Hi. I’m Nita Bowerman. I am an interdisciplinary artist. A creator who bridges multiple mediums. I create prolifically, because creation is a compulsion for me. Check out my Instagram account at nitab_c where I post mostly short digital dance works.
My artmaking intersects with my life. I can’t help but bring myself to my work. But how does my work, my artmaking, influence my daily lived life? This is the question that was posed to me, a proposed subject for this blog.
I posit that, of all the mediums through which I endeavor to express, dancing has served me most in my everyday life. I have, after all, been practicing it longest. It has stayed with me through decades. And it got me through some tough times. The rigour and repetition and discipline, the focus of setting myself to something that I could excel at when I felt so….days, and torturous nights, of youth. Which lasted right through my twenties, when I took my dancing underground or, more accurately, to parks and parking lots at night. Finding a physical language for my intolerables, my inexorables, in an unsafe environment, feeling both defense and offense, ready to fight, to flight. I soul wrestled at night through my body, alone, reliving and recounting. On and on, working it out, over and over, in my own time, on my own terms. I didn’t consider myself a dancer then, even though all I wanted to do was keep moving, moving the inside out.
On a very practical level, dance training has saved my skin in a couple of potentially life altering bike accidents. One: involving a sudden dropped back fender, the screeching of metal on concrete, sparks, and riding out the fishtailing, unable to stop on a downhill urban street with an approaching intersection. Two: a hit curb on busy street, body hurtling over the handlebars, miraculously landing in a crouch on the sidewalk with bike still in hand! Balance. It’s a useful skill.
Maybe it’s a natural part of growing up, exorcising ill feelings and pulling oneself out of darkness. Sometimes I consider that I danced myself out of misery by finding a language for it and a space to release it into. In public parks at night, then shifting to twilight, then to daylight as I became more comfortable with who I am, how I am.
I endeavor to make time every day to dance, not because my current methods of supporting myself demand it, but because it is good for my mental and physical wellbeing. It has provided a method through which to examine and release some pretty shitty feelings and, over time, to let in some joy. In a way, to do so, not in pursuit of a career, outside and in every day public spaces has enabled me to air some dirty laundry without pinning myself to specifics or to expectation. I have been dancing my life for strangers in passing and in some strange and inexplicable way it has helped me to integrate my history and move toward healing.
This blog post might lead you to believe that I will be performing a dance piece at the Shooting Gallery show on November 4 & 5. Although dance has been a survival and transformational mechanism for me in my everyday life, and I utilize the skills I have cultivated in my performance practice – and I post digital dance works prolifically on my Instagram account – I have yet to choreograph and perform a dance piece on stage in my adult life. Never say never. However, my professional interests are varied and my artistic curiosities span disciplines and mediums.
I’m am thrilled to be delving deeper into work sound artist Emma Hendrix and I began working on in 2012. For a taste of our source material, check out this soundtrack from our Pure Research collaboration: https://soundcloud.com/nita-bowerman/beat-around-the-bush Trigger Warning. It’s just a jumping off point.