ABOUT DANI COLE
Dani Cole is a NYC-based movement artist, founder of the collective Mobilized Voices/M O B I V, improviser with ECHOensemble, dancer with 277 Dance Project, and serves as the Curatorial Associate at Gibney. She was in process with Bill T. Jones as a community artist for his new work in January 2019. Dani has performed in works by Michael Thomas (Alvin Ailey), Alessio Silvestrin (Frankfurt Ballet), jill sigman/thinkdance, and Jessica DiMauro. Dani received her undergraduate degree from Marymount Manhattan College, where she studied dance and political science, trained at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance and was a member of the inaugural Body Politic cohort facilitated by Jill Sigman.
As an improviser and choreographer, Dani is interested in body politics and the interdisciplinary, researching the intersections of choreographic frameworks and socio-political structures that are ripe with potentiality – her solo and group works have been shared through the 92nd St. Y, TADA! Theater, Actor’s Fund Arts Center, Bridge for Dance, Access Theatre, Emelin Theatre, and Marymount Manhattan College. Her recent dance piece, don’t go back. where? received the Alpha Chi award for “most outstanding researched work.”
Dani is currently a commissioned choreographer at The Steffi Nossen School of Dance. In 2018, Dani held a choreographic residency at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance. She has traveled to South Africa to meet with fellow student activists in advocacy for the decolonization of education and is an ambassador for the Foundation for Holocaust Education Projects. As a certified yoga instructor and somatic practitioner, Dani conducts self-created movement+connection workshops encouraging all bodies to unlock innovation through improvisation and to move consciously with others.
Photo by Ezra Goh
Throughout my choreographic experiences, I have sourced interest from a variety of sources, including physicality, critical discourse, activist work, and other mediums of art. Recently, I am distinctively curious about embodiment’s ongoing relationships with the world’s structures and systems. I ask how these how these systems can be changed—shifted, softened, stretched, and imploded—by moving bodies and co-authored dialogues.
The work begins in tight spaces of structure and of questions that are rigorous. Early in process, I am not interested in predetermined phrasing or architecture of each choreographic creation. Rather, I engage myself and collaborators in an improvisationally driven navigations of each tight space. With my voice as a guide, we fill a structure until it overflows (or, we suck the air out until it becomes a vacuum of free-floating potential).
My processes unfold with emphasis on multi-faceted reflection. In research, creation, and performance, bodies move, speak, and write. Spoken text becomes a vital component to works. Through movement and speech, body narratives in relation to our questions are re-written, abstracted, and deeply honed. In an attentiveness to spontaneous-making and reflective practice, linearity is confused and coherence is fostered in a collaborative community without pre-determined trajectories.
Improvisational and choreographic practices are intertwined. Preparation lives in each body’s existence—the energy of research, what were tight spaces, and the boundaries of time drives me to development content within the specific (dis)orientation of the present space and community. Although I share focused leadership, I am more deeply influenced by the questioning and interaction of the dancer-collaborators with the content, as well as their inquiries connected to directives. Creation and change-making lives in our listening and active dialogue as we inform, transcend, and choreographically re-frame together.