Jennifer Nugent

online audio scores / improvisation

My practice is fueled by physical and metaphysical relationships. My artistry is my practice as a parent, a partner, a friend, and a human. I want to move, and be moved by information that is not coming from myself alone. When I am embedded inside collaboration or an exchange with an audience, I experience intimacy, directness, and the honesty that comes from not being able to hide. This exchange propels me to constantly shift and change, wanting to assert myself, while experiencing destabilizing sensations of clarity and confusion. I am committed to the pursuit of relentless awareness of who I am, who I am not, and how I relate to others. I want to share and listen.

I also wonder about existence, pause, process, and individuation within performance and teaching. I want my dancing to lead me towards uncharted and indeterminate spaces. When I dance I feel both powerful and lost. The intellectual and physical rigor of dance continues to present me with a sense of humility, a play of transmission between listening and doing. Within my work, I connect with myself through a process of being both a dancer and a feeling/desiring/living being who becomes revealed through the practice of performance. Performance has the ability to capture who I am and reveal this information to me, in the exact moment that it is happening; it is an exquisite sensation, and for this I am grateful.

At this time I am still performing, and though not touring forty-two weeks out of a year, I find myself unable to “sit still.” I completed graduate school five months ago and I now interrogate my dance practices through lenses of Critical Race Pedagogy, Queer Theory, Social Theory, and Philosophy. I feel emboldened by movement, but how might I offer insight through physical engagement, discussion, written words, and performance? I am more eager than ever to create work and perform with this in mind.

I am not done getting to know my own dancing and I am noting how my relationship to dance and to my body is changing as I get older. While attending to subtle and virtuosic nuances, complex conversations in movement continue to keep me wanting to share myself with others. I use my physical, performative, and teaching investigations as sources for assessing movement. I receive embodied feedback through forms such as contact improvisation and partnering, which value listening through movement and inform my sensory and physical somatic self.

In my teaching and performance practice I work to articulate and share my internal experiences. I work to create spaces where factors such as physical form, space, and community become virtuosic and subtle landscapes for learning and deepening movement. I enrich my practices through sharing and refining my ideas in front of others—a transmission of spoken and gestural language. My aim is to nurture the proposition of physicality as a theoretical and complex language that resides inside a rejuvenating container of possibility. I see teaching as a collective and collaborative endeavor that spans beyond the dance studio and towards radical listening, philosophy, theory, action, writing, and discourse. I believe teaching is an art form that extends from performance and vice versa; each serving as a pedagogy in and of itself.

Artist Biography

Originally from South Florida, I now reside in Brooklyn, NY. I have been performing since age sixteen, most notably with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company from 2009-2014 and David Dorfman Dance from 1999-2007. My practices are profoundly inspired by Daniel Lepkoff, Wendell Beavers, Patty Townsend, and an ongoing collaboration with Paul Matteson. Currently I am working on a new solo project, Up Against, which uses dance (steps, improvisation, shape, and gesture) as a way to articulate my curiosities and allow the vibration and energies that surface within the process of being in the studio to reverberate inside the performance. Recently I was an artist in residence at the Bodies in Motion Festival supported by A.P.E.@Hawley and the School for Contemporary Dance and Thought in Northampton, MA. I am a teaching artist at Gibney Dance NYC, Movement Research NYC, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and Sarah Lawrence College, NY.