Testimonials + Quotes

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Niaaaaaaaaaaaaa,

First & foremost, I want to thank you for giving me the gift of S(OIL). I'm sure you know the power of your work but, allow me some reiteration. I can't begin to express my gratitude for being able to work alongside you. Not only has this process been physically enlightening, it's provided far more insight than I ever thought dance could. The process of moving, for me, has always been recreational, virtually weightless. Of course dance is a form of expression but, when I used the term "expression", I now realize I never understood the weight of it, the severity. I'd always use it superficially, never going beyond face value, never reading between the lines. I took it for what is was rather than what it could be. Working with you, witnessing your rigor, basking in your essence, listening, absorbing, I was able to delve deep enough into myself to realize how diluted my sensibility was. I'd always felt powerful, alway felt strong but working with you, I was rendered weak. In spite of all that "strength", I was completely vulnerable. I was finally in a place where no amount of bravado could hide my struggle. I couldn't "fake it till I made it" and surprisingly enough, this was refreshing, this was necessary. Rehearsals kicked my ass and there were times I felt powerless. There were times I could feel my insecurity settle underneath my skin, right where the ligaments connect my bones, and nothing I could do would change that. It was tough...until I realized there was something I could do. As cliche as it might sound, I realized all I could do was give you me, give myself up. All that I am, Clemente, unrefined, imperfect, curious, ignorant, ready to learn. Once I stopped pretending to be more than I was, I found my strength, my power. I'm still finding it, learning it, hiding it, suppressing it, relearning it, doubting it, discovering, unfolding, embracing it, etc, and that's okay. Working with you I learnt the most important thing, I am already everything I want to be. Thank you for being influential. Thank you for your time. Thank you for your knowledge. Thank you for your love. Thank you for your passion. But, most importantly, thank you for your Nia (purpose). 

It's unfortunate that I no longer get the privilege of stopping by your office or working in Dance Studio A with you but, like you said, I'm now a block away from you, we'll be in touch. You'll see me & our journey together is far from over. Whether or not we work together again, know that some part of your being is intertwined with mine, meaning, spiritually, you'll forever walk beside me, you'll forever be part of me (consciously or subconsciously). That's the most beautiful gift we humans give each other.

A thousand & three thanks yous, Ms. Love.

Clemente Flores

​Marjani and Nia,

I wanted to wait until after you finished your weekend of shows to send you this note-- CONGRATULATIONS on such fantastic work. I was so moved by the performance on Friday night, and I heard feedback from others that the rest of the weekend was excellent as well. It has been such a real joy to get to share these last two years at BAX with both of you, and I feel very lucky to have been privy to the workshops and performances of this work in that time. I'm consistently inspired and excited by the ways in which you challenge and engage each other, yourselves, your audience, and your work. I'm also particularly struck by how much effort, focus, complexity and mindfulness went into this piece. Seeing themes and motifs, phrases, aesthetics, conversations you've had over the last two years resurface in the work was so inspiring and gratifying. You've made a really brilliant thing, and it cannot have been easy. Everything, everything, everything in the piece was so thoughtful, so perfect, so SMART. I really can't congratulate both of you enough. I was thinking about the piece over the weekend and I was reminded of a quote from the installation artist Kiki Smith, who said "We're not just doing research; our lives are at stake." Sometimes, particularly within the NY art world bubble, I feel like the pursuit of creativity, or research is celebrated for its own sake, and it should be, to an extent. But your work, over the last two years, has never (to my mind) lost sight of the fact that the research serves real questions; that although the art is to some degree a product of play, of conversation, the stakes are very real. It's so risky and so difficult and therefore so rewarding to make something that actually means something, and I applaud your efforts. As I told Marya, kind of breathlessly after the show on Friday, it made me want to be a better artist, a better audience member, a better thinker. (When I told her this, she said: "Okay. So then, be it.") I'm sad that we're leaving BAX this summer, but I look forward to following you work and seeing what you come up with next! 

THANK YOU.

Max Stone

​Hello Nia,

 

This is Hai Do, the Vietnamese guy with the top knot in group 3 who goes to Middlebury College. I just want to write to you to let you know how much I enjoyed for repertory class. It was my great pleasure to learn your choreography and danced it with my favorite people at ADF. The way you ran the class allow me to really internalize the movements and perform them with not only my physical body, but also my emotional body. It was the perfect way to end the year of 2013 for me. I'm looking forward to your technique class at ADF and more classes in the future as I'm hoping to move down to NYC after graduating from Middlebury. Please let me know of your future performances, especially the excerpt you taught us. Happy 2014! Thank you very much.  

Hai Do

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