When your third thought is your first thought.

Today we started in earnest with the company's next project - tentatively titled Time & Space - in which we explore a number of inner focused dance/movement modalities. We will be primarily exploring Awareness Through Movement, Authentic Movement, Contact Improvisation and Contemplative Dance Practice, along with some dance improv structures that are contemplative or focused around mindfulness. We're certainly not sure what the outcome of this exploration will be or how we will eventually frame this work for performance, but that is the goal. As part of this process we are asking ourselves (as a company), "what is a performance?", "what are the elements that are essential for a performance?", "what does it mean to perform?"

In rehearsal today we discussed the saying "First Thought, Best Thought" that often surfaces in improvisational contexts. Recently I was re-reading Dharma Art by Chogyam Trungpa in which he writes "First thought, best thought is not necessarily a chronological event". This follows my recent thoughts that first thought is actually most often, for most of us, our habitual thought. Only after reaching some state of clarity, emptiness, maybe even enlightenment does first thought become best thought. For most of us first thought is just the routine or predictable. So, how do we get to that best thought (for right now best might mean unexpected or new or unique)? My colleague Sharon Mansur talks about letting the first thought or impulse pass and go with the second thought or the third thought. I think this approach is one way to begin to discover best thoughts - certainly not the only way, but one way. We are also using sitting meditation to, if you will, prime the pump and see if a period of precise focusing helps clear out some space before we begin to move. We'll see...


All Those Ocean Dancers

I've been wanting to thank these people for a while, but its taken some time to gather all the names - this is a list of all the dancers and musicians that have performed as part of My ocean is never blue over the last three years. These include people that were part of the core company - The PlayGround, those that performed as part of the Big Group, dancers from James Madison University and members of the collaborative companies from our last performance. Over the three years over 70 people have performed My ocean is never blue with myself and Ilana being the only performers who were in all of the 20+ performances. I am deeply grateful to each and every performer who contributed their time, energy and talents to this project. Thanks!

Core Company

Stefanie Quinones Bass, April Betty, Brian Buck, Daniel Burkholder, Kathryn Harris, Darcie Luce, Lotta Lundgren, Christine Stone Martin, Ilana Silverstein, Ginger Wagg, and Lori Yuil

The Big Group/JMU Dancers

Amanda Abrams, Meghan Ballog, Caroline Barna, Alexandra Bassett, Katelyn Bell, Kelly Bond, Lauren Borchard, Marisha Bourgeois, Andrea Burkholder, Erica Collier, Chareka Daniel, Dora Duvisac, Suzanne McCahill Perrine, Katy McCormack, Suazanne Miller-Corso, Carrie Monger, Heidi Schimpf, Jen Stimmel, Melissa Swaringen, Sarah Tobey, Sofia Vallila, Chynna Wendell, Amelia Beard, Beth Cooper, Leah Curran, Heather Glasgow Doyle, Elizabeth Sellen, Raven Ferguson, Pirjo Garby, Vaun Goodman, Kathy Lapinski, Ben Levine, Jessica Marchant, Brittani McDuffie-West, Elizabeth Rolando, Ana Romero, Roxann Morgan Rowley, Kathryn Sparks, Jennifer Theodore, Boris Willis and Leslie Zucker

Guest Companies

Arachne Aerial Arts: Andrea Burkholder & Sharon Witting

Coyaba Dance Theater: Vaunita Goodman, Marcia Howard, and Sylvia Soumah

Devi Dance Theater: Anila Kumari, Neelima Charya, Neelima Shah, Khilton Nongmaithan, Anya Grenier, Oralee Skeath


Jonathan Matis

Sam Turner

Kenyon Piano Quartet: Grace Hong, Judie Lieu, Chase Maggiano and Jeremy Rissi