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artist statement

 

Coco Karol is a dancer, choreographer and teacher who makes movement-based performances about human connection. Dedicated to a comprehensive investigation process, she uses improvisational forms, writing, photography, dialog and constructed physical environments to explore the limitations and possibilities of the body as it succeeds, struggles, and desires to connect to others.

 

Particularly interested in how we create meaning of our expressions moving through the world, Coco focuses on aspects of human connectivity such as care, communication, and effort where the poetic and the physical meet. Using installation, sculpture, sound, and design, she choreographs experiential performance events that invite a conversation between personal and shared experience.

 

Her performance works are often created in conjunction with cross-disciplinary collaborators, and/or with the participants of the physical inquiry workshops she leads using Movement Before Dialog, a method she developed that applies different improvisational and contemplative dance practices toward embodied inquiry into inter-relational phenomena. Karol sees the body as a site of knowledge whose response marks a meeting place of imagination, here-and-now physicality, remembered history, and reflection. 

 

Coming from a background in classical ballet and many years of dancing in works of contemporary and modern dance choreographers, Karol is both informed by traditional theater while seeking a particular type of departure from it that privileges intimacy and closeness. 

 

Coco believes that our singular participation in a constantly moving world is an invitation to be in ongoing creative engagement with it. She treats her own involvement in the fluctuations of her life as a daily artistic practice and gets curious about minute social and personal interactions like crossing an intersection, holding doors, getting injured, or growing old. Likewise, she draws artistic material from the physical expressions found in broader social and cultural relationships created by gender, race, bigotry, and violence. Whether in a process of excavating history in her own body or guiding others investigating theirs--she invites opportunities for creative response, and is always asking the question: what can these moving bodies teach us about being together. 

 

Many thanks to her inspiring advisory board and "brain trust":

  • Steven Karol
  • Shelly Dickson Carr
  • Benjamin Heller
  • Chris Elam
  • Bill Young
  • Luke Gutgsell