Plié. Bridge. Repeat. on exhibition at Project Project in Omaha, Nebraska in October 2022.
A plié is the first exercise a dancer will do every day at the barre to warm up. Translated from French, plié means “to bend” and it is used as an exercise to loosen muscles and develop balance and is also employed in jumps and turns to provide spring and absorb shock. The bridge is a deep backbend that helps improve spinal mobility and posture while strengthening the core. It is an energy-boosting pose that also stretches your chest and lungs. Each of these common exercises are performed in ways similar to how I experience the routines and transition points in my own studio practice. There are points at which I experiment with materials, engaging a loose mind open to various chance observations while at other points I experience the same intensity of the seemingly simple bridge exercise bringing awareness to my body’s limitations and strength levels.
Plié. Bridge. Repeat. makes connections to the linear and spatial movement of the body as this show exhibits work exploring similar interactions seen in movement and light. Some of the works in this show are gestures operating as quick, habitual “warm-ups” from my studio practice while other works are more intensive dissections of movement and structure. With this exhibition, I had the chance to make connections between different bodies of work while calling on my continual research studying the work of dancers and choreographers including Oskar Schlemmer, Merce Cunningham, Deborah Hay, and Misty Copeland. Looking into the lives and work of these icons of dance while also catching a personal glimpse into the dance world attending workshops put on by Omaha’s own modern dance company, tbd.dance collective, I immersed myself in the study of both the structure and fluidity of the body, acquiring a deep admiration for how the body moves and what it is capable of. Merce Cunningham referred to dance as “a moving image of life” – articulate, intelligent, and passionate. In a similar way, I see drawings as a documentation of how the artist experiences the world around them. Whether a drawing takes the form of graphite on paper, a projected video, or even a performance, all drawings exist as a site for the artist to map their thinking and seeing through lines and shapes.