I have been choreographing mostly ballet pieces for the past three years. While I admittedly was a total “bunhead” all through high school, my creative juices have been craving something more. Ballet has a set vocabulary, physically speaking, which is a challenge to choreograph within itself, and at times can feel limiting as a choreographer. I first started choreographing modern pieces in college, and I miss the endless possibilities to create things that felt more like me. I love weird shapes and patterns and like to look at dance pieces as puzzles that create pictures that evoke different emotions.
Music is a big inspiration. Pretty much anytime I listen to music I picture a dance to it, which makes it hard for me to settle on a piece of music. Well that, and my sporadic attention span. I went into the Breaking Ground workshop at Motus thinking I knew exactly what I was going to do for my Cultivate piece, but I had a dance phrase I wanted to play around with to see if it would amount to anything. Then it totally took over my brain, and became all I wanted to work on. For the first time I had not used a song for my inspiration. Although, two weeks before the workshop I had heard this song and remember thinking, I should choreograph to that some time. I then proceeded to completely forget about it, until I was trying to find a song to go with this movement I had and realized it worked perfectly. So, perhaps subconsciously I was choreographing to it all along. I have stopped trying to figure out how my brain works.
Being able to put my movement on truly beautiful dancers has been amazing. I have nine people in my piece, which can feel like a lot, and while it looks cool in my head where the laws of physics do not apply, you never really know if it works until you start to actually see it here on Earth. So far we have the first of two sections done, and I am really pleased. That is not to say that I will not still change things, but I feel like my ideas are finally being realized. Dancing again and choreographing I feel much more like myself. And while I do still have a pair of pointe shoes I wear when I teach, and still switch into ballerina mode sometimes, I am taking this opportunity to find myself as an artist again. Which may be why the tentative title of my piece is Begin Again.