alexx makes dances is the collaborative vehicle for the vision of interdisciplinary movement artist and artistic director Alexx Shilling, creating site-adaptable, live and filmic dancescapes that invigorate memory and investigate transformation. First established as a collaborative company with Ann Robideaux in 2004, alexx makes dances is the Los Angeles continuation by the director/choreographer/filmmaker.
I am a movement artist and filmmaker creating deeply collaborative, multidisciplinary performances that prioritize the body as my primary research site, utilizing improvisation as both a generative tool and a performance practice. Each work yields its own unique process that includes thematic research and active engagement with cameras, costume and material objects, sound and site/place, resulting in an integrated bricolage of multiple logics existing at once, a new logic, forms yet unseen.
With Quintan Wikswo and our company FIELDSHIFT | FURTHER (2011 – 2015), I created original site-specific works at locations where ecological and human rights trauma has taken place. FIELDSHIFT brought together artists and communities – engaging original poetry, visual art, movement, music, film and performance – to illuminate and explore the aftermath and consequence of human and ecological violence, trauma and atrocity. The resulting works are voyages between artists and audiences – opportunities to contemplate, perceive and address the matrix of time, place, and trauma.
Along with Ann Robideaux (ann and alexx makes dances, 2004-2010), I sought out sites with complex histories, inhabiting their resonant past, allowing architecture and location to reveal themselves, creating living spaces that audiences were invited to step into.
I marvel at the many ways we see and perceive our world; what is easily seen, what lies below the surface, what has been erased, and attempt to create a variety of access points for these layers to intermingle in performance. Mundanity exists alongside magic; people just BEING are people BURNING. I want to make dances that reveal the people dancing them and the space and time they inhabit. I believe performers are heroes. Not the heroes of Marvel comics but your everyday Phoenix. The dance is a vanishing act. Does this make the dancer a magician? The devotion required to make a life in dance is evident in the dancers’ body. Devotion shows up in my work, often through durational practices and explorations of endurance and commitment. I make dances that are conscious of themselves, of the audience, of the camera. Dancing reminds me that we are forever in flux, more and less than what we think we are, unfixed in our identity and perception of identity.