Kristin Sudeikis On her piece, "I Am You" "To be true is to be provocative"
First Impression... I am glad to have had the honor of meeting with New York contemporary choreographer Kristin Sudeikis, to discuss her recent creative process with the Peridance Contemporary Dance Company. Upon first sight, she was absolutely stunning with soft blonde, wavy hair, and had a hip and trendy yet earthy feel to her. She had a sense of openness as she let the words describing her experience flow freely from her heart.
Her spirit was alive during our conversation and her presence was refreshing. Kristin has an intense love for music and dance that is so deep that it is sensed immediately upon meeting her. Her unique, passionate attitude has brought her a dancer's dream of success.
A Not so Small Background... Kristin’s credits include choreographer and dancer for the Emmy award winning NBC hit 30 Rock, as well as NIKE, Under Armour, Good Morning America, The Today Show, Microsoft, Oprah and for events at Self Magazine. Her print work includes Shape Magazine as well as Vogue. Most recently, Kristin finished the second successful run of her original production " Even in Silence... " a dance concert including live music, spoken word, and film exploring all those things left unsaid.
In the beginning of February, 2012, Kristin is excited to be traveling to Stockholm, Sweden as a Guest Artist for "The Nike Blast." The Nike Blast is "a two-day event filled with inspiration from the latest and hottest trends within dance and group fitness," including master classes, exciting lectures, and over 60 presenters! Peridance Capezio Centerwishes her luck and safe travels!
Kristin recently finished setting her piece "I Am You" on Peridance Contemporary Dance Company (PCDC) and was eager to openly share her thoughts and emotions about her experience. "I Am You" is meant to be "uncomfortable and provocative" as it asks audience members through the use of text and movement "who and what we are as humans and dancers." Following, are the questions and answers I asked Kristin about this piece and her experiences while working with PCDC as well as some of her afterthoughts.
Photo by: Meems Images
What is the story behind this work, and what inspired you to create this particular piece?
The idea came to me when I was watching the Peridance Contemporary Dance Company at their APAP tech, and I thought to myself 'Wow, this is a group of highly technical movers with great presence and power.' I was very affected and impacted by their dancing as well as their individuality, yet I still wanted to learn more about them. So I decided to create a piece about just that, who these people are as artists and as unique individuals. I wanted them to own the edginess of what it means to be in a Downtown New York dance company.
In our first rehearsal, I engaged the dancers' minds with a writing exercise, because I believe that as dancers we always use our bodies first when approaching movement. When we use our minds and delve into our emotions and then approach movement, the movement will have an entirely different personal meaning and its delivery to the audience will give a much clearer message. One cannot communicate clearly until one knows what one is trying to communicate. I wanted them to start with their hearts, and then engage in the movement.
What was your choreographic process like with the Company? What methods did you use to generate movement? The movement was inspired by the artists' stories and the idea of being in the "now." I wanted to play with the idea of giving support to the people around us as well as being the support of those around us. I wanted the dancers to be vulnerability in motion.
I started with set phrases and then continued to have the dancers write about who they are and what they will be. The process was a dialogue, an ongoing communication that was necessary to explore the self and humanity. The movement has strength, power and vulnerability equally playing on each other.
I believe that audiences are searching and craving for truth, rawness and honesty, and I wanted to give it to them. New York City is provocative, so the audience members are provocative, and the artists should be as well.
Can you give me a little more information about the text the dancers vocalize? The text derives from their personal stories. However, the dancers' stories on who we are constantly change, as do the rest of humanity's. That being said, the text has a vague structure and the details change depending on the time and place.