My First Month as Mocean Dance's Emerging-Artist-in-Residence
This opportunity for a residency could not have come at a better time for me. Following my post-secondary graduation amid the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I was able to teach and take dance class via Zoom in my one-bedroom apartment. It definitely was not the transition from professional training into the dance world I had hoped for! However, this past August I applied for Mocean's new "Emerging-Artist-in-Residence" position. I was so excited to be offered the position, and I knew this residency was an opportunity I could not pass up!
Mocean has been excellent in terms of their flexibility with my schedule, and the support they offer me as an emerging artist. My residency is taking place from October 2020 until the end of February 2021.
My primary focus during this residency is the intersection of queer experience and dance. I am working on creating a new piece, centralizing the expression of queer stories. I have had many opportunities to meet with some of the incredible artists in the Halifax community, and to learn from their insights on gender and art, queer perspectives and representation, as well as choreography and artistic process. Intentional discussions with fellow artists has been a huge part of my process so far.
Some questions I am considering in my research are:
What queer stories/ representation exist in concert dance?
Who has choreographed/ produced/ danced this queer content?
What are the barriers that exist for creating and producing queer dance?
How does one embody queerness?
How can one challenge the inherent heteronormativity that exists in dance, especially in classical ballet?
Why is it important to create queer content in dance? Who benefits from this?
How can traditional storylines of classical ballets be "queered"?
Who is excluded from dance?
Why is there limited lesbian representation in existing queer concert dance?
*I identify as a member of the 2SLGBTQ+ community. In this blog post and my work in general, I am using the term "queer" as an umbrella term, to describe sexual and gender identities other than straight and cisgender.*
I am also working with Mocean on professional development activities, such as: developing a studio practice, working with choreographic mentors, writing grant applications, and building my portfolio.
Thank you for reading my first blog post on hayleybonedance.com. I look forward to sharing more about what I'm working on as Mocean Dance's Emerging-Artist-in-Residence, as well as my future career endeavours.