By Arien Wilkerson, Artistic Director of TNMOT AZTRO
My artistic process all begins with sensation. I automatically think about what sensations I can pull out of another human being. Working with dancers you already begin to do that work before opening it up to an audience. I feel most of my movement is connected to street because I am of it. I start to think about how a room already lives and breathes like a city, or with nature all around us. Street has helped me become so expansive with my thinking, it is what drew me to dance in the first place. When I start to create I also think about how I can add an element of my street life in the work I make. As scenic as an island in the middle of the ocean or a digital purgatory state, street elements will always be there. Sounds are never really important to me, they add an element to dance only if you want it. Movement is a language and I love languages along with traveling, so when creating with TNMOT AZTRO I indulge in languages and other worlds. The body is speaking the language of the work/world we create, the essence of where I want it to come from.
We use tons of descriptive ideals, researching tools or improvisational tools, some disturbing, some jarringly truthful, and exposing or really fun. This helps them develop their sensations to the movement. After that I connect to street, (meaning their lives) and how they use it along with see it. A lot of my work comes from a spiritual place so there is a connection to energy, and the body when you use movement as a vessel to push boundaries deep within yourself. I create in a place where repetition turns into conversations. The more you see and do the same movement or gesture the more you understand the language, and how to speak it, and use it. When we are working on specific sections within my work I bring in readings from books and lines from conversations that I had or movies I’ve seen. Even mental images or ideals that can give dancers a very literal point of view yet most times a complex point of view. All in all the company creates dance like we are at some amazing summer camp all the time. Rehearsals can be as intense as a team building exercise, subtle like the sunset and overwhelmingly powerful like the ocean.
Visit www.TNMOTAZTRO.com for more on Arien’s work.
TNMOT AZTRO creates performance and installation works which blend dance, fashion and visual media by engaging collaborations with artists from throughout Connecticut and beyond. The Hartford-based company expresses its passion for originality, color, purpose and freedom through film/video, photography, DJing, projector installations and multimedia performances.