Stephen Burr of SeeHear Studios is the SWAN Video Documentarian.
SWAN: a poetical inquiry in dance, text & memoir ~ part two, "rubedo"
Guest Artist: Adela Hyeyeon Park, pianist
Installation Artist: Ray Valdez
My work evolves from being drawn, lifelong, to the palpable yet silent habitations of persons in their bodies and the instinctive empathic responses I experience therein. My choreographic process reaches for, gathers, and develops a compassionate relationship with such habitations through this body, and there discovers the poetic gesture, —felt corporeal realities resonant and readily perceived by the tactile mind. In performance, I allow time for the content of the poetic moment to penetrate the performed space, honoring the potential for some translation to occur along the nervous system of your body, awakening a shared knowing of how we are this body, together, —a knowing from a distant or even recent past, —ways by which we live, imagine, witness, dream, or suppose a grand communion.
SWAN: a poetical inquiry in dance, text, & memoir (Hieros Gamos, ‘divine union’)
La practica e filosophia di L. Martina Young
Dance Artist / Movement Investigator!
Dancing as a way of being (ontology/ontologia) ~
Every part of a body is an intelligent organ,— perceptive, poetic in its relational acumen, thinks
by feeling, and feels by heart. Night and day, life is noted, breathed in, breathed out,— notitia
imprinted and exuded through skin and membrane. Wholly articulate in its sensual brilliance, in its
wounded grace, bodies translate corporeal compassion. Always empathic, always intact, a body
moves toward balance even in brokenness. Dancing thus raises being to another level.
Dancing as a way of knowing/not (epistemology/epistemologia) ~
Throughout the lifespan, our bodies offer a portal, a return to the content of ourselves,--
primordial content that links, negotiates, and integrates the actualities and necessities of our
human-being-here. Dancing along the divide between life and death, every move embodies such
Dancing as somaesthetic & poetic practice (somàtica estetica e poetica) ~
As a generative and generous act, a dancing body is both the pause and the punctuation that
engenders meaning in experiences,— every moment a detail of life being lived, considered--
through felt image, specific and non-specific memory, rhythm, and through the spontaneous
relationships made with one’s body/soul, with and without the world.
Photograph by Anne Murray
Arte Studio Ginestrelle, Italy 2014
“The green and vermillion glow catches fire, shoots rays, pulsates, subsides, rises again,
exploding, all in utter silence”
~ excerpt, “Passages” Giovanni Pascoli
“[Like] a ray of light, gesture reflects all that passes in the soul.
[For memory], let it be divined, revealed by gesture.”
~ François Delsarte
"Poetry in motion, music, and setting was brought together by L. Martina Young and her collaborators in SWAN 'rubedo'. Entering the studio, I was immediately drawn into a world where new life, bloody and vital, was emerging. As the spare, exploratory, sounds emerged and this tremulous, tentative, powerful, and curious creature explored the environment, I saw the world with new eyes, and shared in the wonder and excitement of new beginnings. It has been magical to be a part of this journey; thank you for your artistry."
Tim Young, CEO and Artistic Director of the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra
Several days following the SWAN 'rubedo' performance, one audience member--an ophthalmologist by profession and a movement therapy client of mine, shared a wonderment and wanted to ask: "How is it that you were able to not blink throughout the entire performance? Normal dryness of the eyes--a part of our autonomic nervous system--instinctually cause our eyes to blink, yet you did not blink, not once! How did you do that?"
I found this to be a perceptive and delightful question, and one that I readily confessed was an aesthetically important and conscious aspect in my performance approach. First I admitted that I have no real knowledge, that is, scientific knowledge about it, but that I imagine that I exercise the same kind of control capacity that suppresses normal bio-neural response mechanisms in the body the same way we read about yogis suppressing pain responses while lying on a bed of nails. The capacity for certain control mechanisms of normal autonomic body functions are, I imagine, the same.
I further offered that, as an artist, I am particularly sensitive to this "blinking" thing when I watch actors for example--film and theater. I find myself responding to and thereafter noting that the aesthetic power of the moment is broken when they unwittingly blink their eyes, catapulting me out of the transportive mode of the work.
It is when one is completely and wholly absorbed by the intent of the poetic gesture and the experience at hand, that the dissolution of borders and boundaries occurs. Here the ethic, desire, and consequence of the aesthetic experience abides. No blinking till it is time to journey back from the cosmos.
Born January 28, 1958 in Kingsville, Texas Ray Valdez is of nahua (mexico)/yaqui (yoeme) Native American ancestry and is a tribal member of the Texas Band of Yaqui Indians. Over the years he has recreated many beautiful watercolor and acrylic paintings for family, friends and collectors. Though initially a folk artist, he has developed his skills and continued creating both watercolor and acrylic paintings to reflect his own personal experiences as well as religious visions. Ray earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Phoenix and a Business Degree from Western International University. His works are currently on display at Valdez Studio in Reno, NV; Lily Vigil Gallery in Nevada City, CA; and Four Winds Trading in San Diego, CA.
Selected as “2012 Artist of the Year” by Seoul Art Center, ADELA HYEYEON PARK has been described as a pianist “with power, precision and tremendous glee” (Gramophone). Praised for her “very sensitive” (Washington Post) and “highly nuanced” (Lucid Culture) playing, she has appeared as soloist and chamber musician on major concert stages throughout the United States, Canada, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, Japan and her native Korea. Since making her debut at the age of ten with Seoul Symphony, Ms. Park has been a soloist with Seoul Philharmonic, KNUA Chamber Orchestra, Gangnam Symphony Orchestra and Incheon Philharmonic to name a few. Her recent engagements led her to perform on such prestigious venues as Zankel and Weill Halls at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Recital Hall, Kennedy Center and Seoul Art Center.
Diane was born in Santa Barbara, California with an imaginative soul and deep somatic knowing. She grew up in the idyllic, richly multicultural community of Riverside, Ca with politically active, musically enlightened parents and a grandmother who was a Ziegfeld Follies hoofer. The confluence of these early guiding factors together with her coming of age in the tumultuous late 60’s, has allowed her to develop a keen sense of the relationship between American popular culture as reflected in music, dance, fiction, and film, and the socio-political undercurrents shaping the myth of The American Dream. This perspective has been the driving force influencing her choreographic work.
She began her serious training as a dance artist and educator at the University of California, Riverside. After graduating with Honors from the Program in Modern Dance in 1979 she joined the teaching staff at UCR and continued her lifelong passion for exploring the expressive capacities of the human body.
She continued her career in Reno at TMCC, UNR, Lassen College, Washoe County School’s Artist in Residence Program and throughout the Northern Nevada community, teaching Modern and Jazz Technique, Creative Movement and Composition, 20th Century Dance History, Dance in World Culture, and Musical Theater Movement. Diane has served as Dance Education Consultant for both the NV Dept. of Education and Nevada Arts Council and is delighted and proud to have been instrumental in the development of the dance program at Truckee Meadows Community College.
Her 25 year relationship with Martina Young has evolved from mentor/ student, through colleague and collaborator, to unofficial reader and sounding board for Martina’s scholarly work, and all has been infused with deep friendship. Most recently, Young’s work on Swan: a poetical inquiry in dance, text, and memoir has served to further enlighten, clarify, and refine Diane’ s understanding of her life as an artist. Perhaps more telling, it is through the process of assisting in the creation of Swan II: Rubedo, with its entry into the rarefied air of Young’s ‘poetic field’, that Rugg is able to negotiate the hard concrete and endless chaotic buzzing of 21st Century America.
Finally, Diane’s ongoing 12 year job as a gardener at the May Arboretum has immersed her in the glorious mysteries of the natural world and its creative processes, and serves as muse for her own creative work and continuing exploration of the somatic, imaginal, and natural realms.
L. Martina Young is a native Los Angeleno and a recognized participant in the Los Angeles dance world from the 1970’s through 1990’s. Informed by a politic of community-focused engagement as well as an awareness of the distinction between careerism and living an aesthetic life, Martina joined the Nevada Arts Council’s Artist-in Residence Program, spending months at a time in the rural desert regions and communities of Nevada. In 1987 she accepted an invitation to serve as Director of Dance at the University of Nevada, Reno. Though resigning from her tenured position in 1994, she maintains her studio loft, The Lighthouse/Studio 5 O 2, as a radical hospitality space, in the downtown arts district of Reno—an intimate space for classes, performance, lectures, and other communal affairs.