danceworkbook: Braiding / Unbraiding / Rebraiding with Headlong Dance Theater and Tere O’Connor

Screencap from “Braiding / Unbraiding / Rebraiding” with Headlong Dance Theater and Tere O’Connor, the first iteration of The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage’s danceworkbook series. Site design by Andy Owens.

Danceworkbook, a series produced by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, documents the creative practice of living and working with dance.

“Dance leads a journey away from language, not against it, and the experience of watching a work parallels that of making it.” —Tere O’Connor

In the first iteration of danceworkbook, Braiding / Unbraiding / Rebraiding, Philadelphia’s Headlong Dance Theater examined artistic process in collaboration with Tere O’Connor, director of Tere O’Connor Dance in New York City. Headlong invited O’Connor, an innovator in the field of sustained dialogue, to join them over the course of four months in 2007, for rehearsals, workshops, and discussion. This was part of Headlong’s continuing efforts to challenge its members and remain porous about the creative process.

Screencap from “Braiding / Unbraiding / Rebraiding” with Headlong Dance Theater and Tere O’Connor, the first iteration of The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage’s Danceworkbook series. Site design by Andy Owens.

O’Connor brought new strategies to Headlong’s dance studio; he asked the three directors—Amy Smith, Andrew Simonet, and David Brick—to work independently from the start. With this radical alteration to their usual practice, and without the pressure of needing to produce a finished dance, this dedicated time became a research laboratory. The conversations that resulted extended beyond the studio to become part of the participants’ woven lives.

Visit the Braiding / Unbraiding / Rebraiding danceworkbook page >

See all iterations of the Center’s danceworkbook series >

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Grants & Grantees

Artistic Director Nichole Canuso likes to explore “dances that celebrate the awkwardness, humor and surprise in human experience.”

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Grants & Grantees

Dorothy Wilkie’s (Pew Fellow, 2007) choreography involves the re-staging and re-choreographing of traditional West African and Afro-Cuban dances.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Judy Hussie-Taylor has served as Executive Director of Danspace Project, a New York City venue for independent experimental choreographers, since 2008. Hussie-Taylor served as a Pew Fellowships panelist in 2012 and 2013, a Performance LOI panelist in 2014, and as the Performance panel chair in 2015.

Grants & Grantees

Frank Sherlock (Pew Fellow, 2013) views poetry as a call to action and a tool for encouraging interactions and conversations within public spaces.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Dan Hurlin currently teaches performance art, dance, and puppetry at Sarah Lawrence College, where he also serves as the director of the graduate program in theater. In 2015, Hurlin served as a Performance LOI panelist.

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