In the past several months, I have been interested in remembering. AS a way to track. A way to integrate. A way to relate past to present to future. As a way to sustain. A way to understand better where we are headed. A way to undo the forgetting. As a way to undo the assumptions of what we think we skipped.

I’ve tried it when I’ve taught. I’ve tried it in my family discussions. And most recently, I’ve tired it in my rehearsal process. Here is what we moved to last week. And here is what was remembered.

Gwen and I began back in September. In a studio. With Hugh, and his sound, and his thoughts, OF Becoming. And so we began. We moved in linear pathways, bending at our joints. The trying to bend at the middle of our limbs. Rigid linear pathways, trying to bend in the middle, of our bones….

….We tried projecting out of the floor. Carving out the vertical. Trying to find a wall in the floor. Trying to project horizontally in the vertical…..

….We merged with the wall. pushing into it. folding ourselves into it. Becoming the wall. The inanimate vertical surface. Grew in terrain. the Surface area expanded three-fold. As we became the wall. WE were the support. We were the wall.

….We learned a phrase. And, repeated it and repeated it and repeated it. Until it was something else. Something unlike the beginning. But we still remembered.

….We told each other what to do. We gave each other direction. We imposed power. To do or to ignore. We felt freedom within the structure.

THEN the others joined. LA and Jo, Kyle and musicians. The terrain shifted. Ideas multiplied. The collaboration thickened. We moved back and forth between knowing and not knowing. And knowing and not knowing. Along the way, we found new ways to begin.

…diving in the muck, and becoming a body
…imagining Hugh’s sound as a wet blanket, and us creating terrain into the sound
…we swarmed like birds
…we held tight to ankles and wrists. we stopped moving. we paused.
…we stretched between death and life. the vertical and the horizontal.
…we sewed our bodies to the earth. then stretched away.
…we created a new animal. we entered each other’s skin, and created a new animal.
…we carved out the mud. to bury ourselves in it, and layer it into our pores. to gather the mud, drape it around us, and pull the earth with us to the other side.

And finally, WE RETURNED. to our bones. noticing the length. noticing their linear pathway. noticing their non-bend. so we imagined another way. we imagined taking them out of our bodies, and replacing them with another bone. from another part. our jaw bone at our knee. our sternum at our armpit. we remembered. and we recalled.

AND we REPLACED. with something new. We threw and we caught. We rolled into each other so that both would fall together. We grabbed the tongue that spoke. And we fell out of the light. We spoke softly to each other, yet loudly to ourselves.

And NOW, we are spent. We know so much more, yet only the surface. And we are spent. We are new, and damaged, and complete, and incomplete, and new. And we are alive. And we are spent….

We invite you to witness The Pain of Becoming. Together. With us.

– Chrissy


SPILL artists to perform at ATLAS in APRIL

SPILL artist, Chrissy Nelson, is honored to be collaborating once again with composer and DMA candidate at CU-Boulder, Hugh Lobel, and video artist, Kyle Monks on Lobel’s thesis project,

-T H E  P A I N  O F  B E C O M I N G-

premiering April 4th & 5th in the ATLAS Black Box Performance Space.  SPILL artists Joanna Rotkin and Laura Ann Samuelson, along with recent Boulder resident and artist, Gwen Ritchie, are also collaborating in the shaping of the work.  Chrissy, Joanna, Laura Ann, and Gwen will be performing along with 7 LIVE musicians in this extraordinary interdisciplinary blending of music, dance, and video.

To find out more, you can view video footage on our INDIEGOGO page.  And if you feel MOVED, please support your local artists dedicated to making outstanding work.

SPILLing beyond Boulder

I love Boulder.  My husband and I have lived here 16 years now.  We actually tried leaving once.  We moved to Pittsburgh in 2008, only to return 6 months later.  I think it’s always good to spread your wings, and it’s always amazing to come home again.

These last, AND next, few months, SPILL collaborators are doing just that.  They are taking flight, and then returning home to share their experiences, and deepen their roots in this amazing artistic community of Boulder.

Laura Ann just returned in January from a 2 month intensive with SMASH Berlin.

Joanna is leaving in 2 days to perform her latest work, The Great Green, at the Rogue Festival in Fresno, CA.  She is then touring the award-winning work to Michigan in March and Performática in Mexico in April.

Chrissy’s newest solo work, Sight | Unseen, has been chosen to be performed at the Body- Mind Centering Association’s annual conference in Saratoga Springs, NY in June.

Yes, we look forward to leaving.  And, we especially look forward to coming home.  Look for our new class schedule to begin in APRIL, bringing fresh ideas and new perspectives.  HERE.  In Boulder.

Notes From The Field.


I have been spending my Thursday Evenings at PreEminence Hall in Boulder with Chrissy Nelson and a bunch of artists creating new works for performance. Chrissy, a fellow SPILL Member, is leading Fieldwork, an artistic feedback process established by The Field in New York City about 25+ years ago. Fieldwork is a container for artists at any stage in their career to come together, show new work, and receive some feedback. It has been exciting to discover how different the Fieldwork feedback process has been from anything I have interacted with.

Fieldwork has some serious rules. The major rule is that the audience is only allowed to comment on what is present in the work, not what is missing. This means there is no I wished you would have or It would be really great if you tried or Why didn’t you… It means that those of us giving feedback must locate ourselves in the audience instead of in the directors seat. It means that instead of deciding where we hope the work will go, we must explain what we saw, how we felt, and why we think we felt that way. So far, the process has been incredibly illuminating.

Fieldwork is making me more aware of the aesthetic principles that guide my thinking. I am uncovering what codes of performance I accept and what codes I reject. I have a better understanding of my perspective, and most importantly, I am realizing how subjective these codes are. When I give feedback I have more room to directly explain how the work landed with me and feel less of a desire to convince the artist that my position is the right one.

As an artist receiving feedback, the process has helped me better understand the sensation of the work I am making. Fellow Fieldwork artists are exposing me to the undercurrents of my actions and how they shape the meaning of what they see. I feel so lucky to be working with new artists in this context and am very grateful this is happening in Boulder.

Check out Chrissy Nelson and Fieldwork at

– Laura Ann Samuelson