Artist Q&A: Shantal Moody, Dance

Here we go again with another Teaching Artist Q&A, if you haven’t seen it, check out our conversation with Carol Weston last week. This time we were so excited to talk to Dance artist Shantal Moody!

UG: When was the very first time you can remember feeling inspired by dance? I remember being inspired as a child by the movement of some chiffon fabric given to me by my mom. I would turn on music (anything from Rachmaninov to Enya to Disney — a bit embarrassing now) and dance around with the material, experimenting with how the light hit it, how I could move with, through, or under it. At the time I thought I was just playing, but I was creating movement and experimenting with space.

What has been the most inspiring moment you’ve experienced during a residency? Watching children work together to create something that is their own always inspires me. In my last residency it was a group of only a few (3-5 depending on the day) 1st graders creating a follow-the-leader sequence.

Can you recall a challenging moment in a residency? In my last residency I decided to do something new in my teaching and integrate another artistic discipline by having the students paint. My plan was to use the paintings as a jumping off point for some choreography ideas. It didn’t really go like I imagined and in retrospect I am not sure that the students got much from the incorporation of another discipline. It was messy and I think the objective was a little unclear. However, I learned something and even though it wasn’t a really smooth process (when is being a teaching artist ever smooth?) I want to try something like that again.

What is your favorite place in Chicago and why? I love Lakeshore path between Randolph and Roosevelt. The view is great in all 4 directions and while you’re still obviously in Chicago, the park separates you from some of the busy-ness of the city.

If you could sum up teaching artistry in three descriptors (three words), what would they be? Scribble, Splat, Share