he moves like the ocean

he moves like the ocean

he moves like the ocean is a project based around the way my oldest son, Alvah, moves when he plays. In March of 2018 this project was first performed at Performance Works NW. It includes video, audio, drawings, dance and music. It is returning to be performed twice in February.

Saturday, February 15 at 8 pm
Sunday, February 16 at 3 pm
Performance Works Northwest: 4625 SE 67th Ave, Portland, Oregon 97206
More info to come.

How it works is I invite 6 performers to be part of it, 3 musician + 3 dancers. I pair a musician and dancer together and give them the same short video of my son at play. They both spend time with the clip, the musician thinking how they would score that clip, the dancer how they would embody and perform that movement and on at the performance, they improvise together based on what they each took from the same clip. 

This work is rooted in my experience as a parent watching other people see my son but not understand. He is a neurodivergent person and how he moves and plays is deeply rooted in how his brain works. He lives in his imagination. He wouldn’t say that this movement is play, he would say it is him telling stories in his head. He isn’t always aware of the way he is moving. To me, it is beautiful and I became deeply interested in finding a way for others to see and experience his movement the way I do. He is woven throughout the project, he has an active say in ever step of it, including allowing me to bring it back and have it performed again. 

This was first performed in 2018 by dancers Danielle Ross, Claire Barrera and Mike Barber and musicians Stephanie Levon Trotter, Reed Wallsmith and Tim DuRoache. You can read about that performance here.

The work includes large scaled drawings made while I was in residence with Spread Art in Detroit in 2016. You can see those drawings here.

Here is a short video summary of the first performance:

You can click here to see the whole performance.

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