Leralee Whittle is a Bay Area dancer, performer, choreographer, video artist and teacher. Her performances and videos have been experienced in theaters, galleries, dance studios, living rooms, and as public art placed in parks, sports facilities and internet platforms.
She collaborated with Nita Little in research and instant composition 1995-2005. She toured North America and Western Europe with musician/composer Paul Sprawl from 2005 -19. She’s performed for Anouk van Dijk, Tandy Beal, Regina DeCosse and Scott Wells.
Whittle’s perfomance and video been presented at Dinamiche Scomposte, Italy, Twin Cities Film Festival, Twin Cities/Montreal Choreographer Exchange, PWNW, Portland, La Esquina Gallery, Kansas City, CAPSULE, KCMO, Southern Theater, Minneapolis, UCP, KCMO, and Aria, Barcelona. She is the recipient of a public art place making commission in MN (2018), a video and performance installation commission by Charlotte Street Foundation, Kansas City (2018), Project Space Residency, Counterpulse, SF (2017) and grants from PLRAC, MN (2017), KU Spencer Museum, Lawrence, KS (2011) and Puffin, NJ (2011) Theatre Bay Area, San Francisco, CA (2009).
She’s been a guest teacher at Wayne State University, Performance Works NW and FLOCK, Portland, OR, Counterpulse, San Francisco, Sudstern Jam, Berlin and The Cowels Center, Minneapolis.
She’s co-founder and co-builder of GLINT, a rustic off-grid spot in Big Bend, TX where dance, music, video, writing are produced and in-process.
Artist Statement Dance
I’m a relational artist, choreographer and performer. Compositions are a series of collaborative moments in alive relationships between bodies, body parts and systems, imagination and theory, performer and audience, space and form, human and other. My performance and practice ritualize the experience of being connected through “expanded collaboration” permeated by presence. I cultivate surprise as humor, emergent occurrences and para theatrical moments where differences between self and other blur through a change in perception and unity.
My work stems from collaborative research on Instant Composition, my diverse dance history in Modern, Post Modern, Senegalese Dance, Contact Improvisation, Ensemble Improvisation. Over the last ten years I’ve culled a body of work in somatics, Transembodiment and Solo improvisation,(un)Threading Dance- a technique of activating directional forces across body-systems while dancing and articulating forces within musculo- skeletal system, nervous system, fluid systems, energy systems (meridians and body-field) while dancing between the balancing poles of space and gravity.
Artist Statement Video
I find parks, gyms, natural habitats or rare buildings I’m compelled to inhabit for time-based processes. These “found installations” inspire me to generate dances and body-based videos. They provide an exciting immediacy in the form of unanticipated interactions with people, things, sound and context. I also find meaning in the social practice aspect of engaging publicly in creative practice and sharing state oriented, non codified embodiment in public.
I shoot video of choreographic collaborations between myself (as a relational artist) and the “found installations” then re-work the footage in post-production with editing, colorization and other effects, so the experiential, phenomenological and compositional aspects of the collaboration are further illuminated.
Each space helps me choreograph and inspires the direction in post-production. In this way solo compositions are never quite solo.