Thursday, September 30, 2021

October workshop and a new show

 



October: the birthday month 

Hey friendlios!

October is "Birthday Month" in our household, (yep, we're ALL October babies!) ...and as such, October is a busy one. What with birthday planning, working on writing expandance curriculum and choreographing for a show at Cinnabar Theatre, I'm only teaching expandance *just once* this month, on zoom.

So if you're wanting some expandance, this is the class to come to 🙂
It's 1.5 hours, so we can dance more, draw for longer, and delve deep into our restorative practice. MmmMmmMmm, AmIRight? #bliss 

Tuesday October 19th
10am-11:30am Pacific
(That's 1pm East Coast and 6pm Ireland / UK)

REGISTER HERE! 

~~~ Find or reconnect to your intuition
~~~ Have a bit of a boogie
~~~ Calm your nervous system

When you walk into an expandance class, you’re saying yes to an invitation to come home to yourself. This practice lives at the intersection of creative expression and somatic healing.

expandance is about spaciousness, permission, and connection.
expandance is a creative space.
It’s also a healing space.
… Which makes it a sacred space. But, don’t worry, we make sure not to take ourselves too seriously...

Because really, expandance is a playful space.

When you give yourself permission to come into this space, you get to welcome all the disparate parts of yourself home. You get to show up exactly as you are and be curious about what you’ll discover.

Let me know if you've any questions at all by simply replying to this e-mail; I'm happy to answer even the smallest questions. 


REGISTER HERE

And PAY HERE

expandance classes are FREE for BIPOC and undocumented immigrants, wherever you reside.



Hey, Sonoma County! Come see what I've been working on:

Dancing Lessons

by Mark St. Germain

Dates
October 15, 16 & 17, 2021
October 22, 23 & 24, 2021
October 29, 30 & 31, 2021
Special Streaming Video on Demand Oct 29-31, 2021

Director: John Browning
Stage Manager: Ross Tiffany Brown
Set Designer: Wayne Hovey
Costume Designer: Donnie Frank
Choreographer: Rachel Wynne

Cast
Jessica Headington as Senga Quinn
Trevor L. Hoffmann as Ever Montgomery

Entertaining and charming! We meet two highly offbeat characters, a Broadway dancer and a science professor coping with physical and emotional challenges as they forge an unexpected friendship in this heartfelt play. Filled with laughs and the intricacies of the human condition, we witness their journey of discovery and personal triumph as they come to realize that sometimes the most profound experiences can occur when least expected.

TICKETS HERE


 

Saturday, July 31, 2021

An Ekphrastic poem by Laurie Keegan

 Last week expandance co-founder Laurie Keegan undertook a workshop entitled "Writing As Choreography" with UK based dance artist Alexandrina Hemsley, hosted by Dance Ireland. What follows is one of the poems to come out of that workshop, written by Laurie. 

 

An Ekphrastic poem inspired by the experience of watching
 ‘Barely a Person’

choreographed and performed by Rachel Wynne
 

Eyes draw down fill up

Swaying

Off the roll away shadow and pause. 

Miss her.

You follow hollow curl, curl, curl

Pause.

It circles, uncurls, curls

   Interrupt. Voice remembered.

Vulnerable. Holding on scared

Shadows and light

Cry

I feel tears and then she looks away

 

Strength, texture, forms. Don't forget.

I won’t forget

I remember with you

I hear you

We all not have forgotten, I. 

 

She Baby emotes

Why can’t we.    guilt

Shame, 

Shameful, 

Shame on them, 

No more Silence.

 

Shouldertightheldbreath

Cold floor only we feel

reel

real

Reel

Need soup, sup, soupy, supping

Enough 

Not enough 

              I love you 

 

Roll through the floor

Keeping me grounded

I have the thigh and apathy it’s me

Vault of power

Power

 Power

   Pulse, prep, pulse, prep

     Rest Rachel

 

Surrounded by your weight I feel you down to me 

Lengthen 

Stretch and light, all light

 

Volume, hall it at the sing back

Strut it on to the back room

Reach grab

Hold

Grip pelvis                    Relevé 

We can’t be unshielded 

 

Eyes be light

I Love You

You are everything and more much more

 

HOLY SHIT 

HOLY SHIT             I love you.




Monday, May 10, 2021

Barely A Person gets positive reviews

 Hi friends,

My dance film giving voice to postpartum depression went live as part of the ''In Their Own Voice" online festival this weekend.

Here's what people are saying about “Barely A Person”:

“ Phenomenal”

“ It had me in tears”

“ A very powerful piece... it’s still giving me goosebumps”


"Holy f***"

"You danced the essence of PPD...If anyone doesn’t know what PPD is like, your performance is an education"

"It was beautiful & powerful"

"what you bit off is big, but well chewed in the short piece you crafted:  the soundscape enhanced the visual unfolding, the dance and camerawork were thoughtfully paired, the script was well-honed, and shone light on a difficult shadow-side of giving birth that is too often treated as an anomaly, personal shortcoming, or shame-laden secret"

We had a talkback on Saturday after the first performance, you can watch it on the Cloverdale Performing Arts Center YouTube page here! (Starts around 3 minutes in)

If you'd like to see it, and support local art, there are 4 more chances to see Barely A Person next weekend May 14 / 15 / 16 alongside some other female-written and performed works; tickets are available here. 


- Rachel



Thursday, April 29, 2021

Press for "In Their Own Voice" this week


White woman lying in fetal position on a concrete floor wearing black jeans and green top, image looks down

Hi everyone,

I'm delighted to let you know we're in the Press Democrat this week and also The Bohemian

The piece I've been working on, "Barely A Person'', giving a voice to post partum depression, is being shown as part of "In Their Own Voice" - a virtual festival about what happens when you let a woman speak.

SCHEDULE:

May 8th / 9th / 15th / 16th @ 2pm
May 8th / 14th / 15th @ 8:30pm

$25/general tickets $12/student
Prices are per household

"In Their Own Voice" is an hour and 10-minute online theater festival composed of 5 short plays/performance pieces written by the performers. 

This sometimes intense, sometimes funny, always touching festival delves beneath the surface of what society thinks a woman should be and looks at individuals to hear the stories of who they actually are. Featuring an all Femme/Female-identifying/Non-binary group of Sonoma County artists from multiple ethnicities, races, sexualities, and ages this festival is a true community event that seeks to give all those who identify as women a voice.

Please note that this festival aims to give a voice to all aspects of what "Womanhood/Femme/Female-identifying" is.*  

*As such, there are adult situations and adult language used along with some triggering subjects. Viewer discretion is advised and the advisable age is 13+ with adult supervision.

Tickets available at cloverdaleperformingarts.com

After you buy a ticket, you’ll receive an email with a link for the performance of the time and date you chose. Click on the big blue button link in the email to watch the show. Or go to ShowTix4U.com/stream and use the access code provided in the email.

This festival is a co-production between Heroines, Harpies, and Harlots Theatre and Cloverdale Performing Arts Center.

Friday, April 23, 2021

Meeting the silence, and creativity

 Hi everyone!

Yesterday I listened to a lovely episode of ''Hunting for Healers'' hosted by Frank Vogt. He's been doing this podcast for a while now and I admit that, what with having a 3 year old who is almost always talking or wanting something, this is the first once I've listened to the whole way through. 

Among all that Brother Richard talks about (faerie encounters, spirituality, Irish folk healing etc) one bit that has stuck with me strongly over the last day or so was when he spoke about creativity. How we are always creating - our lives, our communities, our art. And how meeting the silence - that still place inside of us - can be so uncomfortable but how when we do, we can hear that divine creativity. This is the idea expandance is based on, this has been my practice for many years, and it's interesting to hear it spoken about from someone with such a different background (he is a Franciscan monk).

Here's the link to the episode on Spotify

And for those who prefer; YouTube.




Thursday, April 1, 2021

We did it!

 

WE DID IT!

Filming is done, and editing begins 

Hello lovely!

I'm delighted to announce that we wrapped filming of ''Barely a Person'', my dance theatre piece giving voice to Postpartum depression, this past weekend. On our (covid safe) set were myself, Jess Headington (director), Sean Pettis (filmmaker) and Dana Hunt (lights, B camera). I was relieved that, what with it being a personal, vulnerable and emotionally taxing piece to dance, I had such a supportive group to work with. It made a huge difference. 

THANK YOU so much to all of you who contributed your voices to this work. We ended up with several mother's voices from 4 different countries making up the soundtrack. 

We head into editing now and the film will be available in May. More details then! 

Here are some shots of our shoot, from Jess and I. 

 

April
2021
Register for CLASS
Classes!

Do you have a friend who'd like to try expandance


Bring them to class this month and they get their first class FREE!

FRIDAYS
Starting Tomorrow Fri April 2nd
9:30am - 10:30am Pacific (5:30pm Ireland and UK)


*** Remember to register for each class! Registering will get you an e-mail with the zoom link ***

For expandance classes, you'll need:

* Something to draw / write with / on
* A couple of cushions and a blanket for relaxation at the end

Please note: These 1 hour classes are sliding scale $10 - $25. Anything you give above $20 will help pay for someone else who can't afford that much, or for BIPOC and immigrants, who are welcome to come for free. Thank you. 

See you there!
RPW 

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

 

Happy St. Patrick's Day

and news on the new piece!

Happy day of celebrating Ireland!

I'm realizing that a lot of Americans don't actually know that St. Patrick's Day is a proper holiday in Ireland - it is! It's not so much (these days) a time to celebrate St. Patrick (though I know some more religious folk still do) - rather, for my and younger generations, it's a day to celebrate our culture, and the resilience of the Irish spirit, through 800 years of repression, famine, and the legacy of trauma the church has left. In Ireland (when there isn't a pandemic) we celebrate with a week long family friendly festival of art, music, theatre and culture, as well as parades with gorgeous floats and costumes. 

I hope you all have a beautiful day and celebrate it the way we do in in Ireland - not just with drink ! - but with music, dance, art, poetry and love for each other. 

Here’s one of Ireland’s current rising stars, Tolü Makay with a beautiful cover of a Saw Doctors song about an Irish emigrant. They released it at Christmas and every time I watch it I’m in tears again.

I'll most likely use some Irish music in Friday's class ;-) 

Register now!

Friday 9:30am - 10:30am Pacific time 
Sliding scale $10-$25 
FREE for BIPOC 


 

March
2021
REGISTER for CLASS

New work!


I'm currently in the studio at night working on my current performance piece. It's a piece giving voice to postpartum depression and hearing from those who've gone through it and come out the other side. 

I am feeling really grateful to be working with some incredible people on this project, and I am looking forward to sharing it with you all. It'll be broadcast online as part of ''Heroines, Harpies and Harlots'' - a woman's theatre festival produced by Beulah Vega in conjunction with Cloverdale Performing Arts Center, here in NorCal. 

Barely A Person

Directed by: Jess Headington
Soundtrack and composition: Laura LAIR (Ireland)
Choreography and movement: Rachel Wynne
Lighting and location: Dana Hunt 
Film and editing: Sean Pettis 
 

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Your voice is needed!

Two trees and a big cloud in the sky



Hi friends,

I'm creating a solo dance theatre piece for a women's theatre festival in April. It'll be performed virtually at the end of April.

I'm exploring post-partum depression through this piece - not just my own but I also want to hear from other mums around the world who have experienced PPD. Part of the ''soundtrack'' to this piece will be moms voices sharing their experiences - mostly short snippets.

If you or someone you know experienced PPD (or PP anxiety, or PP rage) and feel secure and safe enough in yourself at this stage to share a little in an audio file, I would be grateful for just two minutes of your time answering a couple of questions on a voice memo that can be used in the soundtrack. All you need to do is talk into your phone.

The intention with this piece is to highlight a part of early motherhood that is not talked about enough, and is often (in my opinion) the direct result of us all living in a white supremacist, individualistic patriarchy. To that end I want to make sure I amplify BIPOC voices - please let me know how you identify when you send me your mp3 / mp4 file. Answers do not need to be in English.

All the voices on the track would be listed as anonymous, so you can be as real and honest as you want. (Swearing / random noises are ok - whatever comes out). We may not use snippets from all files we receive, (for example, if there's too much background noise or we just receive a lot) but hope to use as many as possible to give voice to this.

Thank you, dear ones, for helping me create this pretty vulnerable piece of art. Thank you for sharing with friends.

If you are interested:

* Please record yourself on your phone or computer - you can use the ''voice memo'' app, or just video the floor while you answer and I can extract the audio
* Answer any or all of the questions you feel you can
* e-mail mp3 or mp4 file to me at rachel@expandance.com, letting me know how you identify
* it would help the sound engineer if everything ended up being less than 2 minutes total
We are looking to collect all these voices by the end of this week Sunday March 7th 2021

Thank you, so much,
Rachel

The questions:
(If you're currently experiencing PPD, feel free to answer in the present tense)

1. If you remember it, what was your lowest point? 
"My lowest point was..." 

2. If your thoughts had a voice back then what were they saying? 
"My thoughts were / are saying..."

3. How did you feel about those thoughts?

4. What were the main, overriding feelings during the first year or two of parenthood for you?

5. If there was something that ultimately got you through / helped you, what was it? 

"What turned things around for me was..."or "What has helped me is..."