Photo: Andre Andreev
Choreographer: Carmela Hemann
Artist Statement/Philosophy/Mission Statement:
I am a choreographer who choreographs dance and dance-theater works for stage, site-specific venues, and film. For the last several years, a principal focus in my choreography has been the relationship between movement and text with emphasis on the subject matter of my choice. The last four years my work has focused on how autobiography intersects with world events. One current work addresses the sense of privilege and abundance in my own life during a time of global suffering. One of my choreographic strengths has been to find humor within the gravity of a subject. I enjoy the accessibility of weighty topics when humor is present. At times I choreograph directly with the spoken word, and at others, use a particular writing as inspiration for movement. I have found speaking while dancing effective for communicating my ideas, but my interest in movement as a primary communicator is resurfacing. I am interested in how to use subject matter or text as a base for a work, without having the text present in the final product. My current challenge and interest is how work inspired by text can communicate when the text is absent. As a choreographer, I have found it gratifying and essential to work in the community as a teacher and curator. I co-founded THEN in 2001 with Stephanie Nugent and Cid Pearlman, an annual showcase for Los Angeles dance artists to present their work. In addition, I have offered The Making Dances Workshop, a series for established choreographers to create work and receive feedback.
Short Artist/Company Bio:
Carmela Hermann is a choreographer who creates dances for the stage, film and site specific venues. Her choreography has been presented throughout the United States and Europe. Recently, she created and performed a solo dance for the “Four Headed Dance” Festival in Los Angeles, curated THEN at Highways Performance Space, and performed a collaborative duet improvisation with Simone Forti at UCLA’s “In the Garden” series. Hermann’s work has been presented at the Getty Center, Highways, Sushi, The Electric Lodge, Anatomy Riot, St. Marks Church, Diavolo, and REDCAT. Since 1998 she has also collaborated with Simone Forti in creating improvisational duets wherein words and movement intersect. She is the recipient of a Durfee grant and was an artist-in-residence at UCLA’s Hothouse Residency Program. Her article “Learning to Speak,” about text based dance improvisation was published in the book, ”Taken by Surprise” (Wesleyan Press). She holds an MFA from UCLA’s department of World Arts and Cultures. She has performed in the works of Simone Forti, Victoria Marks, Kristen Smiarowski, Lower Left, Carol McDowell, Stephanie Nugent, Deborah Hay, among others.
Describe some of your achievements over the course of the last five years:
Since 2005 I have created a number of choreographic works, and curated several dance showcases. Several of the works I have choreographed have been in collaboration with other dance artists, namely Kristen Smiarowski, Terrence Luke Johnson, and Simone Forti. Below is a list of repertoire developed and the events I have curated since 2005:
2010: Tuesday – solo, “Four Headed Dance”, Highways Performance Space
2010: Anatomy Riot – curator of showcase, Mimoda
2009: Anatomy Riot – curator of showcase, Poor Dog Group Theater
2009: thanks to, because, and yet, in spite of – solo, Highways Performance Space
2009: THEN: curator of showcase, Highways
2008: Duet #53 - duet improvisation with Simone Forti, “Performances in the Garden”, UCLA
2007: There – duet, Highways Performance Space
2007: THEN – curator of showcase, Diavolo Theater
2007: it’s not just in my head: duet in collaboration with Terrence Luke Johnson, THEN, Diavolo
2005: It’s Good - solo choreographed in collaboration with Kristen Smiarowski, REDCAT
2005: Which It Shall Likewise – duet improvisation with Simone Forti, “Choreographing Democracy” curated by Victoria Marks, Highways Performance Space
What do you hope to gain from the experience of participating in this festival?
I am excited to meet artists from other communities and to build community through viewing others work, sharing mine, and dialoguing about what excites us artistically right now. I am hoping to build new relationships which could lead to future projects. I anticipate this experience will widen my existing network of dance artists.
What Carmela will be bringing to the Festival
Number of performers: 1
Length: 8 minutes
Brief Description of the Work: Description coming soon!