20 Days: Every Day a Dance is the twenty day residency and performance series that I mounted for my MFA thesis at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in April/May of 2012. In order to organize the time of the residency, I archived the research and documentation residue from twenty of my company’s past dances. This residue included video footage, drawings and photographs, music and sound recordings, garments and props, as well as books and other writings. I packaged this residue in unmarked boxes and then asked audience members to select a box to be opened each day of the residency.
The purpose of opening a box of residue was not so much to instruct the company in re-performing the past dance, but rather to revisit the knowledge held within that dance. That is, through each dance, we pull ideas, emotions, and experiences out of the body, where they already exist, and house a knowledge otherwise unreachable but for the unbuilding of that architecture through dance. Thus we say that we create conceptual dance, not interpretive, because we see dance as the way to connect with those concepts inscribed in the body. Such concepts (because of their housing), are often the most connective of tissues between one person and the next, and this knowledge could then prompt us toward new movement in these new conditions on this new day. The 20 Days* residency was in fact a sort of treatise—truly a living, breathing, moving thesis—on the idea that Every Day is a Dance, where we are tethering bonds deep within ourselves instead of on the surface.
*Each day lasted approximately seven hours in the gallery or on a site, excepting the three Sundays where the gallery was closed and we kept the dance for ourselves.