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Local Artist Holds Creative Movement Classes at Two Harbors Public Library

Kayla Schiltgen, a local screendance artist, will be holding creative movement classes at the Two Harbors Public Library this May for indi­viduals ages 16 and older. Classes will be held May 2nd, 9th, 23rd, and 30th from 5:30 to 6:30 pm. The classes will explore “solitude and the natural environment”, and sessions will include a “warm-up, gentle stretching, playful dance ac­tivities tailored to the group, and a cool down.” Participants will be “invited to reflect on their experiences during class, contributing to the de­velopment of Kayla’s newest screendance film.” At the conclusion of the classes, each participant will receive an art postcard created by Schiltgen.

Schiltgen, a 2010 University of Minneso­ta graduate with a B.A. in Dance, she says of her art, “Guided by nature’s patterns, I explore my personal truth and mental health with profound honesty, prioritize felt experience over narrative structures, and assume all roles as choreogra­pher/editor, dancer, and cinematographer in my screen dances. My approach reimagines tradi­tional notions of dance performance celebrating radical authenticity and a lack of virtuosity so that audiences may find resonance in their own expe­riences. I call my choreography a tender rebel­lion, challenging societal norms by advocating for introspection and emotional vulnerability as powerful catalysts for personal, environmental, and collective healing.”

She is a fiscal year 2024 recipient of a Creative Support for Individuals grant from the Minne­sota State Arts Board. This grant “provides sup­port to help individual artists and culture bearers develop or sustain their creative practices and meaningfully engage with Minnesotans.”

The creative movement classes are made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, with thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Kayla Schiltgen says she has a “special skill set in working with folks who have never danced be­fore”, and all abilities are welcome to attend her creative movement classes. She calls the classes “creative movement” because they’re based on improvisation, feelings, moods, and emotions. The classes will also be a way to “see the commu­nity’s response”, and will help Schiltgen decide the storyboard for her new screendance, which will be filmed on the Superior Hiking Trail in September, which she plans to solo hike, camera in tow. “The film is really exploring solitude and the natural environment looking at gender, in particular the feminine experience of solitude.” She looks to ask the community about their ex­periences with solitude and the Superior Hiking Trail. “What stories do you have from being on the trail? What memories?”

“A lot of times, women who choose solitude get this, you know, it’s looked down upon,” Schilt­gen says. “This film is inspired by this quote that essentially says, when a woman thinks alone she thinks evil.” This quote comes from the Malleus Maleficarum, a 15th-century witch hunt manual. Schiltgen goes on to say that this view says it’s not “an acceptable thing for a woman to choose to be by themself to choose something maybe a little different.” This screendance is a work-in-progress, as after filming is complete, Schiltgen will need to apply for another grant, learn about the technology she’ll use to complete the proj­ect, and finish putting it all together. Once it is complete, she plans to install it somewhere in Two Harbors. This film will be a more immer­sive experience, with multiple screens making it look like the viewer is walking alongside Schilt­gen on the trail.

Participants can sign up for classes by visiting or calling the library, and they are welcome to attend any or all classes, or just drop in at the class. Participants are encouraged to bring a yoga mat for ease of stretching on the floor.

Kayla Schiltgen also has a performance Au­gust 24 of her new solo, “Is this magic?”, which blends live performance and screendance. It will be held at Lagom by Dept Two at 7:30 p.m. in Two Harbors.

Haley Searls
Haley Searls
Hello! My name is Haley Searls. I’ve loved writing from an early age, though my nonfiction writing at five years old consisted mainly of weather and gardening reports. I still have some of those early articles: “It’s sunny.” “It’s still sunny.” “It’s raining.” I’m glad to say my writing has improved since then. I wrote a guest post for the Silver Bay Public Library blog, and was the writer/editor of the newsletter for my American Heritage Girls troop. I have been writing for the North Shore Journal since June 2022. Besides writing, I love reading, drawing, photography, music, and spending time with family and friends. Two books that have really influenced my writing are Reforming Journalism by Marvin Olasky and Writer to Writer by Bodie and Brock Thoene. As a journalist, I want to share positive community interactions and inspire people to make lasting connections. Article topics that interest me are ones which show community activities and involvement. Such articles include community events, youth accomplishments, library programming, small businesses, local history, local artists and authors, art programs, and cultural events such as theater and dance. If you have an article idea, email the North Shore Journal with my name in the subject line! I look forward to hearing from you!
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