8 Limbs is partnering with City Arts Magazine to profile local artists who practice yoga at 8 Limbs. For the September issue, we profile, Amy O’Neal, a performer, choreographer, and dance educator, who also works under the name AmyO/tinyrage. Over the past decade, she has toured nationally and internationally with her own dance and video work as well as with Reggie Watts, the Pat Graney Company. Amy was a company member of Scott/Powell Performance from 1998-2004. She has choreographed for theater, commercials, and music videos and taught locally, nationally, and internationally for the past decade.
What brought you to yoga? I had a dance teacher in college, Wade Madsen, who used elements of Yoga in his warm up for his modern dance class and I got curious. My friend Corrie Befort was doing the workstudy program at 8 Limbs and rehearsing there late at night. After being in her rehearsals at the space, I signed up for work study too and I took my first Yoga class from Rivers at 8 Limbs on Capitol Hill.
How long have you practiced yoga? Off and on since 1996, but more religiously in the past 4 years.
How does yoga support your art? It provides very valuable “me” time so that I can create from a place that is open and free of the constant to do list running in my head. It has helped the quality of my dancing tremendously, most specifically with breathing. The practice of letting your movement come from your breathe can get lost for me when I am moving faster. When I practice yoga consistently, that connection is there no matter what quality of movement I am performing.
Why practice at 8 Limbs? I love the space and I love Doug Ridings’ class. Doug is an artist colleague and friend of mine since he started teaching over a decade ago. I take his yoga classes and he takes my dance classes.
What is one of the most important thing you’ve learned through your practice. You are your own true teacher and you are exactly who you are supposed to be right now.
Amy will premiere an evening length solo performance called “The Most Innovative, Daring, and Original Piece of Dance Performance You Will See this Decade” at Velocity Dance Center October 12-14 and 19-21. The performance deals with hype, the nature of creativity and innovation, racial and sexual stereotypes, and asks the question “Are we damned for selling ourselves in a culture where we are expected to do just that?” Amy O uses investigates her past and recent influences and uses “the ass” as a study in cultural identity.
Posted by: 8 Limbs