Mijkalena Smith 2 - Photo by Michael Pilla
Photo by Michael Pilla

Mijkalena Smith presents Flowing Forms, Aug 6 

On August 6th, 2023, 3 pm at CHI Movement Arts Center, 1316 S 9th St, Philadelphia, dance artist, Mijkalena Smith joins Malcolm Shute (Human Landscape Dance) and Jessica Warchal-King (JCWK Dance Lab) for the first time to bring audiences a summer afternoon of dance. Collectively inspired by the ways communication can manifest in physical form, each group will be premiering new work: “Inhabit” (Mijkalena Smith), “Rain on Window” (Malcolm Shute/Human Landscape Dance), and “Variations on Regeneration” (Jessica Warchal-King/JCWK Dance Lab). Join the artists for a talkback at the end of the event to learn more about their work and process.

Mijkalena Smith will premiere “Inhabit,” a re-imagining of her high school senior solo, “Enough.” Choreographed when she was 18-years-old, “Enough” chronicled Mijka’s relationship with her body, focusing specifically on her time recovering from an eating disorder and the complex relationship dance encourages with one’s body. Choreographed now at age 23, “Inhabit” offers a new perspective from a body that is 5 years older, centering sensation, patience, and compassion as driving forces of movement. Uncomfortable tricks from the original choreography are replaced by spirals and flow, interjected with reflective moments of stillness and warmth.

Human Landscape Dance will premiere “Rain on Window,” which evokes times in our lives when we hit a wall and cannot press through. Three dancers spatter like rain against a wall, then drizzle down, puddling at the base. They press up, swelling against the cold surface, then slip down each other’s bodies, leaving trails in the skin. “Rain on Window” expresses confronting our

own limitations, and how we may support each other even as our ships crash against rocky shores. They will also bring “Fiddleheads,” a meditation on growth in the rainforest, stalks unfurling in every direction to cast spores. Katie Sopoci Drake uncoils, raising the canopy of Malcolm Shute’s body, stretching up and back, until they compress together in reverse. The dance evokes a sacred space, harmony achieved in spite of hard labor. Last, Human Landscape Dance offers “Sunset,” a dance between the setting sun and the night sky. Carrie Monger rises over Alexander Short, covering him with orange, only to slip behind, hidden by dark cloth.

Jessica Warchal-King will premier “Variations on Regeneration,” two duets inspired by soil regeneration research in Warchal-King’s hometown of Berks County. Healing and renewal are themes echoed in circular phrases, undulations, and quick, repeated articulations. The healing of soil for healthier food to nourish our bodies parallels the need for healing after COVID: we return to our old haunts, but are not the same. Arielle Ridley sweeps the air around her, grasping at pollutants. Nearby, Cady Monasmith presses the space behind her with arms and legs, pushing against the past to move forward. Eventually, the two gather together, reaching out tentatively, without eye contact, unsure intimacy in a new age. Warchal-King will also share a repertory piece inspired by NASA explorations. Dancers plunge and swoop in all directions. They carry each other forward, heads resting on palms, leaving none behind as they seek connection beyond our atmosphere. Ridley, Monasmith and Warchal-King are joined in performance by Sarena Gable and Richie Maldonado, Jr.

Flowing Forms
August 6th, 2023, 3PM
Chi Movement Arts Center, 1316 S 9th St, Philadelphia PA, 19147
Ticket Price: $15 in advance, $20 at the door
Register in advance here: https://bit.ly/flowingforms

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