The art of Jackie Planeix and Tom Crocker is to share with others the dialogue that has shaped their lives and defined their mission: the value of lifelong learning through the arts. The two met in Brussels at MUDRA, the interdisciplinary performing arts institute directed by French choreographer Maurice Béjart. In the highly demanding and international atmosphere of MUDRA, the two young artists were introduced to the process of developing creative projects from vision to realization. World tours with Mr. Béjart’s company at theaters such as the Bolshoi in Moscow, La Scala in Milan, and Comédie Francaise in Paris, taught Jackie and Tom rigor and a constant quest for excellence.
Jackie and Tom founded their own company, Bluepalm, in Geneva, Switzerland. In the late 1980s and through the 90s, Bluepalm performed in some of the most influential contemporary venues including the Centre Pompidou, Maison de la Danse (Lyon), Centre National Choréographique d’Angers, P.S. 122 (New York), Wallenboyd Theater (Los Angeles). In their award-winning production, DANCE TALKS!, Bluepalm expressed the soul of the dancer through movement and incantatory, bilingual poems: effective, engaged, and inspired language became a hallmark of Bluepalm’s work. Shifting its base to North America, Bluepalm led residencies in interdisciplinary performance techniques in universities, including CalArts, Philadelphia College of the Arts, and York University (Toronto): while helping young artists to forge a voice of their own, Jackie and Tom developed innovative strategies that blend professional and personal development.
The birth of daughter Madeleine shifted Jackie and Tom’s creative focus to arts education. By posing central questions, ‘Who am I?’ and ‘What are the links between learning and the artistic process?’, Bluepalm placed art at the center of learning in classrooms K-16. With funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, California Arts Council, County of Los Angeles, LAUSD, and the Dana and Thelma Pearl Howard Foundations, as well as certification from the French Ministère de la Culture, Bluepalm established itself as a leader in arts integration. Partnerships such as those with the Neuroscience and French Departments at USC and the National Choreographic Center in Rillieux-la-Pape (France) have provided Bluepalm the opportunity to further develop innovative techniques to improve performance, communication, and creativity.
Today, Bluepalm’s driving premise, ‘Think like an artist’, has grown to encompass all members of working and learning communities. Jackie Planeix and Tom Crocker apply the gifts they have received from a life in the arts, in the service of individuals and organizations. The journey continues… in and through art.