Monica Bill Barnes Creative Residency

Year: 2012-2013
DanceForce Member: Jacquie Davis
Artist: Monica Bill Barnes
Community Partner: The College at Brockport
Audience: 480
County: Monroe

Monica Bill Barnes returned to The College at Brockport’s Department of Dance for a choreographic residency that provided a week of personal work time. From September 1 to 7 she was given full access to studio space and the Hartwell Dance Theater, administrative support as needed, pre-selected additional dancers and an a cappella singing group. Accompanied by Anna Bass, she chose to spend the time developing a long duet they had begun earlier. The previous April, Barnes flew to Brockport to audition dancers and selected eight who were invited to rehearse intensively with them. The extra dancers provided Monica and Anna with the opportunity to see their duet performed in the theater and to rework sections as desired. While numerous other potential work site options were researched, Barnes decided to remain indoors for the entire time. When Barnes expressed interest in incorporating an a capella singing group, one was brought in for several rehearsals.

Rehearsals were closed and there was no pressure on the artist to plan a performance or even a talk – rather, three “Reports” were scheduled, to be used as Barnes chose, simply to share something of her work process during the residency. On the final day, Barnes and Bass taught three classes and met with students in a graduate seminar. The intent of the residency was to provide supported work time in a familiar space, without pressure of performance preparation or any anticipated resulting product.