Kris Wheeler


Kris Wheeler:

My work in dance over the past forty plus years has been focused on creative process and post-modern somatic studies.  I'm interested in the aesthetics of movement and the ways dance offers direct experience with dream thought and the development of felt sensibility for both performer and audience.  My approach to dance is informed by both professional dance training and three decades of clinical work in psychology and psychotherapy.

I came to Seattle in 1974 to study Skinner Releasing Technique (SRT), an approach to dance that utilizes guided imagery to cultivate both technical skills and creative process. I  became a soloist with the performance company directed by Joan Skinner (American Contemporary Dance Company) and a certified teacher SRT.  

The American Contemporary Dance Company (renamed Skinner Releasing Dance Company) performed improvisationally in the 70's and 80's in collaboration with musicians locally and on tour. We considered our work spontaneous compositions.  We opened ourselves to the unexpected and at the same time found that, when it "worked", our performances had an organic  inevitability.  I see this as the unfolding of creative process itself.

During the late 70's and through early 90's, I became involved in teaching and performing contact improvisation, introducing CI to the Seattle community.  I also partnered with Robert Davidson in aerial dance (assistant director of Robert Davidson Dance Company) and produced numerous performances and workshops in Seattle by Deborah Hay.

I was faculty with both the University of Washington Dance Program and the Skinner Releasing School.  

I am currently a psychotherapist in private practice, and continue to dance and perform locally.