“Dance is the crucible where body and spirit join and something new comes to light. Chaos, confusion and catharsis transform into meaning, composition and communication. Art at its highest expression is a conduit for healing.”

Delisa Myles is a recipient of a 2017 Artist Research & Development Grant.

Artist Research and Development Grants are designed to support the advancement of artistic research, aid in the development of artistic work and recognize the contributions individual artists make to Arizona’s communities. For more information about the Artist Research & Development Grant, click here.

“Intimacy with Disappearance” is a multidisciplinary collaboration among six women–five dancer/choreographers and one photographer/videographer–who have a 23 year history of working together. The project juxtaposes geologic time and the shockingly minuscule lifespan of humans. The collaborators will research various kinds and causes of invisibility: sexism, ageism, cultural, spiritual, and ecological. What are the similarities between environmental degradation and the human aging process? What does it mean to become extinct literally and metaphorically? The research will culminate in a performance and photo exhibition in Arizona and Oregon in 2018.

For Myles, the project also reflects her concerns about aging as a dance artist and challenge cultural assumptions. “Rather than our cultural norm where women disappear from public view as they age,” said Myles in her application, “we intend to focus sharply on the grace and complexity of that aging. We aim to challenge how our culture views dance and the dancer over time.”

Photo from “Toil and Tempest,” by Delisa Myles.

Delisa Myles is a dancer, choreographer and educator who has been working professionally in all three areas since 1988. She holds an MFA in Choreography and Performance from University of Colorado. From 1994 to 2016 Delisa was a professor of dance at Prescott College where she developed the dance program. Myles has now retired from her faculty position to focus on choreographic pursuits and to broaden into new artistic territory including directing her studio in Prescott, Flying Nest Movement Arts.

Delisa’s Choreography has been funded by Arizona Commission on the Arts, Artist Project and Professional Development Grants. Her Choreography in the Community Intergenerational Outreach Program was funded by Mertz Gilmore Foundation. She was awarded residencies at Playa Fellowship Residency Program to research land based choreography in 2014/15. Delisa choreography was selected for Breaking Ground Dance and Film Festival at Tempe Center for the Arts in 2013/15.

Delisa is a founding member of Human Nature Dance Theatre, a collective of multi-disciplined performing artists from the Western US. The group has had an annual performance at Arcosanti from 1993-present.

Photo by Tamara Albaitis

Banner photo: “Lost at Sea,” research for “Intimacy with Disappearance” taken at Playa Residency Fellowship Program by Miana Jun.