Who Am I ?
1: Who am I?
I am an artist living and working in West Harlem, NYC. My medium is ballet choreography.
2: What do you do and what project are you currently working on?
I make moving imagery. I just completed my first feature length work Requiem set to Mozart’s “Requiem in D Minor.” I built a cinematic ballet in one act in which the score compels moving imagery through a narrative arch.
3: Where are you from and where are you going?
I am from a slaughterhouse farm in Forsyth, GA and I am going to be the full time Artistic Director of my own company John-Mark Owen Presents here in NYC. I love it here and I’m at home.
4: Who is your biggest hero?
I have a multifaceted answer for this question, but if I were to say one person it would be Jean Evans Weaver, my first ballet teacher in Macon, GA. Her perseverance and strength of character have patterned my life. I am eternally grateful for this.
5: What book is your bible?
I have three books that are my bible. The first is a history of Marc Chagall’s story, the second is the Francis Bacon Retrospective that was at the Metropolitan Museum, and the third is a biography on Sergei Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes.
6: What are some things you love? And some things you hate?
I love early choral classical music, paintings, aesthetics, any outdoor activity, a vista, and the ocean. I hate affect, most reality shows, posturing, and having no seat on the train (my feet seem to be always swollen, and I’m the strapping man that is looked at with expectation to surrender my seat when someone less strapping than me steps onto the train).
7: What is your raison d’être?
My reason for existence is to organize thought around why things are what they are through balletic design. Beauty is my reason for existence, to put it otherwise.
8: What is your favorite color?
Green is my favorite color, oxidized green to be exact.
9: Who is your favorite comic book superhero?
I actually don’t have one, though I will admit that Wolverine is hot. I have never been a reader of comic books, yet I have two dear friends who do read them and so for them I will say Spiderman.
10: What is your favorite NYC hot spot?
I love the High Line. I think it is an incredible piece of engineering.
11: What turns you on?
Music. I enjoy Handel, especially his Delirio Amoroso aria “Per te Lascai.” It is the most sensual thing I have ever heard. I love big arms and a hairy chest on a man, so how about if a big-armed, hairy chested man held me while we listened to Delirio Amoroso? Yep, that would turn me on.
12: What would the last question of this questionnaire be if you were the one asking?
Where can one find the big-armed, hairy chested man who is into Handel as described above?
John-Mark Owen Presents is a choreographic vehicle which seeks to stimulate dialogue through vivid imagery and the exploration of evocative movement. It is John-Mark’s interest to combine the intensity and raw emotion of dance theatre with the melodic grace of balletic line. By imbuing balletic line with the immediacy, and unabashed exploration of dance theatre, John-Mark believes the intrinsic beauty of balletic line can be enhanced. To achieve this the body must become narrative. Sculptural shapes must be manipulated through transitions to build atmosphere and purpose. This leads to an experiential, essential, and cinematic approach, which John-Mark believes has sustaining value. With this approach in mind John-Mark creates work that centers on a narrative compelled by the musical score, where raw human experience is conveyed through the body as language. John-Mark aims to develop a working vocabulary that utilizes the classical principles of form and structure yet gives way to evocative imagery. With this vocabulary John-Mark will create a painterly world that captures the essence of narrative as opposed to literal narrative itself.
Questions by PMc Magazine
Edited by Ceara Maria Burns
Photography by John-Mark Owen
Design by Jillian Mercado
Contact Jillian Mercado if you’re interested in becoming a “Who Am I?”
John-Mark Owen, In the studio, August 2012, Photography by John-Mark Owen