Human Nature Dance Theatre, our dance company, creates original works of an interdisciplinary nature, which explore human potential and our relationship with the natural world. We encourage diversity and cross pollination of disciplines, blending arts and sciences. Over the past twenty-some years, Human Nature Dance Theater and our partners have created dozens of performance art events that speak to current events and provide a venue for healing. Our performances bring together communities that share an experience.
HNDT performs regularly in Northern Arizona and has an annual residency at Arcosanti Urban Laboratory where we continue to play with the ongoing experiment of group collaboration.
Our founding members, Delisa Myles, Jayne Lee and Paul Moore, are often joined by other talented artists such as Francis Martineau, Breanna Rogers, Mizu Desierto, Syzygy Butoh, Amelia Burns, Nathan Montgomery and Bob Webb.
In 2008 Human Nature received the Otto Rene Castillo Award for Political Theatre.
This audio-visual immersion dance performance featured Human Nature Dance Theatre, Jayne Lee & Paul Moore, with guest dancers. This event was created in collaboration with Night Vision.
This Land Art performance featured Human Nature Dance Theatre, Jayne Lee & Paul Moore, with guest dancer, Pash Galbavy, Visual and Sound Artist, Frederica Hall, Musician and Animation Artist, Rodrigo de Toledo, Filmmaker, Amanda Kapp, Macrame Mask Maker, Sheree Newbould, and Lighting Designer, Eric Souders. This event was created in collaboration with Chris Lughinbuhl and the Dark Skies Coalition.
The Uncertainty Principle is no more evident than when we gaze upon the deep indigo vastness all around us. We drift among trillions of new worlds, stars, solar systems and galaxies, in every direction. Flowing like ocean currents. From where we came, and to where we’re going, no one really knows. This conundrum is our human condition. Who we are, is continually becoming. In quantum mechanics, the uncertainty principle (also known as Heisenberg's uncertainty principle) is any of a variety of mathematical inequalities asserting a fundamental limit to the precision with which the values for certain pairs of physical quantities of a particle, such as position, x, and momentum, p, can be predicted from initial conditions. The uncertainty principle implies that it is in general not possible to predict the value of a quantity with arbitrary certainty, even if all initial conditions are specified.
In the midst of this pandemic people have found themselves isolated and anxious. In order to defend against the coronavirus, we have maintained our distances. There has been a need for physical separation, but also the need for social connection. Managing this distinction is difficult. Over the course of 2020 and 2021 we created a series of live performance art events exploring the nature of our time and place. What can we learn from the way scientists understand the universe and atomic structure that can be applied to our present lives? As multi-media artists, we create events that ask questions. In 2020, we found ourselves wondering how live performance can be done safely and shed light on our current experiences. Initial performances were informal, as we investigated the means of creating and sharing in safe ways. The obstacles also provided opportunities. As needed, rehearsal and performance have been one or a combination of film, video conferencing and live outdoors. And now live indoors. We have expanded from past experience with improvisation, choreography, collaboration, dance, theater, music, poetry, animation, technology and live performance.
Review by Earl Duque:
Human Nature Dance Theatre's performance of Weather Wild at Arcosanti Saturday night was the most thought provoking and deeply moving performance I've yet to see from this group of performance artists. Through movement and spoken word the company coaxes the audience to feel and explore in their mind, the changes that are happening to our world. To contemplate how it affects our lives, to think about why the drastic changes we're seeing in our climate and to explore if those changes are Human or just Nature. From the very beginning through the end, they guide the audience into an alternate view of the world, pulling them outside their daily normal way and opening them to an abstraction of reality so that one can sense the textures, fragility and scent of Nature's grasses in contrast to the hectic tangled world of Human created technology. A river flows and froths. Celtic beings confront a blackness that maybe the wee sheep may survive, but will we humans ? Large flat shapeless beings roam the stage, could these represent our future ? Is a sterile dying planet our destiny, or is there hope to save Nature and Humanity. I highly encourage you to pause from your normal routine and take in the final performance of Human Nature's Weather Wild at the Coconino Center of the Arts in Flagstaff, Wednesday October 8th at 7:30.
This is an annual "Tiny Spaces" performance held on a 4x4 dance floor. The dancers must remain within the boundaries of this small dance floor for the entirety of the piece. 2020's dancers for these March Madness Small Space Performances included Jayne Lee, Gina Marie Shorten, Cynthia Dewell Ahlers, Frederica Hall, Delisa Myles, Breanna Rogers, Ashely Fine, Paul Moore & Eriko Okugawa Starley Joanie Patrice, & Gina Marie Shorten.
Additionally, Bob Frumhoff & Jayne Lee produced two related "Tiny Spaces" films, filmed by Amanda Kapp, and featuring Leonard Wood, Jayne Lee and Olivia Beckley as performers.
Fire, the essential element, is a metaphor for life. It is the visible expression of the creative process. It consumes the past and is entirely focused on the present, sometimes at the expense of the future. And yet an integral part of that future. The story of fire begins with the original blast. It is integral with the birth of our universe. Energy and matter are intertwined. With creation comes destruction. In time humans overcome fear and make use of fire for light, warmth and power. We sit around the campfire telling our stories. Fire becomes a tool and is controlled through suppression. More recently this management of nature by humans, creates a condition is ripe for wildfire, for it is clear that fire as an elemental force cannot be packaged. We understand the ease at which fire can leap out of the container and quickly spread through huge expanses from tree top to tree top. And leave in its wake scorched earth and blackened wood. We can walk through the ashes and know fire, as only a destructive element, instantly forgetting all of its creative and warming qualities. And so more than anything, fire is potential. Inherent in the material of life, are infinite possibilities. Included amongst those possibilities is death. And maybe part of our role as humans in nature is that of keeping the embers alive and sustaining the life forces and stretching the boundaries of possibility without exploding them beyond the capacity of this universe.
Human Nature Dance Theatre, Flagstaff Dark Skies Coalition, and Flagstaff Arts Council, collaborated to put together "River of Stars", a dance performance that was part of the 2019 Celebration of the Night. Held at the Coconino Center for the Arts, this specially commissioned performance, featured dancers Jayne Lee, Paul Moore, Rodrigo de Toledo, Frederica Hall, Chris Luginbuhl, and Eric Souders. The dancers took us from the edge of deep space aka Nothingness, to the present moment and all of it's potential aka Everything. Flagstaff continues to set the standard for effective night sky protection and started making dark skies a priority in 1958. http://www.flagstaffdarkskies.org/2019-celebration-night/
A multidisciplinary performance, discussion, and CALL TO ACTION . This performance included a variety of art styles including dance, theatre, spoken word, film, and performance art. It featured Jayne Lee, Paul Moore, Eriko Starley, Eric Souders, & Frederica Hall.