photo by Beth MegillWebsite:www.megillandcompany.org
Blog: Musings by a Dancing Poetess
Twitter: @beth_megill and @MeCoDance
Megill & Company founded in 2001 by sisters Heather and Beth Megill has produced four original musicals and six evening length dance programs. MeCo is under the direction of Beth Megill, who teaches a variety of dance class and techniques including Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Modern as well as Improvisation and Dance Appreciation at Moorpark College. The mission of Megill & Company is to create dance works that are vibrant, quirky, meaningful, intellectual and entertaining.
I probably put in most of my dance hours on the living room floor as my sister practiced piano. But, more formally I studied dance at UC Santa Barbara before getting my masters at UC Irvine. I didn't know my years of musical theater and a love of dance notation would get me my first job at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point. My sister, Heather, and I ambitiously formed Megill & Company at the respective ages of 21 and 25 not knowing any better. Now I teach dance at Moorpark College and, in my spare time, conduct research on Motif notation and dance based dance language in the classroom. It's pretty awesome.
I'm in a new place. All over again. Amazed once more at the shifting sands that shape and reshape in the landscape of life. But, amidst the self examination, the questioning, the challenges, the joys, the complexity and simplicity, I keep making dances. I am tired of trying to be "good" at it. Instead, I make dance because it has to be made. Sometimes its heavy, most times its playful and silly. But, whatever comes comes. Tap, Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Theater. The art comes alive and am just following the call.
What do you hope to gain from this experience?
It can feel isolated as a working artist. I go into the studio weekly with my dancers and sometimes I wonder "What is THIS all about?" I look forward to talking with artists who ask the same question and are open to discourse about the art form and where we can take it as individuals and as a community of artists. Plus, I work with an amazing group of dancers who deserve to dance for as many audiences as possible.
Have you participated in festivals before? What worked, and what didn't work and what would you like to see more of?
I have participated in non-juried as well as juried festivals. I appreciate both because in the non juried environment you can really take risks without fear of repercussion ("Will I get picked?" "Will they like it?") It is precious thing to make art that is not geared toward garnering approval. I would like to see a safe feedback session in which people can share what they noticed and appreciated in a detailed way. I am tired of people telling me "good job." I sometimes want to yell at them. . . "So what!?!"
Verbal Description of the Dance
This piece was a concept I began working with 3 years ago. But, it wasn't quite the right time, the right place, the right opportunity. I have lived a life of dance and yet, for a large portion of my life I have dealt with injury. And yet, I still dance. I still make dances. Am I injured because I dance? or, do I dance because I am injured? Sometimes I don't like dance at all. I don't like calling myself a dancer; I don't like the stereotype, the expectations, the assumptions, the demands. But, I still believe in the art of dance. The art of human expression through movement. The importance of dancing to express something beyond the physical. Yet, I seem to be confronted with the physical at every turn. It is time I finished the piece I started. Inured is not just a piece about hurting. It is piece that asks "What does dance want from me?" and "What do I want from dance?"
2013 Participants >