Rufi Oswaldo

What inspired On Notice?

On Notice burgeons from an in-the-flesh and symbolic study of crows, drawing on poetry by Mary Oliver and Ted Hughes and various visual art sources. As the dance delves deeply into the imaginative, fantastical world of the crow, it remains vigilant: the piece is not about what a human might say about a crow, but what a crow might teach humanity about living.


Why is the piece called On Notice?

The work refers, in part, to the idea of being put “on notice.” In other words, it asks the viewer to stay alert, to pay attention, no--pay even greater attention! The piece points to the non-negotiable need to connect with the natural world through the way the dance/dancer unambiguously expresses intense states. And with the last image comes a warning, a caution...a notice.


Why this piece? Why now?

We live in a time where attention comes in slices, our busyness confiscates our lives, and screens constantly rip our minds from our bodies. Then, like zombies, we crave the brains we sold online, not fully understanding why we’re even hungry. We are torn. Our attention is divided.

On Notice provides a time for us to slow down and stitch ourselves back together again. And in this regard, crows are excellent teachers. Like us, they are intelligent, but they have not yet forgotten how to live. Even as their attention shifts rapidly, the crow is always present, always honest, always fully embodied. This piece offers a distillation of nature’s lessons from one of its finest pedagogs.

Choreographer: Davida Monk, Performer: Rufi Oswaldo



Photo of Rufi Oswaldo by Marlowe Porter Photography