Photo: Kathee Miller
Choreographer: Trina Mannino
Trina Mannino studied dance at the University of Michigan under Amy Chavasse, Bill DeYoung, Jessica Fogel, Judy Rice, Peter Sparling, and Robin Wilson. During her time at U of M, she had the pleasure of dancing in a number of works by her peers and faculty, but her favorite U of M experience involved befriending a weeping willow tree and creating a dance in honor of it. She has performed with Anabella Lenzu’s Dance/Drama, Chris Masters, and Laura Peterson Choreography. She is also a member of the global collective, ArtBark International, collaborating with artists from around the world in New York, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. Her writing has appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, Dance Europe Magazine, Hour Detroit Magazine, and The Dance Enthusiast. Trina still manages to return to Michigan a few times a year to enthusiastically frolic in the gorgeous state lakes and sand dunes.
As a young child, my family called me inquisitive as I asked question after question, ranging from the mundane to the esoteric variety. Despite my constant prodding in my formative years, my curious nature still has not slowed in my adulthood. But fortunately for my friends and family, I now have a way to channel my need to question: in my career as an artist and writer.
In the last few years, I’ve made a series of works based on historical figures and events. These works allowed me to create answers to my own questions in order to retell a story. These interpretations have included Jack Kerouac’s exploration of New York City and the dynamic friendship between Joyce Johnson, Hettie Jones and Elise Cowen. I have illustrated these tales through studies of rhythm, improvised partnering and exercises in large dynamic shifts.
The biggest challenge for me as an artist is to successfully sneak in an element of surprise into my dances without interrupting the storytelling. When facing this task, I know must fearlessly take the plunge, and take the advice of one my favorite authors, E.B. White, when he said, “Be obscure clearly.”
What do you hope to gain from this experience?
I am looking forward to deepening my relationship with fellow ArtBarkers while embarking on a new choreographic process with them.
Have you participated in Festivals before? If so, what worked and what didn't work for you? What would you like to see more or less of?
Yes, I found some of the lectures too long. I do think lectures are valuable, but perhaps moderators could have a maximum time limit of 45 minutes. I would like to see more master classes!
Verbal Description of the work Trina will be contributing to the Festival
I would like show a duet that will feature Misa and Stephen Kelly. The work will explore one character's memory loss while her loved one desperately tries to help her retrieve it.