Friday, December 17, 2010

Holiday cheer at the studio

Ok, so you may not celebrate Christmas, but I just thought this red decoration looked too nice with our new red logo to pass up! So here's some holiday cheer and a happy new year! 
(And by the way, the dancers are off until mid-January, so look for more posts starting up then!)

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

To Stone Mountain! (in the cold)

Did Blake walk on the moon??
Oh no, I see now, it's Stone Mountain!

Despite the oh-so-brisk weather, the CORE folks went on a journey outdoors yesterday to the big piece of granite to the east of here. Sue and two of the dancers took visiting German composer, Christian Meyer, for an expedition to find inspiration for work on "The Point."

See, Blake's got inspired thoughts he's making sure he doesn't forget.

Here are Sue and Christian!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Singing in the studio...

If you would have come by the studio today, you would have been surprised to hear a vocal orchestra (or voicestra) coming from upstairs. To gear up for Corazon, we are working on our singing with help from Elise Witt. Personally, my singing is left for the shower, the car, or with enough courage...maybe karaoke with friends; so it is unsettling and scary to know that we will have to speak and sing in front of a theatre full of strangers.

I once had to sing in front of people and forgot all the words to the song. That is in the top ten worst experiences of my life!! Afterwards, my parents took me to dinner, told me it wasn't that big a deal, and said I did a great job (that's what parents are for, right?!?). However, it was fun to let loose and not have to worry about my anxiety. I am looking forward to how this will work out. Besides, there is a reason we are dancers...most of us prefer to look pretty and be seen, and not heard. Going back to the idea of challenges; I think we can work through this and make it a great experience. This time I hope not to forget the words :)

Oh, by the way...we have a free Salon performance tonight in our downstairs studio from 6 to 7:30. There will be free drinks and snacks for those who attend. We will be working on/showing material for our upcoming show: Corazon Hope to see you there!

Monday, October 25, 2010

New life

We are back in the studio after a week off, from a very long and exciting bunch of Houston performances. First days back are always difficult because you have to get back into the groove of things. Add to that challenge that we all woke up to lightning and rain this about not wanting to get out of bed! However, once we began moving our bodies in class; it was apparent that we were all yearning to move our bodies and get cracking! It was infectious...I always love those studio days!!!

Some of you know that we have an upcoming performance of Corazon Abriendo at the Balzer in downtown Atlanta, November 19th & 20th. There have been previous incarnations of this dance, but this is not the same show. Almost everything is new! Today we jumped head first into really finding the new life in this dance. Remounting a previous work is difficult, but if the stars could be a breeze. With clarity and precision, Sue started shaping sections of Corazon to better suit the chemistry of this newer cast. It helps to have the wisdom and energy of those who have experienced Corazon previously. Juana and Blake can understand some of Sue's references from prior trips to Mexico; while we newbies can draw upon our Guatamala experience. It is a great blend of old and new.

I guess Sue's challenge is to find the middle ground. Today, she left the studio happy because not only did we rise to the occasion, but we had fun doing it. We laughed every time someone forgot a step or did the wrong movement. Corian burst into hysterical laughter from getting dizzy because he was spinning too quickly. It was a wonderful day in the office. Work isn't work if you are having fun.

So it begins, the road to performance...the task of bringing a dance to life!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hello all!

It's day five of our Houston adventure and already we have done so much! The Bayou City Art Festival went great, the weather was warm, the crowd was enthusiastic and we got to splash around in the fountains on Saturday after workin' up a sweat!
We are now in the second stage of our trip and working on Navigating the Hallways. We are in a beautiful space at the CAMH and working with wonderful people. The beautiful dancers of KDNY are here and everything is going off without a hitch (mucho thanks to Theresa Chapman, our project coordinator, and fellow dancer beauty.) We have the afternoon off tomorrow after a master class taught by Corian at U of H.
Well, Claire is giving a fashion show, and I'm off to see what other goodies Patton has in his costume grab bag.
Bye for now!!!

Friday, October 08, 2010

CORE on the go...

Howdy everyone...from deep in the heart of Texas, this is Alex reporting on our current tour to Houston. We have an action-packed tour with performances at the Bayou City Arts Festival tomorrow and Sunday, a performance (with many Houston choreographers & a New York-based company) next Thursday at the Contemporary Arts Museum, and a performance next Friday at an outdoor theatre in downtown Houston (Discovery Green).

We arrived yesterday, had lunch then rehearsal. This morning many of CPC members took a fabulous dance class with Jane Weiner at HopeStone. We just finished eating delicious food and sipped on some well-made coffee at Brasil Cafe in the heart of the Montrose area (right down the street from my alma mater...Lanier Middle School, go Purple Pups)! We will have rehearsal soon, so some members (Corian, Claire, & Alisa) are using this little free time to have a quick shopping spree in the many nearby, trendy resale shops & boutiques! Oh the life of a dancer...trying to look fabulous on a budget! Well, I am about to check my bank account so that I may join them...hehehe!

Peace, love, & chicken grease!

Monday, October 04, 2010

Houston get Ready!

We are gearing up for Houston!
Claire Molla and Blake Dalton performed the 'push up Pact' to be in top physical readiness.
We ran "Cumulus", which we will perform at Discovery Green. Now "In the beginning there was a word and the word was love" is being sweat through by Alex Abarca and MJ Pennington. Choreographed by CORE member Corian Ellisor, we will show this at Discovery Green also. Today we will also work on Navigating the Hallway for the Contemporary Arts Museum, and a new work for the Bayou City Arts Festival.
We are busy! If I can figure out my technology there will be some video today, too!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lunchtime in the Studio, September 30th, 2010!

Today we are hosting our community in our downstairs studio. We have show some snippets of dance and we'd like to share some of what we recorded via video tape.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Signs are finished!

Here's the updated look at the studios and offices with our new pretty signs painted by Michelle Black of (designed by our graphic designer, Jon Scott Weaver.)
Here's the back parking lot and the silhouette of Claire jumping that looks great from up when you turn into the alleyway/entrance to the parking lot. 
 Here's that same one a little closer up:
 The front of the studios and offices with their new signs. I had no idea how much went into getting a sign permit, let me tell you, but we worked it out and here they are!
 Another silhouette on the front of the office. It had to be 8 ft. square by the regs, so she couldn't be huge and fill up the whole front.
 The front of the studios is a little more understated without a dancer on them, but it still looks good!
 Sign showing where to go from the back parking lot--no longer faded and no more old logo!
 Back door to the offices. Should help with the "where am I going" factor, don't you think? Now I just have to price the equivalent size stickers to go on the glass of the studio door. It may be too expensive in this size, so we'll see what we can do.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Rainy Days and Mondays

Hanging around...nothing to do but frown...It's Monday and it's rainy...Good thing we are inside dancing! This morning we are tackling a run of Cumulus for one of our many performances in Houston next week. This particular performance is sort of a retrospective performance that we are sharing with Ad Deum dance company. We are both celebrating anniversaries. Ad Deum is turing 1o, and CORE is now considered over the hill with this being our 30th season. The Show is Friday October 15th at Discovery Green in Houston Texas.

Also on the bill, we are presenting a piece that I (Corian) choreographed titled, "In the beginning there was a word and the word was love." I am honored to have the opportunity to show this dance in a different venue in Houston again. A new crowd will be exposed to my choreography. Being a young choreographer, that is all you can ask for...people coming out and seeing your work. When you are choreographing it is sort of a cathartic experience; almost a birthing process. Everyone wants a cute baby that people compliment; not those ugly babies (there are ugly babies) that people lie and say are cute! So you hope when people come and see your work that they are actually moved by the whole experience and honest with what their feedback.

Finally, we are presenting a new piece that we are in the process of making. "Room" is something we are creating in conjunction with our performance at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston. It will be quite interesting to see how we will adapt the dance for two completely different spaces. In CORE we are always up for the challenge!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wednesday Corazon and other Adventures

We are delighted to have Juana Farfan back with us for Corazon Abriendo! She was with us for the original development of Corazon and then was busy having baby Luke. Now she is back for the November performance of Corazon and she looks great!

This afternoon we will work on 'Navigating the Hallway'. This is an exciting new work that we will perform at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston with Houston Choreographers and KDNY from NYC. Alisa is a new dancer in town joining us for this project.

And then we will see you tonight from 6:30 - 8pm ! at Jill Celeste gallery ( formerly Palate)


Corian started us off with a vivacious high energy sweaty class. We worked the slyly humorous text in Cumulus, re connected with the elegant fluid lines choreographed by Dutch Choreographer Beppie Blankert and dove back in to the aggressive almost pro wrestling partner work.
In mid October we will perform outdoors in Houston at Discovery Green. Joanna Futral is once again deftly stepping in to Kim Kleibers role ( Kim just had baby Evan, GO KIM!). Alex is finding a little machismo for the intense fight partnering.
Wednesday evening 6:30 - 8pm is our kick off event at the Jill Celeste gallery/Mcgowan's ( formerly Palate Wine Bar)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Studio renovations

So we didn't get a "before" to go with the "after," but if you've been to our studios, you'll see the transformation (still in process in several places.)
So in the alleyway, they removed the awning that ran the length of it and painted everything our fantastic new blue color. 
And in the downstairs lobby, there's a shiny new floor and a working kitchen with plumbing and a fridge and everything!
We even have a newly wired, working doorbell by the back door to the office (the wireless one we were using was very, very unreliable! Sometimes it didn't work at all, sometimes it got stuck and wouldn't stop ringing...)
We got a new front and back door to the office so that they fit better and will close all the way so they won't leak air so much etc. We still have to get new stickers and/or paint the new logo on them.

We also got a new door to the studio so no more confusion on which one to enter through, and also a nicer seal.
Also painted the front of the studio the base blue, and soon to have "CORE studios" on it in the new red.
A lot more stuff to do with the logos and stickers on doors. They're also rewiring the front windows of the studio so the displays are more visible at night. Oh and the best news for the dancers, they redid the floor upstairs in the studio so it's sprung and isn't lumpy any more (no photo of that, though it might be hard to see the difference as much as feel it.) Stay tuned for more when we get the finishing touches done!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

week two

hello again. we are in the thick of week two of our 30th season. there is a lot of activity in the studio and in the building. we have a new dance floor in our upstairs studio, new flooring and a kitchenette in the foyer space downstairs, and a paint job including the new logo on the building to come in the next couple of days. we have been taking advantage of our new studio floors with company classes (which rock and are open to the public) and lots of rehearsals. core is very happy to be working again with Juana Farfan on the remounting of Corazon Abriendo which will be in our performance schedule this season. we are also busy working on In the beginning there was a word and the word was love, a duet choreographed by Corian Ellisor, which will be performed at Discovery Green in Houston next month. Cumulus, choreography by Beppie Blankert, will also be presented in the Discovery Green performance. we are really excited about our upcoming trip to Houston, which will include performances at Discovery Green, Bayou City Art Festival, and the Contemporary Arts Museum alongside KDNY and Houston dancers, Teresa Chapman, Leslie Scates, Becky Valls. pretty sweet!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

And we're back...

Howdy everyone! We are back and ready for some dancing! Our first official day back in the studio was yesterday. Our day started with class taught by the one and only Sue Schroeder. Can I just say that after a whole summer of living in the real world, working a customer service job, trying to make ends feels good to get back to the grind of dancing! My body is happy (albeit sore), so therefore my general mood has pain, no grain, right? Getting our repertory back to performance is a challenge, but a much welcomed one.

Despite having been on hiatus since May, we have had quite a busy summer. We had the amazing pleasure of traveling to Sweden to perform in the ABUNDANCE festival. We were one of three U.S. Companies to perform in the festival. We adapted our newest work, The Point, to be a site specific work in Karlstad, Sweden. Then, most recently, in August we performed in the Houston Frenetic Fringe Festival. Many of the company members created our own work that was presented with various other artist for a full evening of eclectic performances.

I would have to say, that because I got a taste of what life is like to work in the "real world," I would much rather dance for a living. I am able to interact with my fellow dancers, choreographers, etc in a very relaxed, personal, and professional level that is extremely satisfying. Who wouldn't like to go to a job that not only is a great personal escape, but allow you to laugh
, be productive, and stay active? I feel very blessed to not have to sit in a cubicle all day! Besides, it isn't work to is play! Simple put...I am very glad to be back, and I can't wait for this actioned packed 30th season to unfold!

Monday, May 17, 2010

To Guatemala We Go...

***disclaimer: i am copying this (and paraphrasing) from my journal of the it may be a little more stream of consciousness than usual***

so we are well on our way to guatemala. i am tired, but excited & also THANKFUL...PRAISE, because we almost missed our flight! it is funny how in extremely important situations...everything either works with you or against you! in this situation, it was a little of both...but no middle ground. we were running late...then the MARTA decided to act crazy, then we had to rely on our charm (and the amazing powers of persuasion from our company manager Patton White) to get our butts on that plane!

no matter how much we believe or think we are in good shape, when you have to run the entire length of an airport with luggage in makes you very winded, tired, and sweaty! so now we are on the plane...and i will probably nap :)

after much sleep...we have landed, again...PRAISE!!! i hate is frightening...

YAY...i got the very first stamp on my passport!!! i always hear horror stories about customs, etc....but that was rather quick, easy, and painless.

upon leaving the airport we get the first pleasurable experience of the Guatemalan climate...dry, breezy, sunny, blue skies...and also the immediate realization that there is a definate hustle and bustly of a city...we are in Guatemala City, Guatemala. there are lots of folks outside the airport...women breast-feeding their kids, familys sitting on the curb of the street...and we are greeted by the smiling face of our tour guide Roberto! off we go...

if you thought riding in normal traffic is scary...i suggest you go to latin america where all logical rules of transportation go out the window (literally)! luckily our hotel is close by...once we drop our stuff off...we go eat at Las, yay...yummy food! from there it is time to go to the bank to get money, then off to the museum where Roberto took us through a "brief" historical overview of the Mayans...their culture, their art, their beliefs, etc as we walk through the museum...

i had to pay to be able to take pictures...that is odd, but hey...i want to document everything.
(pictures will follow...i'm writing this blog on a time crunch...sorry) is really funny how all of a sudden we go from beautiful pottery and other handmade objects full of detail & cultural significance into the last room which is full of catholic artifacts. it was strange to see how there was just a huge shift in culture, belief, and pretty much a way of life.

it is strange...the human need to conquer and impose their way of life on others. to justify their slaughter & overthrow of the Mayan empire...the church said that if they consider the Mayans as "savages" they they could kill & conquer because they are spreading the word of God & the gift of salvation to a people who are deemed as "un-Godly," "savage," and just in need of "saving."

thus begins the beautiful and odd marriage of the pagan ways of the Mayans and the Christian beliefs of their conquerors.

roberto said, "Guatemala is a land of contrasts."

i am moved by the beauty of the landscape, the climate...the air is thick with history, i think we all notice it...we aren't in kansas anymore. we are in for a journey of a lifetime...change is palpable...i feel it in me already.

i live my life as a Latin American...with no real connection to who i am in this crazy world, when it comes to history & heritage...i have been so "American-ized." it sounds cheesy...but i am in the land of my people...same skin, same native tongue (that is still very foreign to me)...i long to have that zest for life that they have...despite their economic conditions.

i can't help but think...what would my life be like if my grandparents didn't make that tough decision to leave their home, their history, their lives (as they knew it) search for something search for the American dream!

in short...i realize...we are no longer talking about going to Guatemala...we are here...and i am is amazing & just have to open your eyes...and realize & accept that!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

and now it's time...

after a small break from blogging, we are back...kinda. we have entered the last week of this season. we dancers can now give a small sigh of relief knowing that we all put in the hours...did the work, and the fruits of our labor have paid off. we have paid the price in sweat, fatigue, and love! that being said, now we will have a little time to rest our bodies...but the end is not in sight because we still have to perform is Sweden, and we also have some other things lined up during our "time off."

tonight we will have a fundraiser to end this season with a bang, but most importantly to usher in the next chapter...our 30th season!!! fear not faithful CPC blog readers...i still have to tell you what we have been up to, and explain what we were up to during our absence. in the 2 weeks that we were gone...we travelled to my beloved hometown of Houston, Texas to work in senior centers (that was a first for me) but also to share the stage with some amazing talent for our shared bill with Becky Valls, Teresa Chapman, Leslie Scates, and our very own Blake Dalton & Sue Schroeder all presented work in Let's Dance. despite crazy weather & many dance events scheduled at the same time...our devoted fans braved all of that to support us (for that...MANY, MANY thanks)! in addition to that we also performed at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston & i celebrated my 27th year on this planet!!!! so after all that, we flew back to Atlanta for one day of rest, but there is no rest for the weary because after that one day of rest (or running errands) we were off to Guatemala!!!!

i am not going too much into detail about that life-changing excursion, because on my one day off i broke down and bought a camera that i took full advantage of during the trip. also, i made it a point to chronicle our adventures in Guatemala old-school carrying around a notebook, a pen and scribbling down any and all wonderful events that took place. so stay tuned for a day-by-day recap of everything that went down, including some photos and video!!!

so since this is the last "official" blog of the season...i want to thank everyone for their support of Core through this season and all previous 29 seasons! i am proud to be part of this organization and am thankful for all the wonderful opportunities it has blessed me with, but am also looking forward to the many opportunities that are just waiting for me in the seasons to come!

much love...alex

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

CORE travels to Guatemala and Sweden

To further the vision of Artistic Director Sue Schroeder's work Corazón Abriendo, a multimedia performance with not only dance collaborators, but co-artists involved in music, anthropology, archeaelogy, film, sculpure, writing, traditional Mayan weaving...
Sue has the desire for all the dancers working in the piece to be able to speak, create and perform from a place of real and deep experience with the ancient and living Mayan cultures.  Several trips to Chiapas, Mexico were a wealth of wonder and inspiration for the first layer of work with Corazón.
Now with new faces, minds and bodies in the company we travel to a different area within the heart of Mayan culture.  The travel to a place that is new to ALL the company members creates a unifying experience for us all.
We will visit the legendary beauty of Lake Atitlan. This also the home of the Mayan group that writer Martin Prechtel spent seveal years with as he wrote eloquent renditions ancient Mayan stories like 'The Disobendience of the Daughter of the Sun'.  We read this story aloud every night in Chiapas, a vibrant window to the intricate nuances of this complex culture and its people. 
We will visit temple sites, journey through rainforests, climb volcanoes and meet Mayan weavers who will speak 'Quiche' instead of the Chiapan Mayan languages Tzotzil and Tzeltal. And who knows what new collaborators we will meet by chance...

We have been invited to Sweden to be a part of the 'Abundance' Dance Festival in Karlstad!
An amazing opportunity to participate, develop and present work in an exciting and prestigous dance festival.  This is a chance that dance artists dream of.  We will be side by side with dancers, choreographers and artists from all over Europe and the world.  There is so much exciting work happening currently particularly in Europe that we have little exposure to in Atlanta.  This is a place where Sue's new work "The Point" can grow and where the CORE dance artists will be able to expand not only their technique but the scope of their artistic conciousness.  What connections will we make with artists from all over the world ?  Where will we travel next?  Who will we be able to invite to the Atlanta Community ?  Huzzah !

Monday, April 26, 2010

It's Monday

Hey guys! It's Monday and we are in the studio! We are going to Houston this week! Core is offering two performances this up coming weekend. We are performing "Lets Dance," at Miller Outdoor Theater on Friday April 30th at 8:00pm and "The Point of Stillness," Sunday May 2nd at the Museum of Fine Art Houston in their sculpture garden at 2:30 and 3:30 pm.

"Lets dance," is sort of a festival style performance curated and shared but Core Performance Company, Teresa Chapman, Leslie Scates and Becky Valls. We are all performing short family friendly pieces for the general masses of Miller Theater. "The point of Stillness," is one of our site specific works. We have been working with the idea and concept of statues for the past couple of weeks. Each dancers has gotten the opportunity to work on a section. This makes for a pretty interesting combination.

It is the end of the season, and we are all tired. It is interesting what happens when you are a tired dancer. You have to first be careful not to injure yourself. Then there is the ease of movement that comes from being able not hold tension. You do not use extra muscles. You find a gracefulness. There is definitely bad part of dancing when you are tired, but it usually informs how you want to move when you are not. Which is to not over muscle your dancing. I believe this will be our motto this week as we press forward!

Much Love


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Art March and why?

The arts! Do we need them? Are they worth investing money in? Some people seem to think that the arts are expendable but what's art worth to you? In America, worth equals value and everything thing of value can be bought. It has a monetary worth. When worth is priceless and bountiful with its gifts, what do you as a citizen do? Do you stand in line and wait for the hand outs of a nation with fading interests or do you get out of line and stand up for what is necessary and true.

This past Monday, Core Performance Company hit the streets of Atlanta Ga. Along with several hundred artists, Core marched from the Rialto to the steps of the Capitol in protest. The House voted to reduce the funding for the Georgia Council of the Arts to $0. The Senate vote to overturn the decision was quickly approaching, so the arts community of Georgia had to act fast.

The beauty of every individual in the crowd was overwhelmingly breathtaking. We are not a people of violence, but on that Monday our presence could not be silenced and our voices were in agreement. As we stepped down from the sidewalk onto the car filled street, it hit me. While chanting, "Save the arts. Save the arts!" with hundreds of men, women and children resembling a United Colors of Benetton add, it hit me. In that moment, I realized marching was not about me. Marching was not even about the other people marching. The scope of us artists meeting at 1:00 in the afternoon on this very Monday expanded long and deep like the Mississippi. Our goal was Georgia, but our nation and our nations children were at stake.

The question is simple. Why choose art? Art does make for a more well rounded culture. Some would even argue civilized. On a deeper level, art breeds and nurtures creativity. That is what America is based upon. Thinking outside of the box,taking chances and not being afraid to be different. That is what our forefathers set out to accomplish when establishing America.

There are those of us who are artists. We choose the life of a bohemian. We choose to be broke. We take all of the pennies we can get. When all funding for art is cut, it is a direct blow to the way I live my life. The person that I am. Without artists and without Art, that boy who took drawing in elementary would have not had the opportunity to become that famous architect. That girl who took voice lessons growing up, would not be a top record executive.

Yes, art enhances the lives of artists and the lives people who pay to go enjoy them. But the necessity for art is just that; a necessity. We need art to live. We do not need it to breathe, but that is the beauty of it all. We need art to progress as a country. All ideas are born out of creativity. Creativity is the core principle of art. Therefore arts serves society in so many ways that are tangible and intangible.

Just thought I would throw that out there!


Friday, April 16, 2010



here, taking the lead on the blog for the moment. I guess this is the first time you've heard from me. The last time I blogged was probably on like myspace in highschool or something like that. ha.

Food and Friends

Yesterday was another lovely lunchtime in the studio. Ragging Burrito provided tastey food and the best pineapple salsa EVER; Starbucks provided coffee. This was only my second time ever attending and there were lots of other new faces. Some of the dancers chose to share the beginnings of their ideas for our next sight specific work. When we go back to Houston at the end of the month, we will be performing at the Museum of Fine Arts Cullen Sculpture Garden. We have been researching artists in the garden and learning about their pieces and their process for producing works. This exploration has provided inspiration for the sight specific work we will be showing. Also during our lunch hour, the other dancers were able to share the latest progress with The Point.

Yesterday was also another Salon showing. Sadly I have always had conflicts with this time during the day, so I was unable to attend, but I have only heard positive feedback. A wonderfully sweet girl named Rachel was able to attend last night and she even came back for class this morning! :)

It's Basically the Weekend

So today we will work more with The Point and Blake will be here to give feedback to Sharon. After lunch we will work on Cumulus. Blake will be here to help Alex and and Kim will be here to HELP ME. :)

It has been such an experience learning roles here at CORE. Strong communication is essential for the learning process, which is something that I always have to be conscious about. Thinking intentionally about cause, motivation, and emotion during rehearsal is the force that drives each dancer. Something I feel they treasure here is having an awareness of how you are feeling and what you need to do for your body. These have been mental goals of mine and I feel a lot of other dancers in Atlanta, but difficult to implement into real life as a dancer. Anwyays, this is just a snipit into the journey of my time here at CORE.

Wrap it Up Girl

Gosh, I rambble! That's all for right now. I hope you all have a great weekend! Talk to you next time.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Happy Wednesday!


This is Sharon, one of Core's artistic affiliates. Alex has been doing a wonderful job of taking pictures of both Joanna and me, and now, you actually get to hear my voice, cyberspace voice, at least. Wow, cyberspace voice! That was kinda corny. Bear with me. This is my first attempt at blogging. I have to say that I am having a wonderful time here at Core. The atmosphere here is very nurturing. I have, in some ways, come to think of Core as a second family. I feel as though I have found a group that I can share knowledge with, learn skills from, and trust, which is key when one dances with a particular group for an extended period of time.

Speaking of learning, you have heard that many roles have shifted to new dancers. Joanna has taken Kim Kleiber's role in Beppie Blankert's Cumulus. Alex and I have taken Blake's roles in Cumulus and Sue Schroeder's The Point, respectively. We are all working really hard to own our new roles, so we are ready for "Let's Dance" at the Miller Outdoor Theater in Houston at the end of the month. By the way, I've never danced on the Miller stage, so I'm really excited about performing there. To help us get ready for the show, Blake Dalton is here to give us a hand. (Don't worry, he's resting his foot.) Blake being here makes it a happy Wednesday. Blake has a positive energy that radiates. His opinions are poignant and understanding. Also, he's an all-around quirky guy. So, when he's not around he's missed. We're all pretty bummed that he's injured, and we're praying that he gets well soon. Even though he's not dancing yet, I'm glad he's back. I also heard that Kim is going to be here on Friday to work on Cumulus. She's another person who through her radiance makes Core shine a little brighter. When she's here our Core family will be back to a full house.

To reiterate what I mentioned earlier, Core is a group filled with sharing and trust. Repeatedly, I see a member step up and aid when another is in need. This nurturing environment is very comforting. I feel safe here, and I'm excited about the work that I will continue to do.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

dancer on deck!

so as i mentioned yesterday, the amazing blake dalton is injured. word on the street says he is recovering nicely. keep him in your thoughts and keep sending good healing energy his way! as a result of his injury, many folks are stepping up their game and we are all pulling together as an ensemble to prepare for our upcoming Miller show (that blake was going to be in).

so...we had to call in the emergency dancers on deck (at term that i learned after i injured myself in college). dancers "on deck" are the understudies, or affiliates, who are then asked to step into the role of a dancer that is unable to perform, and it is usually done with short notice. for Cumulus, i (alex) am stepping into blake's role, and for The Point, sharon is assuming blake's role.

this is not an uncommon occurrence, dancers getting injured. it is a reality (as scary/harsh reality) that affects (i hope that is the correct use of that word) the entire company. so we are charged to learn the choreography, but in a very short & intense period of time before we have to perform. the task of learning another role is tricky, because the dynamics inherently shift. all the nuances and details that allowed the original member to execute their part with ease & simplicity gets lost. also, the challenge in Cumulus is that Joanna is also in the process of taking on an old role (of Kim Kleiber's) it is almost like starting back (almost) at square one. we are not the originators of the roles; so, we don't have the depth of knowledge to keep the choreography true to Beppie Blankert's vision.

i cannot speak for sharon, but i have to state the obvious difference in her learning blake's role. she is a she, blake is a he (DUH!). so there are some partnering issues that have to be worked out. blake is a buff dude, and although sharon is a very strong woman; she is a good 5 inches shorter than mr. dalton. in conversation with sharon, she says "the lifts aren't so much a challenge strength wise, but more so in leverage and momentum."

however, despite the minor setbacks and all the extra effort/work we have to do...we are pulling together as a company to honor the hard work of our missing company member and the integrity of the work we will present. again, this is just another horrible reality of the lives as a dance artist. our bodies have limits, and sometimes our bodies want (or don't want) to do things as they see fit. so if they decide to break down on us, we just have to roll with the punches....such is the life of a professional dancer. bad in writing the blog yesterday, i wondered why blogspot was prompting me to create a "look" for the blog, name the hyperlink, etc. so today, i get an email from Claire Horn, our wonderful marketing and PR wonderwoman, asking why i created an entirely new blog? to be honest, i didn't know i did that. so my bad! anyway, i tried to copy and paste everything...but isn't working as i here is a hyperlink to yesterday's blog (from our "new" blog).

Thursday, March 25, 2010

CORE's week

CORE has a bunch of great stuff in Houston this week. (So no class till Apr. 5 those of you in ATL who like to come take it with them here.)
Tonight, Mar. 25, 5-10 p.m. is Cultured Cocktails, presented by Spacetaker at Boheme with proceeds going to CORE. The dancers will be present around 5:30-7:30 p.m. so please come out to meet them and support the company!
This weekend on Friday through Sunday they perform at the Bayou City Art Festival "Point, well taken..." a new site-specific piece created for several sites on the festival grounds at Memorial Park. They begin just before 2 p.m. in front of the HAA stage and move on from there. And if you want to take photos of the dancers or with them as they move between sites, we'd love to see them on our Facebook fan page! You can post them to our wall and the ones we like a lot will be used in upcoming e-news or emails!

Monday, March 22, 2010


today corian gave a fantastic class complete with killer tunes, new movement ideas, and ......... choreography from the new lady gaga video, telephone!!!! so much fun! we will be heading to houston tomorrow (no atlanta class until april 5th) for bayou city art festival performances. today we have been polishing up our performance plans for bcaf and doing some costume scheming. so if you are around the houston area, come out to bcaf to check us out! happy spring and snow...oh atlanta.

Friday, March 19, 2010

formally introducing

Here we have former CPC company member, now artistic associate, passing on her knowledge to new affiliate, Joanna Futral.

so i mentioned earlier this week that we have welcomed two artistic affiliates into the company to take kim's roles in some rep. without further adieu we have some pictures of the affiliates in the studio doin what they do...breathing new life into an already established piece.

here we have Sharon C. Sibley taking on kim's paper dress solo for Tus Pasos Encontrados. Sharon has just started working the solo in high heels...that is some treacherous, but fierce work!

then we have Joanna Futral who is taking on kim's role in Cumulus, and you can see her in one of the following pictures being lifted by blake.

and now a word from....

and now, a word from Teresa Chapman on her dance "Caught"

"I'm thrilled to put this piece back together with it's original cast! Some dances are easily reconstructed on new dancers while others are fun to rework for different performers. But THIS piece was built for these particular dancers with their strengths and personalities in mind. Alex, Corian and Kristi create these totally unique characters on stage that no one else could possibly duplicate! "

this dance is definately a fun task to undertake! it is more than a dance, it is a performance! it was created about 2 years ago for three dancers and a chair. what is most interesting is that as a performer, and we (teresa, kristi, corian and i) have all talked about it, we don't know what the dance is about. there are definately dark undertones to this dance that force the audience to think and come up with a story for them. told in a very non-linear fashion...i refer to the dance as a traditional "who done it?" that is where the chair comes into play. all of the performers make reference, and even dance with, on, in, above, etc. this ominous chair that sits on stage left (to use technical terms) throughout the dance.

another fun undertaking is trying to recapture the energy and vigor with which we move throughout the piece. even though it was only 2 years ago, i feel like a very different dancer. in discussion with corian about this whole phenomenon, we have let go of the sharp attack of our early years of dancing for a more luscious, almost indulgent way of moving. however, just because i choose not to move like that anymore, i know that i am still capable; if i was able to do it once, i can do it again.

besides the physical challenges of the dance, teresa touched on how we each created characters for this piece. each section highlights a particular performer technically and theatrically. we each have our individual story that influences our role (as a character) in the dance. to this day we each have different interpretations as to what the chair means, and who is the person who belongs there. this is definately a dance that has to be fully lived in and fleshed out in order for the audience to get the full scope of how you can be affected by things you are caught by personally.

so come out to miller outdoor theater april 30th to see this piece and many others!

Our Dynamic Lunchtime

wow...already it is friday! what a week?!? yesterday we had our lunchtime in the studio and salon performances. lunchtime this week was focusing on our dynamic exchange program. Ms. Annette from Good Moves brought the young ladies that she has been working with to show us what they have been doing in the dynamic exchange program. i was inspired and filled with happiness watching these young women move because despite obvious language barriers (some of the newer girls to the program are refugees from various countries) they looked and performed with such consideration and joy. i was pleasantly surprised so see some of the girls exude such confidence and maturity, and i think that can be contributed to dancing.

Ms. Annette was a hoot, and reminded me of the "old-fashioned" dance teachers that give the kind of "tough love" and structure that most kids need...and is given to people through the arts. i was inspired because i have a personal connection to youth outreach through the arts. most of my early training didn't come from fancy studios, or world-renown came from a community arts center in houston. there i learned all the fundamentals of what i know today, paired with structure, passion, and nurturing. all it took was someone with a vision of providing art to kids who wouldn't necessarily have an outlet...and that gift is irreplaceable!

i especially think about the refugee girls, and what their personal stories are...and then i think about how healing art (especially dancing) can be. to put it simply, it is liberating. it provides kids with the ability to feel at ease with who they are becoming. i mentioned in my last blog about how some kids think it is uncool to be passionate about things like art, etc. i was once in that is easy to adopt the "herd mentality" and not stray from the status quo. so to see these young women have such self confidence, at their age, in the way they move makes me wonder how that will carry into other areas of their lives; even if they don't pursue anything artistic.

art can change lives, art can change the world...for the better. think about it...these young women who know nothing about one another (it was also their first time dancing together) personally and culturally, but they danced and laughed together as if they had known each other all their lives. also, they danced together...they took the time to connect with one another. that is what art can do...and to help change the world through art, to heal the world, and themselves...and maybe in the process, also change you and bring you joy!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

full house

recently, we've had a very full house here at Core. not only are there lots of people here, and all of us are working...but we are all working on different things. we have a little bit of everything...some veterans have come by (and will continue to come by) to help some of our newer members (that's right, i said NEWER members) learn some of the works in our current rep.

having said that i would like to give a big welcome to our new artistic affiliates: Sharon C. Sibley and Joanna Futral, both of whom are taking on Kim Kleiber's role in Alicia Sanchez's Tus Pasos and Beppie Blankert Cumulus, respectively. it is always nice to have new energy in the rehearsal space because it keeps us all on our toes, and both dancers bring a fresh approach and perspective to roles that we are pretty familiar with, from seeing them so much. also, the process of watching new people tackle these roles with such vigor and excitement is very refreshing, it adds a newness to both of those pieces.

because they are taking kim's roles, she (kim) spent this past friday with us, and will do the same this week. her return always makes me feel like home because all the old dynamics fall right back into if she never left. in addition to her visit friday, juana also spent some time with us with her baby boy (who is OH SO ADORABLE) Luke. so it is all kinds of good times in the studio...old and new faces, babies, and of course lots of dancing.

while everyone is working on those things, alicia and beppie's works, corian and i are working on remounting a trio choreographed by Teresa Chapman titled "Caught." this piece will be in our miller performance in april along with Blankert's Cumulus, and other work by various houston artists (including chapman). so stay tuned to find out what other stuff my go down in the's like a revolving door in here...even i don't know what will happen next. however, that's nothing new with me!

happy wednesday!

Monday, March 15, 2010

ATL Fieldwork begins and Lunchtime and Salon are both this Thursday!

Cores Adventures in North Carolina

Hey CPC blog readers...happy Monday to you all! So much has happened since the last time I blogged. I even lose blogger points because I was supposed to be the blogger for our time in Fayetteville, North Carolina...sorry. It was a really fun started off on a cold note because our flight was rescheduled for the evening (instead of the early 8 o'clock flight) due to possible snowy conditions; however, there was no snow, and it was a beautiful sunny morning that day, but the flight was already rescheduled.

So we ended up in North Carolina a day later, but we made the most of the trip. We did a lecture/demonstration performance twice a day for two different schools in the town. Our audience were kids from gifted and talented high school program in Fayetteville. Performing for high school students is a different challenge than performing for elementary kids because even if a high school kid likes the performance, sometimes liking art isn't exactly "cool."

On the whole, most of the kids (and schools) we performed for seemed to really enjoy everything, and they asked thoughtful, and appropriate questions. It is always refreshing to regain faith in the next generation. I remember being in school and choosing not to like certain presentations just because it was cool to seem so disinterested. So, I was pleasantly surprised when the students had a genuine interest in what our stories were (as dancers) and asked very articulate (and thoughtful) questions in regards to the work that we did. We took, and performed, an eclectic mix of work from our rep: Nature from Corazon, two sections from Alicia Sanchez's Tus Pasos, an excerpt from Polly Motley's Charmed Romantics, and lastly we showed what material we had from Sue Schroeder's newest work The Point.

Personally, I thought the lecture/demo performances were meant to not only show kids dance, but to teach them about the various aspects of modern (or contemporary dance) and then to encourage critical thinking of art. One of my favorite moments of the program came at the end when we would have our question and answer session. When the kids would ask what a particular dance meant, or asked if we could explain any of the dances to them; I would flip the questions and toss it back at them asking what they got from it all. I believe it was Corian that said it the best, "the beauty of modern (contemporary) dance is that it makes you use your an audience member, but also (and even more importantly) as a dancer." It forces us to be thinking, conscious performers...because if we don't bring something to the table, when the audience sits down they can just hop on the ride with us and experience something worthwhile...and not just check out. It is all about perspective anyway...and at the end of the day, it teaches the kids to sit up, pay attention, and eventually (hopefully) think for themselves.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Video and dance

Dance and art in general are always discovering new ways make thoughtful work. This sometimes calls for artists to work interdisciplinary in other fields of medium. Some of the great collaborations I recall is the Merce Cunningham and John Cage.

Collaboration can lead artists so many different direction. You can start with an idea and end up somewhere completely different. Collaborations can also deepen art and make it more accessible to a wider audience. Let's say you make a dance about nature. If you were to work with a videographer you could add the element of pictures and video taken of real life nature. You could actually bring the outside in and help evoke that atmosphere of walking though an exotic landscape.

That is exactly what we are doing today. AND MORE! We are working with New York based Maya Ciarrocchi who is a video and designer and installation artist. The whole studio is dark. We have blacked out all the windows to make it feel like a real theater. The scrim is up and being projected on as we speak.
What makes for such interesting images being projected is having the person taking the video and pictures here. We had the luxury of having Maya Fly down with the company to experience Chiapas. She then was able to turn it around and give a new prospective on Chiapas, Mexico and the Mayan Culture.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


We Ready...We ready....We ready....for y'all!

This week has been all about preparation. Here at the studios of Several Dancers Core, the dancers and the directors have been feverishly working. Tomorrow is our Lunchtime/Salon Series in which we will be tackling questions of art and art making. (Oh and there is free food!)

Next week we will be out of town in North Carolina doing shows at high schools around fayetteville! If you know anyone around the area give them our number! The more people to support Core; the better!

Other than that, we are also preparing for our MAD festival concert, which is February 27 and 28....There are lots of opportunities around ATL to get your art on! Come and see us!


Wednesday, February 03, 2010


February 3

Today we had a special guest John Hardesty accompany our class.
It is always a nice balance to have dance accompanied with live music.

We are moving forward with The Point and are finding interesting connections with one another in individual segments and group interactions.

We leave this afternoon to head up past Blue Ridge for a retreat focused on strategic planning for the upcoming season: SDC's 30th Anniversary... wow.

We will be nestled in the mountains discussing and planning with Core Performance Company members, SDC Staff and some Houston and Atlanta Board Members.
Hopefully we will strategically plan for an exciting future.

Have an inspiring rest of the week and a beautiful weekend.

Monday, February 01, 2010


Yay for Mondays

We are constructing and deconstructing phrase material today.
Claire and Blake are reviewing their duet as Corian and Alex are creating their duet.

Earlier we improvised using "go and withdraw" we are still searching for a "name" for this particular assignment. Basically, we start at a distance, meet at a particular point in space finding a moment, leave the moment to begin the process again. We repeat until we find the moment in its true essence.

Today process is what I think the POINT is... because where/what would dance be if it did not live in process.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

holy thursday!!!!

is anyone else noticing how the month of january has just flown by? i can hardly believe it is thursday! tomorrow we have 3 school shows of Loco-Motion in Woodstock, GA. we have to be up and at patton's condo by 7 in the morning and then we leave by 7:05 (did i mention i'm not a morning person?)! so today we had class with "the Schro" (or Sue), followed by a run of Polly Motley's piece "Charmed Romantics," then we ran the school show with all the recent additions. i'm learning that the longer you keep things in rep, or keep dances in rotation, the more difficult it is, because you have to keep making it new and fresh every time. it definitely keeps you on your toes...hehe, did i just make a dance joke? any-who, maryjane left us halfway through the day...she may be working with gloATL...or maybe she is out finding a way to make world peace happen...she was we did more "Point" work without her.

corian and i revisited a duet that Sue started working on back in can check out the video of the duet from the last blog in october...the halloween edition of the blog! so while we were busy putting that together...claire and blake began working on a "stop and freeze" assignment. i believe, they had to invent various lifts and then hold them. when it came time to show Sue the progress thus far, she informed us that we would be putting these two duets together and making a quartet; however, we would be combining the two assignments (of the duet phrase-ology AND the stop and freeze). so within the structure of this duet, we have to find moments to make we will see how that shapes up.

so that is just a snippet of what blake and claire's stop/freeze work was...with some direction/input from Sue. i always find it fascinating to watch contact work, because it is truly a skill to do partnering and make it look effortless and smooth. that is the trick of doing partnering: fooling the audience into thinking it is just a "walk in the park." so here is the beginning stages of getting partnerwork to that point...haha, another dance joke...point, get it???

oh and just for is a video of an adagio taught in one of blake's classes...i found it while downloading videos from the camera. hope you enjoy...this is an oldie, but a goodie! peace out...alex

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

for the children part 2

so change of plans....due to maryjane not being here we have changed the agenda for the day. we are postponing "point work" until tomorrow. now we are watching the video of the MFAH (Museum of Fine Arts Houston) Corazon performance...there is a more recent phantom video that has up to date edits, so that we have Corazon material ready for our residency in North Carolina, and for our intense Corazon work period. we have so many school shows to gear up for...the North Carolina residency is mostly for high school kids, so we have to find, revisit, and remount things that we have in rep (such as polly, corazon, and maybe some tus pasos work). unfortunately our brains only hold so much choreography! that is when we turn to modern conveniences to help...

video watching is a good tool when collectively we cannot remember all the changes to a particular dance...i will say, that it makes me sleepy. especially since i'm already sleepy. i think it is the wednesday energy. however, this is the life. sometimes we have to rely on technology to jumpstart your brain. what did dancers, choreographer, etc do when they didn't have video, or dvds? i guess that is where Laban Movement stuff comes in handy...or just having an amazing photographic memory.

hehe...there is talk in the studio that maryjane organized the videos, hopefully she knows where this infamous "recent recording" of the Corazon material is located. is time for a meeting...just like a regular job.

happy wednesday folks!

for the children

hello again my internet friends (hopefully we are also friends in real life) is alex here again as the blogger for the week. as we know, last week was our first official week back here at CPC...and this is now our second week back, and i for one am already tired and drained. many of us performed in The Dance Project this past weekend and in the I.C.E. showcase (referenced in last week's blog). the shows went well...but when you perform 6 times in the span of 4 takes a toll on your body and energy level.

that being said, we are gearing up for a performance this coming friday in Woodstock, GA to perform our children's show Loco-motion! the past two work days (monday and today), we have had a guest director, Priscilla Smith, come in to give us some outside feedback to help with the flow of the upcoming performance. each of us really dug deep to find a character that would better suit the mood of the children's show. if you have ever performed for children, you know that it is a tricky situation. kids are brutally honest, and it is our job as performers to keep them engaged, entertained, and learning...and that is no easy feat!

now we are on our lunch break...i'm still a little hungry, i think i'm craving a cookie (like claire)...mmmmmm, a chocolate chip cookie would be ideal...but anyway, we are one company member down...maryjane had another obligation, so we will continue rehearsing The Point this afternoon. i'm excited to see what kind of assignments we will be given today to help "point" us in the right direction (i love my cheesy jokes)...

Friday, January 22, 2010

workshop with allen pittman

well hello there. it is friday and we are getting back into the swing of things after coming back earlier this week from a winter break. today we are running rep and working in the studio with sue on our work in progress, the point. but yesterday we had a guest, allen pittman, come to our studio to give a workshop. he integrated concepts about human and animal evolution and development of motor skills from infancy through adulthood. allen also thought us some egyptian yoga postures, breath work, and mediation techniques. we explored the context and power of social gesture and body stance as performers. it was a wonderful, varied, and comprehensive workshop open to the public as well.

in addition to the work we are doing in the studio with Several Dancers Core...many of us are performing this weekend at 7 Stages in The Dance Project presented by Staibdance and Greg Catalier (George Staib and Greg Catalier are both Emory University professors). Corian, Alex, and Claire are in the performance...and they are also involved in the Independent Choreographer Exchange (I.C.E.) at 7 Stages as well. The Dance Project runs tonight (Friday) and Saturday at 8, and Sunday at 3...and the I.C.E. showcase is Saturday 3 and Sunday evening at 7pm. for more information call 7 Stages at (404)523-7647.

Mary Jane is also working with gloATL on their upcoming project Bloom, a site specific performance at Lenox Mall February 12th at 7, and the 13th and 14th at 4 pm. This is a free please come support dance in the atlanta metro area.

also, other projects the company members have coming up are more choreographic endeavors by Blake Dalton and Corian Ellisor....but more on that later.

back to business and rehearsal....
soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ttyl

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Weeee're BAAAAck!

After a month-long hiatus, CPC started back with class and rehearsals for the remainder of the 2009/2010 season.

Company Manager D. Patton White taught class this morning (yes, I did just refer to myself in the third person), and structured the class to encourage a fair amount of improvisation both at the individual and partner levels. We had a visitor, Terry, who was one of our Fieldwork participants last Fall.

The company jumped back into development work on The Point, with Sue Schroeder directing the dancers through many more improvisations.

During Checkouts, when everyone shares what they have experienced during the rehearsal, Alex shared that he really enjoyed a particular improv moment when he was cradling Claire's head in his hands.