The Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography invited Doris Duke Performing Artist Award Recipient and MANCC Living Legacy Artist, Tere O’Connor, back as a guest speaker for Professor Donna Uchizono’s Choreographic Project class via Zoom on February 21, 2023, following his fifth MANCC residency in the Fall Season of 2022.
O’Connor was invited to engage with FSU’s School of Dance students, following his 2022 residency, which was cut short due to Hurricane Ian. His guest artist discussion revolved around his choreographic process, endeavors, journey as a choreographer and content creator, and advice for aspiring and evolving choreographers, finally culminating in answering questions from the attendees. The guest artist discussion was open to all FSU School of Dance students, as well as faculty and staff.
Graduate student, Lyndon Bonnett, describes his biggest takeaway from Tere O’Connor’s guest lecture as “within choreography, we should give annoyances a chance and allow for some accident in our dance-making, permitting yourself to experiment with movement.”
During his 2022 residency with his eight dancer artists, O’Connor worked to further develop his piece, Rivulets, creating distinct material in line with his concept of movement magma, which consists of a web of bodies circulating in space to create a first layer and an underlying movement system.
Rivulets had its world premiere at the Baryshnikov Arts Center from December 7 to 17, 2022. The piece was performed by Leslie Cuyjet, Tess Dworman, Wendell Gray, Emma Judkins, Jordan Lloyd, Jordan Morley, Mac Twining and Jessie Young, all of whom came to MANCC with O’Connor during his residency from September 18 to 30, 2022.
O’Connor has a long history with MANCC, starting in 2005, when he came to work on his piece Baby, which premiered at Dance Theater Workshop. Since then, he has returned four more times to develop or to continue developing his choreographic works including: Wrought Iron Fog (2009), Bleed (2013), Undersweet/Transcendental Daughter (2016) and Rivulets (2022) These four works premiered in NYC, respectively, at Dance Theater Workshop, Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Joyce Theater, and Baryshnikov Arts Center. His latest engagement with FSU’s School of Dance was simultaneously enlightening and enriching, serving as a great experience for the participating students.