Become someone completely different. It’s not something a person is asked to do very often. Yet in dance, we commonly find ourselves thinking, moving, and acting in ways that do not naturally occur to us. We are asked to abandon our identities and become, for lack of a better expression, different. This phenomenon is abundant in the dances of “In.” Dancers are becoming neglecting mothers, homosexual lovers, mean girls, bullies, manipulators, and saddest of all, those beaten down and effected by these malicious characters. If you know any or all of us, you know this could not be further from the true personalities of the compassionate, creative, giving women of Motus and this show. That being said, I think these roles are taking many of us on revealing journeys. I know that is the case for me.
In Katelin’s piece, I am manipulative and controlling. I bear down on Rachel, pushing, pulling, lifting, and throwing her around the stage. I even have to stare her down at a couple different points. This is one of the hardest things I’ve ever been asked to do in dance. Stare. After years of dance training, I struggle with a facial expression. Who would have known? I have a horrible time looking at someone like they are truly disgusting. I really just want to flash her a big smile! My true character and the character in the dance practically have an internal brawl as I try and be pleased that Rachel is being degraded, but am very sad for everyone who has lived this scenario at some point in their life. That being said, I must admit that I enjoy releasing my frustrations and stresses each week by channeling my character. The pure physicality and power in the movement is not what comes to me naturally, but I have found it fits me well. My body is almost wishing I had been embodying bullies my whole life! I am invigorated by the movement and find it nice to be in control because I know in actuality I am not inflicting any pain on anyone (except for that one floor burn on Rachel’s arm…sorry!)
I believe that delving into the emotions of someone so different from myself has helped me to evaluate my own inclinations in a clearer light and to understand the minds of others better. I know it would be utterly impossible in life for me to commit the kind of actions I am portraying, but I have started to understand the power and self-importance that must motivate and appeal to those who do. It is an interesting piece of introspection and I hope that the audience in November is able to experience similar insights into the tragedies that revolve around inclusion and exclusion that I am experiencing through the creative process.