The American Dream Part I: "No In-Betweens"

 In our travels throughout the city, she shared that everything seems to fall on one far end of a spectrum; Flint is a city of contrasts.  She noted the tension created when considering large mansions in the same city as so many empty lots and boarded up homes and buildings; the abundance of old liquor stores with boards over doors and windows, only blocks from our beautiful Farmers Market; the dramatic closing of so many Flint schools in contrast with the wealth of culture on the Cultural Center campus...

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The Light

In this process, I find my self in a constant state of inquiry.  I am always checking in with myself—checking my assumptions and expectations, my privilege, my own biases born out of my own experiences.  In many ways, this is incredibly important.  By maintaining a constant awareness of these thought processes, I think I have a greater chance of telling a truthful story that speaks to the collective identity of a community and also honors individual contributions to that identity.  I am also aware of the significance of my role as the artist, and the importance of having a point of view. 

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Place and Memory

Because I’m doing most of my thinking and processing away from Flint, one of things I’m noticing is that although I have a lot of strong memories and images that have stayed with me from my experiences growing up there, I often remember the places as they were when I was fully immersed in the environment all the time. 

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Research Trip No. 1: Final Day

Three things stood out as key in the development of our work during this research session: body, environment, and time.  These three components could be lived and experienced personally and immediately.  By reliving this experience through embodiment, we could both draw connections and identify what held value for us.

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Research Trip: Day 2

Today’s research largely fell into the realm of “site work”—engaging with an environment through movement in order to deepen understanding about a place and its relevance to history, community, or experience (among other things!)  As we dig deeper into this research, it is becoming clear that we are only beginning to get somewhere, but it certainly feels meaningful. 

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Research Trip: Day 1

Today was the first day of our research trip in Flint.  I'm here with Brooke and Dot, two University of Iowa undergraduate dance students.  We spent a large portion of our day at Sloan Museum on the Flint Cultural Center campus.  This history museum includes a permanent exhibit dedicated to the history of Flint.  We spent about two hours moving through the museum collecting both movement traces and written observations about Flint and its relationship to the concept of "The American Dream."

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