Heart Stück Bernie serves as a vein cave that pumps quirky-luscious dance, studio-lab education, and intimate performance art into desirous and unsuspecting environments. HSB places the emphasis on process, sensational strata, and fringe-or-fringer dynamic combustion. A hand-made arts & crafts aesthetic exposes seams of meaning and making – inviting each viewer to act as game accomplice, loyal sister, and endlessly surprised participant.
My artistic manifesto: subvert, break, cut, paste, saturate, flood, repeat. My creative process is a fringe, so large, banging, social, buoyant, communal, personal, skeletal, sinuous, anatomical, space-eating, fun-loving, tender, tense, dreamhard, workharder, womanifestation of a dance lab/test kitchen for mixing highbrow/lowbrow cocktails of construction paper, unusual bitters, and Tikkun Olam. But that’s just me.
My work is about tethers to you. I want to fold you in like a could-be-delicious batter. I want to invite you to grapple with choreographic content, alongside the cast and dance. And I want us to continue teasing out meaning from the movement far beyond the house seat and theatrical timeframe. You and tethers, this work…ours. It crosses borders between studio-lab, classroom, proscenium, site-specific view, and our pillows.
Partnered dances define my current state of art mind. My daily social modern dance practice is a ritual of togetherness: simultaneous responsibility to and reliance upon the ensemble. A babe on my hip, a duet in the works, a conversation through movement: bustling, razor-sharp, consequential, between us.
Or: cue ABBA’s “Take a Chance On Me,” drink a whiskey neat, and know the combo of hustle and slow sip could be my artist statement’s brand GIF.
Heart Stück Bernie (HSB) is a decidedly non-mathematical theorem whose rigorous proof is its hyper-particular choreography, cut & paste aesthetic, and riddle-me-this dancers. The company is often part of inaugural residencies and first time performances that open up unconventional dance spaces and previously unutilized utility closets to community gathering, spirited discussion, and off-kilter performances.
Our work flies through space with utter/udder abandon, until it grounds itself. It explores conversational and emotive duet work, and it plays at unraveling causation in tight-knit group work. When the curtain rises, opens, or gets thrown aside with gamine intention, an HSB dance looks like a been-around-the-block broad – full of accumulated propositions and proposals. She’s been dressed up and stripped down, and she knows how to ask the hard questions.
HSB site-specific and proscenium choreography has been presented in or by Berlin’s Tacheles and dida e.V. Raum für Kultur, Long Island City’s The Creek and the Cave, Brooklyn’s Bookcourt, the Rooftop of the Chelsea Hotel, the very dirty East River, Dance Omi, P.O.R.C.H., all up in, around, and under the Mayflower Square Apartment Complex in Alexandria, VA, the first annual On Site/In Sight: A Downtown Winston-Salem Dance Festival, The Kennedy Center, the opening festival for The Reach, Sidney Harman Hall, Metro Micro Gallery, McLean Project for the Arts, the U.S. Botanic Garden, the National Gallery of Art, The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Baltimore Theatre Project, Dance Loft on 14, American University, SUNY Purchase, National Performance Network, Rhizome, and Dance Place.
HSB is a recipient of a 2009 Brooklyn Arts Council Regrant, Dance Metro DC’s 2015 Choreographer’s Commission, the Kennedy Center’s 2016 Local Dance Commissioning Project, the inaugural AIR Residency at the U.S. Botanic Garden in 2018, the inaugural Dance Place AIR residency from 2018-2020, a 2018-2019 Montgomery County Individual Artist Grant for Snake Telegram, a 2019 Maryland Creativity Grant for Wren Print Cess Pool Cutty Sark, and a 2020 Covid Relief Grant from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County.
Evening length work Holster Buffalo (premiere originally scheduled for April 2020) has been canceled by the original presenting venue, and we are currently seeking funding and presentation support to remount an updated iteration.
2021-2022 marks HSB’s 13th year, or bat-mitzvah season, which kicked off with Grass.Specter at the District Choreography Dance Festival in September. This season’s new works explore personal reckoning contextualized by a civic coming of age. This year also marks the addition of side project Milk Milk with Juliana Mascelli, which is an honest/tired/reprioritized/survival mode/kickass multitasking look at mom arting.