Monday, June 1, 2015


For the improv games in the dance museum, we made up a playlist of all sorts of summery and delightful songs. Some are old favorites that we've used before, and some are new finds that I've picked up over the last coupla months.

We thought you might be interested in checking them out!


Here's a link to a playlist of all the songs on Spotify: PLAYLIST!


And here are links to them on youtube in case that's what you're into:

Cayucos by Cayucas (our opening song)

Whistle by Sporto Kantes (our closing song)

Gasoline by Alpine (video with modern dancers!)

All the Time by Bahamas

Caught Me Thinking by Bahamas

We Are Golden by Mika

Waiting by the Telephone by Bleached

Parentheses by The Blow

Take the Kids Off Broadway by Foxygen

Koop Island Blues by Koop (also in this Dear Move entry)

Come to Me by Koop

Hydra Fancies by Of Montreal

Bill Murray by Gorillaz

You Came Out of a Lady by Rubblebucket

And here is a picture of what we looked like after dancing to all these songs multiple times right in the burning sun!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

DANCE MUSEUM - improv games!

Meghan and her very professional sign.
First of all, we wanted to give a humongous thank you to everybody that made the Dance Museum possible yesterday! We feel very lucky that we live in a place where we get to know people that share our enthusiasm for bringing dance into casual environments out in the world. My heart is especially warmed by all the dancers we know that don't just love dance, and who pour an amazing amount of energy and time into their practice of dance, but who have so much FUN with dance.

Tara, flying.

We went into the event yesterday with only a very general plan -- Luminarium had a bunch of games they would play over the course of the event here and there, Kara and Tara had a series of 3 related pieces that they would repeat twice, Gracie and Natalie from Nozama had a piece, Amy and I had a piece, and I had a bunch of short improv structures that I would pop in here and there, that could be played by both our dancers and audience members. There was no set order. Instead, Amy and I would feel the vibe and plan the next one or two dances as the evening went along.

Gracie (center) and Tara (right), joined by lots of audience members!

Matt came along and took tons and tons of pictures, so stay tuned for those!!

Here are some of the games that we played!



I borrowed/modified this game from Lauren Simpson, who once performed in my backyard! In this game, everybody stands in a big group. You pick either one or two people. Your goal is to stay the same distance from the people you chose. So if they move, you move. As the game went on, I asked the participants to switch who they were following a few times. You can also add rules such as, you have to stay low, you have to move very slowly, you have to choose a particular body part rather than a full person, and so on. We had quite a few audience members join in, and they seemed to have fun!


We did this twice -- once, it was just Natalie and Gracie and me, and the next time we had a whole big group, including some audience members.

One person starts in front of the group and makes up a simple dance move. They repeat that one move, and everybody else does, too, over and over. When another person in the group feels ready, they run to the front and add a second move. They repeat the two moves over and over, until a third person runs to the front and adds their own move to the end. We did this for the length of a 4 minute song, and ended up with about 8 moves, created by trained dancers and audience members alike!


This is a new idea I've been working on. I was originally developing it with Scott Danek who was going to play some very minimal music while this happened.

You start standing and try to stay absolutely still. Wait to feel how your body naturally sways (sometimes this is easier with your eyes closed). Instead of correcting the sways to stay standing, follow them. They will gradually bring your body lower. Also pay attention to one other natural force in your body -- your breath. When you breathe in, let the breath bring your body higher up, and when you breathe out, feel how that brings you lower. In my experience, you end up lying on the ground in about 7-10 minutes. I think it would be cool to present in a gallery setting, and have 3 or 4 dancers start in different positions.


This was very simple! You either walk, or copy a movement or pose that you see somebody around you doing -- be they an audience member or another performer.


To close out the show, we put on a fun song and bopped around! No rules, just dance.

Saturday, May 30, 2015


Hi everybody!!

Today's the day! Back in January or so, we emailed the Somerville Arts Council about running another DANCE MUSEUM through their UnionArts initiative, and they said yes! Then in February we picked a date that seemed like a million years in the future - May 30th - but it turns out that after only a few months, May 30th actually exists and is happening right right now! And not only does it exist, but the skies are blue and the air is warm.

Come by Union Square (like, right in the square, smack dab in the plaza) and check out these dancers who will be performing:

Tyler Catanella*
Kara Fili
Nikki Girroir*
Merli V. Guerra*
Kimberleigh A. Holman*
Amy Mastrangelo*
Gracie Novikoff+
Jarid Polite*
Natalie Schiera+
Ellie Valliere
Tara Weaver

*Luminarium Dance Company

+Nozama Dance Collective

Friday, May 15, 2015

Friday Tunez!

So I watched a cute little movie that I would have never known about if it weren't for the "Recommended for You" section of Amazon. I like my movies light; I like my movies fluffy; I like my movies girly and predictable, and so enter "Lola Versus." It wasn't fantastic, it wasn't terrible, but the soundtrack was pretty great. So great, I'm struggling even now, trying to decide which song to share from it.

Ooooooooookay, it's gotta be Ani.

Here's Ani DeFranco with "Both Hands." The scene in the movie in which it plays is pretty cute; tangibly and painfully awkward, but in a delightful way.

I'm including a studio version, but like all things's worth tracking down a live version. OH WAIT HERE'S ONE NOW.

Man, everything that is awesome about can see it in her face. I love it.

It's a great song. By a great artist. Off a great soundtrack...but don't look it up just yet so I can feature more songs from it and you'll all think I'm poetic and deep.



Saturday, May 9, 2015

Calamity #9 - here are some pics!

We had SO MUCH FUN at Calamity #4! There were a lot of Calamity newbies, both on the stage and in the crowd. Aeronaut Brewing Co was an amazing host. Beer does seem to make people a little more enthusiastic about modern dance. And my goodness! There were just so goshdarn many people there. Thank you to everybody for coming and making it such a special night.

Here are some pics of the many wonderful performers. If you want more, there are about a million in this album on facebook.

Thanks so very much to Matt McKay for taking all these amazing pictures.

Gabi, being a divine presence.

Dr. Bones about to get locked up.