, members of families, strangers. I am interested in the human as a social being that changes in drastic and minute ways in order to inhabit both widely shared and intimate spaces, the range between our outward projections and quiet subconscious underbellies. I make dances which ask how, from these multiple selves, we then construct shared ideas of home, work, play, place, and belonging.
Embracing this inherent plurality, the dances can differ largely in tone, from humorous, interactive, and theatrical (like my first piece, Mr. and Mrs. Bridgehampton) to more formal, abstract, and hovering (like my second piece, Subterranean Home Installation). This range serves as my personal practice in plurality and empathy, an allowance for myself to actively value, equally, various ways of making and processing. Because all bodies are complex, contradictory, and constantly re-contextualized, I try to mimic this notion within the nature of my own work, to exemplify how simultaneous truths can co-exist even within my own thinking. This also serves as a critique on and the political and social implications of dogmatism and imposed value systems at large. Through dance, I hope to suggest that we, as cohabitants of the world, might gain opportunities to connect, forgive, empathize, and better understand one another, by opening up to the depth, contradiction, and multiplicity already contained within the body.
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Hopfield, Maddie Gwenyth, "The Bodies In This Room Are All Yours: Mr. and Mrs. BridgeHampton & Subterranean Home Installation" (2017). Senior Projects Spring 2017. 34.