Carolyn Pampalone Rabbers is a dance artist based in Michigan and currently dances with Wellspring/Cori Terry & Dancers, a Hawkins informed company. She is currently a low-residency graduate cohort at The University of the Arts. As an emerging choreographer, she is interested in spirituality, collaboration blended improvisation and exploring perma-culture and biomimicry in pedagogy and research/creation approaches. Carolyn has worked in NYC, Miami, and LA dancing and acting both on stage and on camera. She can be seen as lead character “Abby” in Moondance (2019) by Squatchagawea Films and has performed for Coldplay, Omi, Starbucks, Jockey Bra, Kaplan University, Royal Caribbean, Diavolo EdCo, The Union Project, Clairobscur, LACDC, and Vox Lumiere. She has performed in works choreographed by Cori Terry, Erik Hawkins, Yvonne Rainer, Loïe Fuller, Gerald Arpino, Randy Duncan, and John Leher. Carolyn’s time on camera has inspired her to develop her screen dance work, and her screen dance films have been featured at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Krasl Art Center and at various film festivals and performances. She graduated from Western Michigan University with a BFA in Dance, and was the Presidential Scholar in 2010. Carolyn has trained at The American Dance Festival and studied under the instruction of Tere O'Connor, Doug Varone, David Dorfman, Jennifer Nugent, Jessie Zarrit, Jerri Houlihan, Joy Davis, Kate Hutter, and as work study for Dance New Amsterdam and Steps On Broadway. Carolyn recently studied Countertechnique at One Body One Connection and is inspired by the overlapping intergenerational pedagogical approaches between Hawkins technique, Countertechnique, and Ballet. Her current research explores themes of accessibility, technology, emergent strategies, somatic healing and racial identity politics. She is an American Ballet Theater National Curriculum Certified Teacher in Pre-Primary through Level V, and Reiki and Yoga certified. Carolyn has co-authored “Ready Movers” a mindfulness, movement and literacy program for Kalamazoo County’s Ready 4’s program, and has taught for The Gabriella Foundation in Los Angeles, honored by Michelle Obama as one of the best after school dance programs in 2015.
My interests have been cultivated in performing and creating dance movement-based work by lensing my desires through a pursuit of truth and care; through consideration in how we can be of service to one another and through taking time for everyone to feel heard, valued and seen. Enjoyment comes from utilizing improvisational scores, theatrical elements, and technology. I pursue a spiritual sense of what we have in common anchored in quantum physics, while exploring emergent strategy through nature-based explorations in pedagogy and research/creation approaches.
Working with multiple structures in format and exploring the creation of work through film are current explored interests. Building value in my art as part of a relational experience, alongside and together, artist and audience, to encourage community and rooting in a deeper context of accessibility are ways I like to challenge myself. Through intentionally choosing openness in format, I explore how technology can be utilized in experiencing art and blending the edges of when an experience starts and stops.
Through my deep study of Hawkins technique, Countertechnique, and ballet, investigating pedagogical approaches through somatic, historical and social contexts is important to my current pedagogical research. My current research interests also include exploring somatic healing practices and racial identity politics. Building empathy and relationships are main goals within each project.
As a teacher it is my responsibility to create a considerate space for my students. The classroom is a space where relationship is supported through inclusion, multiplying perspectives and leading by example. A vital aspect to allowing considerate space for everyone is to allow everyone to come as they are. I embolden myself and my students to show respect, consideration and empathy for each individual. This sets an environment to explore and unfold a new relationship towards themselves, their learning process and each other.
The overlapping intergenerational pedagogical approaches between Hawkins technique, Countertechnique, and ballet are inspirational aspects to my current pedagogical research. By utilizing somatic practices and kinesiology in every class, students receive help navigating their specific needs. Through an aim to decolonize the classroom, consistently evaluating how to improve structure, relation and content within each class. Heritage and history of techniques are emphasized, connecting the current learning experience to the pedagogy/artist lineage. My intention is to encourage a mindset of thinking larger than the present moment and anchoring our learning into ‘what else’ could unfold.
Crafting naturally derived systems through guided intentional awareness allows for focus on finding movement qualities through various techniques inspired by getting to know how natural systems act in our bodies. Viewing our bodies and movements as metaphors for larger explorations with nature. Through approach work, intention setting, and harmonizing with how we move, encourages looking towards natural systems, processes and aesthetics to inspire my intentional awareness prompts. Rooting nature in my pedagogical approach helps maintain a guide for the development of healthy bodies, minds, and spirits. Aspiring to help each student get to know themselves, instill confidence and share tools to act in a loving, empathic and just way as they pursue their individual goals.