On Wednesdays, we look at artist/design statements or About pages and discuss the best vocabulary to describe the work. Today we’ll look at the artistic statement of Kevin Iega Jeff, the artistic director of Deeply Rooted Dance Theater. Below is a clip from Indumba, their latest production.
Here is the text from his About page, in italics.
Kevin Iega Jeff brings artists, dancers, students and communities to excellence. Inspiring, committed and disciplined, he enjoys working with established and emerging artists who seek to express the essence of who they are.
“Artists who embrace vulnerability, delight in learning, and communicate authentically excite me! The foundation of my practice is to explore the spiritual, emotional, intellectual and physical realms when making work. How histories, cultures and aesthetics inform process; How the human diaspora speaks to unique perspectives and common experiences, and how we translate experience into dance.”
Now my comments:
This is a good, basic artistic statement because the artist is talking about his work in a way that is general but still includes interesting details. Jeff begins by talking about his goals and his values as an artist. Next, he talks about what excites him, and he also mentions the process of his work and what inspires him. If he wanted to add more, he could talk about how his work has evolved over time and the challenges he’s overcome. He could also say more about what makes his work unique.
He uses some interesting vocabulary as well. First, he talks about the different groups of people he works with. Then he describes himself and who he enjoys working with. He describes two groups of artists: established and emerging. Established means that you already have a successful career. Emerging artists are those just getting started in their careers. He says these artists seek to express the essence of who they are. To seek for something means to look for it, and to express means to share your feelings. The essence of a person is the basic nature of that person; the qualities that make him/her who he/she is.
In the second paragraph, he talks about artists who embrace vulnerability, delight in learning, and communicate authentically. To embrace vulnerability means a person is willing to take a chance and be open to making mistakes. To delight in learning means to enjoy it, and to communicate authentically means you are willing to talk about your true feelings. Finally, he describes what is most important to his work, or his practice. He wants to explore the spiritual, emotional, intellectual and physical realms when making work. A realm means an area, so he wants to explore these four areas of human experience when he works. He also wants to explore, or study, the way that histories, cultures and aesthetics inform process. This means that the way each artist dances will be different because of that dancer’s history, culture, and aesthetics. These things affect the way we work, which is our process.
In the last sentence, he talks about the human diaspora, which means people who have to leave their homeland. He wants to explore the way this speaks to unique perspectives and common experiences, and how we translate experience into dance. In this sentence, speaks to is a phrasal verb that means it gives strong feelings or a connection to something. So Jeff is saying that the experience of leaving your homeland gives the dancers unique perspectives and common experiences, which means they see things differently than people who don’t have this shared experience. He likes to see how the dancers translate experience into dance, meaning how they show their feelings about this topic through their dancing.
Knowing how to talk about your work in a way that is easy for other people to understand can be difficult, especially in another language. A good language coach can help you to find the best words and phrases to express your ideas and feelings in writing or speaking. Taking the time to improve your statement or About page can help you to reach a bigger audience.
At Artglish, we help artists and designers to write a statement or About page that best describes their work. We focus on choosing the best vocabulary and language to help your work shine. If you’d like to learn more about what we offer, click here to get exclusive content, or check out our Courses page.
I’ve chosen 5 words or phrases for you to focus on today. They are in bold. If you don’t know them, look up the meaning, synonyms, antonyms, and other forms of these words. You can find links to Merriam-Webster dictionary sites at the bottom of this page.
To see the artist’s website, click the link below:
To learn more about Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, click the link below: