Thursday, October 22, 2009

Montpelier Dancer Hanna Satterlee Receives Flynn N.A.S.A. Grant

Montpelier native and dancer Hanna Satterlee is the newest recipient of the Flynn’s N.A.S.A. Grant Award. The San Francisco resident is an accomplished dancer and choreographer (as well as yoga teacher) whose previous experience includes work with Kelly Kemp, Laura Arrington Dance Company, and the All Purpose Dance Company. Satterlee’s recent return to Vermont has prompted her to explore her roots and connect with dancers in the region. The N.A.S.A Grant will create an atmosphere of collaboration between established Vermont dancers and Satterlee, who will investigate how the culture of the Green Mountain State people, nature, speed, liberalism, health, sound, trade, and effort influences movement.

Hanna is contributing weekly blog entries to provide a look into how her work is progessing.

Tuesday, October 13 - "I suppose it has been a month now, since the initial meeting about the content and expectations that come with the Flynn’s N.A.S.A. grant. A month seems like a lengthy enough time to prove I have a solid start, but I can only confess to having started an experiment."

"When I was given my keys to the Flynn, I spent the first two weeks eager and happy to lock myself in the studio and create dances for myself. Not thinking of a larger picture, I simply used the time to familiarize myself with the space, my feet with the floor, and my movement with sound. Music, I quickly realized, would be a key companion."

"Two weeks after this free-form (perhaps self-indulgent) solo dancing, it was time to host an audition. I had tried my hardest to get the word out about it—I emailed friends of friends, searched Vermont University dance programs for contacts, posted fliers, sent news blasts, and posted on craigslist, all hoping to have a large number of prospects to meet."

"I had said I wanted 10 people for the project, originally liking the idea of starting with one, and adding a dancer per week for the ten week duration. Exactly 10 people came to the audition."

"I left that evening happy for the experience, but secretly devastated that at least 30 people hadn’t shown up. In a city, I figured, the room would be crowded. Friends reminded me that one audition is not enough to see the scope of who is in the state. But after so many publicity efforts, I was drained at the thought of finding more options. I immediately wondered what I was doing, and how it was going to work."

"My original quest for this project was to find the hidden pocket of dancers in Vermont, take them in as they are, with how they have trained, and what they can creatively produce, and see what type of work we could make together. After letting the audition experience settle for a few days, I eventually felt satisfied to realize that even if the pocket here is small, there is experience and effort and range to choose from."

"Because of chaotic scheduling, I decided to forget about the number 10 and start with the strongest dancers to create a bulk of movement. I have several dancers from the audition who have agreed to join in November and December, and a few artistic friends intrigued and curious about collaborating in some form later in the process as well."

The next rehearsal is Friday, October 16 from 11:30 am to 2 pm. The public is welcome to attend any portion of my process.

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