We have loved reading all of these conversations between artists! Here is Audra Carabetta and Eva Dean in our latest installment of Artists Talking to Artists!
AC: You mentioned in your bio that "EDD thrives in unusual settings". Over the years what would you say qualifies as the most unusual?
ED: My answer may differ depending on how I feel on any particular day as there are a number of unusual site specific locations at which EDD has performed. Today, I feel like the most unusual site specific location was an empty swimming pool in a production presented by DanceNow NYC at the Carmine Street Recreation Center in the West Village in Manhattan (2000). Contenders are the Rock Garden in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and a turn of the century barn in Sheffield, MA.
AC: Were there any mentors from your past that inspired the work you do today?
ED: Honestly, there is no one person that I would list as a primary mentor, but there are many, many people who have inspired me. My short list that could easily grow into a long list is: Simone Forti, Nancy Stark Smith, Julie Rochlin, Joan Duddy, Laura Torbet, Donald Knaack (The Junkman), Dan Froot, Susan Rethorst and last but first, my lifetime love Stephen Doody. Please Google these extraordinary people! They all have great artistic histories.
And even though a place is not a person/mentor I would be remiss if I did not give a SHOUT OUT to my Alma Mater Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. Hampshire College gave me the opportunity to do be who I was at the time, honor my creativity and experiment. I love having experimentation as a fundamental part of my creative process, and I am grateful that this part of me was allowed to grow and thrive at Hampshire College.
AC: What is one of the most challenging obstacles you face as a choreographer?
ED: Gender bias
AC: How would you describe your creative process? Has it changed over the years?
ED: My earliest and most extensive and influential dance training was contact improvisation at Hampshire College. Along the way, I filled my movement “tool chest” with a number of other dance techniques (i.e. Flamenco, Ballet, Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais Technique, and more). Choreographically, I broke away from the Post Modern genre, while maintaining movement and conceptual experimentation as a foundation of my work. My BOUNCE choreography, which is viewed by some as my signature work, is highly influenced by my early Contact Improvisation training and my love of going into uncharted movement territory. With that said, I have made well over 40 dances over the past 27 years and some of my repertory is quite different both in form and content. I think the “connecting” elements of my lifetime body of work is a willingness to explore creative territory that I know nothing about, respect and honor of my internal muse despite current trends, staying as open as I possibly can to the collective unconscious which is a limitless source of creative energy, and struggling to keep joy in my heart even if the content and underbelly of the dance I create is dark and unyielding.
Do you have a question for Eva that Audra didn't ask? Well then, why don't you ask her here!? All of the Against the Odds artists and everyone at Monkeyhouse wants to know what YOU are thinking, so let's keep the conversation going!