Artist Statement

I need to create, to have that scared feeling when I start each new project. I explore what is sacred and profound (life, love, loss, transformation, death, time, yearning) through the juxtaposition of form, memory, and objects or living things. There is a complex relationship between the dancemaker, an emotionally invested idea, objects, living things, and growing distances between each of these. Objects and living things exist in time while each one also asks us ethical questions. What right do we have to ignore them? In what ways are we interconnected? What do we owe to a particular object or living thing? To another’s memory of it? How do we respond to the way that time wears upon it? While creating dance movement I am seeking to become the object or living thing and in so doing to explore my culpability and sense our interconnectedness. The topic presents itself further, and the movement is created from this relationship.

By exploring and relating meaning to the context of a particular moment that an object may reference, the idea or object is not made anew: it is rediscovered in each dancer’s body. Once again, there is a rediscovery in each generation of the work, and again in relationship with the audience. This causes me to revisit the object and idea in new contexts, and to further consider my commitment to the ethical questions upon each new iteration of the work. Dancemaking then becomes a means to salvage micro-political interpersonal spaces, or to strengthen alliances. The question then evolves, where do we go beyond the action of art-making?

There is a role of language in this process. As a dancemaker the language sometimes comes first, or when I carry ideas forward movement may speak to me before language. There is an alchemy between the larger question I am pursuing, the openings I receive through movement, the memory in the object or living thing, touch, and the sensation of movement as it is being created. This is the poetic challenge of working in movement.

My practice celebrates the vulnerability of our bodies and the precariousness of its meaning.  As a dancemaker my body, the bodies of dancers, and each body we interact with is asking moral questions. What ethical dilemmas exist when excavating hidden stories with our bodies? How do I attend to anxieties and narratives of violence in our everyday spaces? How do I occupy within my body a resistance to injustice and violence that occurs daily to many bodies under the many faces of power that create narrow and tightly constricted understandings about what bodies are normal?

Current Dance Project

“For Those Who Cannot…”

by Seónagh Kummer and Carolyn Dunn

Dancer-Collaborator: Rosa Rodriquez-Frazier

This dance-theatre project is the important collaboration and vision of two artistic directors who came together through our stories about grieving inevitable, slow deaths of our mothers to dementia and Altzheimer’s. We explore the profound and unique slow-death transformations and losses, and we pursue moral questions. There is a complex relationship between our emotional investments, our mothers’ slow changes, memories and grief within our families, community memories, objects that hold memory, and the distances between each of these points.

We attend to the importance of touch, dance, objects and photographs in relation to memory and survival. We utilize this as a means of considering and interrogating the central concepts of remembering and forgetting. These objects in the life of our mothers seem to raise ethical questions for us that exist in our relationships. What do we owe to a particular object? To another’s memory of it? How do we respond to the way time wears upon an object?

We emphasize movement and poetry in motion, presenting dialogue through the lens of the life-death-life cycle of a Wild Woman archetype La Llorona (Latin America), Deer Woman (Native America- Creek, Cherokee, Choctaw), Yellow Woman (Native America- Laguna Pueblo), Mis (Ireland), Dzunukwa (Coast Salish) who goes through cycles related to femininity and aging, and who holds space for necessary deaths and births that are part of life’s journey.

Headshot of Carolyn Dunn
Seonagh Kummer with Florence

This project began with research that uncovers stories about women’s particular experiences of vulnerability, isolation, and loss when aging. We uncover a particularly female ache of loneliness and grief that raises further questions. What grief inhabits a body that loses touch with its own reality? What right do we have to ignore this grief in our mothers? What is the experience when social-emotional bonds and companionship become frayed or distant when an individual is being robbed of identity through the loss of memory? What happens to memories of our Ancestors, held within our bodies, that become lost in a mind riddled with a disease? What happens to thousands of years of ancestral body memory when the body’s memory is slowly fading?

Our shared experiences with our mothers for us demonstrate something fundamental about the society we live in. To create movement, we begin with isolation of the elderly, existing painfully during this pandemic amidst tragedies of broken healthcare, loneliness, loss of touch, and devastating global and personal losses. Our elders’ lives appear to some as unimportant and disposable, and we find ourselves fighting to have their voices acknowledged and heard. The pandemic exposes this lack of caring further as we see more clearly the systemic inequalities of racism and legislated poverty that exist in fractured healthcare, and other exposed disparities that became exacerbated by the pandemic. This brings to light for indigenous bodies and bodies of colour (BIPOC) the lack of caring, especially for the most vulnerable.

Recent Dance Works by Seónagh



Bloom (2019)
Director Choreographer Seónagh Kummer
Dancer Collaborators Anna Paris and Alan Perez


La Hielera

La Hielera

La Hielera (2020)
Choreographer/Director Seónagh Kummer
Immigration detention centres are often referred to as “La Hielera,” The Icebox, due to extremely cold temperatures inside. This piece explores the idea of our complicity in the act of detaining children in these dangerous, unsupervised spaces.



Bluestocking (2019)
Choreographer/Director Seónagh Kummer
Dancer/Collaborator: Anna Paris

Women who do not mold to fit societal norms often get the raw end of the stick considering words that describe them. “Bluestocking” is a word that positively describes an intellectual or literary woman interested in books and ideas rather than fitting in.