Dear Friends of Chicken Bank Collective,
Already, we are looking at the end of a calendar year and into a future that holds so many unknowns. One year ago, we were returning home after our Secondary Succession Residency in Port Townsend, WA, and then immediately prepping for Permeabilidad Espontánea (Cholula), Performática (Cholula), On Site/In Site (Winston Salem) and Chrysalis (Charlottesville). We made new work, rebuilt old work, taught numerous community workshops, engaged with college students and community artists in performance and felt our own collaboration grow stronger. Thank you, from all of us, for helping us take our initial steps in 2014 and and for making these most recent endeavors possible. We hope you will take a look at our website where we have documented these events.
Regarding our feature length film Secondary Succession: this has been quite a collective effort! And it's not quite finished. It started with shooting over thirty hours in the cold wet October in the Pacific Northwest Olympic Peninsula and Port Townsend, USA last year. Then we had a frenzy of editing and music brainstorming in Mexico last February. We showed the first draft in the Charlottesville Chrysalis residency, co-sponsored by Light House. Since then, Zap, as the director, has watched it countless times and showed it to many people to get critical feedback as we circle towards the final editing. This will happen this winter with guest artist Ximena Monroy, as well as beloved Gaby. The hope is to have it finished and in a format where we can present it to festivals by spring, as well as screen it at On Site/In Site in Winston-Salem. Then we will dig into compiling all the research, all the small shorts and the visual arts that when into the making, as we get it ready for DVD format for people to own.
The unknowns that lie ahead are filled with so much potential for creativity and collaboration. Our next CBC gathering is in an early stage of development. Once our next pieces are in place, we will surely let you know!
With much love,
Paola, Julie, Denisse, Cinthia, Zap and Gabriela
Since our most recent residency in Charlottesville, we have all embarked on significant journeys of our own. Here is what each of us has up to:
Dearest CBC supporters you know who you are. I am thankful that your heart has a big YES in supporting us and that you have believed in us this far. Thank you for believing in an all women-led diverse group of dancers-artists! In the last few months I have been finishing my album ,"mujer torbellino" which I have finally finished recording and working out details on it, and have recently been at Standing Rock representing my community in protection of water. CBC has been present in my heart since I have learned through these epic women friends family of mine how one works in community as one moves. This implies a beautiful kinesthetic heart based awareness movement that I cherish deeply and that I have brought to everything that I do. I love that so many people from our bi~nation community have come together during such challenging times in reference to diversity, women's rights and the power of art dance film and music as a tool for change. These world changes that we are currently facing make me believe even more in our work that we do, so thank you thank you thank you again!
Since July 1, I have been living with my husband and youngest son in Munich, Germany. I have treated this time away as a self-imposed sabbatical. I have been able to unwind, be still, regroup and begin the next dance. I have given time and energy to my family and the unfamiliar. It has been rich, to say the least. I return home to Boulder in a few days feeling refreshed and ready.
I am pleased to write to you just before finishing this 2016 to deeply thank you from my core once again.Thank you for supporting our dream, for helping us share our gifts, for sharing the vision that through art we can strengthen our sense of community; through dance and somatic awareness, we can relearn to listen carefully to our needs; we can keep practicing our communication skills, our flexibility, our playfulness; we can expand our creativity and keep surprising ourselves at the richness of possibilities in which we can appreciate and live our lives more fully, with a wider range of sensibility and a broader and more complex perspective between our relationships; we can move beyond our own spheres and discover new ways of moving individually and collectively towards our dreams and goals. This past years we have done a lot, as much as we could, and then again, we all have spread in different directions to keep growing and learning from these experiences. During the second half of this year I moved from Mexico City to Xalapa, Veracruz to study a master program in Transdiciplinary Studies for Sustainability with the goal and commitment to keep finding ways to do even more, to keep sharing, to question what we, as CBC, have been doing for the past 2 years now. I feel grateful to you for helping us to make it possible, and I'm eager to share new projects with all of you soon!
Dear CBC supporters, family and friends, it has been such an honor to be part of this experience that you believe in as well. I'm deeply grateful with each person that have helped us to keep working on our dreams and inspirations, that have connected with the performative art that we offer and that have followed beyond the geographical boundaries that sometimes make us feel apart from each other. Thank you so much for all your generous love and giving that keep us nurturing our heart, strength and life to continuing the work through arts and resist the difficulties that the world and our communities can be struggling with in these days. We wouldn't have made it without you... and for that and all the future to come, GRACIAS!
Aside from our different CBC residencies, 2016 has been a fortunate year for many reasons, specially because of the opportunity of collaborating in different artistic projects.
This year I also started the Body Mind Movement Certification to keep with the somatic education approach and have the possibility of nurture my experience as a teacher, dancer and performer. Also had the blessing of collaborating with Andrea Carmona and colleagues from the Centro Cultural Segundo Piso to dance and fill our hearts with the love of such unique humans beings from the Ballet Incluyente, a dance project for dancers, non-dancers and people with special skills. Finally in August i had the chance to be part of the first National Gathering of Contact Improvisation Community in Mexico, which was such a magical experience that gave me the push to keep growing the practice in my city as I take the lead of what now we called Improvisación de Contacto Puebla.
As the year ends, I can just say how grateful I feel for the memorable experiences, the learning process and the great beings that keep me working towards growing through teaching, dancing, the constant collaboration with local artists and the genuine connection with my community.
Howdee Y'all! Since Chrysalis, my creative life has been somewhat of an excellent whirlwind. In May I immediately went into tech work for the play: Pip and Twig. Sian Richards and Kara Burke (from Performers Exchange Project aka PEP) created and produced Pip and Twig and decided to take it to the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. I co-created/rebuilt the set and was the technical Director of the re-setting of the play in Charlottesville and in Scotland. It was such a pleasure to work with longtime collaborators of; my solo work, zen monkey project and chicken bank collective. Old school collaborators Martha Mendenhall (PEP, The Living Education Center for Ecology and the Arts), Opal Lechmanski (who's been the stage manager of almost everything I have ever done) and Jim Waive, were present in this adventure, as we lived together and ran the show more than 25 times the month of August. Upon my return in October I have been connecting to my new community in Pittsboro, North Carolina, adding to my home bases and laying the ground work to bring CBC here for a residency. Busy creating my art studio space, researching/connecting to the local art scene and finding ways to connect with the different dance communities that surround the area. I'm excited to be part of On-Site/ In-Site dance Festival again this spring representing CBC, with some Chickens performing! Helen Simoneau Dance sponsors this festival, as well as a guest artist teaching series I was part of this Winter.
This last two months I have found myself incredibly thankful for the connections to all the members of CBC, and our supporters, our peers. To know that we can continue to support each other together and apart, across borders, especially in the light of the times of the world now, is comforting and inspiring. Recovering from doing over six residencies in one year, and switching from our Spring to Spring experiment to join the rest of the world in a calendar year, has taken me this time to really appreciate all that we did. And to start cultivating a vision of what's to come. I can never thank you enough for being part of it!
I feel very proud and overwhelmed of what I have learned from my friends and colleagues from the “Chicken Bank Collective”, Their creative work still inspires me as an artist and as a person that is a part of a community that knows no frontiers, acknowledging that my work is a mean to promote collective work.
During this two years of efforts we have gathered together and have been building our collective, recognizing our path and planting the seeds to continue our work together, from our skills and forms like: dance, music and cinema leaded by the curiosity of movement, from each of our cultures; Recognizing that there are no walls that put us apart but threads that sew stories, emotions and ideas.
After our last residency I lived a short time in Cuba, doing postgraduate studies in film essay. During this time I kept on finding the common ideas and the contributions between dance and cinema, continuing with this line of research, I made a short film called “Perhaps I was already on the path”, a film essay where the body is the main character of an essayistic journey about the body, landscape and time. Nowadays I am working in Chiapas on a short film that talks about the quest to create an utopian community, a community in which all worlds have a place, where the attention and consciousness of the other keeps us together; I call this collective “The Community of the attentive ear”, this work will be ready towards the end of 2017.
These individual projects are an extension of the work we have done with “The Chicken Bank Collective”. Our process of creation is based on improvisation that includes working from the body awareness, recognizing and playing with time, space and rhythms; and a continued collective reflection of our work.
We are committed to keep on looking for our own ways of promoting this values and work, and with the support of our community we will be able to do so.