The joy of our heart has ceased; Our dance has turned into mourning.
By Christine Suarez• Lamentations 5:15
This beautiful work was created by dancer Christine Suarez in collaboration with Gillian McGinty in response to Lamentations 5:15 and the theme of “Dancing.”
Artist Curated by
15 The joy of our heart is ceased; our dance is turned into mourning.
This work is linked to Christine’s explorations in her last project MOTHER. MOTHER. was inspired by the birth of her son and death of her nephew. In it, she dug into joy and grief. She found through this process, a deep sense of loss– a loss of a part of herself, her identity. A truly bittersweet experience.
Christine and Gillian began working together with the intention to share their body practice with one another. Sharing weekly space and time together dovetailed naturally into investigating mourning. We began by experimenting how mourning looks/manifests/feels in different body parts. Ultimately we chose the hands. Our hands can reach out and pull away. They can comfort and connect us with one another while also push away and scold. We moved, reflected and lamented on the joy in our hearts ceasing with the intention to be open to the point where mourning can become potentially ecstatic. We wondered how can a dance of mourning become transcendent. How do we let go?
Each new project evidences Christine’s faith in the collaborative process and her belief that its generosity creates an intimate, shared space with the viewer. She has come to believe that the creative process is transformative experience – creating a community that did not exist before. She enters the process with curiosity and rigor. Her goal is to merge innovative movement, honest storytelling, academic scholarship and community activism.
Christine Suarez is a Los Angeles-based choreographer, performer and educator. Born in Caracas, Venezuela and raised in Baton Rouge Louisiana, Christine made her first works of choreography to the Grease soundtrack. Since then she has created eleven evening-length dance-theater works, numerous site-specific and community events and close to a dozen dances for the theater and film, along with teaching, creating and performing at school sites all over the U.S. While living in New York City from 1994-2006, her work was presented at various venues including Danspace Project, P.S. 122, HERE, Joyce SoHo and Dixon Place. In 1998 she founded SuarezDanceTheater, a not-for-profit, ensemble of dancers, actors and musicians. SuarezDanceTheater examines the unexpected – creating dance-theater in unexpected places with unexpected people about unexpected subjects. Christine and company were Artists in Residence at Tribeca Performing Arts Center from 2003-2006. Her work has toured nationally and internationally to over 20 cities. Her work happens in theaters, houses, parks, Churches, galleries, sidewalks and beaches. She collaborates with multi-generational performers along with parents, children, veterans, high school students and teen mothers.
Since relocating to Los Angeles, she has been invigorated by making dances in unexpected places. Wet Spots (2008) was a site-specific performance about female orgasm that she created in collaboration with a multi-generational cast of women. The Los Angeles Times called it “ingeniously crafted…poignant…hilarious.” She has organized community dance participatory performances in parks, beaches and classrooms in partnership with city governments, community based organizations and schools. She has also been touring Wet Spots: Solo to Tallinn, Estonia, Movement Research at Judson Church (New York City), The Garage (San Francisco), Emory University (Atlanta, GA), The A.W.A.R.D. Show! (REDCAT). Most recently she premiered her new evening length work MOTHER. at the Motion Pacific at the Santa Cruz Fringe Festival and Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica, CA.
As an educator, Christine has worked at public schools all over the New York City and Los Angeles area. She has been a guest teacher/choreographer at California State University San Marcos, California State University Los Angeles, Emory University, Indiana University, Southeastern University of Louisiana and Louisiana State University. She holds an MFA in choreography from UCLA’s World Arts and Cultures Department and a BA in Theater and English Literature from Emory University. She is a government contractor co-creating a dance program for Veterans at The School for Better Living, a psycho-social research initiative a the West Los Angeles VA Hospital. She also works as a teaching artist with the HeArt Project. She has been awarded grants from the Center for Cultural Innovation, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Puffin Foundation, Meet the Composer, the Association for Hispanic Arts, JP Morgan Chase Regrant, the Field and the 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Center. She is honored to be a Hispanic Scholarship Fund/Cheech Marin Endowed Scholarship Scholar and recipient of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund McNamara Family Creative Arts Projects Grant. (Photo by CedarBough Saeji) www.suarezdance.org