We had the good fortune of connecting with Rachel Repinz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rachel, what makes you happy? Why?
Dance is my greatest source of joy. I love dance because of how it connects me to the world, myself, and others. Dance helps me to understand, question, and to know. And sometimes, it teaches me to forget about “knowing” and to find peace in just being. Every time I dance I am filled with a sense of abundant joy.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I make dance about life through my eye. As a visually-impaired choreographer, designer, and movement artist, I create work that speaks to the ever-evolving human experience through my perspective as a disabled woman. I am interested in creating immersive, multi-sensory, movement experiences through collaborative, intuitive, processes centered on play. This process grounds itself in ideas of discovery of self, surroundings, and the world at large. My work takes a microscope to the mundane as a means to uncover the extraordinary through investigation of universal themes. Through this process, I call on improvisation and imagination to celebrate the ordinary, the unusual, and everything in between. I peer through the cracks of “difference” to explore the connections of collective experience. What connects us? What disconnects us? What do we know, and how do we know it? What does it mean to be human? And, where do we meet?
This work emerges through RACHEL:dancers (pronounced Rachel and Dancers), a multi-medium, multi-modal, multi-sensory dance-based performance company that I created and direct in NYC/Philadelphia. When I am not creating performance works, I am working on my Ph.D. in Dance through Texas Woman’s University’s low-residency program. I find so much joy in working through both my creative and scholarly research simultaneously… there is just so much to uncover! Being only 25, I do find it hard to balance it all sometimes. At this time, I self-fund about 90% of my work, if not more. But, I remind myself that the intimate relationship I have with my work and my collaborators is, and will continue to be, rewarding. I never want to lose that.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Since I am newer to the Texas scene, I want to ask you that! If you have any Houston hot spots you’d recommend, I’d love to hear about them on Instagram @RachelandDancers.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I always want to thank all of my colleagues in dance. The people who dance with me, for me, and around me. There is so much to be said about creating a community based on a shared “language” or understanding of the world. Specific people in my journey who have guided me in immeasurable ways are my artistic partner and best friend, Enya-Kalia Jordan; my artistic and life partner, Christian Titer; and my forever mentor, Joy Guarino. My path in dance would not be the same without their guidance and support.
Headshot by Nir Arieli Performance photos by Brian Mengini and Mike Hurwitz