Sunday, October 18, 2009
It wasn’t a question of whether or not I wanted to choreograph again this year. I knew that I had to; for myself, that is. Something would be missing if my mind weren’t busy working on that one combination that wasn’t quite right. My class notes would be empty if there weren’t stage patterns and formations scribbled in the corner. The challenge of choreographing another piece for Orchesis was something I wasn’t about to pass up. My brain needed that artistic stimulus.
The piece that I choreographed last year, “The Kingdom of Enticement”, was very enjoyable to work on, so I decided to travel down that same path again and create a contemporary ballet. I’m a perfectionist (especially when it comes to choreographing), so once I find my strengths, I try not to stray from what I know I can achieve. However, every choreographer needs to take risks, so this year, I decided to test myself in the concept of time. The music I chose is the truly breathtaking “Runaway Horses”, composed by Philip Glass, and not only is this piece over 9 minutes long, but it is very complicated as well. I have already had to call my brother (who is a music student in New York) to help me with the rhythms!
Maybe now I should actually describe what my piece is about! Well, it is a profile of the Seven Deadly Sins. While I was studying abroad in Thailand, I visited an exhibit in Bangkok, in which students from a local art institute had created works around the sins. This had been the start of my thought process. The Seven Deadly Sins are so prevalent in pop culture (“America’s Next Top Model” and “Top Chef” centered challenges around them!), and I knew that they had inspired many works of art. However, I found it odd that I had never seen a dance inspired by this concept.
The intent of my dance is to portray each of the Seven Deadly Sins tastefully and somewhat ambiguously. Even though each of my seven dancers are going to be the “characters” of pride, anger, jealousy, gluttony, greed, lust, and sloth, the audience must determine who the dancers are, based on the movement. I hope to incorporate a variety of solos, duets, and trios in order to combine different interactions between the sins. I’m thankful to have seven extremely talented dancers, who have been wonderful to work with so far! The piece will succeed if there is a chaotic nature embedded with an intense focus, and this will be up to the dedication of my dancers.