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March 2023

Movers & Shapers: Margaret Beals

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PODCAST 153: Margaret Beals

Release Date: 3.27.23


    • Apple Music: Subscribe, Listen, Rate Us HERE

    • Stitcher: Subscribe and Listen HERE

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The Art of Improvisation with Margaret Beals

For today’s guest, dancing without inhibitions is what has fed her soul for more than 8 decades.  Joining us on Movers & Shapers: A Dance Podcast is the incredible dance improvisation innovator Margaret Beals to tell us all about her years of dancing and her new documentary, Dancing Without Steps. Tuning in, you’ll hear all about our guest’s privileged upbringing, her longing to be free, dancing in her home and the streets of New York City, and why she always stood out as a dancer. She walks us through her early adulthood, dance classes, club and cabaret days, and teaching before explaining how she dealt with being so different. With an amazing ability to perform improvised solo concerts that combined dance, text, music, and humor, she tells us how she realized she was so unlike others in her generation. Finally, Margaret shares her experience of creating her film with us. So to hear all about improvisation and to be inspired to embrace your authentic self, tune in now!

Key Points From This Episode:

·       Margaret tells us about her upbringing and how she started dancing.

·       How she knew her lifestyle was different and why she wanted to be free.

·       Her experience of dancing in her front hall, moving to New York, and dancing in the streets.

·       She tells us her opinion of the definition of ‘talent’ and why she always stood out.

·       What Margaret wanted to do when she was in her 20s and her time doing cabarets and clubs.

·       Margaret tells us about how she got started with teaching.

·       She shares the secret to moving and talking at the same time.

·       How she navigated the challenge of feeling like she doesn’t belong.

·       Getting the rights to Sylvia Plath’s works and performing poetry in an original play.

·       How Margaret shares her methodologies with dancers.

·       Margaret shares what she is working on in her field now.

·       How her movie, Dancing Without Steps, became a reality.

·       The importance of accepting your unapologetically unique self.

“I don’t think I danced to please. I danced the way I danced and hoped everybody would see it.” — Margaret Beals


Margaret Beals, an American dancer, choreographer and theatrical performer, was self-taught during her early years. She later studied choreography with Louis Horst and Lucas Hoving, modern dance with Martha Graham, Jose Limon, and Paul Sanasardo; African-Caribbean dance with Syvilla Fort and ten years of ballet with Maggie Black. She developed an individual approach to dance through improvisation and later added the use of her speaking voice, developing a technique of performing poetry by speaking and moving simultaneously. This skill was used in her dramatic presentations of the works of Edna St. Vincent Millay, Sylvia Plath and Carl Sandburg.

In the 60’s, she continued her exploration of dance improvisation, performing at cabarets and nightclubs in New York and Chicago. She worked with the jazz musicians Collin Walcott, Badal Roy, Sam Rivers and Stan Strickland, among many others. Her continued passion for improvisation led her to form her own company, Impulses – three musicians, singer, dancer and lighting designer. Between 1969 and 1976 the group created fully improvised evenings in the style of jazz sets.

During the 70’s, Ms. Beals appeared with the modern dance companies of Jose Limon, Anna Sokolow, Jean Erdman, Lucas Hoving and Valerie Bettis. She is acclaimed for her interpretation of Ms. Bettis’ classic dance solo, The Desperate Heart (1974). As a solo artist, she performed her own work, Margaret Beals in Concert, appearing at Jacob’s Pillow; the NY Dance Umbrella; the Delacorte Theatre; The Place, London; the International Festival de Danse, Paris; and the Het Theatre Festival, Holland, among other national and international venues.

Her full-length works include Stings (1976), based on the Ariel poems of Sylvia Plath; 39 Margarets(1980), a revue directed by Broadway’s Donald Saddler; The Teak Room, stories from a dancer’s life (1982), written and performed by the artist and directed by Tony Tanner; and Improvisations to Chopin (1985) with pianist Thomas Hrynkiv. In the 90’s, she created 4 Images (1993) an evening of poetry, music and dance, with flautist Judith Pearce, directed by Tony Tanner; and Pathways(1997), written and performed by Ms. Beals and directed by Obie award-winning playwright Lee Nagrin.

Recently, Ms. Beals presented Films and Stories, a series of evenings in which she shared films from her extensive career interspersed with stories about the creation of the works and her collaboration with other performing artists involved.“The films are a remarkable record of a remarkable career.” – Jean Tait, May 2016



Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:


Podcast produced by: The Moving Architects
Interviewer: Erin Carlisle Norton

Movers & Shapers: Renée Jaworski

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PODCAST 152: Renée Jaworski

Release Date: 3.10.23


    • Apple Music: Subscribe, Listen, Rate Us HERE

    • Stitcher: Subscribe and Listen HERE

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The Magic of Creativity with Renée Jaworski

Being a successful dance performer requires a combination of technical skills, artistry, professionalism, dedication, and networking.  In today’s episode, we sit down with Renée Jaworski, the Executive Director and Co-Artistic Director of the rebellious dance company, Pilobolus, as she shares her experience working there throughout her illustrious 20+ year career and unpacks the magic of creativity, risk, collaboration, artistic expression, and the value of hard work. Hear why she began pursuing dance and being a performer, the lessons she learned working for a company, the emotional struggles of learning the business end of dance, and how she forged ahead in her dance career while also a mother.  We discuss how she integrates her various passions into dance, how Pilobolus acts as a gateway to the art form, why you should not take dance too seriously, her upcoming projects, and much more. Tune in, and discover industry insights and the value of pursuing your dreams with Renée Jaworski.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Background about Renée and how she became interested in dance.
  • The influence attending the University of the Arts had on her.
  • Why she chose to be a performer as opposed to continuing in academia.
  • Her experience transitioning from being a student to working for a company.
  • How she juggled pursuing a career with raising a family.
  • The motivation behind joining the Pilobolus team.
  • Find out why she has chosen to stay at Pilobolus for most of her career.
  • We discuss Pilobolus’s reputation and the collaboration with the rock band OKGo.
  • What it takes to make collaborations work and complete projects.
  • The biggest challenges and highlights of her career.
  • Learn about her past, current, and exciting upcoming projects.

“As I am getting older I am realizing that the more we can have those role models in place who have [raised a family while working] and want to support people who want to [have a family] the more the art form is going to thrive.” — Renée Jaworski

RENÉE JAWORSKI (Executive Director / Co-Artistic Director) has had an extensive creative career working with Pilobolus since 2000 and in 2011 was honored to have been chosen by the founding Artistic Directors to lead Pilobolus into and beyond it’s post succession evolution. She served as choreographer and creator for exciting projects and collaborations for stage, film and video such as the 79th Annual Academy Awards, the Grammy® nominated video for OKGo’s All is Not Lost, Radiolab Live: In the Dark, World Science Festival; Time and the Creative Cosmos and works with myriad outside artists through the International Collaborators Project, as well as overseeing the daily functioning and longterm planning for the company’s creative endeavors. As a teacher she facilitates workshops and group projects in diverse communities with dancers and non-dancers alike. In 2010, her alma mater honored her with the University of the Arts Silver Star Alumni Award for her work as an artist in the field of dance. She has performed and toured the world with Momix and Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company. Renée lives in Connecticut with her husband and a menagerie of animals.

Upcoming: March 12, 2023 NJPAC Performance + Ticketing

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Podcast produced by: The Moving Architects
Interviewer: Erin Carlisle Norton

The Monira Foundation Artist Residency (MANA Contemporary, Jersey City)

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The Monira Foundation Artist Residency

April 17-April 30, 2023
MANA Contemporary, Jersey City, NJ
More info: HERE

The Moving Architects will return for artist residency at MANA Contemporary in Jersey City through the Monira Foundation.  The Monira Foundation Artist Residencies Program started in 2018 as a radical experimental laboratory, working in close collaboration with artists, curators, musicians, producers, and writers to conceive, realize, and present innovative projects in all media. Their aim is to spark, intensify, and promote an evolving cultural and social dialogue between creators, audiences, and institutions and focus on the unique potential of interdisciplinary work

The Shapes of Movement (Black Mountain College, NC)

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an annual arts event at the historic
Black Mountain College Campus at Lake Eden
April 8, 2023, 3-11pm

Black Mountain College at Lake Eden
375 Lake Eden Road
Black Mountain, NC 28711

Tickets: $15-$37

Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center developed a fundraising idea that grew into the {Re}HAPPENING, a dinner and performance event inspired by John Cage’s 1952 Theatre Piece No. 1, considered by many to be the first Happening. For the first six years, the Media Arts Project (MAP), an artist-run non-profit in Asheville, collaborated to organize and produce the event with BMCM+AC.

The {Re}HAPPENING is a one-day event at the historic campus of Black Mountain College, 15 minutes from Asheville. It is part art event, part fundraiser, and part community instigator, providing a platform for contemporary artists to share their responses to the vital legacy of Black Mountain College by activating the buildings and grounds of the BMC campus with installations, new media, music, and performance projects.

General admission brings in hundreds of visitors annually. In addition to providing a forum for regional artists and an accessible, immersive, educational experience for attendees, every year the event is a community collaboration between local businesses and arts organizations.


The Shapes of Movement will be the second collaboration between the Moving Architects, interdisciplinary artist and videographer gwen charles and sculptor Crystal Gregory. With this work we explore the parameters of woven textiles and architecture as they pertain to the body and to movement— movement described by and remembered through the outlining material landscape. The movement through a landscape, the pliability of a textile, as well as their gridded systems, are described and explored in relation to social structures of citizenship and intersecting parts of a whole. Ultimately, recognition of these systems as boundaries and edges helps in describing the life within.

photo: The Shapes of Movement workshopping process February 2023 (Lexington, KY) – photo gwen charles

Guest Teacher (Dance Local, NJ)

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Strength, Sweat, & Dance at Dance Local
Guest Class with Erin Carlisle Norton
Wednesday, March 29, 7-8pm

Dance Local
2 Morristown Road
Bernardsville, NJ 07924

Drop-in Class $24 HERE

Guest instructor, Erin Carlisle Norton of The Moving Architects will bring a one of kind movement experience. To warm up and strengthen the body, barre like exercises and Pilates movements will be used and then shift to cardio and dance, to the super fun rock songs of the 1990s. No prior dance experience necessary!  Please wear comfortable, moveable clothing and SOCKS.

photo: Erin Carlisle Norton

Opine Dance Festival (Bryn Mawr Film Institute, PA)

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Opine Film Festival Emerging Program
March 25, 2023, 1pm

Bryn Mawr Film Institute
824 W. Lancaster Avenue
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

General Admission: $11-$13.50
Tickets HERE

Dance and cinema come together in this program of shorts, presented as part of the 8th annual Opine Dance Film Festival. This selection of short dance films showcases work from new artists exploring and experimenting with screendance. Program includes “O my soul” created/performed by Erin Carlisle Norton/The Moving Architects.

photo: Erin Carlisle Norton in “O my soul”