Getting to know Remy!

by Courtney Wagner

Recently, I had the pleasure of conversing with our newest C2C intern Remy Marin! She's quite a busy girl and I look forward to reading more of her interviews!

CW: What made you decide to apply for this internship?
RM: I've always been passionate about dance and journalism, so it seemed only natural to put them together and Monkeyhouse was the perfect opportunity to do so! Plus I am a huge fan of Monkeyhouse work, what it stands for, and the company members who I've gotten to know quite well over the years, so I jumped at the opportunity to join the team.

CW: How did you first get involved or hear of Monkeyhouse?  What is your favorite aspect of the organization?  
RM: I had the privilege of being taught by Karen Krolak and Nicole Harris during my years at Impulse Dance Center, so I was familiar with Monkeyhouse through years of working with them, hearing about their work and seeing some of their performances. What I like about Monkeyhouse is that it's not just a company, but also a group that honors different artists and explores what else is out there. I think that addition makes Monkeyhouse really special, and is what attracted me to the organization. I'd say that I knew a substantial amount about the group, and everything I knew and continue to learn about them just makes me more excited to have this opportunity.

CW: What are you most excited about as you start your new role as C2C intern?
RM: I'm most excited about getting to know and talk to different artists and choreographers whom I admire.  There are so many interesting people and artists out there, and I'm so lucky to get the chance to converse with them about what they do and why they love it.

CW: Have you done any previous blogging or writing about dance?
RM: I've been writing for an online teen health website for since March 2009 and am an English Major so I have  experience writing.  I've only had a little bit of experience writing about dance though- I conducted an independent study last year about dance's impact in the medical field and am turning that topic into a Double Major, so I had to do some writing about dance for those, but have minimal experience aside from that.

CW: Your bio says you have interned with AileyCamp, Boston Ballet and BodiMojo.  Tell me a little more about these experiences and how they affected your decision to apply for this internship. 
RM: AileyCamp is a program that provides at-risk, inner-city youth with the opportunity to experience dance and the arts.  Last summer, I volunteered there as a part-time general counselor, and essentially went to different classes with campers and assisted the dance teachers when necessary.  At the Boston Ballet, I interned in the Education and Community Outreach Department, where I helped coordinate, organize and assist youth dance classes and educational programs.  At BodiMojo, a National Institute of Health funded community website focused on teenage health and wellness, I was a media intern and content contributor. While there, I researched and wrote numerous lifestyle articles of interest to teens, uploaded content and managed social networking.

I've always been passionate about writing and dance, which is why I applied for these three internships. While I enjoyed all of them, and they solidified these two paths as strong career opportunities for me, I wouldn't necessarily say that they made me more or less interested in applying for the Monkeyhouse internship.  C2C's combination of dance and writing is perfect for me, and I feel I would've recognized that even before my other internships.

CW: What exactly is Dance Medicine (they must not have had that when I applied to Skidmore, otherwise I would have wanted to know more!).  Do you feel your background in dance has had a strong impact on the direction you've chosen to go in your studies? 
RM: Dance Medicine is actually a self-determined major, which means that I created it on my own by pulling together courses from different areas.  I think that my background in dance definitely has impacted my decision to pursue this field of study. I've been dancing since I was a little girl, and I have always believed that there is more to dance than just movement as I've personally found dancing to be very therapeutic after a difficult day, always able to lift my mood and give me a burst of energy. When I started hearing about dance being used as therapy for patients with neurological disorders, which was around my junior year of high school, I was struck by the concept that dance could be as beneficial for doctors trying to treat patients as it was for me trying to relax after a stressful day. It was incredible to read that the simple exercises and techniques I practice every week are actually being used to treat people with chronic illnesses and make substantial medical advances.  I was instantly hooked, and after observing a dance class for patients with Parkinson's Disease that the Mark Morris Dance Group offered last October, I knew I had found a new potential career path.

In my research, I have come across a lot of different explanations for why dance and medicine are connected, and I can't say I fully understand the answer as of right now. What I will say is that exercise in general has a whole range of positive effects on people, and much of that has to do with the connection between the body and the mind.  I've learned that movement and exercise can actually help the brain thrive and possibly prevent or even reverse neurodegeneration. With regard to dance in general, something about the fluidity of the motion along with the movement and the neurological benefits that come from exercise seems to be extremely powerful when used as medicine.

I know that all seems like a jumble, but as I continue my research I'll be sure to keep you posted.

CW: Has Skidmore exposed you to any new people or forms of dance you think you'll be writing about soon?
RM: I think Skidmore has more allowed me to delve further into the art forms and artists I already know for the most part, but the one person I'd say that Skidmore exposed me to was the choreographer Pina BauschPina is absolutely incredible, and her choreography is stunning and composed in such a skillful way that it's impossible to tear your eyes away. She unfortunately passed away a few years ago, but I'd love to write about Pina or the people with whom she worked.

Also, I took a seminar called American Political Theatre that provided the opportunity to do a weekend-long workshop with an experimental theatre group called the Living Theatre Company.  Their style of performance is much more physical than transitional theatre, and working with them opened my eyes to the different styles and applications of movement. I learned a lot about using improv to act out a more ambiguous, spontaneous story, and used an abstract yet mechanical form of movement called biomech that was so different from any style of movement with which I was familiar and really cool to try out. I'd love to write about the Living Theatre at some point, definitely.

CW: If you could meet and/or take class with any dancer/choreographer (living or dead) who would it be and why?
RM: That's a really difficult question, though I'm sure it is for everyone. I think I would probably have to say Bob Fosse. Something about the way that man moves and views dance strikes a cord with me, and I would give anything to have been able to take a class with him.

CW: What other fun facts should we know about you??
RM: Along with dance, I tried my hand at gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, acting, singing and figure skating. Let's just say that, given my skill level for each of those, my decision to stick with dance was a given. Also, my dream is for Beyonce and Justin Timberlake to drop a track together. That collaboration would shatter my heart in the best way possible.

Thanks Remy!
Read Remy's first two interviews here and here and keep an eye for more of her work!

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