5/27/15

Meet Taylor Corey

Taylor is one of two new board members this Spring. You may remember meeting her at Your Just Desserts where she was on the committee. We are excited for you to get to know her!

Taylor Corey is very excited to be joining Monkeyhouse as a board member! She is currently attending Wellesley College as a Pre-Medicine and Political Science major. A lifelong dancer, Taylor was a student of both Karen and Nicole during her time at Impulse Dance Center. In her spare time, Taylor can be found reading a good book or exploring museums and the arts in Boston. Taylor is thrilled to be joining an organization that works hard to make the connections between artists, dancers, and communities.

5/20/15

Spring Good Things!

So many good things have been happening of late! We are so happy to share all these wonderful things with you! Be sure to send your love to all these folks!



  • Congratulations to one of our newest board members, Andrew Fine and his newly minted fiance, Debi Ou-Yang! Welcome to the Monkeyhouse family, Debi!
  • Congratulations Josh Bergasse on your TONY nomination for Best Choreography for your work on On The Town!
  • Congratulations to our interns, Connor, Isabella, Emma and Jacob, who recently performed in Our Town at Natick High School!
  • Congratulations to Brianna Unsworth on her new job with Zehren & Associates in Colorado! We are so excited for you and we will miss you at our weekly Musings!
  • Congratulations Michael Krolak on your acceptance to the Master's program in Software Engineering at Oxford University!
  • Congratulations to our friends at the American Tap Dance Foundation on a beautiful performance at Rhythm in Motion. A giant shout out to our friends Felipe Galganni, Lynn Schwab, Michelle Dorrance, Jason Samuels Smith, Derick K. Grant and of course, Tony Waag for their work! 
  • Congratulations to Sarah Feinberg who will be studying with Pilobolus this summer!
  • Congratulations Kim Holman on your acceptance to the Master's program at Goddard College!
  • Board Member Margaret Hagemeister published her first review with Events Insider!  Huzzah!
  • Former Board Member Jon Schaffrath and his wife Kristin are expecting!
  • Super woman supporter Heather Gant just finished her MBA in healthcare management! Hooray!
  • Congratulations to Jim Peerless for completing Boost VC's incubator, Tribe 5!

5/18/15

Spring Choreo_cUPDATE


The Choreo_Cup has had so many adventures during April! Be sure to follow it on Instagram (@Choreo_Cup) to see where it goes!

What? You aren't sure what the Choreo_Cup is? Here's the scoop. In March, Monkeyhouse started a project called A Year in the Life of a Cup where we ask people to be stewards for the Choreo_Cup (he's the one with the little guy on him). All we ask in return is that you document your time with the cup in the journal that travels with him. You can write poems, doodle, make lists or any number of other documenting techniques that appeal to you. At the end of the year (which just so happens to be Amelia O'Dowd's birthday) we will take the journal and use it as the basis of a dance piece. In the meantime, we have a number of other cups (including Hey Girl and theRehearsal Cup) that we've been playing with in the studio and out in the world. You can follow along with the project on Instagram (@Choreo_Cup).

Want more information? Check out this interview with Karen about the project!

5/15/15

Spring Birthday Double Feature!

by Nicole Harris

I'd like to feature four incredible ladies who have celebrated birthdays this quarter. The first two are Monkeyhouse supporters, Emily Hare and Minna Scholten. While these women don't know each other, they do have one thing in common (besides their love for Monkeyhouse). They each gave birth to another amazing lady just a few months ago!

We are thrilled to welcome Alice Jameson (daughter of Minna and her husband Drew Jameson) and Eleanor Hare (daughter of Emily and her husband Nathaniel Hare) to the Monkeyhouse family! I have been lucky enough to spend some quality time with the Hare family for the last two weekends. Eleanor is a bundle of joy and we could often be found singing and dancing around the yard. Alice joined the world in a flurry of chaos but we are all so relieved and excited that she's made her way home to her parents and is doing wonderfully. I can't wait to meet her!

5/13/15

WORD OF THE DAY: SKORT

Skort - |sk├┤rt| - n.

     1. shorts with full legs and a central flap in front (via Websters)
     2. a short showing of work in progress (via Monkeyhouse)

Here at Monkeyhouse we believe in collaboration wholeheartedly. That collaboration doesn't end with the artists in the studio but extends to the conversations and feedback we get from each one of you. While building new pieces, we hold events called Skorts to invite you in to our creative process. At the Skort the choreographer or performers ask viewers questions to get insight about the audience's experience. Based on the resulting conversation, we may choose to try the piece again using different variables like new music or adding an extra prop or costume.




At our recent Skort at the Multicultural Arts Center in Cambridge, Nikki and Nicole showed a piece they had built for NACHMO (National Choreography Month) where Nikki receives a series of prompts via a clothesline stretched across the stage. Upon suggestion from the audience, a second version of the piece was improvised with Sam joining Nikki in collecting prompts from the clothesline and off the floor where Nikki had discarded them. The addition of a second person completely changed how people saw Nikki's interaction with the clothesline and how the clothesline itself existed within the space. It is exciting to explore these ideas in real time and to feel so connected to our supporters.

As we create new work and restage old work for our 15th Anniversary Concert in October, we will be holding a series of Skorts to keep you involved in the process. You can find more information here or on Facebook! Hope we will see you at one (or all!) of them!

5/11/15

April/May Update

Dear Friends:

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of good luck and wonderful adventure. Through our Instagram account, a few weeks ago Monkeyhouse founding member Amelia O'Dowd shared the Southern Makers "Instaloop" contest with us. I entered then promptly forgot about it. Much to my surprise, while I was teaching in NYC two weekends ago, I got a message from Heather at Welle Studio in Montgomery, AL saying that we WON! Holy cow! According to the contest we won two tickets to Southern Makers that very next weekend plus a $1000 gift card. By the time you added in the gift bags, the package was worth around $1500!!! Turns out we won SO much more than that.

Southern Makers is hard to describe in just a few sentences. It's like the most wonderfully curated craft fair filled with some of the most generous and talented makers you'll ever find under one roof. We met so many truly incredible people and we look forward to introducing you to them! If you aren't following us on Instagram (@MonkeyhouseLovesMe) or Facebook, you should! We posted about our whole weekend and there are still many more images to come!

We were so honored to be treated like rockstars for the whole weekend and we are already scheming and planning ways to keep the Southern Makers experience going around Monkeyhouse.

There's so much going on around here, but we still want to hear from you! Tell us what you're doing to celebrate spring or what sort of making you've been doing!

Best-- Nicole and All your friends at Monkeyhouse

5/6/15

My Third Week & The Cantab



 The third week of my internship would have fallen on school vacation week, so I am going to combine school vacation week and the following week as “week three.”

As internship begins to come to a quick close, I spent the majority of my time this past week working on the phrases I have started. This includes the Emily Dickinson phrase, “One does not need a chamber to be haunted,” from my very first day on internship. I backtracked my way through the Sabrina Benaim poem, “Explaining My Depression to My Mother,” and the five variations of my “mom” movement phrase, which I will admit was quite the challenge. Lastly, I reviewed the phrase that I created from my Language Autobiography. Karen also had me do two two minute writing exercises, where I wrote down everything that came to my mind. When looking at my list, I have to laugh at how bipolar my mind was that day. I thought I would share my list of thoughts:

  • “Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire, I hold with those who favor fire. But if I had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate to say that sometimes, ice is also great.” -This is a poem by Robert Frost, at least, a close variation of the poem.
  • Those who dance are considered insane by those who cannot hear the music
  • I thoroughly enjoy the smell of apple cinnamon bread in the morning
  • I recommend talking about your period seductively. -This is a poem that I will discuss further later.
  • I am much more of a cat person
  • Quack a doodle doo the cow goes moo
  • I really like the taste of chocolate milk even though I really do hate milk but it’s yummy so I drink it anyways



The biggest thing, at least the thing I enjoyed the most out of these two weeks combined, is my visit to the Can Tab’s poetry night. Every Wednesday night from 7:00 pm to approximately 11:00 pm, there is a poetry slam. I have never felt more at home in such a foreign place. My mom and I had the pleasure to go and experience this event, and I definitely plan to go and attend again, and maybe even read. The atmosphere, the people, the vibe... It made me feel so comfortable. It was held in a dark, crowded "basement," and when I say crowded, I mean it. The dark room kept it more honest, I believe. There were people everywhere, and my mom and I were lucky to find seats. "Seats" meaning my mom got a bar stool, and I sat on some sort of cabinet. You had to be 18+ to attend, and the only things in the room other than the crowd was a bar and a bright-lit stage with a microphone. The night began with an open mic from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm, which I learned that people wait an hour, sometimes longer, out the doors to sign up for the limited amount of 5 minute slots. I think what I loved about it the most was the honesty that poured from each open-mic speakers heart; All of their hearts really. Whenever someone spoke, I could feel the pain, the love, the passion emptying from their throats and out of their mouths, and it was absolutely heart-wrenching. The main act, Chanel Dupree, went on from 10:00 pm to 10:30 pm, and she was absolutely fascinating. She was selling a short book of poems that she had written, and after listening to her speak, I had to buy one. So shyly, I approached her and asked to buy one of her books. We began having a conversation about my name, (after she asked for mine, and told me about how she loves the name Jordan. She also agreed it's more of a girls name...but that's beside the point.) That conversation led to us talking about my internship, and how I am incorporating text and movement to create a final dance project for school. She was so intrigued, and I felt so comfortable talking to her. In my book, she signed it: To Jordan, Your name, face, voice, and overall personality is just magical! Thank you so much for supporting! -Chanel Dupree. P.S. Good luck with your internship!



Needless to say, I about died of happiness.

   The night ended with their poetry slam contest, which is three rounds of poetry, where six people compete in a 3 minute round, four people compete in a 2 minute round, and 2 compete for the title of Poetry Slam Champion in a 1 minute poetry slam. There were three judges, all of which were audience members picked at random. My mom and I became friendly with the young woman behind us, and got to help her judge each round.

   To end, I thought I would share some of my favorite lines from the night:

  • "I am not as [messed] up as this poem." (Yes, I did change it to make it appropriate for this blog)
  • "Nothing says 'Happy New Year' like a Celtic's 'Go [*beep*] yourself' tee shirt." (What I really liked about this haiku poem was that it was written by a woman in her late 50's. You go girl!)
  • "I know what it's like to hand over a plate of my limbs to a man who has already eaten." -Chanel Dupree
  • "I recommend talking about your period seductively." (This was a poem written by a woman who had read an article about a group of women that photographed themselves menstruating. The article and photographs caused a furious uproar, and many political debates. The poem and explanation is linked above. The reason I enjoyed this poem so much is not because of the humorous title, but because of how honest and blunt it was. It was brilliantly written, and the author, Kayla Wheeler, deserves much recognition for this piece of work.)



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