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Categories: Dance, Interdisciplinary, Theater

Dates: September 9, 2022 - September 12, 2022

Run Time: 45 mins

Venue: MAAS Building Studio


“I’m never going to know you now/ but I’m gonna love you anyhow” – Elliot Smith, Waltz #2.

In this semi-autobiographical solo, McGonigle dances herself into a world inhabited by the ghosts of familial anecdotes. Considering the stories she has heard, but never embodied, she amalgamates herself into a cast of characters that occupy her immediate and extended family. Exploring these repetitions of past and present, she fuses together fragments of alternate histories that interrogate the notion of family, and considers how narrative gets passed from generation to generation.
Utilizing illustrative texts, recorded interviews and rigorous dancing, BLAZE paints an intimate portrait of a family that existed before, during, and perhaps even after McGonigle. The artist searches for meaning in, what she deems, the most perplexing story that follows her: her psychotherapist father’s entrance into, and eventual departure from, catholic seminary.
Sometimes presenting wholly as herself, sometimes as her father, and sometimes stuck in a space between the two people, McGonigle questions the ways we disappear, and considers how we mourn what we have never known. Recalling both what existed, and grieving what almost was, BLAZE investigates the carnage of growing up, and sifts through what remains.

Lillian McGonigle

Lillian McGonigle (she/her) is a dance artist based in Philadelphia, PA. She holds a BFA in Dance from University of the Arts under the direction of Donna Faye Burchfield. With a strong background in modern, postmodern, and improvisational dance, her work comes alive through fiery improvisational scores, writing practices, and the occasional film. She considers all of her work duets. With this lens, Lillian believes performance becomes a conversation– an exhilarated space to synthesize people carried in the body. She investigates this while exploring themes of loss, entanglement, and archival lineage. As a performer, Lillian has performed in works by Bill T. Jones, Paul Matteson, Emily Wexler, and Jesse Zaritt, among others. She has choreographed work under the guidance of mentors Ishmael Houston-Jones and Meredith Glisson. Lillian is currently an Artist in Residence at MOtiVE Brooklyn through their 2022 For The Artists! residency program.


Director, Choreographer, Perfomer: Lillian McGonigle

Dramaturge: Kati Payne

Digital Consultant and Animator: Trevor McKeon


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