Jenna Eve Taus Called something else (a memorial of names)

As the title suggests, this piece is a container and memorial for past versions of self, new identities and those who are no longer living, but are within us. Inspired by the architecture of Yad Vashem (a Holocaust Museum in ‘Israel’) which is shaped like a tunnel and directly translates to “A memorial and a name”, the dance acts as a time capsule of Jenna’s great grandmother and her presence in Jenna’s life today. This place is also a memorial for the queer versions of self Jenna has not been able to step into yet, the past ones that have been shut down and the future ones that are waiting to be stepped into. As a nonbinary Jew, Jenna is grappling with the various versions of self that are unwelcome in some spaces, and confusing to many amidst being on the land where their identity was life threatening less than a hundred years ago. This piece encapsulates the members of their family that died for being Jewish and queer. This piece is for all the people that got Jenna to this moment. This piece is a memorial held and activated by a body, which already contains the DNA memory of each life lost, shunned and misunderstood. To hold all these versions of self requires a great deal of strength and intentionality. Through this practice of sharing their family history, sharing the story of their own queerness and performing their truth– Jenna is able to be seen clearly and wholly as they are. Thank you for seeing them!

Residency blog posts

Jenna Eve Taus

Stitching process: mini improvisations of whatever is coming up that day and stitching excerpts together to construct a piece (workouts, poems, choreo, scores, video, images)
Casual forgetting: lose a moment before you can find a new one, spilling, constantly forgetting where you are and what you’re doing, contrasting the movement/texture/level from before

  • I want myself and the audience to feel as though I really believe in what I am doing, that I am doing this work for my own desire to share my emotional and intellectual self through body 
  • Find a moment, lose it, forget it, remember it as choreography
  • Holocaust- trying to make a lot of people forget, through removal of names, objects, everything you own, turning you into a number. How do I turn myself into a number?
  • Pauline

Storage – running out of storage, collection of items and concepts, what do you delete, there is only a finite amount of space. Where does the rest go? How do we choose what parts of ourselves are valuable enough to continue on and place in some form of archive.

  • ‘I love you’ touch practice, touching parts of my body to see what needs love, and osending time recognizing each part of myself
  • Dance family tree

A move for each person – signified with levels based on generation – a movement or something that eventually gets passed down to- into me 
Maybe I can find a song associated w each persons names: Dayna – Lia -Jenna – Mike – Carole -Jerry – Babs – James – Pauline -Joe – Jeanette – 

  • Version 1: Spin, pushup, collapse from plank, roll, sweep legs to spin REPEAT
  • Version 2: Ask someone to furniture push me to the center, then do very slow difficult positions to balance and very tense creature poses with stiff weird hands, collapse, roll over push up, collapse, shoulder roll into hands up and feet bent in shoulder stand, very slow lowering of legs, roll over push up, collapse, shoulder roll. Furniture spinning.
  • ‘I forgot to remember’ – sort of like sentence picture game but with dancing and writing 
  • Drawing the monster game – dancing each others monsters 
  • Do Collapse 
  • Today I was not able to dance much or get anywhere. I feel a lot of shame? And unknown and fear. I know this is common right now for a lot of people. I hope to be able to allow myself a lot of mental rest to recover from…This life is quite a lot and I am being given a chance to breathe so i’d like to take advantage and not feel like I am not doing enough. There will be time to do enough. There will always be time to do things and be someone. Besides the only thing I want to be and do is just be peaceful and loving and happy. I want to be a dancer, a soccer player, a sculptor, costume designer, potter, textile artist, dreamer, reader, writer, singer, guitar, banjo and ukulele player. I want to write grants for dancers, and teach little kids yoga and get an apartment with my friends and join a book club and go to the farmers market and play in the snow and drink tea and be.

Play with props, stuffing your undies, binding your chest, making your body less curvy.
What if the clothes lines are coming sort of from the back towards the audience and are hung up in a tunnel vision type way? But still separated enough so the audience can see each outfit.

I am dancing with the dying thoughts and the living ones. This is for nana who loved peaches and cream and scrunching her toes like caterpillars while reading. This is for my 4 year old self who wanted to be called rebecca, then jess, then jonah, then eve, then wesley. Who only wore mens shirts and loved to write poetry about dying bees. This is for turning around in the middle of chasing everything to see that I am right here. This is the dance of the kind of happiness that is okay with death. This is the dance that will live in a hardrive in a desk drawer for 20 years. This is the dance that thought dance was forever. And it is in the way clouds are. But not in the way trash is. This is the dance of a queer Jew. There are 3 steps to the left and 5 to the right to make sure time is always moving forward. In the Yad Vashem there are 5 candles reflected infinitely at the end of the dark hallway. Nana here is a place to hold your name. This is for Pauline, Joe, Jeanette, Linda, James, Babette, Saba, Carole, Isaiah, Zoe, Alegra, Mich, Jimmy, Devorah, Dina, Jeff, Jordan, Faith, Scout, Finn, Brad, Deedy, Don, Dayna, Michael, Lia and Jet.

 I just do not want to be judged for my work, I want to share myself and be met with curiosity. I guess that there is a way we do this when in conversation with people so I am curious to see how I can activate that in a performance setting. Yesterday what was so successful for me was that I was connecting with this invisible audience and I was in conversation with them in this way that passively invites them to know me more. H0w to be met with respect when speaking or dancing about things that people may disagree with.I am excited about how i can hold space for Linda and Pauline through this altar of movement. This place to pay respects to them. And to me. And all the versions of ourselves that are here or not. It is so sad to know that Linda never even lived to my age. I definitely mourn her in some type of way.  

Dear Nana and Linda, I have peaches and cream on my face just like dad. When I was young I only wore mens shirts and loved to write poetry about dying bees. I am turning around in the middle of chasing everything to see that I am right here, you are here too. Here I am for you. Here is this dance. This is the dance that is okay with death. This is the dance that will live in a harddrive in a desk drawer for 20 years. This is the dance that thought dance was forever. And it is in the way clouds are. But not in the way trash is. This dance will be forgotten. Inevitably disoriented. From her to they, to sparkly tank tops and hairy legs. Here I am honoring you in me. I am recalling you here. A memorial of you and me. Although bodies are not forever they pass through time. I am lucky to have you here with me. In my pink cheeks, in my vivaciousness, in my love for everyone, in my curiosity, my queerness, our tenderness, our dedication to forgiveness. 
Dear Motek, sweetheart, sugar face, monkey…We are glad to know you are a dancer. We are glad to know you beat all the boys in soccer. We see you holding our memory in your every movement. We see you kissing the sky with every Keshet that bends its back. We can see you stomping on soft grounds and levitating on firm ones. You are gentle. So much of us is in you from the way you scrunch your toes, the way you walk, the dimples in your knees. We cry and smile and rejoice knowing you are our continuation. One long forever string. With new knots and new rags hung upon it. Being Jewish is in the way you walk. It is in the way you look inside. We pass through definition, marking through time and space at each transition. Your queerness is your practice. Your practice is your transience. Use change to your advantage. Your curiosity will be your container for our memory. 

= 19 mins!
Preset: all costumes in order- flashlight- poem-scarf hanging Lighting:

Then it just was!!