CalArts shaped me into a person motivated and inspired to make art and upon graduation I felt that I had been taught all of the essential tools to begin my journey as a young Dance Artist… or so I thought, until I met Bob Eisen. Four years of critical thinking and feedback while at CalArts had sharpened my perception regarding dance making. I was taught to know what it was that I was trying to communicate through dance.
I began dancing for Bob approximately one year after I had graduated from CalArts. I will never forget my first rehearsals with Bob, he would teach a phrase of movement, which felt like no other movement that I had embodied before, then for hours we would punch, jab, crawl, spin in flight and roll around the floor. Classical and Modern dance movement vocabulary was used sparingly. I did not know it then but I had just stepped onto the path of Post Modern Dance.
The dance group would practice Bob’s idiosyncratic dance phrases over and over again. I can still hear Bob saying, “No, that’s not it… try again.” One day after having performed a movement phrase for what felt like a 101 times I exclaimed, “what do you want!” and Bob gently replied, “I don’t know.” With Bob’s simple, calm and honest response I felt as if my creative foundation had tilted on its point of axis. Instantaneously, I understood something completely new about art making: The discipline of art making was as much about what I did not know as what I did know. My schooling had taught me the craft of dance making and Bob taught me how to trust in the not- knowingness. I continued dancing in Bob’s dances for nearly a decade and never did he ever approach the process the same way twice. Bob Eisen is one of the most inspiring Dance Artist that I have had the great honor to have danced for and with. Bob presently splits his time living in Russia and New York, dancing.
The Crotch to The World Phrase (excerpt), is a trio excerpt performed by Bob, Judith Mikita and myself. Click on the title to see the excerpt.