The Organic Heather Maloney

Written By ArtBurst Team
December 13, 2016 at 7:13 PM 12 2011 Heather Maloney is a performer and choreographer who grew up on an idyllic, organic farm in Virginia. This is where Maloney acquired her environmental and social activism, her sense of purpose, and choreographic language. Maloney says her work is built from extremes—of desire, confinement, freedom, and even the weather. She centers on global issues that lie dormant in the body, in the bones, and comes to life through movement. Maloney’s latest project, Vertical Sprawl, which looks at how humans have faith in a future darkened with the extreme changes in the environment, is a collaboration with composer Juan Carlos Espinosa. Vertical Sprawl mashes together disparate narratives, from the Easter Island Birdman myth to Miami’s real estate boom-and-bust cycle. “I am a choreographer whose definitive action,” Maloney explains, “is to make work that addresses the unseen parts of our humanity. I use space as a platform for social change.” In Vertical Sprawl, Maloney asks an essential question: What spaces have we abandoned within ourselves when we build skyscrapers as island temples? Whatever spaces we have abandoned, Maloney has reclaimed some of them with Inkub8. As the artistic director of Inkub8, an alternative whitebox/studio/performance space located in Wynwood, Maloney has created an organization that’s become an epicenter (and incubator) for experimental, multidisciplinary works in Miami. Inkub8 is a manifestation of Maloney’s belief in using space as a platform for social change and artistic expression. And Miami’s performing arts community has landed some fertile farming ground because of it. An excerpt of Vertical Sprawl will be presented by the Florida Dance Festival as a part of Winterfest, this Friday and Saturday at the Byron Carlyle Theatre (500 71st S., Miami Beach) at 8 p.m., tickets cost $15 general, $10 for students and seniors. 1. List five things that inspire you? abandoned spaces — prehistoric to modern wind being in love the sound of motion an empty room 2.What was your last big project? Aside from Vertical Sprawl, I have just celebrated the one year anniversary of inkub8. Over the course of the year we have launched an open-studio series, a monthly series on the Second Saturday Wynwood artwalk, where over 50 artists have presented works in progress; the Summer Movement Intensive 2010, a week-long performance art/dance lab; weekly dance classes; and a visual art/dance collaboration presented during Art Basel. 3.What is your next big project? I am working on a new, evening-length performance project to premiere in May. We’re also launching a Community Supported Artcub8 to help support residencies of hybrid contemporary performance artists. On the farm in Virginia where I was raised, the core of our income came from community-supported agriculture. After a recent visit home I thought to myself, “why not try this at Inkub8?” I know that in other cities, artist collectives have used this frame to support the creation of new work — so I figured why not try it in Miami! 4. Why do you do what you do? I couldn’t imagine doing anything else, and I can’t even begin to textualize how grateful I am for the opportunity to do what I do! 5. What is something you want Miami to know about you? My role is eclectic — sometimes a director, sometimes a social activist, an environmentalist, an anthropologist, but I’m always a farmer of dreams. What is something you don’t want Miami to know about you? I can be scared of the dark in the city — but never in the forest. First published in Miami New Times as part of the 100 Creatives series.

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