Lucie Baker Dance
Hello my dears,
It’s been awhile. I sent my last message to you all in December of 2019 to announce the premiere of a new dance and little did any of us know that time in theaters and time together would be stripped from us unceremoniously for the following year and a half.
It has been an illuminating and difficult time. It has often felt like a crucible to me. Burning away what was not necessary and highlighting what is deeply essential, either through lack or abundance. While I will be digesting the pain and sorrow of these past months for some time to come, I am also grateful for the clarity it has offered me.
I am writing announce a new venture. The seedling sprouting from the ashes of the fire: My new offerings as an expressive arts facilitator.
My intention is to use the power of expressive arts, community ritual, and nature to help people live their greatest potential. I draw on my experience as a professional dance artist, a Tamalpa Practitioner, and my studies of nature to support those who believe there is more juice in life than they are currently experiencing.
I seek to help to the helpers. Those who are participating in the collective healing and evolution of the planet in ways great and small. It may be through activism, art making, healing, teaching, or any number of subtle actions. I am especially interested in supporting those who are experiencing burnout or languishing, and recovering from trauma.
I will do this by reconnecting people with their creative spark, their bodies, their expressivity, and their communities.
Here are my first offerings.
Tending the Fire: Group Class
This weekly online drop-in class is an opportunity to practice the foundational tools of embodiment, self awareness, communication, and connection you need to keep your heart fires roaring. Starting September 14th.
Swimming the Depths: One to One
For those seeking personalized support in addressing a specific theme or event in their lives these private sessions allow you to dive deep into the waters of the unconscious with the help of creative tools and skillful facilitation.
Watching the Skies: Seasonal Events
Periodically, I offer workshops, intensives, and retreats focused on a particular theme. These immersive events allow participants to develop creative resources in a concentrated manner. My first event centers on the equinox and how our light and shadows balance each other and will be held September 19th.
While my venture as an Expressive Arts facilitator takes me into new territory, my path remains true. I continue to seek ways to cultivate the wisdom of the body, connect with power of art, and nurture individual and collective growth holistically. If this sounds like a journey you are tempted to take — and I hope you are! — then keep an eye out for future newsletters. You will get tasty tidbits of inspiring resources and notices of upcoming events about twice a month. I enthusiastically invite you to remain connected, though you can, of course, unsubscribe at any time.
I hope to dance with you all in one way or another in the near future. Feel free to reach out if you are curious about working with me or have any questions at all. I wish you all the very best.
Photo by Warren Woo featuring Chloe Miller, Madison Bristol, Gal Snir, Megumi Hosaka, Mariko Orii, and
I am coming to you from the mysterious misty lands of the Pacific Northwest winter. I am reaching out let you know that my work Singing Over the Bones is being produced at Velocity Dance Center's Next Fest. This dance is a development of the work that I made for the MFA Dance Concert at University of Washington last spring and I am grateful to have an opportunity to revisit this material. The piece evokes the Rusalki, figures of slavic folklore said to have power over human, animal and agricultural fertility. The dance explores themes of cycles of life and death, liminal space, womanhood, wildness, ecology, cultural identity, and spirit. This iteration features Erica Badgeley, Megumi Hosaka and myself as performers.
Details are below:
Velocity Dance Center's
Next Fest NW
December 12th - 15th
Featuring works by Lucie Baker, Shane Donohue, Marco Farroni, Vladimir Kremenović and Hannah Rae.
For Tickets and Information:
Opportunities for volunteering are available by contacting Shirley at operations @ velocitydancecenter.org
Working on this dance has been a delicious, personal and empowering experience. I have enjoyed finding a sense of integration of my experiences as the daughter of a Croatian mother and Anglo-American father as well as an integration between my interests in folk and contemporary dance. The mythology of the Rusalki has provided me a magnetic pole to orient towards as I investigate these ideas.
I hope you all choose to dive in with me.
One of my goals as a choreographer is to pay my dancers wages for rehearsal and performance. While I have received some funding from Velocity as a part of this production, I am striving to raise another $250 to cover the remainder of rehearsal costs. You can make a tax deductible donation by clicking the button below. Any amount is greatly appreciated and monies raised beyond my goal will go towards future productions.
As always, I am thankful for your support and interest in my work. It is a constant inspiration to see what dance means to different people and it is an honor to be an advocate and keeper of the form. May you find some space for dance in your life this winter season.
With love and reverence,
The wheel of the seasons keeps on turning. Since my last message (over a year ago!) a great number of things have occurred. Let's start where we are.
I am about to graduate from the University of Washington with a Masters of Fine Art in Dance degree. Can you believe it?! It's been a wild ride and I have been grateful to share it with some of the most inspiring dance academics around. I am finishing up my thesis work, teaching, and choreographing for the MFA Dance Concert next week.
What follows is a little recap of what I've been up to!
Last spring I premiered Glow Up, a dance made for twelve young women in the undergraduate dance department. It was a light and playful look at the wonderful weirdness of community. I had a blast working with them and designing glowing balloons to light their way as a part of the MFA Dance Concert. You can view the piece from 2018 here: https://vimeo.com/287129886
Last summer I completed original research that focused on creative collaboration between scientists and artists. I invited three doctoral students in the early stages of their work into the studio to try their hand at dancing as a method of investigating their research questions. What emerged was an inspiring look at the stimulating effect of applying dance based inquiry to the scientific process. You can watch my presentation of my findings here:
This past fall I performed with the Chamber Dance Company at UW's Meany Hall. The program was full of fantastic pieces including works by Lucinda Childs, Joseph Gifford, and Daniel Charon. It was a challenging and satisfying run. You can see me dance Gifford's The Pursued here: https://vimeo.com/300579847/904de93ab3
Over the winter I prepared my thesis which is to create and teach a course. I am in the midst of that at this very moment. It has been a joy to teach this class which synthesizes my research in creativity, life sciences and philosophy. I have titled it Embodied Ecology for Creative Practice. I have an intrepid group of students from many different disciplines and we have been having a blast learning about how to use natural systems as models for creative work. We even went on a field trip to learn about how beavers create their habitats so that we can better understand how we humans might choreograph ours.
And now here we are! May, 2019!
I am looking forward to celebrating the end of a wonderful experience here at UW but not before one last hurrah. I will premiere a new work for six fantastic undergraduate women as a part of this years UW MFA Dance Concert. In this piece I explore the archtypal power of the Rusalki. Characters from Slavic folklore, the Rusalki are the spirits of young women who died untimely or unjust deaths, and are believed to have the power to regulate the seasons, and agricultural abundance. They have a tendency to curse or kill those who cross them and bless those who appease them. The piece, entitled Singing Over the Bones, is an investigation of life and death cycles as symbolically represented by the female form and how these cycles function in contemporary culture. It is also a personal exploration of the liminal cultural space I occupy as the daughter of a Croatian immigrant mother and an Anglo-American father. I drew on my years of folk dancing as well as my theatrical dance experience when developing the movement. It is a convergence of many things and I look forward to sharing it with you all.
I hope you can come and spend an evening with us! (Consider it an early birthday present to me.) As I move into a new chapter of my life, I look forward to creating projects that utilize what I have learned over the past three years of education, both at UW and theTamalpa Institute. I am eternally grateful to those who shared this journey with me and I believe there is fertile ground for the seeds we have cultivated to take root. I intend to do some planting.
MFA Dance Concert
May 15 - 19, 2019
Wednesday - Saturday 7:30pm
University of Washington
Meany Studio Theater
Tickets and Information Here:
I hope you are enjoying the cherry blossoms and sunshine as much as I am. Spring has been a long awaited occasion. I have spent the winter immersed in my work as a teacher and a Masters student here at UW. I have been challenged to reflect on and develop my teaching practices by learning about feminist pedagogy, ecopsychology, and phenomenology. All of which were terms I had never heard before. It has been an engaging experience. I have also continued my work with the Tamalpa Institute and I am writing to announce that I have the pleasure of offering a new workshop this April.
Tamalpa Life/Art Process:
The Forest and The Trees
Saturdays in April the 7th - 28th, 2-5 pm
at Velocity Dance Center
1621 12th Ave. Seattle, Wa
This four part expressive arts workshop fosters the development of connection, communication, and personal awareness. Inspired by the imagery of trees, we will improvise dances, create drawings, and develop creative writings that help identify ourselves within our greater ecosystems. We will seek ways to nourish ourselves and our communities as trees do their forests.
This workshop is based on the Tamalpa Life/Art Process®. Developed by Anna and Daria Halprin at the Tamalpa Institute, it is an integrated approach that explores the wisdom of the body as expressed through movement, dance, and imagination. We use artistic processes and media to explore and deepen our relationship to psychological life, to social issues, and to creativity itself.
This is a dance-based experience. All abilities and backgrounds are welcome. No experience necessary. Art materials will be provided. Participants are encouraged to bring a journal if they wish. The first class may be taken as a drop-in but the following classes require full enrollment. $30 first day only | $85 full series of four workshops.
Register for Expressive Arts Here!
I can't wait to share this work with you all! I imagine it will be a fruitful process. Feel free to invite friends and colleagues and reach out for further information if needed. I would be thrilled to have you in attendance.
Another event that is budding is my choreographic offering at the annual University of Washington MFA Dance Concert. I will be showing a piece for twelve
wonderful undergraduate dancers that is inspired by emergent form, relationships, and jellyfish.
UW MFA Dance Concert
An evening of choreography by the graduate students of the
Department of Dance at the University of Washington
Meany Studio Theater, Seattle, Wa
May 16th - 19th at 7:30
May 20th at 2pm
May 20th is my birthday and I can think of no better way to celebrate than to be in the audience for this show with you. I look forward to sharing this new dance and workshop with the world, just as the plants are sharing their young leaves and flowers. May this spring bring you fresh blossoms and new moves!
To view eblast in browser click here: mailchi.mp/7d3f5452b418/expressive-arts-and-new-choreography-in-seattle?e=40530f94a7
Since last we spoke, I have traveled from Anna Halprin's magical dance deck, past the glorious beaches of Point Reyes, up through the mighty Redwood forests to return to the Puget Sound and began my graduate work at the University of Washington.
The second level of my expressive arts therapy training at the Tamalpa Institute provided me a great opportunity to integrate all that I had learned in the fall and challenged me to put it into action as a facilitator. It was an incredible program that was topped off by the famous Planetary Dance held at Mount Tamalpais for the 37th year.
Upon arriving back in Seattle, my MFA program began straight away. In addition to rehearsing for our upcoming show and taking classes in pedagogy, I was teaching an introductory dance course to 20 fantastic undergraduates. They were a joy to work with. Watching their progress and getting back into the swing of being a student was great fun.
Currently, there are a few projects I want you all to know about.
Chamber Dance Company
Performing at Meany Hall
October 12th - 15th
Ticket information can be found Here.
The Chamber Dance Company at the University of Washington is comprised of the graduate students and guest performers. The program is full of fantastic pieces that, if you are in the Seattle area, you should not miss. I have the pleasure of dancing works by Crystal Pite, Jane Dudley and Susan Marshall. This will be my only performance this fall so I hope to see you in the audience!
A podcast by Leah Walsh. An interview with Lucie Baker.
You can listen now Here.
The Compass is a podcast created by the incandescent actress Leah Walsh. Leah's goal is to illuminate the ways professional artists grapple with the difficulties of leading a life in the arts and how they approach the dark side. Leah and I had the great fortune to meet at Juilliard and have remained friends ever since. After collaborating on outreach projects together during school, I later cast Leah in the trio Restless Night. It was a treat to work with her then and it is an honor to support her in her creative endeavors now. We spoke over Skype a few weeks back. I hope that you find the interview interesting and provocative.
The last six months have been full of transitions. I've been enjoying surfing the wave of change and encountering each new experience with a sense of flow. As we swiftly pass the fall equinox, I hope that you are all finding something that lifts you up and carries you along. Thank you for keeping abreast of my endeavors and surfing along side me.
Read full Eblast here:
I am happy to inform you that the documentary I am in and helped produce, Enter the Faun, will be airing this March 28th on PBS (World Channel) as a part of America Reframed.
Check this website for local listings:
The earth has tilted into winter since last we spoke. The turning tides of time have washed up many new revelations, gifts, challenges, and adventures. In the light of this new year I am now traveling the path of the student in earnest.
I spent the last three months undergoing intensive expressive arts therapy training in the woods of Marin County, California at the Tamalpa Institute. I learned about how our bodies communicate with us, how our emotional material becomes integrated into our physicality and how the stories we tell ourselves about our bodies affect our lives and relationships. I look forward to returning to the training in the spring. During the break I am teaching at The Bush School in Seattle. I continue to digest everything I learned in the past three months and see ways that I can apply it to my daily decisions.
The big news is that, come June, I will be a graduate student at the University of Washington earning my Masters in Fine Arts in Dance.
It is an honor to be invited to this program. I look forward to two years of learning and enriched artistry amongst an inspiring community. In deference to the new year I'd like to take a moment to thank all of you for being on my team. I give thanks to Jane Comfort, Tamar Rogoff and Mauricio Salgado for writing me fabulous recommendation letters for grad. school, to my dear friends who've aided me with their editing eye on all that I write and make, to my Tamalpa cohort for being so inspiringly supportive, to my teachers from all over the world, to my family and to all those reading. Thank you for supporting me. It is a privilege to share this planet with you and I look forward to furthering creativity, courage and peace with you. Here's to you and here's to deepening our communities where ever we are.
With love, I am...
To check out my full eblast click here!
I imagine you are currently sipping a refreshing lemonade in the shade of an old and resilient tree while perusing the highlights of the internet. It is my pleasure to inform you of a few new tacks and jibs I am taking in the coming months.
I will be performing, traveling and, most notably, studying at Anna Halprin's Tamalpa Institute. Tamalpa is a world renowned leader in the field of expressive arts therapy and I will take part in their personal embodiment training. Some of you may remember that I took class with Anna when visiting the San Francisco area a few years ago. She is the most inspiring 95 year old dancer I know.
I will be in Marin, CA from September 12th through December 18th.
- Performing in Tectonic Marrow Society's Iota, August 26th and 27th at Velocity Dance Center. Consider supporting this production by donating to their fundraising campaign here.
- I danced reprisals of Groundworks Dance Theater's Carmina Burana in the Cleveland area August 5th, 6th and 12th.
- Visiting New York September 3rd - 10th.
- Videos of my works Ruin and Restless Night are now available for viewing on my vimeo channel!
I am looking forward to these adventures.
I am looking forward to being in touch with all of you.
I am looking forward to having the opportunity to evaluate my relationship to dance and how it manifests in my daily life. I anticipate my experience at Tamalpa will be revolutionary. Here's to new horizons.
I wish you all the best in these dog days of summer.
P.S. A link to the eblast is below!
Sweet Cherry Pie,
It is my dearest hope that you are throughly enjoying this swiftly metamorphosing spring and are sharpening your marshmallow sticks for a sticky summer. Every May brings my birthday and there is much to celebrate. A few things are happening that you might want to be aware of.
- Croatian folk dances with Vela Luka Croatian Dance Ensemble May 28th at 5 and 7:30 as a part of the Northwest Folklife Festival
- A new work by Wade Madsen performed as a part of the Seattle International Dance Festival June 23rd and 24th
- Reprises of Groundworks Dance Theater's Carmina Burana in the Cleveland area July 15th, 16th and 17th and August 5th, 6th and 12th
- The final open Ballet classes at Velocity Dance Center are happening on Wednesdays from 5 - 6:20 until June 29th. Get your kicks in while you can!
- I will be subbing Contemporary classes for Kate Wallich at Velocity on Thursday June 16th and 23rd at 9:30am.
It's all very exciting. I hope you can make it to one of these diverse shows and classes. And with that, I leave you to whatever else it was you were doing on the internet.
With a skip, a jump and a butterfly kiss,
Hello my darlings,
I hope this redesign is tickling your fancy!
Next on the docket is performing Beauty with Jane Comfort and Company at the University of Washington April 7th, 8th and 9th.
Then it's on to Cleveland and Groundworks Dance Theater for a new Carmina Burana May 7th.
A lot has occurred in the last several months. Consider joining my mailing list for the most up to date info: HERE
To read previous emails check these links: Opera Invite, Ask Letter, Spring Etc
Recently, I performed with Coleman Pester and Ethan Folk in PYLON I and they have released a lovely little video documenting the experience. It was a BLAST.