Sea Inside Our Skin: Artist Talk and Performance

Artist Talk: 6.30pm
Performance: 7.00 pm

"A person who knows / the sea is inside their skin / moves in curves and spirals / Even a straight line / is accomplished / flowing through / the curving bones.” - Geoffrey Dubois Kuffner

Sea Inside Our Skin, performed by Pauline Jennings and Joshua Lacourse, simultaneously questions and validates our collective need to form nourishing connections. As part of Jennings’ intermedia exhibit Becoming Human, the duet offers a spontaneous refuge and quiet rebellion against an increasingly disconnected world. The 50-minute ritual is rooted in a world built upon loose canvas flooring. The canvas creates a responsive environment where the physical landscape evolves in direct correlation to each performer’s journey and serves as a powerful reminder that the work undertaken is messy, unpredictable, risky and constantly in progress. The audience, seated on all sides, is invited to witness two bodies as they spiral, reach, retreat and erode in a shared struggle toward partnership and defense of autonomy.

During the performance, Sean Clute improvises with electroacoustic music to amplify the dancers' connection with the physical environment of a November evening in Vermont. By using custom made piezoelectric microphones, Clute explores the vibratory stress of snow, rocks, sticks and dry leaves as they melt, scrape, break and erode. Spatialization of the sounds within Burlington's reverberant City Hall immerses the dancers and audience alike in a sparse wintery soundscape. Sea Inside Our Skin also features lighting design by Stefan Jacobs and costuming and decor by Amy Nielson.

The work is part of a larger collection, Becoming Human, seeking to identify and dissolve barriers between human and wild in the Anthropocene.

Choreography by Pauline Jennings, created and performed with Joshua Lacourse
Music Composer and Performer: Sean Clute
Costume and Set Design: Amy Nielson
Lighting Design: Stefan Jacobs

“Sea Inside Our Skin” is made possible in part with a research and development residency and support by Vermont Performance Lab with support from the Vermont Community Foundation.

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Pauline Jennings is a contemporary choreographer and co-Artistic Director of DOUBLE VISION (, an intermedia performance company. As a professional choreographer, Pauline Jennings is compelled to solve questions through her body and its relationship to others via responsive systems. She finds that working with people, rather than static media, offers limitless degrees of individual capabilities, modes of expression, and errors rich in potential for learning. Rooted in that belief, her choreographic method is aimed at providing a journey or learning experience for both dancers and the audience. Jennings aims to offer an experience akin to landing in a foreign country, going first to a busy cafe and observing sounds, sights and smells, excitedly searching for familiar gestures, patterns and relationships while ever so slowly attempting to discern details that aid in understanding the big picture. It is important that both the dancers and audience partake in this journey together – neither party quite knowing all of the details at the start of a performance, but discovering them together along the way. Developing emergent forms, responsive systems, and modes of audience interactivity has enabled her to choreograph in this manner. Emergent work further demonstrates and attempts to viscerally capture the excitement, confusion and fear that accompany our rapidly changing society. Through her work, Pauline hopes that viewers will have an opportunity to reflect upon and take a more active role in determining their own evolution. Jennings’ choreography for stage and interactive installation created in collaboration with DOUBLE VISION have been performed in festivals and showcases nationwide, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Merce Cunningham Studio, EMPAC (Emergent Media and Performing Arts Center, RPI), and ODC Theater. Internationally, her work has been shown by venues including the Museumsquartier Wien, Institut Intermédií (Prague), ProART International Choreography Platform (Brno), Eastern Bloc (Montreal), Primo Piano LivinGallery (Lecce), and Takt Kunstprojektraum (Berlin). In 2013, Jennings was commissioned by Heidi Boisvert to create a fully emergent, three-game level work that premiered at the Emergent Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC). [radical] signs of life was “one of the first large-scale game-based experiences to use wearable biotechnology to integrate networked bodies and interactive dance. Through responsive dance, the work attempted to externalize the mind’s non-hierarchical distribution of thought and its relationship to other biomimetic structuring principles,” according to director Heidi Boisvert. [radical] served as a springboard for creating additional fully emergent and responsive works for stage. In Encrypted Trajectory, five dancers navigated a framework of rule-based systems in a shared mission of discovery and survival. Throughout their very real struggle, dancers tested societal structures of leadership and rebellion through fleeting coalitions. Pauline recently presented an interactive installation and served on a panel, Interactive Technologies & Movement, at 20th International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA), Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where she had the honor of discussing responsive systems in performance. Now based in Burlington, VT, Jennings teaches dance at Saint Michael’s College in Vermont. She was previously a Visiting Artist for the Mills College Dance Department’s Repertory Dance Company and...


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