Leralee Whittle is a dance, performance and video artist working in the US, Canada and Europe. She makes works for theater, galleries and private and public sites. She frequently collaborates with musician Paul Sprawl and collaborated with Nita Little in research and improvisation performance 1995-2005. Earlier in her dance career she performed choreography for Anouk van Dijk, Tandy Beal and Scott Wells in the Bay Area.
Whittle’s choreography, performance and video have been presented at Dinamiche Scomposte, Italy, Twin Cities Film Festival, Twin Cities/Montreal Choreographer Exchange, PWNW, Portland, La Esquina Gallery, Kansas City, 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 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.
Artist Statement || Video
I find parks, gyms, natural habitats or rare buildings I’m compelled to inhabit for time-based creative processes. These “found installations” inspire me to generate dances and body-based videos. Besides their visual appeal, these non-art spaces often provide 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. I shoot video of choreographic collaborations between myself (as a relational artist) and the “found installations”. Then I 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.
There may be a strong intuition to engage in practices to de-colonize the body, imagination or the social space.
Each space helps me choreograph and in this way solo compositions are always relational (never quite solo). Sometimes other people are engaged in prescribed activities or conversely, there’s a wonderful absence of the events usually assigned to these spaces. I am free to receive both kinds of inspiration through the interaction of social forces or through conjuring, perceiving, identifying and tracking the interplay between heightened senses, an embodied imagination and a contextual, physical environment.
Threading technique/ cross genre and genre bending dance / instant composition