"...to offer a window into the universe of the dance for viewers to peek, or fall, through."
- Tammy Carrasco
When I am in the rehearsal room making a dance, I ask myself, “Why am I drawn to that moment of choreography, or that relationship? How can I do more of that? Further that? What happens to the space when I do more of that, or stop doing that? How is this movement, this person, this moment acting on the space? How can I use time to make logics that are designed specifically for this work? How is that… thing I can’t quite put into words…making meaning in this dance?”
For me, this is the process: a stream of consciousness that leads me into choreographic tangents of discovery. With attention to the movement, itself, and spatial design, I remain conscious of the fact that movement is not isolated from identity politics and other contexts, and I know that dances are not sillowed from the paradigms in which dances exist—where identity and socio-political contexts live in-relation, in the interior, in the ethos of the work. I allow these inevitable contexts to flow out of the work as I make it, and cultivate the kinesthetic gems as I encounter them in the making room.
As I make dances, I am aware of how my identity, namely my queer-ness and female-ness, filter into the space. I note the distribution of power in the making room, how space holds power, and how collaborators and I disrupt those hierarchies in the creative process and performed work. Improvisational practices in process and performance are critical to accessing this disruption. I believe my impulse to queer space permeates into my work in my eagerness to open space to my collaborators, for them to bring all of themselves into the room, to bring the notion of fluidity into the language of our collaboration and work, and to embody the residue of grey-areas of meaning. Creating dances is my plight to understand the nature of the thing I’m making, and how meaning is made out of the movement, the nature of the space, and the people in the work who dance in-relation to each other. “What happens if I yield to the dance making process, and read meaning as it emerges as opposed to controlling its destiny?” What an exciting challenge!
I make work that demands attention to the Now, as I am drawn to improvisational sensibilities in timing and coincidence, and enjoy curating moments of architectural symmetry, as well as dynamic surprise. My hope is that if I craft instances in which I, as a maker, locate a glimmer of beauty or joy, perhaps audiences will perceive it, as well. I write this not to trivialize dance as entertainment, but to posit the challenge I put forth for myself: to offer a window into the universe of the dance for viewers to peek, or fall, through. And in a time when people are drawn into their devices, stuck in the algorithm of what transpires without them or what awaits them in the future, I find value in dances that require audiences to go with the performers into the dance, to be present with the action, and maybe even feel their own bodies as they experience the unusual, unexpected, or rhythmic activity of the humans before them.