Choreographer Heather Maloney is at the helm of a movement that embraces the creative aspects of movement. The founder of Inkub8, a practice studio and sometime performance space does what its name sugggests, it offers a kind of womb to incubate the new work of artists creating hybrid arts like dance theater and sound art.
"We function as an alternative light box studio." Maloney explains about her Wynwood nonprofit. Not necessarily a presenting organization, she says, "We're more interested in creating a lab space."
The Virginia native grew up on a farm and has been dancing since she was a child. Maloney attended New World School of the Arts for college and left for a stint in New York. "I found myself wanting more space," she notes of her time in the Big Apple. Miami was a more fitting location for her personally, and so she returned.
Professionally accomplished, Maloney has been the recipient of multiple residencies and has danced at a variety of festivals. No stranger to success, she has been awarded both the Choreographer's Fellowship from the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Individual Artist Fellowship for Dance from the State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs.
Vertical Sprawl was her most recent endeavor, where she worked with three dancers, one wheelchair dancer and composer Juan Carlos Espinosa. She enjoys investigating abandoned locations, "I'm an improviser and am interested in moving in different spaces, very interested in the history of space. As a mover, your dialogue is primarily with the subconscious, the ephemeral. You're basically just shaping things that are already there."
Inkub8 was awarded funding to develop its residency program through the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation's 2012 Knight Arts Challenge. "We wanted to figure out a framing to bring more funding in to really be able to offer residencies, " Maloney reflects. Their current rates are affordable, but they want to grow their community in other ways, as well, and this will enable them to do so.
"There isn't really a space like this in Miami." she says, "One of the big things we're working on is showing things in different states of process." She feels it's important to show the public the development of a work. The grant enables six artists living in Miami monthlong residencies and space where they can develop their practice. They'll be installing a surveillance camera in the shared space so that those incubating can observe their own improvisation. This will also be available on the web for the art voyeurs out there.
Artists like Letty Bassart and Octavio Campos have created new works through the program. Partnerships help strengthen Inkub8 by providing workshops. Tigertail Productions, Florida Dance Festival, Miami Live, South Dade Cultural Arts Center have all joined forces with the space. "One of the beauties of Inkub8 has been that other presenting organizations have found a place to reach out to the community through Inkub8," Maloney observes. These range from providing Miami with creative writing instruction led by professor and writer Neil de la Flor to a contact improvisation workshop helping actors get on-the-spot creative with partners.
Performance art isn't something that appeals to everyone, but it's definitely an important medium that offers entertainment and a way to communicate emotion. Maloney says, "People that are involved in performance or transforming a performative moment are these actions express a sense of vitality." She believes that, "Generally very abstract, timeless, and never the same." That it's a different structure of work every time is something that Maloney values. Perhaps that's one of the reasons that Inkub8 a project worth observing carefully. You never know when you'll miss a moment of brilliance that will be gone forever.