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Get to Know EEE First JazzView Choreographers: Crystal Secor

Eclectic Edge Ensemble

Photo by: Bill Cameron; EEE's "The Trio"

Photo by: Bill Cameron; EEE's "The Trio"

Crystal Secor is a 2008 graduate of the University of MN where she received her BFA in dance.  While studying at the U of MN she had the opportunity to work with Guest Artists Ananya Chatterjae, Bebe Miller, Sardono Kusumo, as well as local artists Jeffery Peterson and Karen Charles of the Threads Dance Project.  Prior to her studies at the U of MN, Crystal completed a BS in Kinesiology from the University of WI, Eau Claire. While at UWEC she participated in the Concert Dance Company, a student organized dance group that presented original student  choreography and participated in ACDFA.  She is a current member of Eclectic Edge Ensemble and has been a member since 2009.  She is also a member of AMP (Alternative Motion Project) and is in her third season of performances with the company.  When she's not rehearsing she teaches tap, jazz and ballet at the studio where she grew up dancing as a Senior Competition Assistant.  She most recently joined the faculty as SPCPA teaching jazz technique to the 11th-12th grade students.  In the past she has been a part of the Lux Winterguard for the 2014-2015 season, an independent color guard which provides educational and performance opportunities in the art of color guard. Crystal would like to thank her husband and family for all their continued support for all these years!

Photo by: Calabay Productions; EEE's "The Trio"

Photo by: Calabay Productions; EEE's "The Trio"

Title of the Piece is TBD: I’ll be honest, heading into this process I didn’t have a particular intention or inspiration for this piece.  I was mostly nervous about the thought of creating a concert dance work, something I hadn’t had practice in since college.  It was, as they say, like riding a bike.  Once I was in the space, with the dancers, creating and watching them explore the movement it was just like old times!

Now getting to the nitty gritty - what was my inspiration for this work? Well we can all agree it was a tiresome, unnerving, and stressful election season.  Once the day had come and past, I was able to reflect on my experience in those 24 hours.  Who I was with, what I was seeing and hearing leading up to that day, the warm comforting embraces from my close family of artists, and the emotional rollercoaster to follow.  I sat down and wrote out my narrative of those experiences, and tried to portray the feelings of community, the idea of support for one another, and though we may feel bombarded by the thoughts of others, we can rise above and look ahead.  I was also inspired by an article I found in the NYTimes following the election in which artists submitted artwork based on their feelings post-election.  I found one picture that particularly grabbed me and was able to use the imagery as inspiration for a quartet.  As a dancer I found it comforting to be able to create this work and discuss with the dancers our experiences. It was therapeutic and cathartic to be able to create this piece.  It reminds of a quote I recently read by the late Carrie Fisher “Take your broken heart and turn it into art.”

Photo by: Bill Cameron; EEE's "Waiting for Love"

Photo by: Bill Cameron; EEE's "Waiting for Love"

Description of choreographic process - My process began with improvisation to a few pieces of music.  I filmed myself so I was able to then solidify the movements I felt worked best and filPhoto by: Bill Cameron; EEE's "The Trio"ter out those that did not.  I came into the studio with the dancers and taught the main phrase work material, and then had the dancers come up with their own movement based on the following two sentences (1) I am most afraid of _______ (2) I am most joyous when __________.  Between these two creation processes and some other tasks I gave the dancers, the piece started to unfold.

Experience stepping out of the company and working with EEE dancers -My experience stepping out of the company and into a choreographic role was absolutely humbling.  It helped me rediscover and appreciate the unique qualities of each company member, something I didn’t always get to see dancing alongside them.  Their feedback and discussions helped focus and guide the direction of the piece and in the end it wasn’t something I alone created - it was truly a collaboration.  I feel grateful to the dancers and to Karis for opening up the space to create, and for trusting and believing in me when I was uncertain.  Thank you to my beautiful cast, may we continue to express those words and feelings that are hard to say

Photo by: Calabay Productions EEE's "And Then There Was..."

Photo by: Calabay Productions EEE's "And Then There Was..."

EEE First JazzView
March 17th-19th, 2017 @ JSB TEK BOX
JSB TEK BOX; The Cowles Center for Dance & Performing Arts
528 Hennepin Avenue Minneapolis, MN 5540

Purchase Tickets at: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2806480