Monday, November 16, 2009
While many of us would say dance is a cathartic process and a form of release, it is often easy to lose sight of this mantra. In the midst of midterms, club meetings, and everything else life decides to throw on top, dance rehearsals begin to look more and more like a burden and less like a reason to breathe.
Tuesday or Thursday Orchesis class rolls around, and I can feel myself wishing I was home working on the mountain of endless projects and book problems. It takes a second to remind myself that at dance I have to check my problems and responsibilities at the door, and realize that this 4 hour block is time for myself. I choose to be here because of how much dance does to keep me sane.
This year, it seems that many of the student directed pieces are much more focused on a collaboration between the choreographer and the dancers. It is a journey that is tedious and demands more attention than the standard choreographic process of learn and digest. After a week long frantic scramble to meet deadlines and group members, it can be difficult to contribute any sort of valuable input or even to wait patiently as the choreographer plays with various ideas. Again, it takes a deep breath and a mental check that this is all a learning process. In the end, by harnessing the creative energy of the dancers in the room, each person in the dance should feel more connected to the piece since a part of them is cemented into the choreography.
Just reading the other dancers blog entries should provide an idea of how much of the choreographic process is centered around collaboration. No one can definitively say there is a choreography technique that champions the rest, it is all subjective. I know that even in my own opinion, I cannot declare a preference for one despite my occasional frustration with a collaboration route. Ultimately the piece will speak for itself and whether the process it chose worked in its favor.
Regardless of how much work I have piling up, or how much I hate or enjoy learning choreography, being in the studio and doing what I love most will make up for everything. It takes an occasional reminder, but it is a constant in my life for a reason.
Photo: Prem Ananda