Choreofest, (Somewhat) Explained

by Kimberleigh Holman
In celebration of our friendship with the folks at Luminarium (who are coming in to the studio with us next weekend to see what sort of trouble we can all get ourselves into!) we asked Kim to share her thoughts on the upcoming ChoreoFest with you!

It's very easy to get swept away creating dance solely for the end product.  Maybe you're working on a new piece for a production, a festival, for your own satisfaction or for others' eyes and brains.  Luminarium's 24-Hour ChoreoFest is a festival that focuses on the importance of process while building community.  The abstract: six dance companies with local ties arrive at the Dance Complex, get locked into the space, pick themes from a hat, and create brand new work that premieres in a fully-produced concert the following day.  Now that you have the 'what', hopefully the following text provides insight to the 'why' behind the 24-Hour ChoreoFest.

Let's rewind to the period of time between 2010 and late 2011.  As Luminarium transitioned away from being newcomers on the dance scene, we noticed a lack of community in our collective creative processes, and a lack of opportunity for the process itself to shine.   With those thoughts steeping in the combined brain space of Merli and myself, our desire to produce a unique event that the Boston community (dance and otherwise) could participate in got harder and harder to ignore. Combine that with a love for anything ridiculous, challenging, involving caffeine/adrenaline, or a combination of any of the aforementioned, and ChoreoFest was born!  

I am happy to report that our inaugural 2012 participants (including a wonderful trio representing Monkeyhouse) exceeded all expectations in building community within the festival.   We had many discussions as a group throughout the twenty-four hours of creation that enabled all participants to find similarities and differences and celebrate them.  To further integrate the Greater Boston community, we decided to make the entire overnight period viewable to curious individuals on their own home computers through a live-stream broadcasting from the Dance Complex studios.  The hope was that anyone that tuned in online might be interested enough to come view the festival's culminating concerts, therefore growing the number of new-to-dance viewers in the live audience.  A final facet of 24-Hour ChoreoFest's community goals; all of the profit made from ticket sales to the culminating concerts is given to a local youth-serving charity for performing arts programming.  

Since we are on the cusp of a second ChoreoFest, it's no surprise that the festival was a success in its first year!  Our goal, in years of 24-Hour ChoreoFest to come, is to keep stimulating creative process and community as they are equally important to this endeavor.  We hope that local choreographers and companies aren't scared away by the idea of working amongst their peers in a timed and transparent manner, and we hope to keep developing a steady flow of interested audience members who do not regularly attend arts events.  This year's second 24-Hour ChoreoFest features 
Monkeyhouse, Ryan P. Casey, Paradise Lost, Intimations Dance, Impact Dance Company, and Luminarium Dance.  

Please visit www.luminariumdance.org/choreofest to watch the journey unfold and new work come together overnight.

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