Current Projects

After two years of resetting older works, I am looking forward to setting a new work on Defero Dance Collective for 2016.  Some musings about the piece:

I am very interested in the concept of NOW – what is happening in the present state – what is pressing, interesting, captivating.  A few ideas include gathering information from current books the dancers and I are reading.  I am also interested in current processes we are working through.  For example, my family has been tidying – a lot.  What to keep, what we love, what we discard, what surrounds us.  Other processes may seem mundane, like moving, buying a home, work routine, but could be used to create interesting movement concepts.

As my aesthetic is usually spatially and physically complex, I am very curious about simplicity right now.  How can I use exactly what I want and discard the rest? Like an image of trashed movement and a large pile of bodies.

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The second concept I am really curious about is movement with one dead limb.  One part of the body that is non functioning and how to choreograph around that challenge/opportunity.  We all have “dead limbs” emotionally, mentally, physically.  But we still try to make things work, and sometimes thrive doing so. On the flip side, we think we are whole while those watching us see the obvious impairment.


As We Are is a new work that I am creating with BYU’s DancEnsemble. It is a process-based work that highlights individual dancers as “in-process beings”: something they are now, built on where they came from, but may not continue to be in the future. It is intended to capture the immediacy of the moment, and expand into a reactive ensemble. The work showcases the beauty of unique individuals moving together, as they are. Check out a small clip below:

As We Are

As We Are Preview from Kristen Jeppsen Groves on Vimeo.


Core Project’s “Going Dutch”. Camille Spencer and I are working on a new dance film project for the upcoming “Going Dutch” performance with Core Project in Chicago. Our proposal was selected and the new project will premier June 28-30, 2012 at Links Hall in Chicago. More to come!

“Widows, Temporarily” is a dance film I directed and choreographed with a group of current military spouses stationed in Vicenza, Italy. The film is continuation of my military arts work I have been exploring since May 2011. The work will be presented at the national Artist, Interrupted performance “Initial Impressions” on March 23, 2012 at the Sugar Space in Salt Lake City. Two performances that evening at 6:00 p.m. and again at 7:30 p.m.! If you are in Utah, please support the A.I. artists!

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I reset “The People’s Evolution” for Brigham Young University’s DancEnsemble concert, March 16-17, 2012. Resetting work is always a bit surreal simply because artistic style and ideas change over time with experience. It is often amusing to review old work and rediscover why and how the work was created. The cast of six dancers at BYU worked exceptionally fast and performed the piece well. The work will be presented again at the “Cover the Night” on April 20th, 2012.

Along with setting my work, I taught master classes for two different technique classes. BYU has stellar technical dancers so I tried to offer some new perspectives to dance training and performance by focusing on the following elements in my master classes: violence, thrust, propulsion, body problems, and risk. After a few classes I saw many of the students access a rawness and efficiency in their movement that allowed them to increase their range and break limits of their dance habits. It was a very rewarding teaching experience. A special thanks to Pam Musil and Marilyn Berrett for arranging my wonderful guest artist experience at BYU!


I recently set a work “Gray Matters” at Ohio Wesleyan for their spring concert. It will be premiered next week on March 2 and 3, 2012 at the Chappelear Drama Center, 45 Rowland Ave. Click on the link to read more about the concert!

Ohio Wesleyan to Present ‘Orchesis 2012’ Dance Performance.


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 to 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 and our blog at


Dancer, Giovanna Andolina, has been learning the beginning stages of my solo; this is a short clip of her experience about negotiating new movement and problem-solving physical issues.  As the choreography process continues, we are adding in elements of ‘disruption’ to the final choreographed solo as a further look at how to use feedback, negotiation, and process as part of the final performance.
Here are two short clips of the beginning stages of my choreographic research, “intersecting policy and dance.”  It is the same movement layered with a different sound-score.  The first is “This is Heaven” by Madeleine Peyroux and the second is a sound-score I wrote and recorded; it combines Garmin direction language with common policy words we often hear that affects the way we move through public and personal spaces.

In these clips, I am working on physical movement problems; specifically, movement generated by my physical capabilities and limitations, working within the permissions and denials of my own body. To give an example: a flexible lower back and tight hamstrings.  What possibilities come from these physical ‘problems’? And how can I solve movement sequences in new ways?

I am purposely trying to challenge my physical capacity to accomplish problems in new ways and thereby generate a more fresh, three dimensional style.

I am currently exploring a new terrain of choreographic ideas. I am working on a piece entitled, “Duet for Three.” This piece is a personal narrative of my childhood, growing up as the youngest of three girls, my two older sisters being twins. This piece is exploring female family relationships and how they define individuals/personalities. My family dynamics have greatly shaped my identity and this piece is a chance for me to create the reality I perceive and possible draw out the future relationships I hope to cultivate within my family.

I began with some very simple gestures representing activities or memories I have with my sisters, some are very obvious and pantomimic. I had my dancers choose a few gestures of their own that represent a female family relationship and string them together in a larger sequence. I then had them find a way to locomote that sequence through the space. My choice of space for my dancers is extremely important, being that one always needs to be off set or extracted from the duet at all times.

By limiting myself to a small pool of gestural movement it has forced me to find unique ways of manipulating and expanding the movement.

I still have yet to determine my use of facing, and timing, and further establishments of relationship.

I was very interested in working with a smaller group, to challenge my normal way of choreography ( lots of space and lots of bodies).

This work is in the beginning stages.  I’ve received some very helpful feedback from professors and peers.  The most helpful comment was that of shading the characters more, avoiding stereotypes and giving more depth and breadth to each dancer.  I plan on doing research while at home for the Christmas break.  I project this piece will be shown for the Spring Concert in 2009 at OSU.


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