artist's statement

I make dances to pose questions and, if I’m lucky, approach answers. My cynicism about the form, its capacities, our audiences, and the field at large continue to shape my approaches to movement making and the rigor with which I craft each dance. I make interdisciplinary work that often stems from my religious experiences as a Jew, without making overtly religious dances. I rely on the non-universality of movement to elicit a range of interpretations from performers and viewers, maintaining that choreography is reserved for my stickiest ideas and most puzzling questions.

Despite my skepticism, dance making has this funny way of holding my interest and attention. I love witnessing the evolution of my work—those “aha!” moments that are rare, but oh so sweet—which is a direct result of the agency of the bodies and brains in the room. I also continue to be captivated and informed by the fleeting nature of performance and the fact that even the most set choreography is different every run.

I aim to empower my audiences, often employing spoken text and/or humor to offer multiple entry points for seeing, experiencing, and interpreting. I am curious about the ways in which I can encourage viewers to be okay with solely having a lived experience, as opposed to feeling the need to define everything they see; the idea that every interpretation is valid…and, dare I say, correct.

​No matter how annoyed, excited, inspired, or confused I feel after seeing a performance, the fact that each dance provides a platform for an infinite array of reactions and critical dialogues feels particular to the form and my experiences inside of it as doer, maker, and viewer. Within these three often overlapping roles, we create space for conversations in process, performance, and post-performance. Ultimately, it is these exchanges of ideas and questions that I see as the “work.” The “work” is why I stay invested.

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maddie kurtz | mkrep | dance artist

© copyright madeline kurtz 2020, all rights reserved
photos by olivia cacciatore, annette dragon, jenny eggers, alvaro gabaldon, and diva dance competition
logo design by alvaro gabaldon and amanda sieradzki
site design by cassie burns