Isa Leal Since receiving her B.A. (James Madison University 2006), Isa has worked for over a decade with movement/dance modalities and experimental theatre techniques that promote self reflection. Through her developing methodology, Dialoguing the Unconscious, and her scholarly pursuits, she is investigating the question: How do we share/acknowledge knowledge that can’t (in a “regular” way) be seen? She is deeply invested in pre-colonized ways of knowing.
In performances she intends the deconstruction of the audience-performer hierarchy by inviting the audience to make choices that directly affect the choreography of actions. She has found that in these actions: acknowledgement, empathic engagement and agency, arrive as useful tools towards social change. Isa has facilitated various large scale immersive events as an organizer and/or director, including ‘In Watermelon Sugar’ for Fields Festival, ‘Flatland’ for the Annex theatre, and “Visible: An Incidental Symphony” for Transmodern Festival. She taught/ facilitated dance improvisation in workshop and university settings across the U.S. and Mexico while also touring her evening length work “Experiments!”.
Nationally, she has worked interdisplinarliy as an artist- scholar with SEEDS: Somatic Experiments in Earth Dance and Science, while internationally she has been recognized as a leading somatic and performance researcher as a member of Figure Space, a group selected by Steve Paxton and Lisa Nelson. She feels honored to have had the privilege of performing, studying, and co-inventing with living legends in the field of somatic research.
Photo by Alex Bee