Tori Lawrence

online audio scores / site-specific dance

As irregular topographies are bulldozed into a flatness, I feel a destabilization, an ungrounded transience of always traveling through somewhere and not having a home. Art historian Miwon Kwon states that “we are out of place all to often” and that “the intensifying conditions of such spatial undifferentiation and departicularization – fueled by an ongoing globalization of technology and telecommunications to accommodate an ever-expanding capitalist order – exacerbate the effects of alienation and fragmentation in contemporary life."

What if my being has progressed so far that I no longer belong in this land? What if our version of progress within modernist development keeps us at a distance from it all? To industrialize a landscape and then to be a stranger. To be a depleted land, to be deleted from the land. To modernize the body so that it no longer fits.

My site-oriented performative and cinematic work is determined and directed by associational relationships between the body and landscapes/buildings/architecture. My work becomes part of the site as a way of surveying/measuring the resources that are already there, reorganizing the composition of the space, and then reorienting how it is seen. I work with the dancing body as a means to code and recode a site. I recode environments as a means to branch into other fantastical worlds of possibility – to move beyond the assumed properties of place and inscribed movement pathways. The undoing as a generative act and therefore a possibility for change.

Artist Biography

Tori Lawrence is a choreographer and filmmaker and serves as the Artistic Director of Tori Lawrence + Co. She is the 2019-2020 Artist-in-Residence and Lecturer at Middlebury College. She creates immersive site-specific dances, interdisciplinary performance installations, and dance films. Her environmentally-based work inspires an imaginative and sustainable way of looking at, thinking about, and using space. Her choreography has been presented nationally and internationally, including three site-specific performance commissions by the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. She was awarded a 2018 Lighton International Artists Exchange grant to fund her recent dance film project in Skåne, Sweden’s southernmost region. She was a lecturer in dance at the University of Kansas and the choreographer-in-residence at Franklin & Marshall College. She has been awarded artist residencies and fellowships at Yaddo, Djerassi, Playa, Brunakra, Jonah Bokaer Arts Foundation, Charlotte Street Foundation, Dance Ireland, and Budapest's Workshop Foundation. Her work has been commissioned and presented by Philadelphia Dance Projects, Movement Research at the Judson Church, Stockholm Screendance Festival, Cape Town International Film Festival, Portland Maine Film Festival, Agite y Sirva, San Francisco Tiny Dance Film Festival, Oklahoma Dance Film Festival, Legion Arts/CSPS, Lawrence Arts Center, Albrecht-Kemper Art Museum, Mulvane Art Museum, and Cyprus International Film Festival, amongst others. Lawrence received her MFA from the University of Iowa, where she was a recipient of the Iowa Arts Fellowship.