I am invested in the bits of wisdom built into the foolish, the childlike, the futile, the written off, the queer bits, the bits that pool around the outskirts of narrative.
And so: I make dances, art objects, and physical structures that connect ideas, actions, forms, memories, and movements around a hollow unstable center.
I speak into imaginary microphones while milking invisible cows. I hold board meetings in real life public pools. I lead sessions in practicing saying goodbye and then drive away.
Making dances engages me in an ongoing conversation with the experience of being in a body that accumulates loss as it procures more life. Building physical objects allows me to track cycles of repetition, and observe how form emerges out of the smallest of decisions and happenstances.
This kind of production allows for a layering of what one wants and doesn’t want, what one has done and hasn’t done, against the materiality of the moment. The material is often louder than you imagined. You have to confront your own illegibility and decide how to proceed. I work with materials that are too heavy, too flat, too rigid, too flimsy, too big, too fragile, too unwieldy because I want them to bend both toward and against my will. I am looking to connect with the gap between what I was hoping for and what showed up instead.
My favorite moments in my work often come from circumstances that require me to reveal the ways I have come up short, and a desperation in me to transcend what I cannot. I am learning how to let the processes accumulate on top of one another, and how to let failure flip the dances over so that the work becomes tugging at the wires underneath.
Laura Ann Samuelson (they/them) is an interdisciplinary artist working in contemporary performance, sculpture, and writing. Their work follows the transmission of feeling across objects, sites, and bodies, searching for new strategies to help us bear impermanence, attachments to living, and to one another. Laura Ann's projects have been presented in Colorado, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, California, Germany, Sweden, and France, and they have been an artist-in-residence at the Denver Art Museum, Dance Initiative, Skogen Arts Sweden, and the Colorado Conservatory of Dance. Laura Ann currently collaborates with Ondine Geary, and has worked extensively with Colorado-based performance groups such as Joanna and the Agitators, square product theatre, as well as Buntport Theater Company, and Screw Tooth Theater Company.
They are mentored by Michelle Ellsworth and have toured with Ellsworth's POST-VERBAL SOCIAL NETWORK.
In 2020, Laura Ann received an MFA in Dance from the University of Colorado-Boulder, with secondary emphases in visual art and somatics, and a graduate certification in Emergent Technologies & Media Arts Practices from the College of Media, Communication, and Information. There, they received the Center for Arts & Humanities Graduate Fellowship & the Charlotte York Irey Scholarship for their creative work and research.
Additionally, Laura Ann holds a BA in dance & writing from Hampshire College and is currently a Feldenkrais practitioner in training under Alan Questel.