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Artist Statement

I tend to go inward and use my body as a teller of shareable, relatable truths. To be in-quiet, to wander, or meander, to yell, to rave, to settle in an action and repeat, these are the avenues that currently feed my practice.

 

My research and work tends to center on identity through plurality and abundance. As an artist I identify as a dancer, choreographer, digital investigator, director, curator and educator; I intentionally embody these various professional roles in a commitment to experience and be in process with the varied perspectives of dance practice that ebb forward and recede back as needed.

 

My choreography is deeply informed by responsive, collaborative practices. I am “trained” in classical dance forms of Balanchine, Horton and Limon, all of which are complicated by the institutional bio-political structures of their time; yet in the past they have offered me structure and strength. Now, in generating movement, I tend to complicate or corrupt these forms. I use dense choreographed phrases in combination with improvisational movement tasks to build works that regenerate and reanimate upon themselves. 

 

I am caught between the human body as specimen and my own conditional body defined by personal history, societal implications and my physical manifestation. I acknowledge that the body is not separate from the emotional, spiritual and self-awareness of the person I am. The work my collaborators and I create, materializes through colliding roles as makers, performers, and audience; making me invariably dependent on the people (the bodies, emotions, and awareness) of those who are in a shared performance space.  My investigations have, in the last seven years, found roots in identity, particularly multiplicity— a plurality of self that has come into kaleidoscopic focus.

 

My interdisciplinary work is rooted in Identity and Multiplicity- I believe everyone embodies a plurality of self that manifests through a kaleidoscopic experience.  Identity and multiplicity can alway be abstracted; distorted and challenged; my research and interdisciplinary dance works use abstraction to remix the themes of identity as a way to claim ownership of what and the various who(s) we can be within our imaginative potential. This spring of potential ultimately leads to the acceptance of self and by proxy the acceptance of others. An approach to making work through “the many me’s” has created a sense of plurality in me that manifests in experiential abundance. 

 

When moved to begin a new project, I usually get a feeling for a piece, before I understand the concepts or the context. The beautiful thing about feelings, is that they can be complicated and multilayered, —even clear—before becoming specific. When developing  a work, moving forward with that feeling is the driver and then, collaboration becomes necessary to my practice. Because of the complicated, multilayered, and clear-while-un-specific nature of feelings, having conversations and artistic exchange in an attempt to create the work, helps uncover clarity and specificity for the work. All the people who come into a process with me tend to explore a feeling and develop concepts with me; reading, writing, drawing and dancing through an idea are not unusual acts, even if these are not their mediums.

 

In this way the works my collaborators and I create tend to push the physical and cognitive limits of the performers. As a director I am interested in situating performers, whether it’s myself or a group of dancers through a cyclical process of movement, that is paired with listening and openness. I am interested in performers being able to respond to ‘in the moment’ suggestions with spontaneity and commitment.

 

When it comes to interdisciplinary performance, there are few female, Dominican-American choreographers in the conversation/canon. I hope to change that. Yes, I create work through my Latina experience, but, like Miguel Gutierrez, I assert: abstraction does not belong to white people. I am wholly invested in making contemporary, abstract, interdisciplinary dance work for nontraditional spaces that can be rooted in identity. 

 

I use the dichotomies of self, form/choreography in relationship with improvisation to make works that value and imbue the ultimate humanistic experiences, a sense of belonging and serenity in our impermanence.  My works are a way for me to investigate and share a world that is rich with possibility and acceptance.

Sid Ceasar
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Short Biography

I am a Dominican American dance artist who choreographs. I have performed and toured with Brian Brooks, Peter Kyle, iKapa, and Stefanie Batten Bland, among others. I received my MFA in Digital and Interdisciplinary Art Practice from City College of New York. My professional affiliations include being artistic advisor for Judson Memorial Church Arts, writer for the Gibney Journal, curator for STUFFED Arts and associate special programs curator for the Museum of Modern Art in the Judson Dance Theater: The Work is Never Done exhibition. I believe in challenging presentational spaces and creating large scale dance performances that engender a sense of impermanence and belonging; the spiritual and the corporeal. In the last three years I have received Ballet Hispanico’s Instituto Coreografico residency, and Alvin Ailey’s New Directions Choreography Lab residency.  Other awards and projects include, a Faculty Student Research Grant from The University of Maryland, a City Corps Artist Grant, and 5 Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Creative Engagement grants. I have received an UpStream Residency from Kaatsbaan International Dance Center and created a new work through a Dance Initiative Residency at The LaunchPad in CO. Additionally I received a Dance Spoleto Residency Award from La MaMAaTheater to present a new work in Spoleto, Italy.  As of fall 2023, I am Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina- Greensboro, where I teach contemporary forms, ballet, choreography/composition, and dance as a digital practice. In the past I have danced with Brian Brooks, Stefanie Batten BlandPeter Kyle and Helen Simoneau. I often work with my friend Madeline Hollander and David NorsworthyI am invested in creating and presenting collaborative dance productions.

Sid Ceasar

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