Reflexion/Live at INDEX Performance Festival, Museo de Arte Moderno, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

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My work is about being present, healing and sharing life experiences with each other in simple yet profound ways.

Never having been to the Dominican Republic, I decided to do a piece that would enable me to share my initial reactions to this country with the people in attendance to the festival. The piece is based on my current body of work- Movement in Context. Which looks at movement as a practical means of expressive exploration in any given environment. It is about moving for a reason; i.e climbing a tree, moving with/around another person, moving around/with/ontopof furniture in a room with the purpose of being expressive. In this situation, Movement in Context takes on the shape of a roaming physical narrative. I arrived two days before the festival began to give myself time to experience the place and develop a narrative to share. I went around videoing my experiences with my iPhone. I also collected objects and materials during my journeys. For the performance I played the video on a wall of the museum behind me. I dressed as I normally would, carrying my backpack filled with the objects I had collected on the journey. In the video there are some of the objects I collected, as well as the process of collection. I stood before the projection taking objects out of my bag and one by one and dancing with them to re-tell the story of how I found them, and also my reaction to them as objects. Through the process of live re-collection I channeled the greater meaning of my recent experience and purpose of sharing. In this way, the work in it's reflective state, became present and cathartic for me. In the moment of performance I became overwhelmed by a sense of wholeness and unity with the people and the place. I felt the lines of all my recent experiences blur together in the golden brown of my skin. I felt the eyes of the audience listening and charging my understanding.This was the first half of the performance. For the second half I invited a friend from Miami, Sebastian Duncan-Portuondo to move with me live, playing with each other the space and the audience. We hid behind potted plants. danced on each other and around each other, went into the crowd and bumped against people, sang etc. This section demonstrated to the potential for live physical narration. Reflexion/Live is a piece that operates from the perspective that we live in a world that we can and should engage in in a more playful and physical way. Furthermore, Reflexion/Live is working to discover a way that we can tell physical narratives to each other. Returning to our roots as cave men and women but being inclusive of our beautiful and frightening intellects is where the piece is positioned

Read more about the festival here, courtesy of Yesdr : https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1473359209559865.1073741857.1440624439500009&type=1

Movement in Context is a series of labs, classes and performances that raise awareness and sensitivity to our interaction with the environment. When I say "environment" I don't just mean what we have categorized as nature or wilderness, but all of the spaces and places that we humans interact with on varying degrees. I am beginning this exploration in the Mangroves to acquaint ourselves with an essential aspect to our South Florida Living. It is the beginning of a story that we are telling through physical exploration. The Mangroves are very specific to our Peninsula living. They act as guardians of our costal land. Their long leg like roots intertwine and grow in all directions creating an organic jungle gym. The features of this forest are perfect to transfer the dance movement style of Contact Improvisation from body to body- to body to tree. In these tight spaces and greater stretches between branches and roots, a mover can utilize the concept of weight sharing to move between or transfer the body slowly from one branch to a distant other. After a while of moving and becoming warmed up the serendipitous flow that occurs with another body in Contact Improvisation begin to occur with the Mangroves. There is a communication that is vibrant and alive between human and plant in this instance.

The forest in particular that we have been moving in is Kennedy Park- Coconut Grove, FL. This forest has some tree's in it that are 100 yrs. old or more. It is a gem of an example and it is easily accessible.  While in the forest and facing out towards Biscayne Bay it is so dense and thick one could imagine that they are existing in a Florida that is pre-settlement. But then you hear children playing, dog's braking, cars passing, music playing, the occasional death rattle of a car hooked up with sub-woofers, construction, etc. But this does not distract from the point. As a matter of fact it is the point. There is this incredible piece of "nature" right next to all of the "non-nature" speaks to the truth of the matter, which is that we are not separate from our environment and the divisions we create in our mind make the interaction with the "dirtier one" more difficult.

Through holding space in this forest, I attempt to bring light to this division, which touches on other perceived dichotomies such as mind/body, mind/spirit, spirit/body and body/nature. I argue that there is no separation.

Moving in Context means to move with a purpose, moving with another body creates movement that is necessitated by the other body in space. It is the same with the trees.You have to lift your legs and stretch your arms and twist and bend and press your body in ways that are so complex and beautiful. Combining this dance with the tree's with the other people in the tree's is the goal of this project.

The continuation of this project will move out of the forest and into other areas. This will be the continuation of the physical narrative we are creating in our place of Miami.

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Moving in Context (In the Mangroves)

Movement in Context is a series of labs, classes and performances that raise awareness and sensitivity to our interaction with the environment. When I say "environment" I don't just mean what we have categorized as nature or wilderness, but all of the spaces and places that we humans interact with on varying degrees. I am beginning this exploration in the Mangroves to acquaint ourselves with an essential aspect to our South Florida Living. It is the beginning of a story that we are telling through physical exploration. The Mangroves are very specific to our Peninsula living. They act as guardians of our costal land. Their long leg like roots intertwine and grow in all directions creating an organic jungle gym. The features of this forest are perfect to transfer the dance movement style of Contact Improvisation from body to body- to body to tree. In these tight spaces and greater stretches between branches and roots, a mover can utilize the concept of weight sharing to move between or transfer the body slowly from one branch to a distant other. After a while of moving and becoming warmed up the serendipitous flow that occurs with another body in Contact Improvisation begin to occur with the Mangroves. There is a communication that is vibrant and alive between human and plant in this instance.

The forest in particular that we have been moving in is Kennedy Park- Coconut Grove, FL. This forest has some tree's in it that are 100 yrs. old or more. It is a gem of an example and it is easily accessible.  While in the forest and facing out towards Biscayne Bay it is so dense and thick one could imagine that they are existing in a Florida that is pre-settlement. But then you hear children playing, dog's braking, cars passing, music playing, the occasional death rattle of a car hooked up with sub-woofers, construction, etc. But this does not distract from the point. As a matter of fact it is the point. There is this incredible piece of "nature" right next to all of the "non-nature" speaks to the truth of the matter, which is that we are not separate from our environment and the divisions we create in our mind make the interaction with the "dirtier one" more difficult.

Through holding space in this forest, I attempt to bring light to this division, which touches on other perceived dichotomies such as mind/body, mind/spirit, spirit/body and body/nature. I argue that there is no separation.

Moving in Context means to move with a purpose, moving with another body creates movement that is necessitated by the other body in space. It is the same with the trees.You have to lift your legs and stretch your arms and twist and bend and press your body in ways that are so complex and beautiful. Combining this dance with the tree's with the other people in the tree's is the goal of this project.

The continuation of this project will move out of the forest and into other areas in our "environment". This will be the continuation of the physical narrative we are creating in our place of Miami.

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Three Points Music Festival: Lecture

When: October 5, 2013 Where: At Gallery Diet, 174 NW 23 Street, Miami, Florida 33127

What: A lecture panel with: Bhakti Baxter, artist discussing patterns in nature. Robert E. Griffiths, mathematician who related patterns in nature to the mathematical description of them. Collin Ford of Coral Morphalogic- showed us direct examples of pattern formation in nature via- the corals that they raise and exhibit. Jenna Balfe, dancer/performance artist- gave a movement lecture that focused on the energetic influence of intention on patterns in nature.

The focus will be on fractals, corals, sound and dance among other forces that help determine why things take the shapes and forms that they do. The presentation will provide a diverse range of perspectives given the panel's varied fields of expertise. The closing of the lecture will open up to the audience for questions and answers and further discussion.

 

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Spinal

IMG_0230 IMG_0231 IMG_0232Magnus Sodamin- Painter David Alexander Bennet- Guitarist

Dennis Brewster Fuller- Organist

Jenna Balfe - Mover

Katie Cora Stirman - Mover

Casey Zap- Lighting Magician

We all brought our skills and dreams together to make this piece happen for a group show titled: Collabo Show- organized by Bhakti Baxter. Participants of the show could contribute in any way they liked, the only rule was that they collaborate.

We all came together and added our idea's to the pot. Magnus painted Katie and I to blend into a psychedelic rorshcach painting he made. David played ambient guitar music that slowly escalated which informed the incredible slow meditative movement's being made by Katie and myself.

We performed this piece at the Collabo Show on August 30, 2013- Curated by Bhakti Baxter

Press: http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/cultist/2013/09/the_collabo_show.php

http://artisabout.com/2013/09/04/the-collabo-show-2/

We performed it again at the Opening Party for the III Points Music Festival.

Press: http://iiipoints.com/

 

I feel Sexy

My heart full of leaves. I was invited to do a piece at this Bed-In. I thought about the bedroom, and what that place means to me. It is a private space where I am able to indulge in slow and gentle ritual. I often allow myself to feel sexy when I am alone, but not in the "high heels, red lips, perky tit's way", but my way. Feeling sexy for me is about the decaying smell of leaves. It's about my own smell mixing with my environment. Breathing deep and feeling my belly rise with the moment I have inhaled. The day of the performance I went into a hammock down Old Cutler with my friend Mauricio Abascal. He wanted to film me and my presence in this hammock. I used the time to feel sexy and prepare for my performance later that evening. I collected dirt, leaves, smail shells, branches and vines in a bag as I gently moved about the hammock. My movement with and in this place filled my body with a feeling of ripeness and fertility. Once the evening came and it was time to perform, I brought my bag of nature with me to the event. I also brought my journal and an aloe leaf. I sat on the bed and explained my intention to share what makes me feel sexy. I laid down and did some breathing. I then got up, took of my shirt and cut the aloe leaf open. I began to break apart the insides with my fingers and then smear it all over my exposed skin. I smelled my hairy arm pits and then rubbed it into the soft hair. I then read a list out of my journal. Things that hurt me:

nostalgia

hope

fantasy

self doubt

hatred

fear

obsession

I then began to take things out of the bag. I started gently and eventually began to empty the bag with quick excitement. Eventually dumping the contents onto my head, rubbing the dirt in and rolling around on the bed. Completely immersed in enjoying myself, I ended the piece by saying: "I fucking love nature" 1098382_310587259085302_886137507_n 1185022_310587125751982_1224675798_n 1185290_310587225751972_1076297607_n

Here is what the artist organizers had to say about the event:

Jacqueline Falcone and Guru Rugu's Bed-In and Breakfeast

Wednesday, August 14, 2013 — 8pm-1:59am

Streaming Live! http://youtu.be/A6UVBiYUOpA

Hosted by Guru Rugu and Jacqueline Falcone in Guru Rugu's bed at Cannonball 1035 N Miami Ave., Ste 301 Miami, FL 33136

Watch it live from 8pm to 1:59am at http://youtu.be/A6UVBiYUOpA! Visitors will be permitted on-set from 8pm through midnight!

To finish up Guru Rugu’s summer residency at Cannonball, he will team up for one final event with local artist and hospitality-expert, Jacqueline Falcone, to facilitate a BED-IN & BREAKFAST!

Hosted in Guru Rugu’s bed at the experimental meditation center of los angeles (currently centered at Cannonball), and broadcast live on Guru Rugu’s YouTube channel, the 5-hour and 59-minute event will feature cozy, therapeutic performances, panel discussions, music, and more from a variety of local Miami artists. Participants will include Cristy Almaida & Shaun Wright, Kevin Arrow, Jenna Balfe, Domingo Castillo, Christina Pettersson, Liz Ferrer, Amanda Sanfilippo & Cara Despain, Magnus Sigurdarson, and surprise guest appearances!

Schedule

8:00 PM — Jacqueline & Guru Rugu 8:30 PM — Kevin Arrow 9:00 PM — Jacqueline & Guests — hospitality panel discussion 9:30 PM — Magnus Sigurdarson 10:00 PM — Amanda Sanfilippo & Cara Despain — Scat Bath 10:30 PM — Domingo Castillo — UNKNOWN 11:00 PM — Cristy Almaida & Shaun Wright — Phantasmagoria 11:30 PM — Jenna Balfe — I feel sexy 12:00 AM — Liz Ferrer — ni se 12:30 AM — Christina Pettersson 1:00 AM — SPECIAL GUESTS! 1:30 AM — Guru Rugu & friends — Foot Massage Cuddle Puddle Summit-a-thon

** A Letter from the Presenters **

Dear Friends,

In 2013, Guru Rugu and I were so naïve to think that doing the BED-IN & BREAKFAST would help change the world. Well, it could. But at the time, we didn't know.

It was good that we filmed it, though, and broadcast it live on YouTube. It will be a very long and powerful film someday. What we say then could have been said long ago, or even now.

In fact, there are things that we and our many Miami artist-friends will say in the film, which may give some encouragement and inspiration to the artists and activists of today. Good luck to us all. And bon appétit.

Let's remember WAR AND DINNER AND SUMMER AND RESIDENCIES IS OVER if we want it. It's up to us, and nobody else. Guru Rugu would have wanted to say that.

Love, Jacqueline & Guru Rugu Miami, FL August 2013

Dance Non Fiction

A movement dialogue by: Jenna Balfe

In collaboration with: Natasha Lopez DeVictoria, Mauricio Abascal, Cassie Mills, Olivia Ramos Herrera, Dylan Romer, Daliahah Danielle Koller, Ganesha Michael Shapiro

Music by: Marcel McVay

Occurred on: June 30, 2013 at 5:30pm

Where: The Miami Performance Festival at The Miami Beach Botanical Gardens- 2000 Convention Center Dr Miami Beach, FL 33139

Press: Miami Art Zine, Editors Picks, http://www.miamiartzine.com/latest-features/editors-picks/1569-dancer-jenna-balfe-at-the-miami-beach-botanical-garden

Relationships between people are containers of the ephemeral richness of a moment. This celebration of life is passing. It builds. It develops it's own language and way of being in the world. A relationship is a practice of getting to know the world and yourself through developing a way of communicating with what seems to be "other".

Dance Non-Fiction is focused on a body-centered language development between COMPANY members. As the piece develops, cross-pollination between the movers builds a nonverbal narrative. The emphasis is to use dance/movement in a practical manner, one that supports human community and expression beyond words. By moving beyond words the discovery of a new kind of truth between the movers will beexpressed.

The language of Dance Non-Fiction is generated through the combination of practiced movement forms such as contact improvisation, modern dance, yoga and capoeiraas with therapeutic forms such as Ritual Dance, Authentic Movement and Meditation. The movers/participants are go deep into an interior space while remaining objective and non-emotional, favoring no one form but instead moving and mutating between all forms. Created is a vulnerable space, where real feeling, desires and actions are played out. It is not a "safe space" necessarily but more a hyper-real one.

Energy is essential to this work. It takes precedence over the movement itself. Conscious attention to energy guides Dance-Non-Fiction. This is further achieved in two unique ways. First, Dance-Non-Fiction calls for the audience to be witness to the relationships occurring before them. The audience is asked to put all of their opinions and criticisms to the forefront, essentially becoming a non-passive observer. Through this process of directing their energy at the movers/participants, the movers/participants use their attention to affect the piece in real time. Secondly, there is also is a non-real-time/ in-person element to the piece as well. Since some of the movers/participants in the piece live far their participation happens digitally (ie video chat, speaker phone). The movers/ participants in the piece become mediums between the energy that surrounds us all, the audience and their own personal stories.

See a video clip- click here

Dance Non-Fiction focuses on energy process and is never “finished.” The aim is to deepen and spread the message of a focused physical communication. It is valid and it feels good.

Being

  Being/April 13,2013/A Night to Remember- Fundraiser for The Miami Performance Festival / A performance piece by Jenna Balfe in collaboration with Dylan Romer/Olivia Ramos/Ganesha Michael Shapiro/Misael Soto/Dhaliahah Daniel Koller/Jacqueline Falcone/Jean Crystal

Being, reflects upon the car accident I recently was in. Through the performance of this piece I confront my own sprit and being through the process of healing and learning from a serious trauma. In this space I learn the importance of meditation and focus- key tools to finding oneself in the present. The injury in I incurred is very real, and in order to go ahead with my plans I must submit to it and believe that I can heal myself. A human, a beautiful complex summation of energy, light.

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 Click here to see a clip from Being

In the begining I confront a projected live image of myself, which is my essence. Olivia and Dylan act as conduits of my spirit via camera and projector. Eventually the projection is cast over me and I move toward the wall to explore my face. After this a video plays of  the pole I crashed into with a few different shots of me. The video is run through Time Piles which- an iphone video app by Dylan Romer, which distorts and layers the sequence of events- which I feel reflects the feeling of timelessness I encountered as I found myself thinking: “I think I am going to be okay” as I sped face first toward the pole. I fully realized that either that statement would be true, or those would be the last thoughts I had. I began to cry watching this video during the performance. After the video ended I continued to sit there without any projection on me. Next my friends came in. Prior to the perfromance, Jackie and Misael decided that they wanted to dress in accordance to their actual relationships to me. Jackie, my former roomate wore a nightgown and a robe, as much of our friendship was spent at home chilliing in our night clothes. Misael, my ex, felt that as much of our relationship was expreienced naked- in more ways than one and he wanted to be naked. Members of Company contributed in ways that were true to our practice during Company meet-ups and Bodymovement class: I gave everyone the invitation to listen to my body with their ears, Ganessha felt drawn to lean over me with his head to my center. He felt this was what he was drawn naturally to do. Dhaliahah said she would link into me, and held space moving seperatly from the group, moving intutivly guided by her own movement practice. Jean videoed the performance, giving her energy to the space being in the actual audience. They helped me up- walked me gently, lifted me onto Misaels naked back and finally moved me towards the edge of the space where they released me, standing on my own beyond the performance area. I turned to them with tears in my eyes, feeling their love for me in this actual narrative. I put my hand over my heart in gratitude and the piece ended. The audience as acted as witness, a concept I draw on from the practice of Authentic Movement creating a closed circuit of energy, a space for ritual narrative.

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A Night to Remember

384April 13, 2013 at 3841 NE 2nd. Ave. (entrance on 38th St. across from DASH) in the heart of Miami’s Design District. Reflecting upon the accident I recently was in I will be performing a piece about healing and being present. When my vehicle was moving out of control headed directly toward a cement pole, I said to myself: "I think I am going to be ok." But in those milliseconds I realized it was either I would be ok or those were the last thoughts that I would have. Since that night I have been meditating on what it means to be present and deal with whats in front of me. I think I have learned more from the kindness of friends in this time than I ever have my whole life. In collaboration with Dylan Romer and friends: Olivia Ramos, Oly Vargas, Estibaliz Montanez and Misael Soto.

Click here to see:Facebook event