During my recent time in Bloomington, Indiana, I had an opportunity to choreograph a dance for Windfall Dancers. Abstractly speaking, it seemed fun-- why not, as long as it doesn't conflict with my busy schedule? As June approached, the idea became something real, an opportunity for personal and artistic growth; a welcome and necessary challenge that I absolutely wanted to accept! It would fit so smoothly into this year of
The plan: choreograph something I haven't done before. Hanging out with modern dancers, it's the perfect opportunity to push ballet aside and try my hand at creating something else, with the goal of expressing nature through movement.
The music arrives first, from among a selection my duet partner suggests and I say, "this one's fine." I realize how much looser I feel with the music as a tool instead of something I connect with emotionally. It's like dissolving the ingrained influence of culture, family, or loved ones, simply moving forward with an open mind.
Inspiration: branches and vines.
Choreography builds slowly. After the first rehearsal I realize I'm letting ballet movement creep in to fill space. Undo, undo. Recut the music. It's an effort not to turn to the familiar and I feel tension creep into my body as if I can force progress to happen. Time to embrace ease; just like when I'm drawing on pottery, the ideas come when I relax.
Inspiration: tree-climbing vines.
During the week of the show my "inspiration blurb" is due for the program and my vision becomes clearer. I choreograph the ending. We run through a few times and I'm still figuring things out each time but it feels exciting to have something coherent. This finished piece has become one step forward along the path.
Inspiration: The slow, persistent movement of vines; curving around plants, climbing up trees, extending through air seeking new connections.
July 9, 2016