no clean lines—but maybe some lovely traces left in the universe

photo by Julie Lemberger, julielemberger.com
 Last week, Trina Mannino’s warm and beautifully written review came out on the Dance Enthusiast’s website. It is adorned by Julie Lemberger’s beautiful photos of the dance.

Read it here:

http://www.dance-enthusiast.com/features/view/Rebecca-Alson-Milkman

Secondly, the occasion of the show motivated me to contact Eliza Factor, founder of Extreme Kids & Crew, a play space and community center for children with disabilities and their families in Red Hook, Brooklyn. I had been hearing about Eliza, her son Felix, and her work in the disability community for many years while out in LA from her brother, Swig Miller. So I reached out to her in my effort to extend the audience for the show beyond the circle of my son’s school to other institutions in the field of special needs. Not only has meeting her and getting familiar with her writing been an enriching experience, but I am honored that Extreme Kids & Crew has decided to give me a “Felix Award” this May for my work curating and producing “No Clean Lines” and in particular choreographing “no clean lines in the drying concrete.”

 The Press Release for the Felix awards describes them as, “Extreme Kids & Crew’s antidote to the Oscars, celebrate the juncture of disability, creativity, art, and illuminating thought.  Each year we highlight an artist or writer whose work explores inclusive, unpredictable ways of expressing and celebrating the messiness of humanity.” Past honorees/presenters include: Rosanne Cash, Karen Pittman, Maysoon Zayid, and Andrew Solomon. It’s extremely flattering to be put in this company of artists, and gratifying to have such a warm welcome into the world of people making artwork about differing abilities.

In the meantime, read Eliza Factor’s blog about her experience of the show, and a brief interview she did with me about disability:

http://brokenandwoken.blogspot.com/

And then read her other entries, too, which bring careful consideration and elegant prose to a variety of issues surrounding disability.


​photo by Julie Lemberger, julielemberger.com
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no clean lines in the drying concrete at Triskelion Arts

Not surprisingly, my work of the last several years has been greatly influenced by my introduction to the world of atypical development and mixed abilities and the complex societal position I find myself in as a person negotiating lifelong difference. Dance, as a body-based medium, has seemed an obvious place for me to explore some of these very physical experiences, and to explore some of the emotion that has come along with it.

I am in the process of completing one of the pieces that has come out of these explorations and am producing a show that has been built around it: no clean lines in the drying concrete will be shown at The Muriel Shulman Theater at Triskelion Arts on Feb 11 and 12, 2016 at 8PM.

option3 sepiano clean lines in the drying concrete translates the psychological state of living in the in-between into movement tasks mapped onto the dance space. Dancers Donna Costello, Jamie Graham and Alexis Steeves transition athletically, exhaustingly through solo, duet and trio as they navigate physical and spatial challenges, and their relationships to each other. The dancing occurs in carefully bordered zones, then sometimes spirals beyond those borders and coalesces into sections that emphasize subtle timing, rhythmic shifts and gentle, deep listening. Multiple group snapshots emerge and accrete to form an evolving family portrait of individuals trying to connect through hidden difference and quiet trauma.

Since the work is not quite a full evening in length, I looked to fill out the show with pieces by other choreographers. And because I am dipping my toe into the world of choreographing about atypical development and special needs, it was important to me to curate an evening that would approach that subject matter in a few ways.

I am honored that renowned LA-based choreographer Victoria Marks has agreed to contribute a solo she made for dancer Alexx Shilling. Marks has been creating work in the field of mixed ability for many years, often choreographing for companies which include typically able-bodied dancers, dancers in wheelchairs and dancers with prostheses. These dances are elegant and bold and ask the viewer to question their own assumptions about beauty and accomplishment.  The piece she is contributing to the show in January comes from a more personal place, her experience as a mother of a son on the autism spectrum. In her own words, “Tourette Floret was initially constructed using my son’s tics. I have added a few of my own. This piece was made with his permission.”

Alyssa Gersony is a young choreographer who is going into the field of Orientation and Mobility/Vision Rehabilitation, and whose artistic mission is to share stories and raise awareness of disability rights through the experience of performance.  I have invited her to show this place with the pretty-sounding name – a palimpsest of sounds, bodies, politics and events influenced by the personal and historical accounts of the tenure and subsequent deinstitutionalization of the Willowbrook State School.

Together, Marks, Gersony and I represent three generations of choreographers making work about atypical neurological experience or special needs from three different perspectives.

The practical information is below.

Rebecca Alson-Milkman

Rebecca Alson-Milkman presents no clean lines in the drying concrete at The Muriel Shulman Theater at Triskelion Arts. With dancer/collaborators Donna Costello, Jamie Graham and Alexis Steeves, original score by Aaron Drake and design by Piper Mavis.  With guest choreographers Victoria Marks and Alyssa Gersony. Feb 11-12, 2016, 8PM.  $14 in advance, $16 at the door.

venue page: http://www.triskelionarts.org/#!rebecca-alson-milkman/ljh87

facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1646399548975093/

tickets: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2475523

 

The Surveillance Solos at the Santa Cruz Fringefest

The time has come! This evening marks the opening night of the Surveillance Solos at the Santa Cruz Fringe Festival. The show will run all weekend long, so come check us out and spread the word!

Thursday July 19 at 6:30pm
Friday July 20 at 7pm
Saturday July 21 at noon
Saturday July 21 at 9pm
Sunday July 22 at 3:30pm

Motion at the Mill
131 Front Street Suite E
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Get your tickets at:
http://www.santacruzfringefestival.com/index.php/tickets/by-artist/item/18-rebecca-alson-milkman*

In addition to performing at the SC Fringefest, I am also teaching a workshop.

A Re-Education of the Body:
the work of Barbara Mahler grounded in the principles of Klein Technique

Motion at the Mill
131 Front Street, Suite E
Santa Cruz 95060

Friday July 20, 11-1
$20

A Re-Education of the Body is a way to explore one’s capacity to move, bringing insight into the workings of one’s body. It brings efficiency, increased facility, and creativity. The work done in class facilitates process, and from the openness to process comes an openness to the wealth of options we often overlook – in our work, in our lives, in ourselves.

In this class, we aim at releasing the muscles so we can get down to the deepest tissue, the bone. When the bones are aligned we become connected, we become powerful and strong. We align the bones by using the muscles most responsible for the transfer of forces through the body – the psoas, the hamstrings, the external rotators, and the pelvic floor. We do not work to “exercise” these muscle but rather to “wake them up”; to use them for support for and realignment of the bones. Movement, and the treatment of each individual student’s body, mind and spirit with kindness, respect and generosity is our ultimate goal. And finally and most importantly, the body does not exist alone but in connection to the ground, the space, and to others.

(taken from writings by Barbara Mahler and Susan Klein.)

**Please consider contributing to support this big undertaking and pay our incredibly talented people for the work they do: http://www.indiegogo.com/surveillancesolos?a=607443

The Surveillance Solos tickets now on sale!

Tickets are now on sale for the inaugural Santa Cruz Fringe Festival! The Surveillance Solos will be presented as a directors pick on the second week of the festival. It’s less than a month away and we’ve been hard at work in the studio. Check us out!

Thursday July 19 at 6:30pm
Friday July 20 at 7pm
Saturday July 21 at noon
Saturday July 21 at 9pm
Sunday July 22 at 3:30pm

Motion at the Mill
131 Front Street Suite E
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Click the link below to purchase tickets:

http://www.santacruzfringefestival.com/

Check out footage from the 2012 fundraiser party hosted by my dear friends Stew and Adam. Hear me talk a bit about the motivations for making the work, hear Adam talk about why you should support it, and get a sneak peak of Carol McDowell performing an excerpt from her solo. Thanks to Jesse Alson-Milkman who cut this video for your viewing pleasure.

May 20th Fundraiser

Support us! You can make a tax-deductible contribution to our indiegogo campaign. Any contribution, would be most appreciated.

www.indiegogo.com/surveillancesolos?a=607443

“Like” us on Facebook! Invite your friends to do so as well and post the indiegogo link on your Facebook pages.

 

The 2012 Santa Cruz Fringe Festival, Directors Pick:

“THE SURVEILLANCE SOLOS”

An Evening Length Dance-Theater Work by Rebecca Alson-Milkman July 19-22, 2012

“The Surveillance Solos,” an evening length dance-theater work by choreographer Rebecca Alson-Milkman, will be presented July 19-22 at Motion at the Mill, located at 131 Front Street Suite E, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, www.scfringe.com. Performances take place on:

Thurs July 19 at 6:30pm, Fri July 20 at 7pm, Sat July 21 at 12pm and 9pm, and Sun July 22 at 3:30pm.

Buy tickets at www.scfringe.com – $10/single tickets, $44/5 show package (can be shared), $75/10 show package (can be shared), $99/festival pass (one person only).

“In [The Surveillance Solos], all our actions matter, and the universe is not indifferent.  It is as if the smallest things we do become important, because they are registered by another person.”

-Victoria Marks

“Richly gestural, delicately nuanced, subtly subversive- The Surveillance Solos provokes questions about privacy, government control, and human contact. The work is patient, specific to its goals and performed beautifully by some of LA’s most revered dancers.”

 -Joel Smith, Political Moves Blogspot

Rebecca Alson-Milkman, a 2009 recipient of a Hothouse residency at UCLA and a 2007 recipient of a Silo Residency from DanceNOW/NYC, has had her work produced in a variety of festivals and venues in New York, Southern and Northern California including Deli Dances at Times Square, estrogenius at Manhattan Theatre Source, University Settlement, Access Theater, Anatomy Riot, Highways Performance Space, REDCAT Studio, CounterPULSE and Looking Left at Motion at the Mill. Rebecca has danced for Barbara Mahler, Stephan Koplowitz, Taisha Paggett, Carol McDowell and Cid Pearlman. She teaches A Re-Education of the Body: the work of Barbara Mahler grounded in the principles of Klein Technique. Rebecca holds a B.A. in Dance and Sociology from Wesleyan University and an M.F.A. in Dance and Choreography from UCLA.

The Surveillance Solos employ a combination of farce and stark honesty to question, in a world where so much information is easily accessible, just what can be considered private or intimate, and how quickly small deviations from “normal” behavior become suspicious. Four solos based on surveiling the quotidian habits of the dancers Carol McDowell, Taisha Paggett (performed by Brittany Brown), Christine Suarez and Ally Voye, intertwine and accrue meaning over the course of the evening, drawing the principal observing agent into the lives of her subjects until she is caught performing the motions she has studied. Additional performances by Rebecca Alson-Milkman and Justin Streichman. Festival lighting design by Pablo Santiago- Brandwein, graphic design by Katherine Quan, film by Ally Voye and sound design by Aaron Drake.

The Surveillance Solos at the Santa Cruz Fringe Festival

The Surveillance Solos will be presented as a director’s pick at the first annual Santa Cruz Fringe Festival!

The Surveillance Solos employ a combination of farce and stark honesty to question, in a world where so much information is easily accessible, just what can be considered private or intimate, and how quickly small deviations from “normal” behavior become suspicious. Four solos based on surveiling the quotidian habits of the dancers Carol McDowell, Christine Suarez and Ally Voye, intertwine and accrue meaning over the course of the evening, drawing the principal observing agent into the lives of her subjects until she is caught performing the motions she has studied. Additional performances by Rebecca Alson-Milkman. Original graphic design by Katherine Quan, film by Ally Voye and sound design by Aaron Drake.

Richly gestural, delicately nuanced, subtly subversive – Surveillance Solos provokes questions about privacy, government control, and human contact. The work is patient, specific to its goals and performed beautifully by some of LA’s most revered dancers.

                                                                              — Joel Smith, Political Moves Blogspot

Thurs July 19 at 6:30pm

Fri July 20 at 7pm

Sat July 21 at noon

Sat July 21 at 9:30

Sun July 22 at 3:30pm

Motion at the Mill

131 Front Street Suite E
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Tickets: http://www.scfringe.com/index.php/buy-tickets

For more information email: info@alsonmilkmandance.com

Re-Education of the Body workshops (TBA)

“Like” the Santa Cruz Fringe Festival on Facebook to learn more!

A Re-Education of the Body Spring Series!

I will be teaching a 6 week series of A Re-Education of the Body, Mahler/Klein technique. Don’t miss this special treat!

Wednesdays 11-1pm
April 18, 25
May 2, 9, 16 and 23

A Re-Education of the Body:
the work of Barbara Mahler grounded in the principles of Klein Technique

A Re-Education of the Body is a way to explore one’s capacity to move, bringing insight into the workings of one’s body. It brings efficiency, increased facility, and creativity.  The work done in class facilitates process, and from the openness to process comes an openness to the wealth of options we often overlook – in our work, in our lives, in ourselves.

In this class, we aim at releasing the muscles so we can get down to the deepest tissue, the bone. When the bones are aligned we become connected, we become powerful and strong. We align the bones by using the muscles most responsible for the transfer of forces through the body – the psoas, the hamstrings, the external rotators, and the pelvic floor. We do not work to “exercise” these muscle but rather to “wake them up”; to use them for support for and realignment of the bones. Movement, and the treatment of each individual student’s body, mind and spirit with kindness, respect and generosity is our ultimate goal. And finally and most importantly, the body does not exist alone but in connection to the ground, the space, and to others.

To learn more about Barbara Mahler and Klein Technique visit: http://barbaramahler.net/

For more information about class time and location call: (310) 429-5635 or e-mail: info@alsonmilkmandace.com