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 and film 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.
Reynolds grew up dancing in a small town in rural California. She has a Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance from California State University, Long Beach, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance and Performance Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and an AA degree in Dance and AS degree in Chemistry from Cabrillo College. She is a recipient of the Grand Canyon National Park Artist Residency, the Tandy Beal Award, the 2020 CSULB Graduate Dean’s List and Distinguished Achievement in Creative Activity Awards, KAZU’s Emerging Choreographer, and Insight’s Artstreet: Artist to Watch. Reynolds is currently the co-artistic director of the collaborative dance performance groups E&C and Bare Outlines, the artistic director of Erin Reynolds Performances, and an ongoing collaborator with Heather Barker and the Immersive Design Research Lab. Highlighted works have been shown in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berlin, Istanbul, and Vienna. She is currently a lecturer for the Department of Theatre and Dance at California State University, Sacramento, a lecturer for the Department of Kinesiology at the California State University, Chico, and researches the intersections between performance, new media, and public space.
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 Reynold's 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 our personal connections to movement and empowers us to decide how, when and why we want to move.
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.
Photo Credits: Erin Reynolds