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What’s next for “Chalk Boundaries”

February 18, 2010 1 comment

I realize that I never wrote a post about the final experience at the Wexner, but it’s mainly becuase my experience with “Chalk Boundaries” doesn’t feel over. Performing on the Mershon stage was an amazing opportunity to get my work out there and to jump start my creative process. “Chalk Boundaries” is beginning to become a project curious about the term masculinity, but also it is also beginning to bring up the idea of power, a characteristic that we can choose to associate with the term masculinity.

I’ll be combining the male and female cast next week, which will change the feel of the work entirely and I’m excited. I’m sadly losing one male dancer, and scheduling is always a headache, but what I’m discovering while I’m at OSU is that it’s part of the process. Things happen. Problems occur, but what’s most important is how I’m dealing with those problems in order to grow as a choreographer.

So what’s next for “Chalk Boundaries”? More development of phrase material, researching the term masculinity (any suggestions?), generating a safe space for the performers, gaining a better understanding of myself as a choreographer, and lastly, creating a positive experience.

“Chalk Boundaries” Female Cast- Phrase Foundation

February 9, 2010 Leave a comment

Below is a clip of a phrase that I’m beginning to work on for the female cast of “Chalk Boundaries”. Like most phrases that I create, I begin with a foundation and continue to build, finding the nuances and details that I enjoy so much. I’m excited to see what quality the female cast will bring to the idea of masculinity. A question that is beginning to rattle my brain is “where on earth am I going to perform this?” The OSU Dance department has a Spring Concert in which I could adjudicate the work, but I feel this work being longer than just 8-9 minutes. There is so much to develop, think about, explore; I would feel guilty if I didn’t take the oppourtunity that I have now to continue.

Phrase Comparison

January 16, 2010 1 comment

Below is a clip of a phrase that I taught to my all male, and all female casts. It’s interesting how bodies deal with momentum and weight differently, regardless of gender affiliation. Also,  notice how each cast emphasized particular movements, particularly the jump. I’m not stating that all male dancers move alike and all female dancers move alike; it is not my objective to generate a commonality among male and female bodies. Instead, I’m interested in the choreographic atmosphere that is formed when you separate genders in a process, while maintaining the same material, and how movement can have different connotations on male and female bodies.

Rashana Smith, a fellow MFA student,  is doing an independent study regarding gender in choreography and is participating in the all male cast rehearsals for her research. Check out her link for more info on her approach and experiences in the process.

Below is a clip of both casts learning the material the for the first time.

“Run” and Buddy Update

January 10, 2010 Leave a comment

After returning from break, alot has happened and shifted mentally when I think about “Run” and Buddy. Dancers have changed, and my concept has evolved.

Gender will be addressed in these works. As of now, in its early stages, I’m interested in how marked bodies interact with one another in social settings; in this case, the choreographic process, and how that impacts the work. This is more so a study of my choreographic processes in general, and trying to locate the social dynamics of having an all male cast and an all female cast of performers with a male choreographer.

The content of both works is influenced by the upcoming exhibition at the Wexner entitled Hard Targets, an art exhibition unraveling the idea of masculinity in sports. I want to use the work from this exhibit as a starting point to experiment with how male and female bodies handle this idea of masculinity. Is it a set idea? Does it truly exist? Does masculinity and feminitity generate set values in our lives? How can we disrupt these ideas in our lives and in dance?

I choreograph to create work that can be visually appealing, while providing a tangible representation, or even reflection,  of the social environments that we are continually involved in. Hopefully, these works will help further push myself as a choreographer to find new manners to tackle that task.

Below is a print of Hank Willis Thomas’ Scarred Chest from the exhibit that I find intriguing.

Definition of Strength

December 7, 2009 Leave a comment

I looked up strength in the dictionary and was surprised by how many definitions it had. Take a look:

–noun
1.     the quality or state of being strong; bodily or muscular power; vigor.
2.     mental power, force, or vigor.
3.     moral power, firmness, or courage.
4.     power by reason of influence, authority, resources, numbers, etc.
5.     number, as of personnel or ships in a force or body: a regiment with a strength of 3000.
6.     effective force, potency, or cogency, as of inducements or arguments
7.     power of resisting force, strain, wear, etc.
8.     vigor of action, language, feeling, etc.
9.     the effective or essential properties characteristic of a beverage, chemical, or the like: The alcoholic strength of brandy far exceeds that of wine.
10.     a particular proportion or concentration of these properties; intensity, as of light, color, sound, flavor, or odor: coffee of   normal strength.
11.     something or someone that gives one strength or is a source of power or encouragement; sustenance: The Bible was her strength and joy.
12.     power to rise or remain firm in prices: Stocks continued to show strength. The pound declined in strength.

—Idiom
13.     on the strength of, on the basis of; relying on: He was accepted by the college on the strength of ardent personal recommendations.

Categories: "Run" Tags: ,

Build Up

November 23, 2009 Leave a comment

Below is a duet that I’m working on with two of the dancers in the process. As of now, it is a string of movements that we’ve created. I think of this duet as a foundation, that through time, will continue to develop and blossom. I probably will post videos periodically throughout the process so I can have a visual record on this new approach of working with movement.

What is this new approach?

I’m interested in creating frameworks/foundations for phrases and then letting them develop over time through various methods. (Those methods I’m still toying with and will articulate throughout the process). I hope this approach will help me get out of my previous approach to movement phrases always needing to be “set”. What does that even mean anyway? “Setting” movement? That’s a whole other post.

Oh dance…

Categories: "Run", In Progress Tags: ,

New Process in a New Space!

November 1, 2009 Leave a comment

WeCanDoItPoster[1]

Starting out my choreographic process was fairly difficult. Entering into a new environment and not knowing protocol on many things made me feel rather insecure. Luckily I was able to find three beautiful dancers to work with (Stephanie, Loganne, and Fiona). After the first rehearsal I realized something. I’m no longer at Wesleyan. This is a new dance world and I’m not sure how to approach it. Nothing is wrong with this space, but it’s just different. The difference though excites me. The difference is unlocking new possibilities in my choreographic voice.

This poster was always interesting to me and has become the foundation of my choreographic process. I’m interested in how bodies are “remodeled” to fit the necessity for our culture and I want to take this idea and roll with it in my choreographic process.

In terms of movement I want to work more on challenging myself to find a balance between collaboration and giving movement material. I feel that sometimes dancers have this idea that collaboration means “stealing my moves” but I don’t think that’s always the case. I collaborate because the dancers that I work with are artists. They’re creative, intelligent movers and I would almost feel as if I were silencing them if I gave them movement all the time.

Categories: "Run", In Progress Tags: ,