Monday, November 16, 2009
Each week I get to experience very different choreographers, dancers, and styles as I learn the pieces to be performed at Continuum.
Rebecca’s piece has a flirty style that has quick, detailed actions. She gives the overall layout of movement to all the dancers, and uses repetition and setting counts to put the choreography into our bodies. Emphasis on sharpness or the breath of a motion helps us understand how things are to fit the music and idea of the whole piece. Her style is new to many of us, and her constant push for us to push ourselves has helped in understanding how the style can work on our individual bodies.
I am also working with Rebecca in her collaborative piece with Darren. Their process is completely different with each of them teaching separate pieces of the puzzle. Later the parts come together to make a whole layered piece of quirky movements. The two working together create a mix of ideas ranging from small fast flicks to full-bodied motions cohesive in their similar style based in contemporary.
Rachel’s piece is unlike others with her stylistic process being more about testing out different movement ideas against one another. Different combinations of motion on the dancers’ bodies help her decide what she likes and how it can fit together well. Staying consistent to her theme of evolution, her testing, modifying, then setting in her choreographic process, as luck would have it, almost mimics the idea of evolution she is portraying in the piece.
Finally working with Diana I have experienced a choreographic process that includes learning combinations initially and then taking them apart to use certain pieces, shapes, or repeated sections from those patterns. She has a complicated vision that uses moments of stillness, striking movement, and overlapping patterns to create a distinct style and product.
All the choreographers have individual processes that require their dancers to change their method of learning to fit their method. Involvement in more pieces this year has allowed me to experience a challenging and much wider range of choreographic development. The different methods of learning help me be more aware of the tedious process that we artists (choreographers and dancers) balance with our lives outside of the studio.
Photo: Sara Tollefson