Meet the Movement: Britney Tokumoto

I had a blast talking to Britney and the other members of the Schoen Movement Company. Keep in touch with them at http://www.schoenmovementcompany.com/, and don’t forget to check CMF’s website for upcoming shows!

How long have you been with the Schoen Movement company?

I have been dancing with Schoen movement company for a year and a half.

What is one of the best experiences you’ve had?

Definitely going to Jacob’s Pillow last summer. We performed at the Inside/Out performance series that happens every summer. She [Emily Schoen] had a couple of different pieces she showed there. I performed in two of the pieces, Complex and Robotic Love.

With that in mind, do you have a favorite piece that you’ve done?

One of my favorite pieces created by Emily was included in a series called Ten Tiny Dances. The face dance was very challenging and so much fun. I enjoyed dancing with my facial expressions.

Is there  a specific place that you draw inspiration from when you’re working with her?

Definitely. The group of people she chose to work with her are all very unique, I’m inspired by their individual voices as dancers. I think we all work really nicely together and that’s helpful. She gives us a lot of tools to work with and I really get to utilize my own sense of imagination while working with Emily.

What do you mean by tools, as in she gives you direction?

She gives us direction and also freedom within it. She gives us a task or imagery that she wants to work with, and then we create phrases based on our interpretation. We make the dance phrases and then she pulls movement or intention from what we’ve created.

You guys really do work pretty deeply together.SAM_0612 - Copy

Yes. Our first day of the residency was refreshing and we generated a lot of material. Being together in a new setting without the hustle and bustle of the city, I felt really allowed us to engage deeper in our creative practice.

What I just saw, was that from yesterday?

The beginning duet is actually from a series called Ten Tiny Dances.

I watched all of those, I love those!

Yeah, Ten Tiny Dances was exciting and really a great way to showcase the brilliance of Emily’s work. The ten dances were versatile and fun. They were released online every Monday this past January, and it was great to look forward to a new tiny dance each week. The duet you saw is called A Jointed Affair and we will be expanding on that duet into a longer piece.

Is it difficult to take such a short dance and make it into a full piece?

It can be difficult expanding on a shorter piece. But  the  duet, “A jointed affair” that we are working on, was not difficult to add on to. Emily is extremely musical and working with her on a new creation is really fun. She crafts her work efficiently and collaboratively, while still fulfilling imaginative and humanistic qualities in her movement vocabulary.

Do you have a favorite dancer, choreographer, or someone you look up to in the world of dance?

One of my favorite choreographers is Kate Weare. Her company Kate Weare Company is based in NYC. I admire her work and try to take her workshops often. I am drawn to the endless possibilities of conveying emotion in dance/movement and her choreography invites you to engage in those moments. Her dances are filled with daring and subtle nuances. It is a visceral and adventurous journey. I encourage you to check her out.

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