my Generation, a dance landscape by Kate Speer

My Generation is a new dance work, choreographed and directed by Kate Speer in collaboration with the dancers, that presents the high speed, plugged in lifestyle that so many twenty-somethings have adapted to in order to process the barrage of information and social networking that can connect them around the globe. Using high velocity and momentum, the movement comes from the gut and extends beyond the reaches of the hand, creating a whirlwind effect that sucks the audience up in its vortex. To be performed at Mascher Space Cooperative (Philadelphia, PA) for Moffet Elementary School, a public school for grades K-5th located directly across the street as well as performances for the general public, June 3rd and 4th at 8pm.

Globalization, climate change, Iraq, Afghanistan, immigration, gay rights, clean energy, nuclear fallout, life on mars—information overload is in full effect as we try to balance global awareness with local action.

What does this have to do with dance? How can art impact poverty and world hunger? What does a Facebook profile have to do with protests and activism?

The long answer is that movement and kinesthetic empathy, the connection and engagement one can feel in their own muscles when viewing movement, can create a feeling of empowerment and be a catapult for social change. My Generation creates a physical experience for the viewer of saturation and being overwhelmed as well as present time and space for mediation to decide one’s own course of action.

My Generation marks Speer’s second collaboration with Moffet Elementary School. In June 2010, grades K-2nd saw performances of The Walrus and the Camel and participated in workshops that investigated improvisation and imagination exercises. The project was a success with students, teachers, and the artists involved enjoying the experience.

  • “That was the best show ever…when I grow up I know what I want to be. I will be a director” – Rainah Carter, 1st grader
  • “I really enjoyed the performance and it was a fantastic experience for the students—they so rarely see live performances. The workshops illustrated that the students could participate right away without hours of practice.”—2nd grade teacher

For this low-income neighborhood, this was a rare opportunity for the students to experience art that was not commercially driven and valued the student’s individual voice. The mutual exchange between the students and the performers also enriched the lives of the participating artists who were invigorated by the excitement and creativity that the children exuded. My Generation builds upon this experience as well as offers performances to the general public

Kate Speer is a dance artist who relishes a good beat that sends the sweaty, exhausted body into motion. Currently, she is an artist-in-residence at Mascher Space Co-op, a rehearsal/performance space administered collectively by a group of movement artists. Speer is also a member of Philly Contact Collective, a group of artists who specialize in performance improvisation and Contact Improvisation.  She has been recognized as a 2009-2010 New Edge Mix Artist and has received professional development opportunities from Dance Advance, a program of the Pew Charitable Trusts. She holds a BA in dance and biology from Swarthmore College and has studied with such artists as David Dorfman, Michael Foley, Robert Een, Odile Duboc, Leah Stein, and Lisa Kraus. Next year, Speer will begin her MFA degree at University of Colorado at Boulder.

my Generation, a dance landscape by Kate Speer
Kate Speer, Choreographer
Dancers: Christina Gesualdi, Emily Herchenroether, Lisa Rothstein, Carly Sinn, and Zornitsa Stoyanova
Friday, June 3, 8pm
Saturday, June 4, 8pm
Mascher Space Coop, 155 Cecil B. Moore Ave, Philadelphia
Tickets online on DanceBoxOffice.com

More information: www.katespeerdance.org

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