Sarah Marks Mininsohn is a choreographer, performer, and teacher from Maryland. She holds a BA in dance and sociology from Wesleyan University, where she trained in contemporary dance, composition, ballet, and improvisational forms. She was most recently based in Philadelphia, where she self-produced dance performances, led movement workshops, and taught young people. She has created work in spaces such as historic attics and outdoor baseball fields, playing with location to research unconventional options for physical conversations. Her pieces have also been presented at FringeArts, Leah Stein Dance Company, Headlong, Icebox Project Space, the Wesleyan University Zilkha Gallery, and the Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation. She has performed in work by Kaitlin Fox, Headlong, Leah Stein Dance Company, and Dance Exchange. Sarah is currently an MFA candidate and teaching assistant at the University of Illinois.
My work researches what is intuitive, emotional, and uncontrolled, mining vulnerable and risky options for moving through the world. I highlight pleasure in tenuous and awkward intricacies of human relationships, often placing mundane and unrefined interactions in conversation with whimsy and spectacle, delight and extravagance. I draw influence from the bodily experience of being inside a crowded elevator, or having too many people working in the kitchen at once. I draw from the grittiness and aggression of soccer games, the glamour and hyper-drama of reality TV shows, and the moment when strangers all recite “gesundheit” after someone sneezes on an otherwise quiet bus. My work slips through highly curated moments and utter breakdowns, often hovering in the exposed place between the two.
I borrow from social norms and stereotypes, embracing and critiquing them. Exaggerated, twisted, and playful gender dynamics reveal queer slant in seemingly normative social situations and phenomena of pop culture. Using partnering, often involving weight-sharing and holding, I unravel complexity in power dynamics where they have been rendered invisible. Power dynamics are sometimes beautiful, sometimes devastating, and always confusing. My work lives in this disorienting space. I find that play and humor are fertile grounds for exploring juicy and thrilling possibilities for interacting. The humor in my pieces arises out of the recognizability of situations, relatable moments of fleeting embarrassment or absurdity that audience members may find familiar, and may not be able to pinpoint why. I strive to push audiences to imagine, feel, and connect with others, engaging with joyously inconvenient alternatives to everyday interactions.