Sunday, October 18, 2009
Alexandra Thomsen Wolfe
For the first time, I am choreographing a dance piece. That is, for the first time I am choreographing a work of art. I am feeling so excited, intimidated, anxious, overwhelmed, and overjoyed about this experience. The choreography I have done in the past has been about the movement and had no real purpose other than looking good. This piece is about me and about everyone and has a specific idea that I want to convey. Will it work out? I have no idea. Will people like it? I hope so, but does it matter? Will it be challenging? More than I probably know. Rewarding? Definitely. So here it is, my idea for choreography:
My concept for this piece began when I realized over summer that I was easily becoming distracted from the things that really matter most in life. I felt like I was losing a sense of purpose and meaning in my life while being preoccupied with things that were just trifles. I am Catholic, and it became evident that part of this disconnect was stemming from the fact that I was not attending Mass regularly during the summer. Once I started attending Mass again I felt a sense of direction and ease and my life was just put back in order. By ‘finding God’ again, my life made sense again. My aim is to represent this idea of having lost sight of what is important in life, and finding the path back to a journey that is ultimately fulfilling. For me, a fulfilling life involves my religion, and this is what my concept is stemming from; however, I want the piece to be representative of what helps people in general to find meaning in their lives. Everyone has a different idea of what it means to lead a fulfilling life; we know that what we need is within us, yet we still have to take a journey to uncover it.
There is a quote I have from Catholic Catechism – the essential data of the Catholic faith – that is the impetus for the various movement motifs I want to have in the piece. It says, “Although man can forget God or reject him, He never ceases to call every man to seek him, so as to find life and happiness. But this search for God demands of man every effort of intellect, a sound will, ‘an upright heart,’ as well as the witness of others who teach him to seek God.” My plan is to have different dancers representing ‘will,’ ‘intellect,’ ‘heart,’ and ‘others,’ each with a specific movement motif. These dancers will affect another dancer who is representing the soul of a person that is disconnected and is on the path to discovering the journey that is right for her. She will incorporate the various dance motifs into her own movement as if she is learning what they have to teach her and applying it to her life. I plan to use my dancers as inspiration for movement as well as have their own raw movement be the basis for their motifs. I am asking each of them to bring their own life story to the piece and use it as motivation for movement. I hope to learn a lot from the dancers in my piece who I will rely on so much and a lot from this journey that we are embarking on together.
Photo: Prem Ananda