Complex Mammal

Photo Credit: ASC Dance

Complex Mammal of which I am a co-founder, is a collaborative group of Agnes Scott Creative Arts colleagues who are dedicated to infusing the creative process into all aspects of academic life. With the fusion of sound, image, and movement, traditional aesthetic modes of expression are expanded, establishing a new concept of shared artistic experience.  Complex Mammal shares artistic practice with students, both as a mode for teaching and learning and as a resource for current and relevant ideas.

Complex Mammals: Moving and Making: New course development and implementation by Nell Ruby and Bridget Roosa awarded by Mellon Corhort 2 grant.

Please click here to view the Complex Mammal Syllabus

Collaborations between disciplines enrich both the value of work created and each collaborators experience greatly.  Professors Bridget Roosa and Nell Ruby co-founded the group, Complex Mammal which is a collaborative group of Agnes Scott creative arts colleagues who are dedicated to infusing the creative process into all aspects of academic life.  The unique fusion of sound, image, and movement expands the traditional aesthetic modes of expression and establishes a new concept of shared artistic experience.  Complex Mammal is especially excited to share the artistic practice with our students, both as a mode for teaching and learning and as a resource for current and relevant ideas.  Through a series of collaborative ventures, discussions brought upon several approaches to a topic that has revealed new ways of creating work. Students are greatly impacted by these collaborative ventures as they take part in the discussion and directly affect the direction of the work.  This kind of experience is directly engaging the student in the experience of liberal learning which they will continue to value and incorporate in the work they do in their student and professional lives. 

Complex Mammal Collaborative Performance work:

Hela: a collaborative work by Bridget Roosa and Nell Ruby

Hela Part I: Critical Resolve- is a creative response to The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.  In this section the dance draws on the tensions and relationships that the descendents of Henrietta Lacks face as they are trying to figure out the details of her legacy.  Relationships with others and with oneself are explored as the dancers work out issues with trust, hatred, and violence to a score by Steve Reich. 

Hela Part II: Hela- is a creative piece responding to reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. The dance work draws on tensions in the story that oppose scientific facts against the more human concerns that exist in the life of an individual.  The movement of the dancers relates to the notion of the living person at the core of this story of scientific inquiry. Disruptions representing scientific methods are imposed onto the natural fluidity of body movement to suggest ethical questions about the responsibilities of a society making moral decisions that balance the “greater good” with what might be good for an individual and her family.

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Enamored Flame: A collaborative work by Bridget Roosa, Qiao Solomon and David Thompson

Enamored Flame– is a collaborative work by the group Complex Mammal.  The choreography and text, created by professors Bridget Roosa and David Thompson, were initially inspired by the historically documented stage accidents in which ballerinas would become enveloped in flames after their tutu’s would come in contact with oil burners.  Continuing with this idea of a dancer suffering for her passion the piece further explored the psychological effects of a dancer feeling the need to conform to achieve perfection.  While the movement is developing the performers are abstractly chanting choice words such as passion, conform, burn, accept, destiny, suffer, and others that represent the perilous life of dancers.  In addition, the 11 performers are manipulating a long piece of black tulle (approximately 40’) through the space.  This work is accompanied by selections from Zoe Keating and Jennifer Thomas and a live performance of a violin solo by Jules Massenet played by professor Qiao Solomon. 

Please click here to be directed to more information about Enamored Flame