Constellations & Influences: Rebecca Brooks
April 8, 2014
I started teaching dance when I was 12 years old. My teachers Carol Winder and Nancy Saylor entrusted me with great responsibility and encouraged me to seek experiences beyond our small town in rural Virginia. After a couple of summers at ADF, Donna Faye Burchfield let me take her classes at Hollins without fully enrolling there. When I asked her where I should go to college, she told me that if I didn’t stay at Hollins then I should go study with Viola Farber at Sarah Lawrence. So I went to Sarah Lawrence, but Viola had passed away just a few months before I arrived. The program there was in flux, every element seemed to be in question, and it was an exciting time. My last year there I began studying the Alexander Technique with June Ekman, and I connected with this deep psychophysical re-education work, intellectually, physically, and emotionally. This work had everything to do with my daily living, but I wasn’t yet finding satisfying ways to connect it to my dancing. Then, for just a few days my last semester at Sarah Lawrence, Juliette Mapp taught the advanced dance technique classes. With Juliette, I started bridging the subtle and vast experiences I’d had in the Alexander setting, with full body, mindful and extravagant dancing. When I moved to Brooklyn 11 years ago, the first thing I did was to seek out Juliette’s classes at Movement Research. Since then I’ve had the great pleasure to work with many brilliant artists and teachers, and am continuing to gather and absorb artistic influences from near and far, but somehow this little piece of lineage feels absolutely essential.
New Work: Anna Azrieli/Rebecca Brooks runs Thursday – Saturday at Danspace Project