Friday, October 16, 2009
I draw much of my inspiration for dance from the Classic Age in Hollywood. MGM films have been playing on my worn out VCR since I was an infant. The women from that time had a different kind of beauty. The aura of Ginger Rogers, Vera Ellen, Ann Miller, and Eleanor Powell and the style of the Zeigfeld Follies always intrigued me. I've spent years mimicking their dancing.
When many people hear Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue they initially think New York City. I didn't want to cater to that tradition for my piece but I didn't want to disappoint the audience by abstracting the classic too much. The nighttime and moonlit theme seemed to fit perfectly.
As of now, I want the style of the piece to be reminiscent of the ballet from An American in Paris. Full of character and class...taking the audience on a flirty midnight adventure.
When choreographing, the music is in charge of me. I'll spend hours just listening to the melody building on images that the song calls to mind: trains, bumblebees, a marching band, a newspaper hat. Once I have some of those images, I attempt to develop movement inspired by those images. Sometimes it works. :)
Photo: Prem Ananda