Artist Talk: Faye Driscoll

Thursday, September 11, 2014 at 4:30pm
Cross Street Dance Studio


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"A wild woman with a scrupulous sense of form that she tweaks into eye-opening weirdness. Ferocious, hilarious, and disturbing."
The Village Voice

Choreographer and director Faye Driscoll has been called "a startlingly original talent" by The New York Times. She was born in Venice Beach, Los Angeles, California. In 1994, she moved to New York to attend Tisch School of the Arts at N.Y.U. While at Tisch, she began a five-year collaboration with the Israeli choreographer Yasmeen Godder, performing her searing and personally excavating work in New York, Prague, and Belgrade. From 1997 to 1999, she danced for David Neumann, performing in his work and assisting him in his collaboration with Mikhail Baryshnikov. From 2000 to 2003, she was a member of Doug Varone and Dancers, touring nationally and internationally performing his rapid-fire, intensely physical work. In 2003, she moved to San Francisco, where she found herself in a scene of artists, writers, and musicians who helped open up her ideas around performance and its rules. Having worked professionally for many years at this point, she was eager to recapture the feeling that made her want to dance as a kid. She still returns to this spirit today and hopes to inspire it in her audiences. She has collaborated extensively with theater artists including Young Jean Lee, Cynthia Hopkins, Taylor Mac, Jennifer Miller and the National Theater of the United States of America.

This fall Ms. Driscoll is a Creative Campus Fellow at Wesleyan, researching and developing Thank You For Coming: Play, one of a series of works she will be creating over the next several years which heighten how we experience ourselves in relation to other bodies, other stories, and the spaces we inhabit. Each iteration of the work forms a unique lens onto how we subvert social experience to prove that we do not exist in a vacuum, and are made toward the creation of interdependent societies, whether it is the creation of a connected body, story, or space. Together, they form a contemporary ritual in which we experience and inhabit the interconnectivity and culpability of ourselves in a heightened arena, in an irreverent and rigorous effort to create new bodies, stories, and forms. Through this work she is asking: How do we perceive ourselves as participants in the co-creation of our reality, and through performance can we collectively, in some small way, create a new vision of society?

Her focus in Thank You For Coming: Play is on the ritual of storytelling, forcing it to the forefront of a physically driven dance-play that investigates how we rely on stories to relate to one another and form identities as individuals and as citizens. While at Wesleyan, she is engaging in her research through collaborative embodied, written, and performed experiments with students, dialogue with various professors, sitting in on lectures and classes in pertinent academic subjects, and personal research time in the dance studio and library. She is interested in researching how narrative functions across multiple perspectives: personal, autobiographical, familial, psychological, neurobiological, mythical, religious, and political. Immersed in the vibrant and focused campus life, she is delving into narrative’s complex impact on our bodies and developing choreographic methods and processes based on this research.