The Material of Attention (2012-2015)

An ongoing improvisational practice between Mohr and improviser/contemporary ballet choreographer Christian Burns.  For three years, Burns and Mohr developed and performed their duet practice, the metrics of intimacy.  Based on this shared history, the two are now creating ensemble work under the title The Material of Attention.

Core creative questions:
How does practice become performance?
How do you train an ensemble in instantaneous composition?

"Improvisation is the act of making work. It is not about a 'performance' per se. The choreographic intelligence that is functioning during a performance is a skill that takes years of rigorous experience to develop. I don’t think it is possible to separate the performing from the creation of the work in this kind of improvisational practice."
-Jennifer Monson


Christian Burns, Megan Wright, Peiling Kao, Tegan Schwab, James Graham, Parker Murphy, Aiden deYoung
Lighting and Sound Design: David Szlasa

Funding Credits
The Material of Attention is made possible by the generous support of Lighting Artists in Dance/Dancers’ Group, CA$H/Theatre Bay Area, Zellerbach Family Foundation, and the Phyllis Wattis Foundation.

Writing About Process
on performing improvisation 

Performance History
December 4 & 5, 2013, Footloose presents/The Garage (metrics of intimacy)
Additional performances:
San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, November 22, 2014 (metrics of intimacy)
May 28-31, ODC Theater (The Material of Attention)


Live Interview with Hope Mohr and collaborator Christian Burns on The Material of Attention.
-- David Latulippe, “Open Air,” May 28, 2015 (begin listening at minute 14.30)

"Expect a blend of shrewd concepts and innovative, improvised movement in the metrics of intimacy, a collaboration between choreographers Christian Burns and Hope Mohr. If this sounds like some stuffy, high-art performance piece, think again. Burns’ work is intelligent, accessible, and often surprisingly funny. His unique combination of impulsive performance quality and calm confidence make him and his company, burnsWORK, one of the most original dance voices in the Bay Area. He choreographs and performs the metrics of intimacy alongside Hope Mohr, artistic director of Hope Mohr Dance, whose focus on the creative process is highly experimental and consistently refreshing. Both Burns and Mohr have backgrounds in classical ballet (Burns trained at The School of American Ballet in New York City and Mohr, a San Francisco native, trained at The San Francisco Ballet School) which gives their work a certain clarity that can often be undervalued in contemporary dance. The results are choreography that’s both poignant and viewer-friendly. The work is performed at The Garage, an underground venue so cozy you might end up practically sitting on someone’s lap — the perfect place to observe the capabilities of the human body."
-- Laura Jaye Cramer, "Experimental Intimacy", S.F. Weekly, December 3, 2013