An intro from FLOCK Artistic Director and Choreographer Meryl Murman
I like questions without answers – or at least without singular easily definable ones. Such as: Why do people lie? Why do we so often feel compelled to distract ourselves from being intimate with each other? Why do we create borders and binaries? Is it possible to stop suffering?
I am not looking for answers. I am looking for deeper understanding, and the path I take to search for that understanding comes from a plurality of perspectives in dialogue with one another. I look at my artistic practice as research, a continual process of interrogation and discovery. It’s communal research. I work with people, embracing the diversity of our experiences, utilizing our strengths, but at the same time welcoming and glorifying our weaknesses. The research is physical, emotional, psychological, mental, and ethnographic. Our questions are about people, and we study people: ourselves and each other. They/ourselves/each other become our prime specimens and our laboratory is the rehearsal room, but our experimentation expands beyond the rehearsal into the community, where we seek engagement and new discourse. We look for references in history, current events, pop culture, media, and academia. The performance is not the end of the research but the continuation of the question; it’s the moment in which we are granted the gift of an audience to run our experiments, to learn, to discover more about ourselves.
My journey can not exist without the multiple perspectives of the unique, daring, diverse individuals I work with, nor can it exist without the interactivity of my audience whom I am ever grateful to for playing with me.
I am honored and excited to be featured here this month. I’ll be using Studiola to introduce FLOCK, the cohort of creatives that work with me to stretch the boundaries of contemporary dance. We are New Orlean’s newest dance company. We’ll share with you some of the questions embedded in the processes of the various pieces we’re collaborating on right now.
Check out the first workshop performance of our newest piece in development, The Stop Suffering Project (and other inquiries), November 20-22 at Dancing Grounds. We’re proud to be on the bill of the first annual eDGe Dance Festival, part of the Faux/Real Festival. eDGe is a new curated dance festival for New Orleans artists, supporting original works that experiment with new forms and combinations of modern, post-modern, dance theater, and performance art traditions. The 2015 inaugural festival features three new works by award-winning local artists: Maritza Mercado-Narcisse, Scott Heron, and Meryl Murman (FLOCK).
Photos by Daryl Getman (DAG Photography)