Jessica's SUNDAY SCOOP FROM May, 2016

By: Jessica Warchal-King


Photos from KYL/D's inhale/exhale performance series

Photo: Mike Hurwitz Photography


On May 12th and 13th we celebrated KYL/D's 32nd InHale Performance with KYL/D's first InHale/ ExHale Performance Series.

Inhale - to inspire; to draw in; to breathe in; to consume voraciously.


Over the past seven years, KYL/D's InHale has been an opportunity for emerging and established artists to share their voices, ideas, thoughts, and process. Some of my favorite moments at InHale are eavesdropping on conversations that happen in the lobby on the day of the performance, between tech rehearsals. Often, artists will come early or stay late - logistically to warm up or cool down after their tech run. Coincidently, they often watch the tech rehearsals of their performance peers and the time between tech and performance provides a rich opportunity for sharing, feedback, and informal collaboration. Often, I hear more mature artists sharing experiences and stories with artists more novice to the field. New professional and personal relationships form. Ideas for next steps and new work begin to bud. Choreographers meet new dancers; dancers experience the work and personality of choreographers; audience members experience a smattering of the diversity of Philadelphia concert dance. I am constantly impressed and humbled by the immediate community that is formed when KYL/D "draws in" artists and audience members for InHale.


Exhale - to breathe out, to give off.


Kun-Yang is interested in thinking dancers. To that end, he often selects dance artists who are involved in our/their own creative process. The current company is very active in pursuing our/their own voices in addition to pursuing the process of melding our/their creative voice into the KYL/D vision. With ExHale, Ken and Kun-Yang invited (and challenged) us, as independent artists, to share our individual voices. In the past, some KYL/D artists have chosen to participate in InHale. For InHale/ExHale, everyone participated and the event was an exciting opportunity for me to see how the company has grown. Not only did all of our dance artists create work and participate in the performing, but they also assisted in the production - giving off (or gifting off) their administrative, lighting, technical, organizational, and other skills, related to the execution of performance, but not necessarily to the dancing part of performance. For me, this was a very special opportunity for the internal KYL/D community to again, synthesize our/ their resources, to create an extraordinary experience for our external community.

I say "again" because two weeks prior, we had performed "Sanctuary" at Prince Theater. I'm writing from a first and third person perspective because I've been working with KYL/D since the 2008-2009 season and have been in the Philadelphia Dance Community since 2006. I've had the opportunity to both participate in and witness a lot of changes and I'm grateful for the opportunity to reflect on KYL/D's journey and my own, as the company prepares for it's 10th anniversary in Philadelphia, next year.   


Some of my favorite moments from InHale/ExHale include (but aren't limited to):

~ Seeing and experiencing the members of the company support each other as individual artists.

~ Hosting a variety of movement genres in one space and two evenings - belly dance, modern dance in all its forms (classical modern, post-modern, contemporary), Flamenco, dance theatre, dance comedy...

~ Our technical director Ashley Frankhouser's 20th InHale!

~ Meeting new artists and sharing in the growth of veteran artists

~ The performance of students participating in KYL/D's youth outreach, CHI Dance.

~ Welcoming a crowded, diverse, and different audience into CHI MAC for each performance.

~ Inhaling at the start of this process. Exhaling at the end of this series. Inhaling the start of another... Save the date for our August 11th InHale Performance Series!