because the personal is cultural
A minimalist at heart, Dorian Nuskind-Oder’s compositions emerge from a process that emphasizes economy of means and physical precision. Conceptual, but not cold, her work searches for poetic complexity through the cultivation of simple but ambiguous images. After completing her training at New York University and the Merce Cunningham Studio, Dorian worked as a freelance dancer and video editor in New York from 2004 until 2009, when she relocated to Montreal. Upon her arrival in Quebec, Dorian began collaborating with visual artist Simon Grenier-Poirier under the company name Delicate Beast. Supported by organizations like the Conseil des Arts de Montréal, Circuit-Est Centre Chorégraphique, Studio 303, and Tangente, the company has created four works, which have been presented in Montreal, Quebec City, Halifax, Boston, and Nottingham (UK).
Why do you move?
It's pretty simple, actually: I move because it feels good and connects me to my body and the bodies of those around me. Also, it's virtually impossible for me to be dancing and thinking about my e-mail at the same time.
What are you most proud of?
In general, I have a lot of admiration for my own and other artists’ capacity to continue to create in the face of frequent rejection. I recently told someone that this sense of resilience is our superpower, and I totally believe that.
What or who was your first dance love?
I remember seeing John Jasperse's work for the first time at the American Dance Festival in 1999. I was sixteen. Up to that point, my training had been in classical ballet, and I had always felt like a bit of an outsider. Seeing John's work – which is really meticulous and prickly and sensual and cerebral – that was the first time I looked at a choreography and felt genuinely engaged.
What does dance most need today?
More time, less product.
How do you feel about dance criticism?
It is a process I am a part of, not something that is being done to me.
Given the means, which dance fantasy would you fulfill?
I'd build an Art Farm, a retreat in the woods where artists can come and work for intensive periods of time, while also hanging out with horses and dogs, and taking walks through wide open fields. I like living in the city, but I create more productively in places where I can see the horizon. I also like the idea of having a space that I could share with many other people.
What motivates you to keep making art?
The social nature of performance-making and performance-watching are super important to me. Both require a level of vulnerability and risk-taking that I otherwise would not experience in my day-to-day life. Looking at and making art requires a practice of remaining open and curious in the face of strangeness or not understanding. This practice feels important both to my own life and to society as a whole.
Tickets: 23$ / Students: 19$
has an MA in Film Studies and works in contemporary dance. His fiction has appeared in Headlight Anthology, Cactus Heart, and Birkensnake.
s.verstricht [at] gmail [dot] com