I have just returned from Beijing, China on my first international tour with The Dancing Wheels Company at the 2019 Luminous Festival!
The Luminous Festival is China’s first disability-led performing arts festival, and it was incredible to be a part of this historic festival and join in on this international discussion regarding inclusivity in the arts.
I am still amazed that I would have an opportunity like this a few months after graduating undergrad. I also have been given the opportunity through Dancing Wheels to choreograph a work based on my experiences on the trip and also taking influence from art being currently showcased at moCa Cleveland by Liu Wei. I am looking forward to creating a solo to be performed in December based on my trip at moCa Cleveland in “East Meets West…A Tale of Two Cities”. Thankfully when I was not dancing or in rehearsal, I was also able to play tourist on the trip and explore what Beijing had to offer. With the group, I saw the much loved pandas at the zoo, walked around the Forbidden City, visited shopping districts, admired some beautiful architecture, and wandered around a few gardens in the city. I wish I could have had another week to see more.
In making my final study, I have realized how much I have grown as a choreographer and dancer in this class. I found that I have learned so many techniques for generating and using movement material. All the lessons I have learned have found their way into the process of my final compositional study. I see my final study as a culmination of all the topics, discussions, and viewings of this course.
Of the concepts that I have been introduced to in Analysis thus far, I am most interested in the area of Laban Movement Analysis. This concept is the most interesting to me because of its openness to interpretation and ability to be applied to all types of movement. Defining and describing the body, space, and effort qualities of movement are way more appealing to me compared to Labanotation or Motif notation. There is something about language that can closely capture the feel of movement and that cannot be translated into a score.
After weeks of creating studies in comp class, a trend becomes apparent in everyone’s movement – natural tendencies that seem comfortable to a dancer and that appear frequently in the work that they create. In examining my own movement and previous studies, I found that there are definitely things that I do that have just become synonymous with my movement style. For example of a few, my ballet background shows most obviously with my contemporary ballet style of movement; I seem to put a lot of focus onto my feet; and my head often has an upward tilt, giving myself a higher-than-eye-level focus.
My final comp study took these natural tendencies and use them to create different movement. This was later paired with my partner, Paige St. John’s work to create a duet of opposing tendencies.
For our second assignment in Composition, we were assigned to take a trip down to the Columbus Museum of Art and find either a portrait, abstract painting, or sculpture to create our study off of. Of all the wonderful works of art, there was one that I knew immediately that I wanted to base my study on – “Kin V (Thou Dark One)” by Whitfield Lowell.
My Moving Space project, titled Stairwork, is a collaborative dance installation residing on the stairwell of the rotunda in Sullivant Hall created by Hazel Black, Lisa D’Onofrio, Grace Robinson, Brianna Rhodes, and myself. This location, upon of first learning about the project, was one of the first that came to mind of wanting to choreograph into the space. Oddly enough, that was what most of my group members had admitted to as well, therefore it was easy to come to a unanimous decision on the location. I believe that the stairwell appealed so much to me because there are various planes for movement to be performed on. Compared to a typical place where dances are performed – otherwise known as a stage – the stair well allowed us to use the landing, each step, and even the railings as platforms for our movement. The stairwell was also a great structure to draw inspiration for movement. For example, traffic on a stairwell typically flows from the top to the bottom or from the bottom to the top and our piece demonstrated that by dancers coming into the space from the top steps and exiting at the bottom. Inspiration was also taken from the architecture of the stairwell: there were many geometrical patterns seen in the stairs, the landing, and railings, and that translated into many shapes and patterns that can be seen in the movement. Continue reading Moving Space – Stairwork
I am currently working with MFA student Kristina D’Onofrio as a second cast and understudy for her piece to be performed for this year’s Winter Concert. The process for the piece started about a month ago, however I just recently got asked to join rehearsals. As of today, I have completed my second rehearsal. While I find that the piece concept and movement are interesting, I also find that the creative process, while enjoyable, is slightly frustrating to me. Continue reading as part of a creative process