action is Sacred / The Something primary – an exploration of material presence as choreographic form
Meg Foley & Alison D'Amato
Wednesday, Aug 14 2019
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Earlybird Discount through August 5: $75 for 5 days / Starting August 6: $90 for 5 days or $20-25 sliding scale drop in Register

In this weeklong engagement, Meg and Alison will mix and remix improvisational practices that they’ve been developing over the last several years: action is primary (Meg) and The Sacred Something (Alison). While the two practices are quite distinct (and in some ways, oppositional), we draw on a deep shared vocabulary regarding presence, embodiment, and craft cultivated over many years as friends and collaborators.





The workshop is welcome to all who want to move and make. It will culminate in a performance sharing on Saturday, August 17th at 7pm. Anyone who attends one or more days of the workshop is welcome to perform. For more on AIP and TSS, see below!




action is primary is an improvisational practice and mode of making in the moment that examines how attention, imagination, embodied presence, and the ghosts of our choices tumble through form (our form, the dance’s form) in a constant play of regeneration and falling inwards and spilling out. Throughout this action is primary practice, we will pay particular attention to movement-based explorations of language, emotional expansion and acuity as choreography, and of ways to dislocate time and extend the embodied present. How do we commit to what we don’t know to engage with what’s already present, bring our insides to the outside and the background to the foreground?




The Sacred Something is an ongoing research project concerning hierarchies of presence, movement’s materiality, and the co-presence of performers, spectators, and things. It questions the responsibility that is often conferred on the dancing body to define space, seeking creative potential in a refusal to make way for dance by clearing the ground. Treating movement as “material,” we counter the dominant assumption of dance’s ephemerality with an imaginative approach to bringing movement into being. Rather than making the body object-like, we attempt to foster an intimacy between dancers and “things:” things inside the body (memories, images, impulses, habits), and things outside the body (seen or imagined). With a profound acceptance for what is, and a willingness to be part of the complex landscape that surrounds us, we invest in movement the power to abide. In The Sacred Something, all things have to potential to act, and to be acted upon.










Meg Foley is a choreographer, performer, mother, and sometimes object maker based in Philadelphia, PA. For the past nine years Foley has been researching improvisational practices and embodiment frames that engage with meaning-making through practiced attention, danced affirmation, bodily expansion, and through relationality and a concern for the action of decision and engagement as form. Currently she is researching/thinking about queer motherhood + blood and bodily fluids, the somatic materiality of words + dancing, and becoming a moving sculpture/fabric rock covered in piles of fabric skins.




Alison D’Amato is a researcher, choreographer, and performer based in Los Angeles since 2010. She is Assistant Professor of Practice at USC’s Kaufman School of Dance, and has also taught dance history, theory and practice at UCLA and CalArts. As a practitioner, her work has long been entwined with her academic research. In particular, she investigates forms of generative and indeterminate notation in order to investigate relationships between choreographic authority, inscription, agency and archival.





Upcoming Events in the Series:

Photo Credit: Ruben Diaz
Photo Credit: Johanna Austin