Window on the Work: March 1, 2011, Troy Dance Lab
Title: the body in lines
Director and Choreographer: Shavon Norris
Collaborators and Performers: Mina Estrada, C. Kemal Nance and Les Rivera
Sound Design: Mikaal Sulaiman
Choreographer Notes: Labels. Categories. Names. Groupings. Adjectives. I'm curious about these. I am curious about the names and labels we give ourselves and others. I'm curious about how these labels develop and interact with our biology. The biology of how we look, what we sound like and how we move. When I started dreaming about this work, I had images of bloodlines, the ones flowing in our bodies and the ones marking our lineage. I had images of the 2010 consensus, asking us to determine what we were. I had images of words in lines on pages, documenting the development of this country - we the people, equal, life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Mostly, I had images of people standing in the mirror. Images of people contemplating who they were and what they thought the world saw and believed.
At the core of all of my work is the interest in giving myself, movers/dancers and viewers, an opportunity to witness and share what is living in the body. In my creative process, I start by videotaping an interview with each of the dancers. For the body in lines, I asked questions like "Who are you? What are you? What do you do? Who does the world say you are? What does the world say you are? What does the world say you do?" I also asked the dancers to respond to words like home, love, inheritance, native, free and power. Then each dancer was videotaped responding physically to his/her words from the first interview. I listened and watched what was videotaped. I focused on the words, themes and movement that challenged, educated and moved me The body in lines, offers a peak into the dancers' and the choreographer's ideas and relationship to bloodlines, the mirror and labels.
Shavon Norris is an artist, educator and performer. Originally from New York City, she received a BA from Manhattanville College where she majored in Biology and a Master of Fine Arts in dance from Temple University. As a dance maker, Shavon's work has been presented at Manhattanville College, The Philadelphia Live Arts and Fringe Festival, Temple University, The National Constitutional Center, Art's Sanctuary, Chester Eastside Ministries, the CEC, and at Joyce Soho. As a performer she has worked with Nia Love, Max Luna, Treva Offut, Gabri Crista, Silvana Cardell, Marianela Boan, Kemal Nance, Meghan Durham, Manfred Fischbeck, Leah Stein, Merian Soto, Makoto Hirano, Jumatatu Poe and Charles Anderson. As an educator, Shavon teaches school age children to college students, locally and nationally. Shavon's artistic and educational philosophies are rooted in the desire to give herself, students, performers and audiences opportunities to deepen the understanding of self and the collective. Shavon loves what she does.