Elena Rose Light is a queer feminist c h o r e o g r a p h e r attempting to make work from a place of critical whiteness. She read canonical texts in Yale’s art history department and has since been schooling herself through the 2016 danceWEB scholarship program, the 2016 Dance Institute for Leadership Training, the 2016-17 LANDING program with Miguel Gutierrez, and the 2017 NYU Hemispheric Institute EMERGENYC program. Elena has been in residence at Chez Bushwick (2017), The School of Making Thinking (2015 & 2017) and Earthdance (2016). She has presented her work at Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, Center for Performance Research, The Current Sessions, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, and Movement Research at Judson Church, among other venues. Elena has also performed in the work of Bouchra Ouizguen, Tino Sehgal, Asad Raza, Bruno Isakovic, and Maya Ciarrocchi and Kris Grey. She has also acted as an agent for The Bureau for the Future of Choreography.
As a choreographer, I am interested in the conceptual power of specific movement practices and the ways bodies become kinesthetic signifiers for larger sociological phenomena. I understand “lifestyle” to include the ways human beings inhabit their bodies and communicate corporally. My performance practice stems from this understanding, manifesting as the manipulation of embodiment to create discourse around past and present social and somatic conditions.
As an educated cisgendered white woman from an upper-class upbringing, I feel committed to confronting and dismantling the oppressive structures in which I was raised. I take an intersectional approach to unpacking the ways in which my body has been affected by power structures, attempting to deconstruct embodiments determined by hierarchies of race, gender, class, and governance. I am specifically interested in exploring the possibility of embodying critical whiteness.
My process is rooted in intensive text-based research and discursive practices: I read and converse with vigor, edging toward a conceptual framework for a physical practice. Simultaneously, I research in the studio to uncover the corporeal manifestation of my germinating idea. This practice inevitably alters my original framework. The final manifestation varies from piece to piece, as I am consistently seeking to upend my creative habits.