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Daydreaming with Megan Bascom

Daydreaming with Megan Bascom

Published on April 29, 2013

Megan Bascom & Dancers’ Newest Season at Triskelion Arts


For tickets and info re Megan Bascom's show, click here.

Tara Sheena for The Dance Enthusiast
 

{tissue} ; Megan Bascom & Dancers;Sammy Donahue and Simon Thomas-Train. Photo Lydia Bittner-Baird.

As a dancer, choreographer, and educator in New York City for the past decade, Megan Bascom jokes with me last week in a Park Slope, Brooklyn caf: “I was afraid to ask anyone for anything until 2009.” Not coincidentally, 2009 was also the year Bascom started her company, Megan Bascom & Dancers. A way to exercise her choreographic voice as well as provide opportunities for her peers to perform, Bascom views the birth of her company as a happy accident.

Bascom’s choreography is challenging and exciting; utilizing a constant sense of graceful falling that accompanies her unmistakable quirkiness. It’s unpredictable, yet highly disciplined.
A soft-spoken and doe-eyed Florida native, her dancing is something that constantly explodes outside of her petite, 5 foot 4 inch frame. After years of performing with Brooklyn-based white road Dance Media and freelancing with other choreographers, Bascom returned to her own dancing interests. She saw her own company, accident or not, as a way to give legitimacy to presenting her own choreography. Of first starting out, Bascom recalls, “there was always a space on these proposals [for] ‘Name of Company.’ I figured it better be a real thing.”
 
“What do I have to say? What interests me or sparks my curiosity?” she remembers asking herself. The only thing she seemed certain of was that she needed to say something through movement—but what exactly?
 
Fast forward four years and it’s not hard to see why she has kept at it. Bascom’s choreography is challenging and exciting; utilizing a constant sense of graceful falling that accompanies her unmistakable quirkiness. It’s unpredictable, yet highly disciplined. Bascom’s movement vocabulary obliterates the notion that she was ever unsure about forging a career as a choreographer.
 
Bascom finds inspiration in the paradox of a tissue whose fibrous layers are able to simultaneously connect and reveal. Those ideas ultimately uncover relationships and, what’s more, human responsiveness. As she explains, “It can be anything…sayings, things you’ve seen, textures. Anything you’ve had a visceral or emotional reaction to.”
 
Megan Bascom and Ben Wolk. Photo Scott Brownlee.

As a part of her rehearsal process, she constantly played and replayed games with her cast of five performers, which includes herself plus Robin Cherof, Sammy Donahue,“
"What do I have to say? What interests me or sparks my curiosity?” she remembers asking herself.
The only thing she seemed certain of was that she needed to say something through movement—
Simon Thomas-Train, and Ben Wolk. A lot of these “games” deal with Bascom setting up scenarios and tracing perception. She constantly asks her performers, “Did you have those sensations? What did that feel like? Where did that take your mind?” With a common goal in mind, she works closely with them to locate a certain unity in their perceptive state.
 
It’s evident this unanimity of sensation is important to Bascom. She is a frequent teacher in New York City, mostly at Dance New Amsterdam and 100 Grand. Her professional-level classes, as well as workshops she opens up to fellow dancers for “play dates,” continually influence her. “I know so many amazing dancers in the city,” she says, “even if I can’t use them in this project, I still want to give them a chance to get into the studio and be a part of the process.” Multiple viewpoints, even ones that may not be present on stage, inform her work and further uncover this unity she seeks.
 
Bascom is enthusiastic about many contributions to the work. She characterizes her company members as having to possess a certain “hunger” for what they are doing and “[they have to be] interested in these things that I am chewing on,” she states
 
As much control as Bascom exercises in her own creative process, there is still an element she leaves to her subconscious mind. “I usually dream about the things that are fioating through my creative mind in the daytime hours,” she says. Bascom credits her daydreams as a huge impetus for her choreographic ideas, ideas she manifests through movement.
 

Megan Bascom & Dancers;Sammy Donahue and Simon Thomas-Train. Photo Lydia Bittner-Baird.


Bascom is decisive and passionate about her work, but also possesses a level of practicality that reminds me her company is still in its infancy as an organization. She is unsure if {tissue} will have a life after the performances at Triskelion Arts, citing the usual hang-ups, including finances and the project-by-project basis of her work, that prevent her from knowing exactly what her company’s next steps are. Through it all, Bascom is undeniably optimistic. “If I am riding the momentum [of what I have created], I am not thinking about one year or five years from now. I am just thinking about riding it.”
 
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More information on Megan Bascom & Dancers :
 
 

 

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