Listen. Engage. Create.
Small Dance Collective is a group created by independent artists, Anya Hernandez and Rachelle Dart. “Small dance,” a term borrowed from the practice of contact improvisation, is the dance we experience in the stillness of standing. When we are still and quiet enough, giving all our attention to being still, we notice the micro-movements our bodies do to stay upright. This balancing act is our “small dance,” a place of presence and possibility. It is a dance of stillness, awareness, connectivity and balance. It is standing, rooted in ourselves and open to each other.
Inspired by this imagery, Small Dance Collective seeks to create physical theatre work rooted in community storytelling and embodied listening. By collecting stories, memories, and interviews as research, each creative process invites individuals to be seen, heard, and known. By beginning the creative process with a step back, the work naturally overflows from a place of listening and a desire to honor one another’s stories.
Previous projects have explored themes of powerlessness (Medea in Me, 2018), home (Grounded, ASU Theatre Lab, 2018), and nurture and nourishment (One Woman, 2019). Projects are exploratory in nature, often manifesting as a series of workshops and interviews which cultivate a space in which individuals can connect and engage in a dialogue about common experiences, questions, and themes. This space of creative discussion and expression offers a unique experience of empathy and acceptance.
Rachelle Dart received her B.A. in Theatre at Arizona State University and is theatre artist and teaching artist in the valley. She is an Advanced Actor Combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors since 2016 and regularly teaches stage combat workshops and works as a freelance fight choreographer. From 2013 she has been the director and performer with local improv troupe, The Penguin Players, and she is also a co-founder Small Dance Collective.
Anya Hernandez is a teaching artist and co-founder of Small Dance Collective. After receiving her B.A. in Theatre at Arizona State University, she directed and performed for Grey Box Collective, and performed with various companies including Vessel and Brian Foley Dynamic Theatre. Inspired by her experience with socially engaged dance theatre, Small Dance Collective was created out of a deep desire for rich human connection in relational art-making and accessible dance-making.
Tony Potts received his B.A. in Theatre from Arizona State University. He has been working professionally in video production since 2015, is a co-founder of Crunch Time Presents, and previously served as the Marketing Director for Binary Theatre Company. Tony is a core member of Small Dance Collective and was the Assistant Director and a performer in our ASU Theatre Lab, Grounded.