HUMAN

Last week, we released to the public Holly Logan's choreographer's intent for the piece, ODD Behaviors. This week, we are pleased to be doing the same for Holly Logan's HUMAN, which premiered earlier this year in March at Velocity Dance Center. As Holly expressed in her post last week outlining what moved her to provide these choreographer intents to the public--we by no means believe that everyone needs to or should feel obligated to read them. We simply want to provide a safe landing spot for those who feel tentative about how to digest the sometimes intimidating experience that is modern dance. 

That being said--we hope you enjoy!

Samantha Weissbach

Executive Director, Intrepidus Dance

HUMAN

Choreographer's Intent

Human is a piece that was inspired by the pioneers of modern dance. Modern dance began as rebellion of sorts to the romanticism of ballet. During this era, ballet dancers would portray fairies, princesses, and swans, but there were dance artists who desired to dance as humans. These pioneers fought to create works that challenged our views and outlook on the human condition. The pieces they produced caused riots in the streets because viewers were not used to seeing such raw emotion. That passion and desire to bring forth true emotion is what inspired this piece.

HUMAN opens with breath, the idea of exploration, and beginnings, with each dancer as an individual. It guides the viewer to our duet between Madeline and Jessica. This duet is the introduction to relationships, introducing the idea of care and protection. The next section, where dancers walk through and past each other, represents how we move through life often forgetting to reach out and make those true connections. In this section, Ciara and CarliAnn perform the same duet from the beginning ­this time separated, representing that disconnect. The next section of the piece (what we lovingly call "The Hand Section") is actually where I started choreographing the piece. In my head, I saw people reaching out to each other, the touch, and how sensitive touch is. This is the section that examines that first relationship where we understand what love is. Whether that is with our parents or siblings, a friend or a partner, we all have that moment where it all makes sense. I must say this is my favorite section. 

From here we move to our very short lived "Joy Section", where the dancers run and dance freely, celebrating that love and that connection. After this, I wanted to move into something that showed that while we may love someone, it does not guarantee smooth sailing, or that we should keep that person in our life. This is why there are two sections about those rough areas and the choices between when to let go and when it makes sense to hold on. I wanted to use friction and embraces to illustrate these ideas. The second to last section uses the same separated duet from the beginning to bring forth the idea that the relationships in our life take work. It is hard, sometimes ugly, and exhausting to genuinely love someone. 

I wanted to end with a duet to bring us back to the simplicity of where we started. I wanted to create something that displayed how much we need each other, that in our barest human condition, we are at our best when we can share in our happiness, joy, anger, and sadness with at least one other person in our lives. For me it is about the vulnerability it takes to be human in our emotions and everyday encounters.

ODD Behaviors

At Intrepidus, we are passionate about people being passionate about art. As you have probably heard us say over and over again, our goal is to make dance more accessible and more approachable. One tool we wanted to offer in the quest for accessibility was the option for dance viewers to read a written "Choreographer's Intent." 

As artists and viewers of art, we get accustomed to watching the craft of dance and have as a result developed the ability to formulate opinions and ideas off of what we are viewing. This is not always true to new observers of dance, and I wanted to encourage people to jump--to open theselves up to how they migh be affected by what they are seeing, how the dancers are moving, interacting with each other or the audience, etc. I often have found that much akin to a small child learning to cartwheel for the first time, if you give people a soft place to fall they will take the leap.

We live in a society where there is a stipulation that people's ideas and opinions have to be right, and that vulnerability is a weakness. Art, on the other hand, is a platform that calls for open minds, vulnerable soulds, and no right or wrong answers. It can be scary--both for the novice and the expert!

My hope through offering the "Choreographer's Intent" was the foster an environment where a conversation about dance could start, allowing people who were curious the freedom to compare what they thought to what my original intent was. 

That being said, let me say that I by no means believe that everyone should and needs to read them. The intents are not meant to be a spoon to feed people, but instead a diving board in which to spring off of. Below we have included the filmed performance of "ODD Behaviors." I encourage you to watch, re-watch, explore nuances and movements that repeat, discover relationships between dancers. Formulate your own thoughts and ideas, and then, if you feel inclined please don't hesitate to read on. 

I do not create art with the sole purpose of forcing others to feel what I feel; but instead I am motivated to make art in the hopes that my audience may delve into something new and come away from the piece with a newly gained perspective--whatever that may be!

Cheers,

Holly Logan

Artistic Director & Founder, Intrepidus Dance

ODD Behaviors

Choreographer's Intent

I wanted to create ODD Behaviors to make a piece that examines the way modern American society views mental illness. ODD Behaviors was inspired by an experience I had on a bus ride home where a woman was continually shouting the same phrase. I could feel the tension in the bus, and could tell it was because nobody felt comfortable. We all felt we were in some sort of danger. As the woman left the bus, she thanked the driver and did not acknowledge the way we were all treating her. That is when it hit me, that the stigma about mental illness comes from those who are not affected. I was moved-­she was completely okay with who she was, and I was the problem.

The creative process for the piece was a new one for me and I really wanted to challenge myself this time around. All of the choreography for this piece was created to various pieces of music separate from our original score by John Coons. 

I used music by Andrew Bird, M.83, Fiona Apple, & Ke$ha to inspire movement that would represent certain illnesses. The dancers learned the choreography to these pieces of music but never heard the score until six rehearsals before the show. Meanwhile, I sent John videos of the choreography without music, so he in turn never heard the music the movement was originally choreographed to In this process, I did not want the qualities of the choreography and the music to meet up at all times, creating an underlying sense of discord.

I chose to focus on four mental illnesses: Depression, Anxiety, OCD, and Tourette’s. My hopes in using this process was to highlight each of these disorders using specific choreography and qualities of movement. Depression was defined by heavy and slow movements, Anxiety used movement filled with tension and a general feeling of discomfort, OCD was characterized by quick sharp movements repeated in patterns of three or six, and Tourrette's broke continuous movements with short uncontrollable outbursts of movement.

The piece begins with an introduction to each illness by having the dancers execute the different phrases all together. Within this section, we introduce Depression in the first solo you see danced by Madeline. After this, one sees the OCD duet with Ciara and CarliAnn, then the Anxiety duet with Samantha and Ciara, and finally the Tourette's duet with CarliAnn and Caitlin. I wanted to add these individual sections to familiarize the viewer with the movements that define each illness. From here the piece moves into what I call "The Overload Section." All of the phrases are mixed together to create a dynamic of overload and exhaustion.

The bells tolling bring us into the "Acceptance Section." Here each dancer looks at themselves and finally approaches the audience, saying, "I am fine with who I am, why won't you accept me?" The piece ends with a duet performed by CarliAnn and Madeline. This duet is my comment on how our society’s current relationship with mental illness functions. It is this matter of trying to change or fix things that we have no expertise in, rather than accepting people as they are. I believe this is where a conversation can start.

Ciara McCormack joins the Intrepidus staff as Head of Development!

As the red Tesla S 70D that is Intrepidus continues to race down the proverbial autobahn of growth, simultaneously our need for strategic funding increases. That being said, we are pleased to announce that the brilliant Ciara McCormack has officially joined the Intrepidus Dance staff as our Head of Development! Ciara will be working on overseeing & driving our fundraising efforts, engaging & expanding our current audience, and managing the ongoing development of our marketing strategy. Needless to say, we are beyond excited to have Ciara filling this integral role & are delighted to be hitting the road with a few more companions aboard.

Best,

Samantha

Executive Director, Intrepidus Dance

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  Photograph courtesy of  S. Weissbach Photography .

Photograph courtesy of S. Weissbach Photography.

What interested you in stepping into a Head of Development role with Intrepidus?

The starting place is that Intrepidus is a little powerhouse of a company. I’m blown away by what Holly has accomplished in the last twelve months, how far we’ve come as a company since October, and the plans we have for what’s to come in the future.

A lot of small arts organizations and nonprofits struggle in their approach to fundraising, and I’m passionate about making sure we have a plan in place to support Intrepidus financially as we grow and create art in the years to come.

  Photo courtesy of  Alessandra Arendt Photography .

What's the best movie you've seen this year?

I’m the worst movie-goer of all time, so I really haven’t seen anything new in the last few months. However, I did recently re-watch the Princess Bride, and that’s pretty stiff competition for anything that comes along.

What was the last book you read?

I’m currently reading the Tin Drum by Gunter Grass, when I can find the time.

Would you rather have the power to be invisible or to read minds?

That’s a hard one! With either power, there is the potential that you might be privy to things you don’t want to know. And both have their time and place. I think being able to read minds would come in handy more often than invisibility.

What was the last picture you took with your phone?

I took a picture of Seattle from the plane window at 2:45am on my way back from a short vacation. It’s pretty amazing to see the skyscrapers of downtown, I-5, and the Space Needle a lit up in miniature.

What is your favorite cocktail?

I order vodka cranberries if I’m on the spot, but I usually prefer something new and adventurous from each restaurant’s signature cocktails.

What instantly cheers you up?

When things get really bad, I have a happy playlist that I made in high school. It could probably use an update to bring it into the 2010s, but it does its job.

Which do you use more often, a dictionary or a thesaurus?

Thesaurus! Most of the time when I use a dictionary, it’s to find synonyms.

  Photo courtesy of  Alessandra Arendt Photography .

Photo courtesy of Alessandra Arendt Photography.

What is the most memorable dance class you have taken & why?

In college, we had a workshop with a couple of dancers in Ailey II. One thing from that class stuck out. When the movement is fast, we as dancers often try to speed things up by cutting corners and skipping some of the counts. But the thing to remember is that all of the subdivisions of the beats are still there. There are still quarter, eighth, and sixteenth notes even at high speeds. The time is still there, the counts are still there, and you can still travel through space and time as fully as you would if it were slower.

Tell us a little bit about your personal goals as Head of Development:

My goal for Intrepidus in the next few months is to create the foundation of our fundraising platform. That is to say, I want to outline a plan of action for us to pursue multiple avenues of funding, from grants to individual and corporate donations, from fundraising events to ticket sales.

Personally, my plan is to do as much research and information gathering as possible about what this role can really do. I have bits and pieces of experience fundraising, grant writing, and recruiting donors from a number of odd jobs in the past, and I’m looking forward to synthesizing all of those little tidbits into something more complete.

  Photo courtesy of  Alessandra Arendt Photography .

Photo courtesy of Alessandra Arendt Photography.


CarliAnn Forthun joins the Intrepidus Staff as Outreach Coordinator!

As Intrepidus Dance begins gearing up for our second season (wow, already?!), we're ecstatic to start revealing some of our projects that are ready to emerge from their developmental stages. The first of these being the Intrepidus Dance Outreach Program.

Along with this launch, we're also very pleased to announce that CarliAnn Forthun has joined the ranks of the Intrepidus Staff as our Outreach Coordinator! CarliAnn has been and will continue to work side-by-side with Founder & Director Holly Logan to develop and implement the various layers of our budding outreach program. 

Stay tuned for Holly's thoughts on the impetus behind Intrepidus Dance's step into the realm of outreach tomorrow.  Until then, enjoy getting to know CarliAnn & her outreach goals a little better below!

Cheers,

Samantha

Executive Director, Intrepidus Dance

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  Photo courtesy of  Alessandra Arendt Photography .

What interested you in the outreach program with Intrepidus?

Over the past couple of years I have had the opportunity to teach some amazing kids in unique situations. I coached gymnastics, taught dance, and worked with a children’s theater. Each time I walk into a class, practice, or rehearsal it becomes evident that these kids are taking away more than just physical skills, they are also learning the importance of dedication and hard work. Its incredibly rewarding and grounding for me to work with kids. When I mentioned this to Holly and Sam, the stars sort of aligned, and it became clear that we have similar visions when it comes to outreach. Bringing dance to kids.

What's the best movie you've seen this year?

The Imitation Game.

  Photo courtesy of  Alessandra Arendt Photography .

Photo courtesy of Alessandra Arendt Photography.

What is your favorite board game?

Settlers of Catan

Would you rather have the power to be invisible or to read minds?

Be Invisible …. and be able to fly

What was the last picture you took with your phone?

View of Alki Beach

  Photo courtesy of  Alessandra Arendt Photography .

Photo courtesy of Alessandra Arendt Photography.

What is your perfect pizza?

Gluten-free pepperoni with black olives and cheddar cheese

What instantly cheers you up?

Cute cat videos, teaching kids, watching Parks and Rec, a cup of hot chocolate

  Photo courtesy of  Alessandra Arendt Photography .

Photo courtesy of Alessandra Arendt Photography.

Which do you use more often, a dictionary or a thesaurus?

Thesaurus

What is the most memorable dance class you have taken & why?

I wish I could I pinpoint one class. Two teachers come to mind. My classes from my professor Meghan Walker-Straight left an impression on me and helped me define why I was dancing. She was a dancer for Merce Cunningham for 20 years and taught his technique. Its an intense mind-bending, upright, and structured technique. Not only did the steps challenge, it was Meghan pushing us to dance in and around the framework of the technique. I remember one time I had figured “it” out for one combination, this was a big deal. One time she straight up asked us all why were dancing and did we honestly see ourselves continuing after college.

More recently, I took a workshop from Eric Beauchesne of Kidd Pivot. It was an amazing class based on structured improv to create choreography. This work delved into layers upon layers of movement with yourself and other dancers. It was very enlightening; but more importantly, it lifted my soul the way dance does.

Tell us a little bit about your personal goals as outreach coordinator:

  • Encourage confidence in each child we teach to trust themselves and try new things.

  • Teach kids to be familiar and comfortable moving in their own skin and try new things.

  • Incorporate some gymnastics into class; every child should feel comfortable going upside down.

  • Learn from Holly how to run an amazing and well organized program.

  • Bring dance to kids who may not have the opportunity to take class.

  Photo courtesy of  Alessandra Arendt Photography .

Photo courtesy of Alessandra Arendt Photography.