ChoreoFest Interview: Kimberleigh A Holman!

by Nicole Harris

photo credits available at http://kaholman.com/about/
ChoreoFest ends TODAY!! We are mere hours away from the first of this years ChoreoFest performances, and we're rounding out our final choreographer interviews. Our penultimate interview slot goes to our friend, collaborator, ChoreoFest organizer and one third of this year's choreographic super group, Paranarium House, Kimberleigh A Holman of the incomparable Luminarium!

Nicole Harris: What made you want to make the move from being a dancer to a choreographer?
Kim Holman: I've sort of always been a creator (as opposed to a dancer, though I enjoy moving), as I love cause and effect and watching the outcome of various experiments. The joy in a performance for me is not performing for an audience but watching something from the depths of my mind exist by itself on stage at the same time as an audience.

Nicole: What are you most nervous about regarding ChoreoFest?
Kim: At present I don't feel nervous about ChoreoFest, but last weekend I woke up in a panic and cold sweat at 4:30am worrying that I'd let everyone down by not making anything at all. That was the first time I've ever had such an anxious dream! I think since we are merging companies this year (Luminarium, Monkeyhouse, Paradise Lost), I'm slightly nervous at the idea of having so many bodies in one room with a finite amount of work time. Sure, I know most of the others in the room, but we've never worked together. There's something exciting, worrisome and beautiful about that.

Nicole: Have you participated in ChoreoFest before? If so, what is your favorite memory of that experience? What advice do you have for new ChoreoFest choreographers? Are there things you hope to do differently this time?
Kim: Of course, I'm 4 for 4! There are too many favorite moments for me to pinpoint one - if I had to it might be the singing coffee pot - but I will say that the best stuff happens in the common spaces (around food, in tech, in discussion). My advice to newbies would be to embrace opportunities outside of the workspace/studio. You might be feeling stressed, but take time to chat with others, share your concerns, let others into your studio to help. I'm changing my mind. My favorite memory is the failure that was the Year One ChoreoLympics. Never again will we ask a room full of exhausted frustrated creators to participate in organized games at 4am.

Nicole: Since this is a very controlled creative space (in terms of time and topic) where do you see yourself starting when you get in the space?
Kim: This year we have controlled time and topic, and the new experience that is Paranarium House! Tyler, Nicole and I met to talk about how we would approach making a new piece in a very collaborative new manner, and created a game plan. We will be using a lot of experimentation, sharing, writing and noisemaking with the three of us acting as facilitators. This might be the first time in my life where I have no idea what will happen and what the product might look like. Exciting!

Nicole: In creating a new work, what in the relationship between you and your dancers? Do they participate in the creative process? If so, how?
Kim: In past years of this festival my dancers have been integral to the creative process and I'd imagine it would be the same this year, just in a larger context. I enjoy starting a new ChoreoFest piece by working through concepts with experimentation and improv to see what might happen. Each new experiment is a refinement of what came before. I work similarly outside of ChoreoFest, though I tend to bring more specific ideas or choreographic material to try out.

Nicole: Knowing that Karen Krolak will be on hand as "choreographic guru", what things do you hope she can help with in the overnight process?
Kim: It will be amazing to have an outside set of eyes (clad in brand new ChoreoFest glasses, no less) to step in when we get deep in the process. Because the timeline is so condensed at ChoreoFest, it's so easy to get buried by ideas and lose sight of your initial impulses. Having someone around to ask questions and share what they are seeing will be so helpful.

Nicole: Who are some of your favorite choreographers?
Kim: I'm going to try to keep this random list somewhat concise: Andrea Miller, David Parsons, Bob Fosse, Mark Morris, Akram Kahn, Gene Kelly, Lloyd Newson/DV8 Physical Theatre... really anyone that makes dance with some driving force/passion behind it.

Nicole: Who are your mentors? How are you paying forward the things your mentor gave you?
Kim: As far as making dance and living life as a creator go, the wonderfully giving Karen Krolak has been invaluable to me in recent years and I certainly consider her a mentor (gosh, hopefully she accepts!). I think one of the sticking themes that I carry away from conversations with Karen is to not be limited by practicality in the face of a great idea, a sort of wild spin off on where there's a will, there's a way.

Nicole: Where can people learn more about you and your work?
Kim: LuminariumDance.org, or my brand new site kaholman.com. The best idea would be to come check out a Luminarium show, however, and there are lots of chances to do just that this fall.

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