Logo for Institute of Dance Scholarship

As part of the Institute of Dance Scholarship at Temple, the Reflection:Response Commission invites choreographers to consider as a starting point how we "reflect" and "respond"  through  the experiential body, the choreographic body and the activist body. The commission includes a cash award of $5,000, access to rehearsal space and the production of the new work in Temple’s Conwell Dance Theater. 

Woman jumping mid-air with arms extended, black background
Marion Ramírez

2019 Commission

Marion Ramirez

Peformance: September 20 & 21, 2019, Conwell Dance Theater

Internationally acclaimed dancer and choreographer, Marion Ramírez will create Knots and Nests, an improvisational performance project for people of all ages that celebrates the relationship of a duet as the smallest unit of a community. Ramírez will engage the diverse needs for empathic human connection in the different stages and cycles of life."I’m inspired to challenge social behaviors related to touch, while celebrating the many ways we communicate using physical contact,” said Ramírez.

Knots and Nests will consist of a series of participatory performance events across campus in fall 2019. These public interdisciplinary performance events/workshops will zoom into the intimacy of the living room rug, or “home space” where improvisational interactions are explored and practiced. In these improvisational rituals, guided by artists trained by Ramírez, each participant will establish their individual expression while matching and responding to the qualities of the other. Drawing inspiration from 15 years of practice of Contact Improvisation, Somatic Movement Therapy, and a lifetime practice on social partner dance, Ramírez intends Knots and Nests to be a space for planting the seeds of conflict resolution, practicing ways of attaching with another, establishing personal boundaries, and celebrating our capacity for joining another as we observe the emergence of the third force which grows in this consensual dialogue witnessed by the participants acting as supporters of this collective bonding experience.

Knots and Nests culminates with a dance performance presented in Conwell Dance Theater on Sept 20 & 21, 2019. This mainstage performance aims to bring the intimate experience of dancing on the living room rug, and in the performance workshops, to the dance concert arena. Says Ramírez: “I aim to use the theater as a site-specific space, rearranging the space from the way it is usually used, allowing the audience to move around rugs with video projections, to enter and exit the home, feel closely the possible tenderness and tension or reflect from afar.

Puerto Rican dance artist, Marion Ramírez, is dedicated to the art of improvisation as a tool for experiencing bodily agency and empathy. She has choreographed, performed, and taught Contact Improvisation in numerous dance festivals, university residencies and events across the US, Puerto Rico, South Korea, Cuba, Germany, and the UK. Since 2003, she has been immersed in the practice of Kinetic Awareness and Body-Mind Centering®, and is currently completing a Certification in Somatic Movement Therapy (Dynamic Embodiment™) with Dr. Martha Eddy. She teaches Contact Improvisation and Somatics at Temple University. Her most recent works include the choreographic commission I see you, choreographed for The Fathering Circle and presented at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and extensive creative collaborations with Jungwoong Kim, including the development of SaltSoul presented at Asian Arts Initiative. She holds a BFA from The Laban Center London and an MFA at Temple University.