KITTY CONLON; San Francisco
Meet Kitty Conlon
I’m Kitty Conlon, I also go by Cinthia Mc Manus. I’m an Ecuadorian-American dance artist and educator from northern California. In 2002, I briefly moved to Greenwood Lake and returned to New York last August with my loyal canine companion of five years, Pepita Fryday. I grew up traveling the US and internationally to train in classical ballet and delved into Paul Taylor’s work in college (UC Davis). A chronic hip injury leads me to earn a Bachelor of Science in environmental science & management and explore the intersection of ecology and dance. Before graduating, I started Ballerinas for the Environment with a friend as a way to use art as activism to raise funds and awareness for veterinary and conservation projects in Costa Rica and Ecuador for three years.
A trip to Burning Man in 2013 initiated my journey back to New York. I performed a routine sur les pointes atop wine bottles (inspired by Bianca Passarge) and was kindly reminded by the ensuing applause that I needed to take care of my hip. Less than a year post-operation, I found myself juggling multiple dance teaching jobs in addition to an analyst apprenticeship. I was later hired to work as a technician at a medical cannabis testing and research facility where I helped move the lab across the street from a cute little dance studio. I spent many lunches there, but however serendipitous the move might have seemed, I could not stand to sacrifice dedication to my craft again and resigned from Steep Hill to continue developing myself as an artist and educator. I was working with Leah Marie Bueno’s Ballet Novità and Emote Dance Theater when I volunteered to shoot for Dancers After Dark, and a quick visit to Chicago produced Corkscrew.
Months later when I saw the fifty-inch print at the Hudson River Museum, I was taken aback by seeing my Burning Man stunt included in a ‘Dancers Among Us’ exhibition. I was living in Los Angeles at the time, experiencing writer’s block over my admissions essay to NYU’s ABT ballet pedagogy program, and this surrealistic moment helped me internalize an important realization: ‘I am already here’. Living and learning in New York over the past year have empowered me to make time to make art. This process is so valuable and essential to the human experience–it provides a healthy means of expression and keeps us connected to ourselves and each other. I believe it is a privilege to be a movement artist in the dance capital of the world, and am grateful for the opportunity to realize my capabilities as an educator, choreographer, and visual artist under the tutelage and guidance of leaders in my field. I am uncertain if I will remain a New Yorker after I graduate, for my heart is in San Francisco with my husband, Matthew, but I will always be glad I came back to this magnificently stimulating place that has allowed me to grow in so many ways.
You can catch my dance-inspired visual art collection ‘PEOPLEARENOTYOURPLAYTHINGS’ at Chesterfield in Bushwick, and my piece ‘Risukupurēyā’ at NYU Steinhardt’s 2017 Masters’ Concert, November 17th through 19th at the Loewe Theater. Come say hi! To learn more about Kitty, please visit her website and follow her
Instagram accounts: @kittyconlon @winebottleballerina