ARTIST SPOTLIGHT 10: KATHLEEN KELLEY
Get to know Kathleen Kelley, choreographer and dancer, and 10 of 12 presented artists during our upcoming performance series, Volume VI, Issue I. from March 11 to 13, 2016. Kathleen's "Unstable Artifacts" analyzes the instability of the body within and through digitized relationships. Learn more about Kathleen on our Artist Spotlight and see her work in Program 03: Distorting The Frame + Program 04: Sound Score.
Three words that Describe your Choreography
Layered, Digitized, Ritualistic
Kathleen Kelley is a choreographer, performer, and dance filmmaker who serves as an Assistant Professor at Montclair State University in New Jersey. She received her BFA from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and her MFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her choreography has been shown at venues across the US, including the Center for Performance Research, The Tank, Brick Theatre, John Ryan Theater, Triskelion Arts, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Chez Bushwick, Dance New Amsterdam, Movement Research Open Performance, and the Dance Complex in Boston. As a performer, Kathleen has performed internationally with choreographers such as Deganit Shemy and Mei Yin Ng.
About Kathleen's Creative Process
I usually begin by exploring formal questions and using these as improvisational structures to create content. I then create phrases from improv and pull inspiration from moving in and out of images and references. I draw heavily from the dancers and their specific energies. For this work, I was interested in playing with a trio to create unique relationship structures as well as the dancer as subject vs object; the body as the prime story teller vs the object which to project the story on.
Do you work in other mediums other than dance/performance?
I work a lot in digital media, most specifically video in addition to live performance. I started working with video during my MFA program because I didn’t have access to performers to work with as much as I wanted, so I would take videos and spend hours editing them. It gave me a deeper understanding of rhythm, composition, and texture. The level of detail you can control in film editing really excites me. I currently work in video, projections, installations and other media, sometimes with dance/performance and sometimes on its own.
What is one of your most memorable moments of an artist, thus far?
I made this installation work called “not there/not this” in 2011. As part of the work, each audience member spent 10 minutes alone in a room that had all kinds of props and suggestive media: video, a sculpture I had made, a polaroid camera, music, yarn, pillows, paper, string, etc. They were instructed to spend the 10 minutes however they wished. When I came into the room at the end of the night it had been utterly transformed, full of a kind of creative pulsing energy that had been shared and contributed to by each member of the audience. It was gorgeous and humbling to see the environment I set up mutate and evolve through the eyes and hands of others.
What does the dance/performance world need more of? Less of?
More: big ideas, small opportunities, integration with the virtual world of the internet, connections with each other and with people outside of the field.
Less: boundaries between high/low art, uptown/downtown, concert dance/performance art, etc.
What’s the best space for making dance, and why?
I’m currently a 2015-2016 LEIMAY Fellow at CAVE Organization in Williamsburg. I love the studio there. It feels like home, and the supportive environment of the Fellowship program is amazing.
Name three artists that you admire, and a small description why.
Tere O’Connor for thinking big about the capacity of dance to engage in the world we live in, for blowing me away with each new piece he creates, and for his rigor in investigating form, meaning-making, rhythm, and structure in a contemporary practice. Sarah Rose Nordgren (poet) for being my best friend and art partner for 16 years, for writing poems that live in my bones, and for making collaborations with me that push us both into unfamiliar territory. Loie Fuller for being the first dance technologist, for being an inventor and innovator as well as an entertainer, and for taking actual life-or-death risks to reach her aesthetic goals.