Today we’d like to introduce you to Samantha Mohr.
Hi Samantha, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I moved to LA 12 years ago to pursue my undergraduate degree in World Arts and Cultures/Dance from the University of California, Los Angeles. Except for a brief flirtation with the East Coast, LA has been my home base and where I continue to build a life. I am a professional dancer and choreographer for theatrical productions, experimental opera, independent film, and performance art exhibition. I reside in Highland Park with my partner, David, and our two pups Pippa and Rafa.
This year has been one of monumental change, requiring both rest and reevaluation. These past months have also demanded acknowledgment of the inequitable systems within and beyond my community, called for action against injustice, and challenged me to pursue new avenues for self-investment without compromising my mental health. Working as a co-director and co-producer for the first time, I am currently creating two multimedia dance pieces for virtual performance festivals. * Maria Garcia and Samantha Mohr’s Laocoön with Cabiria at 9 premiered January 28th-30th as part of REDCAT’s New Original Works Festival 2020: Week Three * velvet pony (in collaboration with Candace Scarborough) debuts March 4th-6th as part of The Clarice’s BlackLight Summit
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
As a freelance artist, I’ve endured financial hardship, healed from bodily injury, suffered from formless anxiety, grieved social sacrifice, and ruminated over creative stagnation. Yet, with these struggles, I have learned to lead with authenticity, prioritize self-care, and ask for help when I need it.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Much in line with my professional influences and interests, my work has evolved as a collage of dance, theater, visual, vocal, and live performance arts. As a maker and collaborator, I am committed to the practice of improvisation to heal embodied grief, to reimagine personal narrative, and to nurture a supportive creative process. I also create fine artwork, baked goods for special occasions, and spur-of-the-moment songs for personal amusement. Grateful for the extensive touring opportunities I experienced over the years, my performing career has also taken me to museums, galleries, parking lots, community centers, historic landmarks, the LA river, and public parks. My choreography has been presented by REDCAT, LAMAG, Highways Performance Space, Movement Research at the Judson Church, Baltimore Theater Project, LACE Gallery, Pieter Performance Space, and The Women’s Center for Creative Work, among other venues.
As a dancer, I desire physical reciprocity and miss communing with my peers and colleagues in a rehearsal studio. Still understanding how to yield to so much change, I long for the moment it is safe and meaningful to gather together again. For now, I strive to move my body and make a new thing every day. I am present, I am hopeful, and I am surviving.
- Website: badartist.org
- Instagram: @uhsalmonduh
Cat Freeman Wes Cardino