Art is an aesthetic point of view, a way of seeing the world.
In my own work I make worlds on stage and invite audiences to enter them. I am concerned with light, darkness, humor, absurdity and the exquisite. Often pulling imagery from literature, nature studies and visual art, I construct abstract dances that use my personal experience studying various techniques to explore form and imagination. When it is right the intuitive voice yells “Yes that!” Half the time I spend waiting for that shout, the other half running with it once heard. I do it for the satisfaction of making a rigorous, beautiful thing; the internal becoming external.
There are countless reasons for art but there are two to which I return, over and over. The first is that there is an infinity to know. Iâ€™ll never run out of new things to learn and experience, which means that the unknown is always the same size. The unknown will be as measureless when I die as it was when I was born, even if I study perpetually. And discovery is a joy! But in the end, the unknown is still there. I can be afraid of it, ignore it, or try to relate to it. This is why I like art. Art dances with the unknown, sings to it, fights with it, woos it, invokes it, and tries to make peace with what we donâ€™t understand.
The other point is that art is redemptive. Pain, misery, loneliness, loss â€“ these can be turned into astonishingly beautiful works. Art can illuminate worth even in the face of abomination. At its most valuable, art can look horror straight in the eye and still say, â€śthis living is worth it.â€ť
The purpose of creating art is the same as the purpose of living: It is worthwhile because you GET to do it. Because you can learn and grow and stretch. Because you can discover new corners of yourself. Because you can become more honest, more vulnerable, more understanding. Because you can know what it’s like to be someone else, or someTHING else.
The tracks of growing as a person and as an artist run parallel. With any given art form, the world is reduced to a more manageable landscape. There are twelve tones and you can learn how they relate to each other, how you can group them or single them out. You can practice them your entire life and keep improving. They are like the relationships you will have with other people. Everyone you come in contact with brings something different out in you, the way an F-sharp feels different when there is an A underneath it. Through learning the discipline of art, you learn about yourself, and you find more ways of sharing that with other people. And those people are comforted to know that there are other vulnerable humans in the world, and they are encouraged to learn and grow and understand themselves better. It’s like putting something in a time capsule to tell future generations, “This is what it was like to be us, here and now.” A song or a painting or a story is the best expression of what you can do at a certain moment, and somewhere further along in time someone picks that up and connects to that past version of you, and realizes that time and distance are illusions, and that everyone can access whatever joy they want right now. The point of art is to connect, with yourself and with others.
The point of my art is that the world is an unexpected place. It is my greatest pleasure to look right through the obvious surface to see strange gears turning, because I think thatâ€™s where beauty lies. I want to bring that beauty back to as many people as I can. I donâ€™t care if what I bring back can be understood in any particular way â€“ I donâ€™t care if I have to call a cow an airplane. If I find the unexpected, the strange and beautiful I know that I can bring it back like a proud cat and put it in front my audience. It will create a little light in another personâ€™s mind that says something really wonderful to them: it says, â€śyou donâ€™t have to understand the world, it already understands you.â€ť And, then just maybe, it will give them the chance to experience some small part of it in a way they never have before. I ride that little sliver of the new into their heart, which is where I want to be.