Mary Pearson

Class Description | Morning Class & Monday Night Improvisation | 15 - 19 June 2020

I named my improvisation practice ‘FAILURE Lab’ because I’m interested in disarming habits and judgments, getting lost, playing with mystery, overwhelm, underwhelm, and excess. What situations make my dancing body unfamiliar to myself? Can I disrupt trends of viewing my self and body as marketable products? How can I be fully in the here and now, along with complex identities and uncomfortable histories?

In the lab, and in my own practice, I integrate visual elements with movement, sound and voice.
We experiment with different strategies for sourcing movement, stretching a range of possible qualities and states. Activating the body and senses to be more available and receptive, then extending that readiness into materiality. How can we find movement impulses from sensations, words, objects, or materials? I am currently fascinated by moving from the memory or residue of past sensation.


Performance maker and dancer/researcher using CI and related dance practices, comedy, visual art, voice, and devising. Toured solos FAILURE, The Sand Dog Cometh, and FoMO, mofos! internationally. Fascinated by collaboration as a complex and coordinated practice in survival. A co- curator of Con|VERGE, REMIX collaborative performance residencies at Ponderosa Dance (DE). Teaching improvisation as a FAILURE Lab. In universities and art spaces such as Improspecjie festival (Croatia), contactfestival Freiburg (Germany), WCCIJam and PADL West (CA, USA), Ponderosa P.O.R.C.H. summer school (Germany), and Live Art Bistro (UK). Learning how trauma is held in the nervous system (Somatic Experiencing).

Current collaborations: ‘How to Be Afraid?’ duet with mayfield brooks (nyc) explores our separate but connected histories of the transatlantic slave trade, finding hauntings in our current psyches. KUDERA+MPEARSONATER: ‘Anthropo+Screen by-products’ is a hybrid fashion- and dance- making dialogue, highlighting consumerism, plastic waste and fashion’s role in climate crisis. Part of Dance Research Studio ‘Artist Residencies to Explore the Ecological Crisis’.