Jenny Showalter: Treeline Dance Works – Muncie, IN U.S.A.

Photo: Milton Adams

Jenny Showalter

Treeline Dance Works

Artist Statement/Philosophy/Mission Statement:
Treeline Dance Works is a New York City and Chicago based modern dance performance co-op under the direction of founders Jenny Showalter and Lyndsey Vader. The distance that separates us geographically is the very force that influences our work, as we draw inspiration from the diverse landscapes of these cities and the thumbprint movement aesthetics they foster. It is the mission of Treeline Dance Works to honor the creative voices and artistic input of its multiple collaborators through joint investment in movement research.

With an emphasis on an open feedback forum, this collaborative entity entangles juxtapositions in movement, intermingling the quirky with the athletic, the subtle with the explosive, and the personal with the universal. Treeline Dance Works creates kinetically charged works are rooted in the wellspring of deeply intimate memories, thoughts and encounters.

Short Artist/Company Bio:
Jenny Showalter is a dance and choreographer whose work has recently been presented at American Dance Guild (NYC), DUMBO Dance Festival (NYC), WAXworks (NYC), Heidelberg Music Festival (OH), Joy of Motion (Washington DC), Midwest RAD Festival (MI), Vision of Sound (NY), Dance Chicago (IL), Rebound Chicago (IL), Oklahoma Contemporary Festival (OK), Cool NY Festival (NYC), and Texas Christian University (TX). Showalter has been invited to teach technique and set repertory as a guest artist at Lincoln College, Western Illinois University, and Perpetual Motion Dance Company. She has performed extensively throughout western New York, New York City, and Chicago with both established and emerging artists, and is a member of the Bill Evans Dance Company. Showalter holds an MFA in Dance Choreography and Performance from The College at Brockport and a BS in P.E. Exercise Science from Western Illinois University. She is a certified personal trainer, Pilates instructor, somatic practitioner and is on faculty at Ball State University. She is the artistic co-director of Treeline Dance Works.

Describe some of your achievements over the course of the last five years:

One of the most exciting achievements I have had within the past year was to establish and perform with the dance company Treeline Dance Works. As a co-director of this company I have been actively presenting work in many venues, which this year include: Rebound Chicago (2010 Chicago, IL), Harvest Contemporary Chicago Festival (2010 Chicago, IL), Revisited VIII (2010, Manhattan NY), Cool NY Festival (2010 Brooklyn NY), Velocity (2010 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma), Midwest RAD Festival (2010 Kalamazoo, Michigan), Green Space Blooms Festival (2010 Queens, NY) and Ball State University (2010 Muncie, Indiana). I have also participated in two creative residencies, one at Mount Tremper Arts, and the other at The Silo to prepare for Treeline’s first evening length performance scheduled for November 2010.
Before moving to Indiana in January of 2010 to fill an assistant professor position at Ball State University, I lived and worked in NYC and showed work in numerous venues throughout the five boroughs. These choreographic opportunities included: American Dance Guild Festival (2009 Manhattan, NY), which I also helped coordinate, DUMBO Dance Festival (2009 Brooklyn, NY), Uptown Performance Series (2009 Manhattan, NY), Spoke the Hub (2009 Brooklyn, NY), WAXworks (2009 Brooklyn, NY), Green Space Fertile Ground (2009 Queens, NY), Movement Research Open Performance (2009 Manhattan, NY), and Revisited VII (2009 Manhattan, NY). Additional works outside the NYC area include the Vision of Sound Touring Concert (2009 and 2007 upstate NY venues), Heidelburg Music Festival (2007 Tiffin, Ohio) and the Image Movement Sound Festival (2007 Rochester, NY).

The importance of education has always been a focus of mine and I have been able to teach and produce work during three guest artist residencies at Lincoln College, Western Illinois University, and for the Perpetual Motion Dance Company based in Oklahoma. I love sharing choreography and exploring teaching strategies with students and colleagues in the University setting and also at conferences like ACDFA and NDEO. Along with choreographing I am a dancer with the Bill Evans Dance Company and continue to perform with artists Lyndsey Vader, Jocelyn Alter, Ashley Meeder, and James Hansen.

What do you hope to gain from the experience of participating in this festival?
I have not yet had the opportunity to perform or present work on the West Coast, therefore one benefit of participating in this festival is to connect with the community of dance happening in and around California. As an artist I am most inspired by my travels to different parts of the world and dance that is taking place there. Part of the reason I am applying to this festival is so that I can be exposed to a different community of artists that I would not normally have the opportunity to connect with. Because this festival is open to artists all over the world, I am excited about the prospect of seeing many intriguing dances. I hope to be inspired by the work and share ideas that are currently being explored in my work in the Midwest region.

Secondly, in what I have researched about this festival, it seems that the intent is to allow artists equal time to engage in conversation with one another about the art of dance. This emphasis appeals to me, as it relates to dance as a community art form and replaces the ego in art making.

Have you participated in other festivals or showcases?
I have participated in other festivals and showcases before and I enjoyed the variety of performances and types of dances presented.

If so – what were elements you enjoyed and what areas do you think could have been
improved on?

Sharing a concert with other artists is a valuable experience because the variety of dancing and performance is automatically present. Artists are able to learn from one another and witness various viewpoints. I have only participated in one festival where I have received written feedback from audience members, and I enjoyed this aspect. Another successful component is having master classes taught during the festival. These opportunities allow viewers, who are dancers, to witness the choreographer’s personal style before they see their choreography on stage.

Areas that could be improved upon are mostly organizational. Having enough time to tech dances and an informed and alert staff makes most of the difference in the success of the festival.

What work Jenny is bringing to the festival.

Title: Dayenu

Number of Dancers: 2

Brief Description:
Dayenu (2007) engulfs two dancers in a relational world, one seeking to represent the utterances of the heart and the other the mind.