Through a blend of two distinctive artistic disciplines, 23-year-old Camille Gamble seeks to illustrate the significance of everyday human interaction that many folks often take for granted. The recent Temple University graduate calls her concept, The InterACTion Project, which utilizes dance and photography as a means of connecting people to the kind of personal interaction that the arts provide.
Gamble discussed how the concept came about, the eccentric (and twerk-friendly) team of dancers behind the project, and her hopes for the future of Philadelphia’s dance community.
How did the idea for The InterACTion Project come about?
For me, the dance part of it started from my senior piece, because interaction was the title of my senior piece. I always just felt like I wanted to expand on it because I felt like I had more to do with the subject that I didn’t get to do with my senior piece. I felt that I needed to create my own work.
Being in other people’s work I was like, “But what do I want to do? What do I want to say?”
Terrell (Halsey) is my boyfriend and an artist also, so I was like, “Why don’t we do it together? Because that’d be cool right?”
My piece spoke to him too and the idea around interaction is how we don’t realize the contact we have with people every day, even if it’s just me passing by someone or me reading something someone wrote and how we all need that kind of interaction. It can affect us negatively or positively. Just the effects that it has on us as humans and how we kind of need it even though we don’t always realize we need it or realize there are other people going through the same things as us.
What do you hope to contribute to the Philadelphia arts community through this project?
I think the main thing both Terrell and I have been thinking about is bringing two different art forms together. A lot of people see dance shows or go to photo exhibits but they don’t see them put together as much.
What struggles have you experienced as a young artist in Philly?
The most stressful part of it is fundraising. I feel like social media is a big tool but it’s hard because I don’t want to ask my friends for money. It’s hard trying to reach out to the people who actually have the money to give to the arts to fund it and want to get behind it. That’s been the biggest stress of the project.
How are you funding The InterACTion Project?
Right now we have a GoFundMe page and we’ve sold two different t-shirts. Both campaigns have done really well. The workshop on 25th is going to go towards that. Plus any other donations that people want to give.
Can you talk a bit about the workshop?
Yeah! So February 25th, it’s going to be at The Performance Garage. I titled it “A Day for Dance!” At my age, it’s hard for people to find classes when you get out of college that you can 1). afford, and 2). have time for outside of work.
What successes have you experienced as a young artist in Philadelphia thus far?
Even though we’re not there yet, putting on this project is a success because a lot of people don’t get to do their own shows at 23. So, I think just getting into the mindset that we’re going to do it and then putting forth the effort to make it happen, I think, is a big success. And it will happen!
How do the members of the InterACTion Project contribute to your mission to connect humans?
Well, I have six dancers other than myself. I think we all have different styles and we all have different personalities but it’s nice being in the same space together. I feel like our rehearsal process is a different way to interact with each other. We all have our own little quirks and weird things about us. But it’s been good for me to be around dancers doing other stuff than I’m doing and kind of feeding off of each other.
What changes do you hope to see within the dance community?
A lot more funding for young artists so young artists feel like they can do stuff like this and that it’s possible to do their own projects and get their own ideas out there. Places that are more affordable to rehearse. I hope for more support for the arts and more people realizing the need for it and how it helps you whether you’re an artist or not.
Will The InterACTion Project continue after your show in April?
I think we’re going to keep building on it. We want to keep doing more events, whether it’s more workshops, or more dance shows that we invite other groups to be in. Maybe more combinations of photography and dance.
-Text and images by Daniel Lopez and Meghan McFerran.