The contact duet I posted a few entries below actually became a stimulus for my end of second year choreography. This choreography has proved itself to be immensely challenging, as while we may be confident in creating movements, altering dynamics and fusing and weaving material into patterns, this task required more. The module is called interdisciplinary dance which requires the collaboration of different art mediums: music, text, song, paintings, props, acting, you name it! And so once we had a skeleton we had to fill it with creative ideas drawing from a pool in which we had very little experience! It has been very tough to the point where I spent Tuesday afternoon curled up sobbing in my box, surrendering totally to the pressure and my own anxieties. It’s been tough but here is the finished product to be performed and assessed in two days!!
One of the more surreal experiences: seeing yourself projected onto 3 large screens #screen #dance #uni #fyp #eisp #dancer #shapes #movement #aesthetics #experience
Something that has started to gain my interest is “the importance of the mind in relation to performance” ergo how does your thought processes effect your performance? What should you think about when you choreograph and perform? Should it be more than just a recital of sequences? Bearing in mind the frantic awareness and memory of what technical and spatial pointers to include. On Thursday the 20th of February 2014 I had the privilege of meeting Robert Cohan, one of the early practitioners of Modern Dance, student of Martha Graham herself and the vessel that brought Contemporary dance to the UK triggering the degree my life is based around now. I also met Yolanda Yorke-Edgell founder of the Yorke Dance-Project, Ex-Rambert dancer and lecturer for us last semester. I asked them what they though and have recorded these quotes.
Interview with Robert Cohan and Yolanda Yorke-Edgell
“Your idea has to be strong enough for you to carry [the choreography] out”… “It has to be yours and you have to mean what you dance”
“You can only take the expression of dance so far in rehearsal” RC
“When words are not enough you sing, when singing’s not enough, you move” RC
“Dance your dreams” RC
“I want to push movement through my mood -at that moment-.” RC Events inspire choreography that no-one else could create.
“Every gesture of mine has a meaning- moon, sun, ground, flowers opening” YYE
“Music sets the mood of the movement! YYE
“There’s never a moment when I drop what I’m thinking.” YYE
“Dance is the sensation of the way you feel that words can’t express.” RC (MG)
“I was doing it for her (MG) rather than me, and that’s good, if you’re doing it by yourself for yourself the audience will stop looking.” RC
My next project is an interdisciplinary choreography fusing dance with other art forms such as text, voice and instruments, drama etc. Emily, Jess and I have been looking at short phrases of material we have made together and at a site we’ve found round the back of the studios with a cage fence which has plants growing up it. We’ve also been looking at different music ranging from the soft and extremely emotion track found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEh8lawmhzk&list=PLg3vulbBKJ_IUho37Wiov9FRZR8r4UG7E&index=61 to the more abstract voice found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbOsIU0fP-M&list=PLdtbCGC03vhV-QSHOP44OrlYdE—I_VYd which inspired us with the themes of memories, regret, loss, past times and letting go. This is the very beginning tough, we’ll see what happens!
What I’ve been up to so far this year
This week has been very tough with my boyfriend and dad being hospitalised in the same week, but on Tuesday my lecturer, Suna gave us a contact improvisation workshop which I don’t think I have ever needed more. Surrendering control to another person in a time when things are out of your hands anyway is incredible. This is one of the reasons I am a christian as well, allowing God control, but in this case just allowing my mind to revolve solely around movement and beauty and touch and response and relationship was the best therapy I could have been offered. I left feeling so light (not only because I’d spent the last 3 hours being picked up like I was weightless) but because I’d allowed my racing mind to slow down and to remind myself that I am still a living, breathing, creating and growing person even amongst all of life’s tests and heartbreaks. And this is absolutely why I want my career to revolve around this phenomenon.
As I am now over half way through my dance degree I’m starting to look at the direction I want to go to career wise and therefore which strand of dance I want to belong to. Since I began to take dance seriously the one strand that I have felt like I most belong to is unequivocally contact improvisation. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=4132978563104&set=vb.1242720751&type=3&theater I love the sharing of weight which comes with that element of trust and the emotional healing power of touch. I love the use of strength and the release of allowing your body to be moved by the control of another. It is a physical and mental release and I have always found it to be amazingly therapeutic and therefore want to run with this to hopefully become a teacher in this field and use it as a therapy to others whilst with the element of strength, fitness building and fun :) But first I have a lot of exploration and research to do starting with the journal “Contact Quarterly” which my lecturer (and inspiration) Suna gave me!
This was the same set study the week before the exam in December, unfortunately the exam didn’t go great, but onwards and upwards :)
This is when we first learned the Cunningham set study in November
This is the sign language dance as of yesterday. If it had been my own choreography there is quite a few things I would change: a few pauses too long, a few focus points lost and a lack of clarity. But I’ve done my best to learn and create what she’s wanted :) Hopefully the assessment tomorrow will be miraculously better than this! But alas, we now have a dance :)
This was the sign language dance as of November. Pretty short.
This Friday night is the premier of our show “Tangent”, and finally the pieces are starting to come together, as they always seem to miraculously! Saying that, the last few weeks have been tough! Creating ideas, learning other peoples’ and trying to keep everyone positive is exhausting, and that’s before the hours of dancing! However the slow formation of dances is beginning to remind me why I love it! The satisfaction of embodiment, confidence in the steps and enjoyment in performing the dance is incredible! So now I’m going to post videos in pairs, from the first fragments of movement and vacant expressions to what is becoming a dance piece. They’re not finished, but they’re on their way :)
This second year my passion for dance has nosedived into a place where I feel I am merely a puppet, performing 3rd year choreographies and technique with next to no reward. Trying to remember why I loved dance is nearly impossible, but I’m going to have to try.
Dance was a break: A break from numbers, words and theories that GCSE and A-Level filled my head with. It was just incredible going to a lesson and being able to achieve without saying a word.
This brings me to release. Dance released me from emotional and spiritual weight just as it did with my other subjects. I’d come into the empty studio before lessons and just move around. I’d close my eyes and let go of all my worries, concerns and heartbreak (from the time). And through that I engaged with my own soul. I knew who I was: a dancer, moving in a studio, no more, no less.
It was charming. So understated in the education system, but ginormous in its history and variety and global recognition. It was like walking into a new world. I felt almost like I did when I discovered my Christian faith; absolutely charmed and mesmerised by how much about the world I did not know, but now had the opportunity to discover.
It is holistic in the way it requires so much intelligence and ability from so many places of the brain. You need proprioception, co-ordination, strategic and organizational skills in choreography, the numerical value of timings and adding sections in an order that would create a positive response, using your social awareness and looking at the context of your visual expression. There is so much more. It truly requires every bit of you and who you are. I once found this amazing, and it seems now, simply draining.
I need to get the spark back. I need to fall in love with dance again but I think I need to come to a place where it doesn’t control me, where it isn’t forced on me and I am not made to be someone I’m not for someone else’s benefit, but to strip dance down to its uses, to siphon through my thoughts and release them through using my body as an intercessor. Through just being me.
And this is where we finished <3
Miss this so much
So apparently my heart and anxiety attack in my assessment was a problem. I got a low 2:1 which, ok, is still good but even my grade said she was really upset about it and that I deserved loads higher. I said about doing it again but there’s no changing it, it’s life. However I am getting health concessions for future assessments yayyy! I didn’t think I’d need them but when it comes to messing up my grade, it does. To be fair with a mum on beta-blockers and my dad on about 5 different anxiety pills I didn’t have a chance! On the brighter side I’m recovering so well from my operation and today and yesterday I danced really well! So onwards and upwards, but it’s not going to be easy! Not even at all!