I recently had the distinct pleasure of speaking for approximately half an hour with Maree ReMalia, a spectacular woman and artist who got her MFA in Dance from OSU in 2011. This was part of a freshman class wide project in which we were are assigned different individuals currently active in the arts world and asked to set up and interview with them via video or phone call. Plenty of information about Maree can be found on her own website, as well as her WordPress, so what I want to primarily talk about in this post is the effect that speaking with her and hearing about her past and current endeavors had on me.
Maree grew up doing ballet first and foremost (much like myself.) When it came time to go to college, she wanted to explore herself in a context outside of dance (much like the reason I initially applied to OSU as a Sexuality Studies major.) Maree got her undergraduate degree in Education for Social Change and Cultural Studies at Prescott College where she first found and started to explore improvisation. Her thesis research at OSU was also improvisation-based, as she was interested in how the same information can be and is interpreted differently by different demographics of people. After completing her MFA, she had the opportunity to go and live in Israel for about a year, getting her Teacher Certification in Gaga. She is currently the Mellon Interdisciplinary Choreographer at Middlebury College where she brings movement into spaces where there was none before, creating structured improv practices related to the curriculum of a non-dance class (like sociology for example.)
The parallels between Maree’s path and mine are not hard to ascertain. To see her ultimately integrating her interests into dance, as well as diverging from the ballet aesthetic successfully (although not losing the discipline she learned from it) is extremely inspiring. Although I needed absolutely no affirmation from the universe that I was in the right place here at OSU’s Dance Department, it reminded me of how my journey here and my eventual journey away from here will be uniquely my own and the exact trajectory will be one that is perfect for me because it will have been created by me and no one else.