Dawn Schultz

Dawn Schultz is an educator and movement artist currently creating works out of Monmouth County New Jersey.  She is the founder of the Movement Exploration Laboratory and co-director of the dance department of the Visual and Performing Arts Academy at Ocean Township High School.  Reflecting on individuals’ connections with humanity and the world, Dawn views choreography both through a social and visual artist’s lens. Speaking through the language of movement and using one's body as an instrument to construct visual narratives, her works explore the human body and its capacity to convey embodied interpretations of experiences. Focusing on the interconnected relations the body makes with things and other people within an environment generates her choreography as the body becomes an extension of threads that designs the fabric within our society.  In analyzing various modalities an artist can engage with to create works of choreography, she empowers movers in celebrating their own ideas to explore their personal creative voice.  Dawn builds confidence and community, harnessing the power of moving together to bridge disconnections between people and brings attention to our shared humanity.

Intertwining Dawn's work with the Materiality of Exile, she will investigate the material of objects and things when considering the dialogues Ana Sanchez-Colberg has engaged with the Latinx woman.  As the impetus to examine movement, she will use the rule of 11 in the number of gathering materials and exploring gestural shape responses as inspiration to particular objects.  Sharing traces of her embodied responses in shaping form to function as a movement phrase crafts traces through her own aging body connecting the strands of fabric which joins humankind as a whole.

On 6th November, Dawn will arrive at Joshua Tree to be present for the shared narratives between Ana and the participants.  This opportunity allows her to embrace the first-person perspective in embracing dialogue between the women as well as experience a partial mode of the methodology through sensory stimuli.  While at the site, she will have the opportunity to investigate the land which is inhabited by the Latinx people and explore the materiality of that which has sustained them as a people.     


1 November 2019

Thoughts on Perception...from the landscape of an acrostic poem

Propositional space holds form and shape, while
Elements of inspiration create momentum,
Raising awareness of components as they allow
Conceptualization to develop into new knowledge  
Exploring the senses and crafting an understanding of
Process and how it relates to the progression of
Transfiguration as it correlates to art-based 
Inquiry and the dissection of fragments which
Overlap in layers building upon strands of
Negotiations necessary for visual imagery to unfold


2 November 2019

Movement response to Ana's blog...inspired chosen materials, objects, and things...prompting reverberations and exploration.

YouTube Link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MoB10kfM-s


3 November 2019

Movement response, not through the physical sensory investigation of materials,
but through trace memory encounters of the elements and textures which Ana post in a video today.

1. Dry Grass
2.  Barren Bush in the Breeze
3.  Wind
4.  Tree Limbs
5.  Leaves
6.  Negative Space
7.  Footprints in the Sand
8.  Pathways Carved out in Space
9.  Dirt
10.  Pebbles
11.  Fine pieces of dry grass

YouTube Link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80HFGAkgPK4


4 November 2019

A picture speaks to me, through me, I speak back
Like a poem, interpreting verses by way of language
It is in the way you stand or hold your hands,
How your head leans to the side,
I see your eyes and how they shine
Or hide the beauty from years gone by.
Inside I hold a story, corporeal impressions to be told
11 gestures through me today and this is how it unfolds-


YouTube Link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0NJdNr5PWc


5 November 2019

Trajectory leads me to the desert today to meet 11 women with whom stories will be shared
Redirecting paths where traces will be imprinted in the sand, fleshed out through
Articulating language into movement, interwoven through strands of a
Visceral series of events leading to sounds of shadows
Echoing in the vast landscape of portraits tangled with the materiality of
Lineage lingering in the footsteps of those who have crossed
Internationally to divide barriers in the face of
Narratives aligning the wandering mobility of
Gestures in the face of mindful perception


6 November 2019

At 8 am this morning I arrived to Boxo Project in Joshua Tree, California to see Ana's beautiful smiling face.  What is the first thing we do?  Make coffee, sit at the (outside) kitchen table, and share stories.  Fragments of this project, not planned, not intentional...this choreography manifested itself all on its own...naturally, as it was meant to unfold.  Ana shared with me the story of when she was 6 and packed the toy luggage she received for Christmas and ran away (around the corner and back), I told her of the hobo bundle I packed made of stick and blanket, at the same age when I ran away (down the street and under the neighbors bush).  Sharing stories over coffee, talking about our childhood, our children, work, research, movement, art, travel, where we lived, where we want to go.  Reflecting on these stories I am drawn to Cavarero's words, "through the unreflecting knowledge of my sense of self, I know that I have a story and that I consist in this story...I could nevertheless not know myself to be narratable unless I was not always already interwoven into the autobiographical text of this story.  Such an interweaving is indeed irreparable, and comes to the self as a reifying experience."  As we expose ourselves and find connections through our reflections, there is a sense of trust and unity we create through sharing our narratable identities.  Although these life stories are unique to each of us, fragments overlap and piece together as they have brought us together on this day.

We continue on with our day...we shop, as some women enjoy doing together.  Discuss clothing, sharing opinions, laughing over fashion, getting excited about what we have found on the racks, stopping to look longer, supporting choices that have been made and putting things back.  With purpose and aim for our decisions, we head to a Dry Lake Bed to explore the territory and capture the evening sun.  This journey, mixed with purpose and exploration, Ana has a vision and I allow her to wander through the yellow blades of grass until she is unrecognizable.  As she returns, it is as if she is that little girl, coming home from running away, now a teenager.  She does not appear to be the 57-year-old woman who left me (15 minutes ago...as I film).  Something has changed in her. "There exists a sort of gratitude for all that is as it is; for all that has been given and has not been done".  

I stood as a spectator and narrator within that moment and desired to tell the story by capturing these moments on film through my own image.  "Run, go," I tell her, and off she went and I followed in canon.  "The self is the protagonist of a game that celebrates the self as other, precisely because the self here presupposes the absence of another who truly is an other.  In this sense, by bringing together the auto, the bios, and the graphein, the self conquers for itself an absolute unity and self-sufficiency."

Trusting in the process, beauty emerged.  Allowing a letting go and unfolding to surface cultivated a plethora of proposals in constructing modes of capturing distilled, fragmented movement memory interweaving oral narratives of 11 women.

Quotes by:
Cavarero, Adriana. Relating Narratives Storytelling and Selfhood. Routledge, 2010.

7 November 2019

Today, I had the pleasure of meeting three amazing women, shinning eyes glistening in the desert sun, ready to share their stories of exile...in Spanish.  I couldn't understand a word they said, but they spoke volumes through the gestures of their hands, their head, the way they sat in the chair, folded their legs, smiles and almost came to tears.  I could tell in the tone of their voice and the movement of their eyes the language that they spoke.  It was the language of a mother, a daughter, a wife, and a friend.  They shared joys and sorrows, wrongdoings, faith, and love.  They trusted Ana, they trusted me and completely exposed their history.

"In the practice of consciousness-raising the narratable self, pushed by the justifiable fear that the partially unexposed is partially non-existent, comes by herself to satisfy her own desire for a narrated story.  The life-story, having come into its own tale, puts into words an identity--at the same time and in the same context in which the women present generate a political space that finally exposes them.  Put another way, there is a privileging of the word a the vehicle of a desire for identity that only the narrated form seems able to render tangible" (Cavarero 59).

Tangible, what is real, concrete, embodied...manifested...

and I begin to think of all the forms of Exile I have experienced, not just moving, from place to place, across the country, East Coast to the West, across the Pacific Ocean to an island and back again...I think of how I created a self-fulfilling prophecy for myself, within society, as a woman.  My place in the world.  The choices I made led me to develop the language which spells out my identity today.  My footprints carved through time and space, rooted in shared experiences and brief encounters.

Cavarero, Adriana. Relating Narratives Storytelling and Selfhood. Routledge, 2010.
8 November 2019

Crossing over,
Remembering the past to move forward,
Acceptance, a form of letting go, 
Representing a knowledge of the experienced
Whispering accounts through materiality
Repressed, Distressed, Expressed


9 November 2019
Movement Response in Joshua Tree

10 November 2019

Traveling across the county today, plane delayed...had to take another flight so I could catch my connection.  How privileged I have been to be able to live free, to travel at my own free will, not to be confined by lines which divide...but the only divide I have created is the one in my mind.  Confined by nature verse nurture...yet I am not a victim, nor does my past define me, describe me or determine the future of my fate.  I am the maker of my marks, the traces, the strands of threads I leave behind that connect the fabric of our web.  

11 November 2019   

Thinking of baggage today, that one carries with them...in a physical and metaphorical sense.  In search of luggage, 1x11.  To fill them with materials, carry them and then unpack...all the things which I have carried with me, and completely let go.  Mediative, cleansing, the act of undoing the doing, not forgetting, but acknowledging process in the act of both nature and nurture.  Clearly seeing the connection through reflection.   

12 November 2019
Breaking Rules of 11...instead 11 words I consider today


13 November 2019

I went on the hunt for luggage today, I will call upon bodies to join me in my future play.  More will be revealed as the movement unfolds.

15 November 2019

11 Bags
11 Bodies
11 Tasks carved through space

YouTube Link to Movement Response:  
Unnecessary Baggage  

17th November 2019

Thinking on what is biological and that which is historically bound together as well as other material forces, active matter in the processes of materialization.  Giving meaning and value to the history of bodies, envisioning mental and emotional history, effaced but not obliterated through narrations of susceptibility to exchange enactment of the increasingly complex accounts. "Hence, I do not envision a "history of mentalities" that have been perceived and given meaning and value; but a "history of bodies" and the manner in which what is most material and most vital in them has been invested" (Foucault, 1980).  The undercurrent of the interdisciplinary representational connections that Ana plays upon between the relationship of elements in creating the fabric which constitutes the woven narrative, emulates corporeal discourse through practices by which their differential constitutions are marked.

Today...11   Words from my thoughts and writing... 
  • Biological
  • Historical
  • Process
  • Materialization
  • Emotional
  • Complex
  • Undercurrent
  • Relationship
  • Interdisciplinary
  • Discourse
  • Marks

18 November 2019

It was such a pleasure to see the 11 women at Joshua Tree tonight via Whereby App.  Having had made a connection with them when I was there, I felt I left a little piece of me with them and took a little piece of them with me.  It was not even that we spoke much...as they talked more in Spanish, yet it was being present while they shared their stories, I had an understanding of the memories they spoke of through their body language.

Today, seeing them through the screen of a computer, their confidence radiated!  Pleased to be a part of this project and united through the journey thus far.  I am excited for them, for sharing a part of themselves which will be fragmented and documented into a work of art that holds a story which will withstand the test of time.


21 November 2019

We are moved, we move others, we connect, reflect, dwell to recall and share the past which weaves a tapestry connecting threads to our present.  Inviting bodies into this space, shifts energy, reshapes form, extends dimension through impressions adding texture to our lives and those we reveal upon...to forever be transformed into a patchwork where portions of ourselves will remain within and through the crafting of our journey.

11 = 22


24 November 2019

Thoughts on materiality...the body as a physical, material body is exposed to a variety of materials within the world.  The artistic approaches to materiality focus on the connections made between the body, objects, the environment and bodies within the environment.  “Once objects and subjects symmetrically co-determine each other, it follows that ‘if the status of the object is profoundly changed, so also is that of the subject” (Lepecki 2012).  Objects become material moving the body, in turn, the individual becomes an instrument of the that which is crafting movement, conveyed through expression in the actual transient phase of the flow of consciousness.

Many blessings to Ana on upcoming performances this week! xoxo


27 November 2019

Elements of artwork hold no place for
Xerox copies, without original compositions
Practiced and produced to
Locate specific connections to
Others in the world around us while
Reaching beyond the mundane to
Attune us to differentiated mediums
Transcending dimensional interpretations under
Investigation while shades and textures from
Organized structures, a language all its own are
Noteworthy in regard to bodies between line holding design


29 November 2019

Trajectory projection allows room to
Refine design as I have learned it is a perpetually 
Adjusted to the aspects of intersecting
Natural movement progression which allows
Structures to create fragmented pieces in line with
Fibers hidden inside unexpected threads of
Oppression due to fine lines of expectations held within the
Rich history of defined origins allowing 
Maturation to develop and unfold through an 
Awakening of the senses where imagination leads  
Tactile awareness from images placed inside the mind to
Identify design in relation to visions of perspective
Offered through the various lens of interpretation, a
Niche found in the act of weaving together strands bound to the functional system of the whole

Broke my rule...and that is ok, moved less, wrote more poems...that which I haven't done in some time. I loved, loved, loved being in the desert and meeting the women, videoing Ana on the rocks and dry lake and being a part of the process. I came back to NJ and created the "Unnecessary Baggage" Movement video with my students! We discussed exile, not being defined by your past and letting go of that which does not serve you anymore, weighs you down and burdens which you do not need to carry around though life. Letting go in order to move forward...and creating art as a narrative to tell a story, share a story, embody a story and release it through expressive movement.