Hi there! Liz Zastrow, here, intern for the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange and rehearsal assistant for The Matter of Origins Act II “Tea.” In May, I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a Dance BFA, journalism minor and Honors College degree. I met the Dance Exchange in February when the company visited Sheboygan, WI for a Connecting Communities dance residency at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center. I also attended DX’s Tools for Health training in Milwaukee this June.
As an intern with the company here in Takoma Park, I’m eager to soak up all that I can about the Dance Exchange. I’m observing its incredible dancers and applying their movement strategies to my body, I’m watching how they problem-solve during rehearsal, and I’m testing my communication skills.
I’ve already gained a lot from a moment in last week’s rehearsal. Liz Lerman gave the “Tea” cast a sneak peek at the premiere, but said, “This is not a physics lesson.” Nevertheless, as the dancers worked their way through a section under construction, adjunct artist Keith Thompson applauded, “Now that is science!”
What did he mean? Indeed, there’s a science to human interaction. There’s also an art to doing science. And various methods yield vast potential to discover knowledge. For me, both art and science exist as alchemists. They transform the unknown into the known. While physics helps us to understand dark matter and string theory, our physical bodies catapult us into the present moment: The vulnerability of performing, of using the body to create art, teaches us something about ourselves. When, through art or science, the unknown becomes known, how do we respond? What is gained? And do we lose anything in the process? …Questions for me to ponder, too, as I navigate the new experiences this internship brings!