For 11 years now, Loom Ensemble has been devising dancetheater for culture shift. We use our performances to open difficult conversations, and then facilitate community discussion to unpack the emotional vulnerability and cultural taboos of each show. Recent performances we’ve made speak directly to racism, patriarchy, rugged individualism, and the body-shame-industrial complex. In that shared space, the social value of art made from a place of deep integrity becomes clear: our actions matter, new ways of living are possible, together we can build a more loving world.
We devise “dance-theater” in the literal sense, using character, story, and dialog to ground abstract dance in emotional specificity; and using full-bodied contemporary choreography to deepen the resonance of narrative storytelling.
We take deep pleasure in leading Loom Ensemble’s physical training within the rehearsal process. We practice unwinding conventional gender roles and shame through the embodied practice of movement, voice, and partnering. We are working from the inside out, to unlearn the systems of oppression that live in our interpersonal relationships and within our individual bodies.
Our design aesthetic values found objects, recycled materials, and organic materials.
Over the last decade, Loom Ensemble has toured this approach to dance-theater around the world, with teaching and performance residencies from NYC blackboxes to stone monasteries in Italy, repurposed industrial warehouses in Dubai and back to the fields of Vermont.
Co-directors Neva Cockrell and Raphael Sacks have been based at the Art Monastery in Springfield, VT for the past five years. In addition to their work with Loom, Neva dances with Pilobolus and Raphael performs with Sandglass Theater.