Rebecca Allen is a professional mover who spent 15 years dancing in Nashville with contemporary dance company New Dialect before moving back home to New Orleans. She's currently earning her MFA in the Tulane dance department; however, her clay practice earned her a simultaneous studio in the ceramics department for parallel movement and material research.
We met performing in an improvisation-based dance piece developed by Ann Glaviano last year and connected on an interest in the conversation between movement and material. Her remarkable presence, freedom and subtlety as an improvisor are also fascinating to watch.
Recently, we met for our second-ever jam of movement and materials in her clay studio. We set a timer and explored the space with our preferred tools, me more focused on mark-making while moving and Rebecca on sculptural/movement questions.
A dynamic evolved of her creating constraints for me as I tried to draw - taping me to the floor or wall, cutting planes across the space, tearing a surface I was drawing on. As a result, my lines were re-framed constantly as I created them. The game forced me to experiment with different distances from my substrate, different body positions and uses of grips and gravity, and even stirred some antagonistic play to inhibit Rebecca's movement in return.
It generated a variety of line and broke some habits that needed breaking. Until next jam.
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