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CoreoLab - Reflections

This month, Core Dance hosted CoreoLab, a three week research and choreographic laboratory with Israeli artists Niv Sheinfeld and Oren Laor. One of our communications interns, Catherine Messina, had the opportunity to participate in the process. Here, she reflects on what she learned and gained from her weeks with Niv, Oren, and the Core Dance Artists.



When Sydney asked me to write a blog post about CoreoLab, I did not know where to begin. It is difficult to find the correct words to accurately explain such an important experience, one that I still am processing. CoreoLab has changed how I enter every other dance studio, class, and rehearsal. I decided to go into my journal and share some of the things that came to light during this process.

  • A child does not think anything is absurd. When they do a task, they are not thinking about whether or not they look “weird.” When I am surrounded by a group of people that I feel comfortable with, such as this studio, I do the task or prompt given and don’t mind that I may look “absurd.” When I am with other dancers who are less comfortable with being weird or rehearsals that don’t have a task-driven process, how can I make sure I continue to be fearless in this research and absurdity, even if I am the only one?

  • I further realized this during Lunchtime in the Studio, during which we invited the audience to join us as part of an improv activity.  Instantly, three kids sprung up to join us. Their willingness to dive-in and not overthink or judge themselves was amazing.

  • There are endless possibilities for research.

  • It’s not ego because there is always more to learn and research. But, you have to walk into a room okay with who you are, your dancing, where your body is, and not shy away from that.

  • Even if you don’t like a choice, if you stick with it something might evolve or happen. Give it time.

  • Research for yourself.

  • Questioning vs commitment. Can you commit to something fully while still asking questions?

  • An evolving dancer - we change daily and we need choreographers/mentors/etc to realize that. This is something I have been thinking about a lot lately. Just one day of CoreoLab altered who I am as a dancer and human in some way. I am not the same dancer as I was 5 years ago, let alone 5 days ago.

  • Videotape everything.


Halfway through CoreoLab, I attended an outside dance class on a Wednesday night. The prompt was to keep one leg/arm on the ground and move the other three limbs. I was so alive researching and finding new ways to accomplish this task, just by focusing on the task at hand. I found myself unconsciously even making sound when the movement called for it, which is something we explored in CoreoLab. We often don’t get the time to focus on elements such as sound in movement, but during the three weeks we tackled this topic that is often challenging to dancers.


Because of CoreoLab, I am no longer afraid of using sound in my dancing, and am already bringing the skills that I learned at Core Dance to my rehearsals and classes elsewhere. I am grateful to have had this opportunity at such an important moment in my dance life, and I am excited to continue to grow as an artist using the processes I learned in this experience..


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