Four of Florida State University’s dance students and alums of Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (MANCC) were able to return to campus this summer to expand their professional network, and hone their choreographic voices through personalized mentorship as a part of the newly-piloted choreographic laboratory program, MANCC Forward Dialogues. Ross Daniel (MFA 2017), Sarah Rose (MFA 2019), Megan Carvajal (MFA 2016), and Aimee Plauche (BFA 2010) were able to share ideas and widen their perspectives on the field by accessing other emerging artists and field leaders from around the United States.
This new 10-day laboratory program, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, supported and catalyzed the ideas of emergent movement-based artists working in urban settings around the United States, nurturing relationships with the next generation of dance makers by supporting their evolving artistic practices. The laboratory was facilitated by three nationally recognized leaders in the field of dance and performance, writer and critic, New York-based writer and curator, Eva Yaa Asantewaa; Curator of Performance at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Yolanda Cesta Curasch; and choreographer and University of Colorado Assistant Professor of Dance, Gesel Mason. The program provided one-on-one mentorship, focused time for in-studio experimentation, reflective writing, informal showings, feedback sessions, research assistance, and technical production support.
National colleagues in the field of dance and performance nominated young, up and coming artists to apply to the program. As a means of fostering community and building relationships within and across the field, each nominated artist proposed one collaborator to bring to MANCC. The pairs were then selected based on their diverse and rigorous artistic practices. Collaborators included performers, composers, filmmakers, and scholars, and acted as thinking partners to develop ideas at and beyond the time spent at MANCC.
Aimee Plauche, now based in New York City, reflected on her time in the program. “I had the mental and emotional space to address new ideas that are bubbling to the surface, as well as the resources to take care of my creative spirit. It was a gift to be surrounded by other artists during this time, and to feel their creative energies filling the space…I am grateful and humbled to have been part of this incredible laboratory.”
Ross Daniel, who collaborated with Sarah Rose, reflected on his time in the program: “We learned so much about how to communicate our ideas through a common vocabulary. This is due to the fantastic facilitators who witnessed our process and imparted valuable feedback.”
Sarah and Ross will continue their collaborative efforts, which began during the laboratory, with a performance in New York this December. Sarah wrote, “These 10 days gave us an opportunity to lay crucial building blocks!”