Monday, August 24, 2009

the AOMC's ///NEW!/// Mission Statement

I'm super excited to share this with all of you - it's been through one round of focus groups (ie: a few close friends and family) and now i'm ready to bring it to step two: the Urgent Artist community - the AOMC's supporters and insiders. So here it is: our new mission statement for 2009/2010. As one of my round-one's pointed out, it's a bit more manifesto than mission statement, but I'm very okay with that.

I would love whatever feedback you have - both in terms of how it feels to you as a mission statement/manifesto (ie: does it give you a clear feeling for the company? does it excite you? does it sound like other things you've read? if so, what? etc) and how it feels to you as a human/thinker/fellow artist (ie: do you agree? is it an affront to what you believe art to be? how do you see it fitting in with the current paradigm? etc). We'll have a few weeks before i'll start posting the "final" (ha.) version of it on the website and press kit, so comments are VERY helpful!

Onwards. Unveil!

Founded in 2006, The A.O. Movement Collective is a home for hard falls, heavy slow dances, and constant evolution - a community of dancers, collaborators, thinkers, and makers who live by their art. The AOMC encompasses my choreographic work and, when joined with blog/community hub Urgent Artist and arts freelancing collective A.O. PRO(+ductions), it is the movement third of a three-entity family that represents a new business model for American dancemaking.

As a dance and new media artist, my main goal is to create evocative reinventions of the human experience – works that investigate the intricacy, wreckage, compassion, and mess inherent in the ways we live our lives. Dances that push you to the edge of your seat, tempt you to tackle someone as you leave the theater, or make you think “well I haven’t thought about him in a long time.” My work is based on an ongoing investigation/love affair with the aesthetics of mess - visual, human, emotional, and all else. The dances that I make are epic, human, and wonderfully too much.

Rather than resigning to the clarity that I believe is now being asked of us as choreographers (so that the dance may be seen, enjoyed, and understood entirely in one viewing), I am investigating work that can retain all of its complexity, vastness, and innate lovely disarray and still offer a rich human accessibility to each viewer. I am interested in making dances that don’t know how to be seen yet, and then creating the programs and modes of thought necessary to support such work.

In short, I am an Anti-Ephemeral PoMo Humanist. As a maker of both live performance and dancefilm, I disregard the notion that dance must be ephemeral. Dance is some approximate concoction of the body doing love or violence to the space around it, muscles and limbs creating meaning or abstraction, and dream-state wanderlust – how dare we assume it to be limited to (or worse, try to confine it to) the live theater experience! It must out-exist us, it must be preserved in a truthful way, or we doom ourselves to eternal obscurity, and thus eternal financial struggle, and thus eternal focus away from all the work that must be done if we are to truly evolve the form. This is a new era of dancemaking – everything, from the creative process to the industry, must be reconsidered.

Therefore, in addition to its creative work, the AOMC is an experiment in the business of dance making. As an arts businessman, I am dedicated to a constant cultivation of the AOMC’s structure as a company model that holistically supports the creative work and lives of all those involved – dancers, creators, audience, and community. The AOMC will not be satisfied pursuing a creative ‘habit’—we are serious and practical about the time commitment necessary for substantial discovery, innovation, and change. Likewise, we understand that striving for change within the arts without considering the broader socio-economic structures in which the community exists is futile. We therefore disregard the notion that art and business must be separate, and are working towards modes of creation that internally support longevity via self-sufficiency.

The A.O. Movement Collective and its members are a family, a think-tank, dancemakers, community leaders, ever-evolving mind-bodies, technology developers, and catalysts: movers and shakers in every sense. We strive to answer questions and question answers by grappling with them kinetically and ideologically, in and on the blogosphere, mind, studio, and stage.

It is an exciting future towards which we extend our toes. Won’t you join us?

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