Founded by Karen Klein, teXtmoVes works in the interdisciplinary intersection between spoken word and movement, poetry and dance, experimentally exploring their boundaries and connections. It is the goal of this collective to bring intergenerational performance works which integrate dance and poetry to diverse audiences.
teXtmoVes does not simply have a poet recite and dancers move, but explores multiple innovative ways to integrate words/meaning/movement. Words are not literally translated into movement, making dance illustrate words, a practice which has a rich history in dance and choreography. Instead, our work interrogates the relationship between the two modes more deeply and complexly through choreographic and vocal practices. For example, dance movements take their own shapes while the roles of poet and dancers are fully integrated; the dancers are involved in speaking and the poet is one of the movers. Unlike spontaneous or improvised spoken word, the integrity of the poem is respected; its stanzaic trajectory underlies the narrative of movement. Repetition, a technique common in both poetry and dance, is used as speakers repeat words or phrases to emphasize their meaning and to guide audience comprehension. Repetition with variation in the dancers’ movements unites with verbal repetitions to form patterns of cohesion. Unless specified, there is no music. The voiced poem and its rhythm constitute the music. The poem is the score. Musicians, however, while playing their instrument, may join the dancers/speakers and move with them. Our performances are geared to audiences who come to both poetry readings and dance concerts and who appreciate the challenge of innovative presentations and creative interdisciplinary work in art forms.
teXtmoVes is a collaborative of poets and dancers who share a commitment to respecting the integrity of poems and integrating movement and voice. We envision growing to include several different poets and dancers/movers working under the umbrella of teXtmoVes.
As a new venture, we need to build audiences. We bring a new way to present formal poetry. Removing the poet reading behind the lectern, standard for poetry readings, the integration of our dancers will present a different aesthetic, challenging and captivating both eyes and ears and increasing the size of dance audiences for small companies. For shorter programs with smaller groups, we see local libraries as the perfect place to present our work. Art environments such as galleries offer ideal performance sites, as do museums which have arts programming as part of their community service. Halls in some local houses of worship could be performance spaces and bring in another set of audiences for our integrative approach.
Boston Dance Theater
Co-Artistic Director, Jessie Jeanne Stinnett
Poet-in-Residence, Sarah Anne Stinnett
Under the co-artistic direction of Jessie Jeanne Stinnett and award winning, Dutch-Israeli, choreographer Itzik Galili, Boston Dance Theater (BDT) is Boston’s first contemporary dance repertory company with international ties at the leadership level. With a commitment to presenting works of socio-political relevance that challenge the edges of current world issues, BDT matches the talents of Boston-based dancers with those of acclaimed global choreographers in a tour de force of performative dynamism, community connection, and trans-national ambassadorship.
BDT serves as an incubator for creative partnerships, locally, nationally and abroad. We recognize the richness already present in the Boston dance community and exist to propel the potential forward through innovative performance, educational programming, and outreach initiatives. As we think big, the heart of our mission remains on the local level. The international choreographers we’ve commissioned will be presenting U.S. premieres – right here in Boston. In commissioning them, BDT has created, and will continue to produce, jobs for Boston-based artists.
Photo by L. Pratt
Poet, dancer, visual artist, Karen Klein works in interdisciplinary contexts. Her poems have been published nationally and internationally in print magazines, online, and on two radio stations. She is a member of Prometheus Elders Ensemble, has performed in every season of Across the Ages Dance with Ismailova Theater of the Dance and Krauss And... Her homes-for-poems sculptures are shown at Galatea Fine Arts
Audrey Albert King
Audrey Albert King is a Dance/Movement Therapist, Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Movement Analyst. She practices body-oriented psychotherapy as an outpatient clinician and facilitates groups in residential senior housing, memory care and community centers throughout the greater Boston area. Audrey is passionate about bringing vitality and joy to her seniors. She has danced for most of her life, teaches somatic dance classes and is thrilled to be a member of teXtmoVes.
Sarah was born into a family of artists. Poet, visual artist, thespian, and musician, she has plunged head-first into a multitude of disciplines of expression. Sarah has had her literary works published by FUSION Magazine at Berklee College of Music and at Emerson College. In the spring of 2011 she received the honor of representing Berklee’s student body by reading original works at the college’s convocation ceremony. Sarah is currently completing a dual degree at Harvard University's extension school in Public Speaking and Business Communications where she is spreading her passion for saving the orca whale species from captivity.
Olivia Coombs, Whitney Cover, Jen Passios, Joanie Block, Joan Green, Ofri Rieger, Hannah Lopez, Marion Igengeri, Julie Leavitt, Audrey Albert King, Thea Anderson, Katerine Gagnon, Kelley Donovan
All works can be performed as solo pieces, or as a cohesive evening-length program. All works can easily be adapted to any site-specific space.
Poetry by Karen Klein
3 performers (8 mins)
The date of Karen Klein's poem is the night she watched the Perseid Showers and documented our philosophical and spiritual response to the overwhelming disparity between us and beyond us.
Poetry by Karen Klein
3 performers (7 mins)
"Lemon Drops," a poem about Klein's childhood growing up in Fargo, N.D., includes old songs from that period sung by the dancers.
Poetry by Karen Klein
3 dancers + 1 musician (6 mins)
Based on Karen Klein's poem, "Antiphon," this work responds to the plight in the summer of 2014 of homeless baby green herons whose nest falls and that of the children from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador who seek asylum in the United States. One of the dancers is also a musician who dances and plays her violin on the stage.
Poetry by Karen Klein
4-6 performers (12 mins)
A new production choreographed to a poem by Klein about Yevgenia Lazerevna, a Russian woman soldier, a brigade leader captured by the Nazis in World War II and sent with her female troops to Ravensbruck. Her heroism allowed them to survive. Nearly forgotten by history, Lazerevna is remembered in this work performed by multiple dancers.
Poetry by Sarah Anne Stinnett
3 performers (25 mins)
"Bodyspeaking" is a collaboration between choreographer Jessie Jeanne Stinnett, her sister and poet Sarah Anne Stinnett, and the dance artists of Boston Dance Theater. The piece gives voice to the silenced, and to what lies beneath the skin. Composed as a tryptic around three poems published by Sarah Anne, the work integrates text and movement via three distinct compositional lenses. At first, the dancers engage the story of Robert Frost's forgotten daughter, then Sarah Anne performs a solo piece from the perspective of the Biblical Sarah, Abraham's wife. Finally, Sarah Anne steps into the role of Muhammad who speaks to his beloved A'isha, the young wife to whom he never made love. In this final poem, the all-female cast embodies the multifarious surfaces of A'isha, as she is seen by Muhammad.
“In Lemon Drops, by teXtmoVes, choreographed by Karen Klein and danced by Karen in collaboration with Joanie Block & Marian Ingengeri, Ms. Klein, dressed in a costume of a very young girl created a moving spoken piece about her early childhood and upbringing in 1940’s Fargo, North Dakota while the two other dancers moved in various supportive and effective ways to highlight her spoken words and bring to life a period in history long past and otherwise forgotten and as a time when Ms. Klein was coming into her own as a young adult and dancer determined to move into the wider world.”
-Tim O’Dell, Omitdotblog
I just watched, Don't Break the Circle" and found it very moving. You have found a wonderful way to find the "dance of words" in your fine poem, and I love the way you introduced it even while the dancer was in movement behind you. The dance feels full of grace and disjunction , of song and sharp turns, with memory ever present.
-Beau Beausoleil, poet