Opening the Door Dance Performances

Choreographed by Karen Dito and Krista Samboy in collaboration with the dancers
Performed by Krista Samboy, Monica Dominguez, Viviana Hernandez, Nicole Schwing, Katy Kirkland, and Emma Koslosky

I was spellbound when I saw iphone photos of the early stages of Kim Vanderheiden’s woodcut collages featuring figures with their insides spilling out. As a choreographer, I imagined movements connecting to those pieces.

I gathered a group of seven women from age 15 to 55 to join me. Some were new to dance, some have danced for over 40 years. The Dance Live Dream Center donated rehearsal space. Kim gave us a copy-shop-printed booklet of all of the pieces in her series, “Opening the Door,” and we got to work.

There have been many deeply moving sessions among the dancers as we’ve felt our way through what spilled symbols mean to each of us: stuffing feelings and then letting them go, supporting one another, casting out our demons, and accepting the changes in life with struggle and grace. It’s already been a transformative experience.

Our next steps are making video documentation of the dance, creating costumes, and booking performance space, and arranging exhibitions, so we may invite the public to participate in this moving experience. This work is intense, painful, heartfelt, warm … a truly awesome experience.