Silk (2016) 

Photography: Chris Summers

Silk premiered in the Urban Arts Space gallery in Downtown, Columbus. Silk explores my body' s potential in cultivating empathy and inspiring pleasure. Silk aims to heighten our awareness of how we see and perceive each other. Silk relies on kindness and joy as forms of political resistance.

More about Silk:

Through the process of making Silk, I sought to investigate how dancing bodies cultivate empathy and kindness as a means to deconstruct hegemonic hierarchies that privilege some people and oppress others.  I began my research by questioning how power structures, identity politics, and spectatorship influence how we perceive each other and ourselves.  Through embodied research by way of improvisation and somatic investigation, and through reading feminist theory of the body, I created my dance and and performed it at the Urban Arts Space gallery in downtown Columbus.  By dancing Silk I intended to heighten our awareness of how we see and perceive each other through reading (consciously and subconsciously) markers of identity.  I theorize that dance exercises our ability to empathize with one another on a kinesthetic and emotional level, facilitating a deeper level of understanding and appreciation for each other and our differences.  Through the process of my research I discovered that cultivating empathy through dance performance can create an environment in which humans see past what is visual and instead connect with one another through shared experiences, both intimately internal and culturally external. 

"The increasingly proximity between parts, the tension and anticipation of flesh meeting flesh, felt like a personal embodiment of the audience/performer relationship—relationships of attention, nearness, and mediated contact. Once her foot found her hand, she sat up and began kneading the sole of her foot with her thumb as she looked around the audience with a vague smile. She made eye contact as she looked around, and it was not entirely clear if her smile was a result of this contact or the pedal self-pleasuring or both." -michael j. morris

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