Dance/theater artist Clair Porter will present “Namely, Muscles” at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 12, in Winn Seeley Gym-Theater. Tickets are $3 for students, children, and seniors, $6 general admission. HWS students may attend for free, courtesy of HSG and WSC. Faculty and staff may attend for $5.
Porter's piece “Namely, Muscles” is a new full evening's piece with Porter portraying Dr. Nickie Nom, forensic orthopedic autopsy muscular anatomical surgical specialist, for the county, as she gives a reading from her new book of poems, “Namely, Muscles.” Her more than 30 poems enact 68 major muscles of the body. Poems include “Psoas – The Tender Bender,” “Gluteus to my Ears,” “Long in the Head,” “Just the Meat,” “The Rotator Gang,” “Names on your Nerves,” “Tongues,” “And Now a Word From Our Tendons” and more.
“Claire Porter mines the extravagant, arcane and mundane names of muscles, their origins (and insertions), meanings and associations to produce a witty, smart and delightful evening of theater,” said Madeleine Scott, director of the School of Dance at Ohio University.
Porter grew up in Connecticut, dancing in a local studio, and was an award winning athlete in 5th grade. She was a member of the Starlettes, a high school singing and performing group, and tried to choreograph for her dog, Dudley. After earning a bachelor's degree in mathematics, she became a computer programmer for GE Analytical Engineering in Schenectady, N.Y.
Returning to dancing after seeing Maria Tallchief perform, Porter eventually moved to California and studied at Sonoma State University. While in California, she taught family dance, exercise and children's dance classes, and directed a dance company of 12 members. She moved to Ohio to study dance at Ohio State, and received her master's degree there. While there she began studying Laban Movement Analysis. She was later certified at the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies in New York City. At Ohio State Porter began a piece on a chair that led to the exploration of gesture, acting, writing and voice.
Porter taught at Grand Valley College in Michigan for three years, where she continued gesture work that included a piece in American Sign Language and a piece based on lecturing movement. Porter was awarded The Mather Professorship at CASE Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, taught choreography and Laban Movement Analysis at Columbia Teachers College, and currently gives workshops on text and movement, and choreography.