ADF and NCDF with Defero Dance Collective

As well intentioned as I have been to keep my blog updated, my life has been increasingly busy with wonderfully challenging things.  My last post was about two years ago, and I haven’t posted anything since moving from Italy.  The day I landed stateside, I threw myself into two North Carolina state dance festivals that has consumed most of my artistic time and energy.

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In early 2014, I was selected as a North Carolina Dance Festival Touring Artist for the 2014-2015 season.  An honor that I was so happy to receive because the opportunity lead me to meet and work with a fabulous dance company, Defero Dance Collective, based in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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As a dance artist with many years of experience, I can say that this collaboration has been one of such unique and favorable circumstances.  Not only is Defero Dance Collective an exceptional group of dancers, they are one of the most kind, loving, and welcoming group of women I’ve ever encountered.  It is rare to find a company that knows one another so well, physically and personally, but also has the great maturity and courageous femininity to love themselves and each other in the most binding way. Fate smiled on me when I found them.

Since June 2014, we have collaborated on two works.  I reset As We Are on Defero, and we toured the 10 minute work to UNC Charolotte, Appalachian State, Duke, and University of North Carolina Greensboro during the 2014-2015 season.  In early 2015, my work [ME]thod was selected for the American Dance Festival’s Here and Now program on June 25th, 2015. We worked quickly to reset the 15 minute work and enjoyed presenting the work with a rich and diverse program at ADF.

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2014 and 2015 have been very fulfilling and busy years in dance, and I look forward to another collaborative project with Defero Dance Collective in 2016! Thanks Defero for all your hard work and helping me make these project happen!

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“Two to One” premiers with WCDC, June 28-29th at the Ragan Theater

American DreamThis weekend my new work “Two to One” will premier at the Wasatch Contemporary Dance Company’s concert,”The American Dream.” WCDC’s concert highlights works focused around American History, and “show inspired by the great events of our nation’s history, from the writing of our National Anthem to the experience of modern day army wives. The American Dream is a wonderful way for the entire family to learn about and show appreciation for our country on the weekend before Independence Day.”http://wasatchcontemporary.wix.com/wcdc#!catalogue

My work, Two to One, is an expansion of a solo I did for the Artist, Interrupted conference about three years ago. My husband and I interviewed each other about our life in the military and in the arts. The piece was meant to be a duet, but due to a change in my husband’s training schedule, I went solo. So, to replace him I used his boots – and it was a lucky misfortune to make a duet into a solo.

When WCDC asked me to choreograph for their “American Dream” concert, I decided to revisit that solo and expand it to a trio. i interviewed three couples for the audio text and edited about three hours of interview material down to a six minute work. There was a LOT of great interview material to choose from, but I tried my best to highlight stories that demonstrate life as a military couple.

The entire work was set long-distance using video, email, and skype, which was quite a challenge. I have done plenty of video work with dance, but actually setting a piece, organizing all the instructions, and clarifying through video was a lot of extra work for me and the dancers.

One of my favorite sections of the work is a longer partnering section between the three dancers. My instructions were as clear as I could make them, I showed a few examples of other rehearsals and outcomes of the improv score. The process of reviewing ten to twenty minutes of improvisation and selecting second by second sections of movement was very tedious, but extremely rewarding once we set the final product.

If you want to do something unique this year for the Fourth of July, go see WCDC’s concert this weekend!

Choreographing for “Il Ratto dal Serraglio”


The past two weeks I’ve been working with a group of musicians and opera singers organized by the Teatro Comunale in Vicenza. Every summer the famous Teatro Olympico holds weekly musical events and this year the season opener is Mozart’s comedy, “Il Ratto dal Serraglio” (The abduction from Serraglio).

Since this is a first for me working on an opera I didn’t really know quite what to expect. My assignment was to create a fun and funny dance to Mozart’s Turkish Dance for a choir of 25, each of whom needed to dance with a newspaper. The choir members were very good sports as they listened carefully to my beginning Italian teaching them the steps and sequences to the dance work. I think for many of them this was their first time learning and performing a strongly choreographed section – and they have performed exceptionally well! Beyond setting a short dance work I’ve been helping with staging and some minimal choreography for the main characters in the opera.

It has been a thrill to work with a full orchestra, choir, and masterful singers in such a stunning venue! The opera opens tomorrow night, May 20 at 18:00 at the Teatro Olympico and will run until Wednesday, May 23. Click on the link for more info about the show.

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“Here, Then, Us and The Other” MFA Concert, April 14-16, 2011

The Ohio State University Department of Dance presents Here, Then, Us and the Other, an MFA thesis concert by graduate students Maree ReMalia, Kristen Jeppsen Groves, and Teoma Naccarato. The show runs Thursday April 14 to Saturday April 16 at 8pm in Sullivant Theatre, 1813 N. High Street.

The choreographers will come together to share three individual pieces that represent the talent and diversity within the department.

ReMalia invites audiences to meet a charming cast of characters in all the little things that are nearly them. Independent worlds intersect through unexpected encounters and what is recognizably dance meets the fringe of the form. This composition of idiosyncratic, seemingly disparate elements emerged from improvisational explorations and materials contributed by the public: HYPERLINK “http://mahiree.wordpress.com/mfa-project-solo-input” http://mahiree.wordpress.com/mfa-project-solo-input.

As an emerging arts advocate, Jeppsen Groves combines the intricate configurations of policy creation with complex, athletic choreography in her new work, [Me]thod. Her physically dynamic piece explores the curiosity and concentration of problem solving and negotiation while seeking the embodied humanity behind political processes.  

Naccarato presents Gently between us, an interdisciplinary piece that explores emotional and physical intimacy, mediated via technology. By manipulating cameras onstage, the dancers connect and depart in flesh and video projection. The piece was created in collaboration with media director Shawn Hove, composer Tristan Seufert, and the performers. Samples of Naccarato’s past work are available at: HYPERLINK “http://www.naccarato.org/dance” http://www.naccarato.org/dance.

Tickets can be purchased at the door: $10 general admission $5 seniors, students. Parking is available at the Ohio Union’s South Garage (1759 N. High St) and North Garage (1780 College Rd) as well as at the Arps Garage (1990 College Rd), and is wheelchair accessible.

In addition, on Monday April 18 at 5pm, Mara Penrose will present a lecture/demonstration summarizing her investigation of large group performance. The lecture will include discussion of mass movement spectacles Penrose created as well as excerpts from a 1930’s ‘movement choir’ arranged by Albrecht Knust. 

For more information, contact Teoma Naccarato at (614) 886-6696.

Artist, Interrupted: A Woman’s Art Collective

About three months ago I had three specific experiences that have led me to my most current and compelling project, “Artist, Interrupted: A Woman’s Art Collective.”

My three experiences included the following: a discussion with a dear friend about female identity that shifts with marriage and family, reading a riveting book entitled “Meena”, and viewing lots of art about female identity and power.

I started simple, I sent a blast of questions to many friends about women and identity and received lots of feedback and varying thoughts. From there, I contacted a few other female dance artists whom I love and trust. Slowly and collectively we have created “Artist, Interrupted.”

On my own page, I don’t want to restate what our websites and blogs already say. But, as a woman in transition from dance academia to the ‘real world’, I am learning the immense value of meaningful work with women. The relationships I’m creating with these women are not based on pre-set entertainment outings, but on challenging problems, questions, and needs that, for me, is creating a deep emotional and artistic relationship in ways that my artistic and personal self needs. Collectively, we are creating an artistic organization that is stronger, bigger, and beyond all of our individual abilities; yet, combined we are generating a very needed project for women who have taken a break from their art to follow other healthy life pursuits. And I love that I feel strong enough to pursue this project knowing that I’m leaning equally on talented and giving women artists.

I had a meeting today with an interested participant for the project, a stay at home mother of three, who teaches painting and drawing out of her home. After two hours of talking with her about our project I was touched again by her creative and artistic uses of her talents in her own home. She timidly moved her hands over her work, wondering if it’s note-worthy for a gallery showing, and feeling that all-too-common-feeling of fear and intimidation to step back into an art world that was left years ago.

I’m preparing myself for that bridge that I’ll soon be crossing: no school, no deadlines, no space, nor dancers. And I’m wondering how that something to nothing transition will happen. But, I am happy to know that this project is fluid and flexible and can meet my needs wherever I go. I invite you to check out our mission and goals at http://www.artist-interrupted.com and our blog at http://Artistinohio.blogspot.com/.