One concert containing my newest collaborative work titled Unrest, along with performing in Kathryn Sauma’s work deviant forms–what an exciting and satisfying week.
During this choreographic process I journeyed through the many questions that influence the making and creating of something, “What am I saying?” “Why am I saying this?” “What is this world I have created and who are the characters inside of it?” The answers unraveled themselves after each performance and left me questioning more instead of feeling “done.” I’m really stuck on evolving and expanding this dream-like-yet-nightmarish world that myself, dancer Kat Sauma, and lighting designer Niasha Whitfield created together.
This nontraditional, Pilobolian partnering duet grappled with the emotional issues and traumas we bring with us while we sleep, addressing the question, what are the forces that make a person lose sleep? The two characters tossed through this dream-state with very different approaches, there is no relational connection between the two characters as they are physically separated most of the time by a white bed sheet. The barrier between the two characters forces individual story lines bringing up images that remind viewers of “ghosts” and “falling from the sky.” Others brought up that their perception of dimension is challenged by how the bodies are positioned in space, on top of the sheet, and by the way the lights make the floor seem to disappear, pushing this theme of otherworldly” a little further.
So what did I learn?
I don’t think something is ever fully “made” and that with each performance and with each new audience arises a new question and with that something else can change, grow, and evolve. Does this mean we never let a piece go and always build on it or bring it back up? Not necessarily, nothing is so precious that it needs to always be relevant. However, I keep coming back to this concept of depth in “art” as opposed to mass producing.
I keep thinking about the cliche:
There’s a time and a place for everything in life.
I’m here at grad school to challenge what I think I know and to build new shelves to bring in new knowledge. I’m thinking about the need to just get in and make and move even if it has no importance or contribution to anything, but maybe 15 ideas in, that might lead to something worth-my-while.
What’s next? I’d like to submit this to a few festivals to see if it can go anywhere. I’m always talking myself out of sending “my” work out to people for all of the common fears: rejection, insecurity, finances, and time. But, here I am, claiming the realness of those factors and the realness that some will say no, but some will also say yes.
Below you will find a still shot from a rehearsal run of Unrest.
Pictured: Kathryn Sauma and myself.