Visiting Artist | March 21 - April 3, 2023
From Tokyo to Brooklyn: A Jagged Journey
Visiting Artist Jinza Thayer came to MANCC for her first residency from March 21 to April 3, 2023 to further develop her latest project, From Tokyo to Brooklyn: A Jagged Journey (FTTB). A movement, voice and immersive site-specific installation, this piece, which draws from Thayer’s bi-racial identity, focuses on the voice, body and memory where identity and history are stored, and “storied”.
Jinza and her three dancers, Ann Lentz, Leah Nelson, and Sharon Picasso, explored how “otherness” manifests in the senses, how the skin acts and feels, how the muscles tense and how their breathing changes in order to both uncover their own embodied histories and work on shifting the perception of “others” in reality, beginning with their own perceptions of themselves.
During Jinza’s MANCC residency, the dancers worked with her collaborator, theater director Ellen Hemphill, to ground the voice in the somatic and cultural process of learning and re-learning a mother tongue. Hemphill’s vocal artistry works towards the evocation of familiar, familial and foreign states of being – to further the deepest embodiment in the vocal and physical movement of dancers.
In addition to working with a theater director, Jinza worked with visual artist Lelis Brito to imagine the built environment of the piece, aiming to create distinctive “worlds” for dancers as well as audience to move through. Brito enlisted the assistance of FSU’s School of Dance undergraduate and graduate students in the creation of the set, enabling them to learn about the building process and contributions that are behind the creation of a choreographic piece.
FSU School of Dance Junior, Io Ermoli, described her experience with the artists in Jinza’s work as, “I loved having the opportunity to help Lelis Brito create the installation for Jinza’s new work. While sewing, I had a lovely chat with Lelis and found out we share similar family histories and learned a bit more about her career. I didn’t get to see the final product until the showing later that week, and it blew my mind. What Jinza, Lelis, and their collaborators created in two weeks was incredible. And it’s pretty cool I had a little part in bringing this creature to life. I felt a strong connection to her story and her work, so through MANCC, I got to talk with and learn more about Jinza’s creative process. I can’t wait to see how her new work grows!”
Jinza held an open rehearsal on Sunday, April 2 that was open to FSU’s School of Dance students, faculty and staff. The open rehearsal consisted of a performance and explanations from the artists, followed by an invitation for the audience to participate in the interactive experience of the set.