Through dance we gain insight into the mystery of the body, the human psyche, and life itself. We move even more than we speak, yet we often forget the importance of simple movement.
Erin Reynolds dance works and classes are formatted to remember the importance of movement; they offer a space to live honestly and expansively.
Nurturing movement potentials we may have never realized existed, dance allows us to think about how we move and empowers us to decide how, when and why we want to.
Dance is not simply an art form that only certain people have the opportunity to be good at. It is a format in which every single person already exists and thrives, and it is for this reason that it is essential to our world.
Can you imagine a world without movement? It would certainly be a difficult world to live in. Now imagine a world where all bodies are accepted, all people feel the importance of their individual movement styles - where people have a better understanding of movement, and ultimately better control over the outcomes it creates. This is the environment I strive to cultivate every day.
Erin grew up dancing around her living room to the sounds of her parent’s wild music. She did not start seriously dancing until she was about 12. She took technique classes at a local studio and auditioned into a ballet based dance group where she continued to train through her high school years under its director Yelena Holt.
While in high school she also taught jazz and ballet classes at her local studio and was asked to help out as a peer tutor for the High School’s program, where she helped teach and demonstrate ballet, modern, and jazz techniques. She has continued to take technique classes in modern, ballet, jazz, improvisation and contemporary as well as several other forms and has performed in several shows under a variety of choreographers.
From 2009-2012 she went Cabrillo College where she performed in six of their showcases, took classes from several of its professors, received the Tandy Beal award for artistry in dance, received her A.A. in Dance and an A.S. in Chemistry, and was asked to teach and choreograph for its jazz class. She then transferred to The University of California Berkeley where she performed in and choreographed several pieces, worked with several of its renowned professors including Joe Goode, received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance and Performance Studies, and guest taught a class. In 2013 she was asked to be a part of the dance company The DefiANCE Project and presented a piece in their May 2013 showcase “Great Things” in Berkeley, CA.
Erin began choreographing early on in her dancing career, and has had her dances performed in various places including Nevada Union High School, Grass Valley’s Center for the Arts Theater, Cabrillo College, ACDFA, The 418 Project, Motion Pacific, Ponderosa, and UC Berkeley. In 2012 she began putting together the collaborative company Bare Outlines with her fellow company members, and has received several grants and residencies for their works.
After receiving her undergraduate degree, Erin then travelled to Europe where she spent several months training, dancing, and choreographing. While there she attended the Ponderosa improvisation-training module in Berlin, created and performed works in Berlin, took classes throughout France, and attended the international contemporary dance festival ImpulsTanz in Vienna.
When returning to the United States, Erin brought back with her an extensive knowledge of international contemporary techniques as well as passionate beliefs in the importance of popularizing the artistry of dance. She then moved to Sacramento, California where she taught classes in ballet, modern, contemporary, composition, improvisation and contemporary partnering dance styles. She also expanded her repertoire to include yoga, receiving a 200 hour RYT certification to teach yoga and taught yoga classes for several years whilst in Sacramento.
In 2018, Erin went on to study at California State University, Long Beach, where she worked with numerous notable faculty, researched the intersections between performance and new media, directed the multi-disciplinary, free-to-the public, community arts performance The Quaking Place: Creative Placemaking in the Digital Age, and received her Master of Fine Arts Degree in Dance with an emphasis on choreography.
Additionally, Erin is currently the co-artistic director of the dance performance group E&C and artistic director of Erin Reynolds Performances with whom her more recent choreographic works have been shown in places as far and wide as San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Berlin.
Erin is currently a lecturer for the Department of Dance at CSU Long Beach.
I see dance as an embodied frame through which we can see and understand both our personal and universal, kinetic worlds. As a contemporary choreographer who has been immersed in the world of dance for most of her life, I have always had an incessant desire to understand all there is to know about the body. Through dance we gain insight into the mystery of the body, the human psyche, and life itself. We move even more than we speak, yet we often forget the importance of the embodied relationships we have with the world. My choreography asks conscious and unconscious self-realizing questions about how we move through life and why.
I create site-based performance utilizing public-living spaces that accommodate interaction between internet personas and ephemeral live-ness. Through utilization of unconventional spaces in the public sphere, my performances interact with communities who do not normally have the opportunity to witness dance. I discover and utilize innovative spaces for contemporary dance that are accessible to our 21st-century new media age.
I choreograph using sensory and visual imagery. If you were to stand in a field of wheat, what would it feel like? I think of the bright yellow lines and the feel of the grains between my fingers, the bright blue sky above and the integral role of agriculture. I think of the grassy roots in the ground and the smell of dry grain wafting through the air. I imagine feeling a lovely, stark loneliness as I look across the vast landscape. I use these receptive modalities to create performances that live and breathe within the sites they are performed. Works whose relatable movement and imagery are as intricate as the worlds by which they are inspired.
If nothing else, what feels most important to my work is that I simply wish to show people the beauty of bodies in motion, for I hold no higher aim as a choreographer than this simple truth.
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Photo Credits: Erin Reynolds and Collette Kollewe