MSDC finds inspiration in the strengths and weaknesses of human physiology and psychology. Much of the work is heavily influenced by research and personal exploration. We, as artists, value the importance of relative and relatable concepts and strive to raise awareness, understanding, and hope through a creative process meant, in the end, to present ideas in an accessible way. As lifelong movers, we are fascinated with the tool that is our medium: the human body. While basic human anatomy is the same for all, we are much more interested in exploring the differences, the quirks that make us all unique.
The Murphy/Smith Dance Collective was founded in January of 2011 by Pittsburgh based choreographers Jamie Erin Murphy and Renee Danielle Smith. After establishing themselves as independent emerging choreographers they joined together for their first collaborative commissioned work, Much More Than Bones, for the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater's Next Stage Residency Program. During the residency, Renee and Jamie found that by surging together each of their strengths and creative methods they were able to create a fulfilling whirlwind of aggressive, physical, emotional, theatrical and dynamic movement. The collective has performed in several Pittsburgh venues including the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater, New Hazlett Theater, the Grey Box Theater, and the Attack Theatre performance space. Jamie and Renee also received the opportunity to share their work in NYC at the White Wave 2011 Dumbo Dance Festival as well as in Columbus, OH and Youngstown, OH at Universities and festivals. NYU’s Nicole Lowman described the collective’s work as being filled with “energetic spirit” while Pittsburgh’s Jane Vranish refers to the collaborators as “The dynamic duo... who prove they are serious about contributing to the dance community”.