Dance Department hosts choreographer Cameron McKinney for summer residency

June 9, 2022

New York Town-based choreographer Cameron McKinney, inventive director of Kizuna Dance, has been a summer months visitor artist in the School of Education’s Dance Section the previous three months. Picked out for this residency by UW–Madison dance pupils, McKinney generates is effective that celebrate Japanese lifestyle applying present-day, very athletic movement and floorwork.

Dance Department hosts choreographer Cameron McKinney for summer residency
NYC-based choreographer Cameron McKinney has been a visitor artist in home at UW–Madison, training two Summer Expression programs in the Dance Department. (Image: Sarah Maughan)

The residency will culminate on Friday, June 10, at midday, with a premiere of a new do the job produced by McKinney on Dance Section students in the Margaret H’Doubler Performance House in Lathrop Hall (1050 University Avenue). 

McKinney, who started out dancing in college, states that up to date floorwork forms the bodily main of his will work, “creating hyperphysical emotional landscapes for dancers to check out emotional and conceptual tips by movement.” His technique brings together the grace of modern dance with the pace and fluidity of streetdance, capoeira, and house dance. 

McKinney became fascinated with Japanese tradition when he was 13 many years outdated, immediately after hearing Japanese music. He analyzed the Japanese language via superior university, and he claims what commenced as a passion “soon became a lifelong enthusiasm.” McKinney has now been engaged in the research of Japanese language and society for 17 years, and he will be conducting a efficiency residency with his enterprise fully in Japanese afterwards this summer months.

McKinney notes that his work does not use Japanese standard dances or prescribe Japanese society. As an alternative, he says, he works by using aspects of Japanese language and lifestyle — and his activities within that society as an African American person — as a “jumping off point” for his performs.

McKinney’s enterprise tagline is “Cultural Ambassadorship as a result of the Performing Arts,” and he says he sees dance as a language that can hook up cultures. 

“Learn to talk another person’s language, and you have taken a stage towards creating a relationship with them,” he suggests. “Dance is the language of the earth, of the bodies that each of us hold.”

An immersive summer working experience

McKinney has been training two Summer months Time period programs at UW–Madison, Up to date Strategy and Repertory. Students have dedicated about a few several hours every single day Monday as a result of Friday for 3 months to mastering his system.

Cameron McKinney dance class
(Image: Sarah Maughan)

“It’s been definitely attention-grabbing to just adapt and study and be able to immerse ourselves in his fashion,” claims Clare Weigert, a growing junior and dance main. “Cameron truly uses the ground as an component way extra than I have at any time professional below so far. And that is a seriously vital ingredient.”

“I generally like (discovering from) visitor artists mainly because they carry a new perspective, and new motion and movement ideas,” Weigert provides.

Abbi Stickels, a growing senior and dance important, agrees: “It’s really great to phase into his world for a few weeks and get started to acquire on his vernacular and his thoughts. Viewing what may be snug or what may well be value checking out further has been fantastic. Observing minimal milestones and observing minor things get easier for myself has been truly gratifying as very well.”

Cameron McKinney dance class
(Photograph: Sarah Maughan)

On Friday, June 10, at noon, the college students will complete a manufacturer new function that McKinney made with them in a general public exhibiting. McKinney suggests he chose to build a new perform as an alternative of environment past repertory in buy to contain the pupils and their movement histories in the artistic course of action.

“It’s crucial to me that the pupils have a voice in the system, along with my movement language,” he claims.

The party is cost-free and open up to the general public in the Margaret H’Doubler Effectiveness Room in Lathrop Corridor, and will contain a short talkback with McKinney and the dancers following the performance. 

Hafidah Rosyid

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