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artist statement

Tristan Koepke

I am a contemporary dance artist. Choreography, improvisation, dramaturgy, and performance are all integral to my creative research. My dance works, including short choreographies, dance film experiments, and large-scale theatrical performance works, are dynamic negotiations of creative instinct, desire, somatic historicity, intuition, and intervention.


I knit lacy patterns of ritual that unfold and rupture into chaotic, effervescent celebrations of catharsis and release. I am interested in cycles of contemplation, exertion, endurance, and destruction: sinewy threads of movement enacted and exacted until they fall apart. My dances contain an air of vivacious mystery, engaging spatial design, and subtle embodiments of context and story while exploring non-narrative constructions and theatrical arcs that embolden poetic sensibility and ephemeral movement architecture.

My aesthetic impressions are a collision of brutalist design, humorous meditations on camp and vaporwave aesthetic, intricate textile and fiber art traditions, and imagined conversations with queer artists such as David Hockney, Vektroid, Francisco Hurtz, Divine, and Ocean Vuong. Tracing artistic lineage lived and inherited, I weave wandering strands of silver memory that dissolve into emergent movement tapestries. Ultimately, these poetic explorations culminate in new dance works that are viscerally compelling, athletic, complex, and spatially-driven, and encourage audiences to engage their own curiosity and ability to interpret meaning from movement, sound, and design.

--Tristan Koepke, 2022.

Artist Statement
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