Exploring dance as a medium to unravel and discover the intricacies of relationships between mothers and daughters has been a central part of my dance process for the past 15 years. As I evolve through convergent and divergent stages of life, as woman, as artist, as mother, so too do the inquiries into these intimate family dynamics continue to morph and grow.
The Mother Mother movement practice (see also Mother Mother Dance Dialogue class) creates opportunities for women in the same family to engage our dancing bodies as we deconstruct, examine, and reimagine essential elements that source and sustain our understandings and experiences of ourselves, our mothers, our grandmothers, our daughters, and our sisters. It allows movers of all levels to find possibility, beauty, and meaning in their vibrant dancing bodies. The shared movement space also encourages everyone to celebrate the unique ways in which we contribute to the meta-narrative of the family’s generational stories. The Mother Mother dance process creatively investigates the ways in which all our stories—monumental or tiny, joyful or traumatic, remembered or forgotten—influence the living realities of every other woman in our family.
I love peeling back the layers of memory and considering the multiple perspectives that different people can have about one pivotal moment in the family history. The Mother Mother dance process offers us a way to get deeper into the choices we all make when shaping how memories are formed and shared between us. A mother remembers it this way; a daughter uses specific language to tell her side of the story; an auntie forgets the parts of the incident she can’t control; a grandmother doesn’t talk about it anymore. All of these narratives matter and affect how the collective histories of the family are preserved, lost, or transformed.
I’m excited to be reintroducing the Mother Mother movement practice as a core part of our work at TheFamily Dances. In addition to the upcoming Mother Mother Open Studio this weekend, the Mother Mother Dance Dialogue is also one of our newest classes here at the home studio. At this Sunday’s open studio, I’ll be sharing from my choreographic and textual developments for Flight, the first installation in the Mother Mother Performance series, that brings me into dialogic realities with the re/membered histories of my maternal great-grandmothers, Rossie and First Mary. Participants who join me at the open studio will also have a chance to play inside of these dance-based questions and create their own original Mother Mother movements.