ARTIST STATEMENT

In my creative practice, I synthesize movement and voice improvisation 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 in dance, music, and performance art.

Approaching each situation with true spontaneity, I seek to throw the milieu of a given performance situation into relief through humor, social commentary, and vulnerability. By wielding social content through humor, I challenge dominant social positionings in a given setting. I oscillate between charm and desolation, as a means of diving into every interstitital tension present. Laughter is a central generative element of the work; it paves the way toward more difficult revelations. It provides a connective tissue between emotionally jarring juxtapositions of text, movement, and interaction.

I consider improvisation a strategy for scrutiny and infiltration. I ask my audiences to look deeply at themselves, and I put my body in difficult relationships to theirs. Rather than shy away from my body as something that is overrepresented, I take it to its limits both as and beyond what it looks like.

The most important way I have found to foment real vulnerability is by processing my family history through my voice and movement. My grandfather was a survivor of the Armenian Genocide, and my father, who grew up in Beirut, emigrated to the US during the Lebanese civil war. I grew up working-class, in the Bible Belt of rural Texas. my father was a brown guy with an accent who threw papers, and my mother was a nice white lady with her artistic, white kids trying to keep up with the joneses. So, My family occupied a liminal space between white, Christian, upstanding citizens, and drug-dealing, war-torn, remittance-sending immigrants.

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.