In my creative practice, I synthesize movement and voice improvisation, a range of performed actions, and audience interaction in order to challenge and expand the notion of improvisation. My collaborative and solo works are informed by a cross-section of aesthetic ideas and values across dance, music, and performance art.
Approaching each situation with true spontaneity, I throw the milieu of a given performance situation into relief through humor, commentary, and vulnerability.
I lay myself bare by framing performance as a shared site of pain, desire, tension, confusion, inability, and power between myself and my audiences. By plumbing the depths of these capacities, and intuitively moving between them, I intend to activate liminal spaces of experience, never landing on holistic meaning. I explore the interstitial energies between my body and the audience’s bodies, as well as our bodies’ and the situation (the room, the stage, how much the tickets cost).
The most important way I have found to foment real vulnerability is by processing my family history through my voice and movement. I utilize my stories as a starting point for both visceral outrage and soft queries about race, gender, class, immigration, and ancestral trauma.
I grew up working class in the rural South, the daughter of a first generation Lebanese/Armenian immigrant and a white American hippie. I was never sure of how to connect my family’s experience of migration and trauma to a cultural context marked by racial tension and conservatism. I went on to attend Barnard on scholarship, where I often felt the gap between my experiences and those of my peers. Now, as I navigate my parents’ mortgage and impending retirement under a neo-fascist regime, I constantly wonder how to continue making art.
This history complicates my relationship to how I should perform. So, I deal with performance as the arena wherein I contend with the different selves and the conflicting worlds I inhabit.
My work thrives in spaces between right and wrong, clear and obscure, structure and oblivion. Whether I am working on an absurdist punk opera, or a durational blind-folded duet, my range of collaborations is powered forward by asking the audience to live in these questions with me.
photo credit Ian Deleon