Let Yourself Be Moved…by the work of Candice Salyers

March 31st, 2011  |  by Published in featured, featured artists


If, sometime soon, you round a corner in Northampton and find a woman lying on the ground outlined in chalk don’t stop and gawk or rush by in horror. You many have just happened upon a performance work by Candice Salyers. Thus, you may have just been offered the opportunity to take a moment, savor the surprising details of the scene and the people around you and, simply, allow yourself to be moved.  Performer, choreographer and scholar Candice Salyers creates visually rich performance works that often explore the intricacies of  proximity, duration, intimacy and the spaces we inhabit. Over many years of engaging with her work, I have consistently been led to surprising sensations of empathy, connection and transcendence. So, it was a delight to gain further insight into her hopes and intentions as an artist.

Candice currently resides in Northampton. She will be performing her latest iteration of Significant Figures this summer on and around the Creamery Bridge in Brattleboro, VT, in conjunction with Vermont Performance Lab.

photo by Jeff Woodward


What are you trying to communicate or explore in your work?

Multiple layers of love.

Where were you when you created one of your favorite works?

At the Bates Dance Festival. I made a piece for my bedroom in which i hung cupcakes from the ceiling and invited audiences of six people at a time to come watch the piece. I performed on the floor and the audience sat on the bed I wasn’t using, guided there by a sign that told them, “You are welcome here.”


How do you see your art in relation to cultivating community, and how does community effect the work you make?


I don’t know if community is the appropriate word for me, because of connotations of that word that I don’t totally understand. But I feel my work is all about communion, communing.

I think about the moment of performance as a temporary merger where we all become something different than we are alone, something different than our individual selves. It seems that is what community could be.


What is your spirit animal?

A gazelle. Or a lion. Or a lion eating a gazelle. Or a gazelle charming a lion.







What spaces in Northampton are you most curious to see inside of, or to make work in?


I used to want to make work in the old bank building that now houses Urban Outfitters…but that is no longer true. Now, I’m really curious about all the apartments tucked above storefronts, the ones you could pass by and not even notice that there are 25 apartments in that block. So, all the corridors and hidden apartments and spaces that exist above Main Street.


What are some strategies you use to sustain your art practice(while living in Northampton)?


I like to go to see independent films because they tend to create an immersive environment that helps fuel ideas, images and sensations for work that I am creating for the live performance medium.

And i pray.

What 5 items do you always carry with you?

coffee, my iphone (because it is my watch, a stopwatch i use for rehearsing, my voice recorder that i use to note ideas while driving, and there’s always a slight chance that someone might call me), some kind of paper, a pen, my prayer beads.


For more information on Candice and her ongoing and past projects, visit her website at www.candicesalyers.com.

Leave a Response