This semester I took what has come to be one of my favorite courses in my undergraduate career thus far: Composition II. This course, taught by the amazing and incredibly talented, Susan Hadley (seriously, google her!), was a journey in choreography. While we created several solo studies, we also discussed and had opportunities to work with groups on entrances and exits, formations, choreography, etc. I learned and grew in my artistry so much as a result of this class. The following is my first thoughts and reflections on my work in the course, circa September 30, 2014. Enjoy!
I think one of my main difficulties thus far has been locomotion. I have been told that I am a “stand and deliver” kind of dancer. In some ways, I avoid creating extremely active choreography because it is harder for me personally to produce and to fully realize in my own body. I have this worry of forgetting my choreography while presenting, so I make up things that are easier for me to recall and perform well. Furthermore, my life right now does not lend itself to hours spent in the studio perfecting material. So when I do have the time to choreograph, I put together something that my body and I can remember with less practice; unfortunately, this leads to the creation of the “same old, same old,” regular movement style that I am familiar and comfortable with: “stand and deliver.” I’ve found that when I am pushed to go beyond this, however, the material becomes much more “interesting” in many ways. I think that in order to explore these new areas, I have to push myself to turn down the road less traveled and trust myself to have the ability to make it to the end. Even failure can lead to much gain.
Another issue that I have struggled with is being authentic with my weight. I have this idea of falling as a bad thing, so its use tends to be on a very superficial level. Last week, in my inversion study, Susan coached me to really use my weight in an honest manner. What happened? The piece traveled. I think in many ways, addressing this problem will, in turn, help to solve the other. I feel that the reason that I do not use my weight is because it is not something that always works well with my current choreographic sensabilities. I don’t tend to simply improv, throw my weight around, and go wherever my body wants to go. I much more prefer to put my body where I want it to go. In fact, I find it extremely difficult to follow my body’s “lead” because oftentimes, I have put it in places from which the options are very limited. Perhaps exploring a new method of choreography will help me solve both of my issues and arrive at the end of this journey with a greater sense of confidence in mobility and authenticity in weight.