Conviction / Jenn Gooch




35m 0.0s

The last few years my art and music practice has come to incorporate dance. Recently I began studying early American rhythmic dance styles, precursors to tap dance and clogging, like buck and flatfoot. These late 19th-early 20th century Southern and Mountain styles immediately reminded me of the way churchgoers would "dance in the spirit" through my upbringing in a Pentecostal church in Texas. The cheerful, driving rhythm of these early folk styles are not unlike the clap-on-the-upbeat, tambourine-fueled gospel of my childhood. While secular dance and "wordly" music were prohibited, church members were still encouraged to explore dance's cathartic qualities, through warned to avoid sexualized movements – "dancing in the flesh." This line between the spirit and the flesh, sacred versus secular, is a common struggle in the history of gospel as it grapples to deny and contend with its inseparable evil twin, the blues (and its offspring, rock and roll, soul, etc.).
About the Artist
Jenn Gooch is a multi-media artist and musician from Texas, living and working in Pittsburgh, PA. Her web-based community project One Cold Hand received international press, including USA Today and NPR. She recently ran a tailoring and textile studio, WERK, where she began Gender-Neutral Learn-to-Sew, a free workshop made possible in part by a Seed Award from the Sprount Fund. Jenn is a multi-instrumental musician and singer/songwriter who dances flatfoot and fiddles with her band, Gift Horse. She received her MFA from Carnegie Mellon University.
February 20 – May 14, 2015
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