Happy Surprises

jenny piece


I am not the greatest writer, as you will see.  Nor is it the medium that I normally turn to when I’m trying to hash out ideas or get the creative juices flowing.  However, this time around (with only 4- 8’s to go) writing down a short description of my piece for Heidi and Katie Kasper to use while preparing the Pairings script, helped trigger ideas for a slightly different path for this piece.  Simply thinking about the lyrics with more focus and attempting to interpret the meaning and its relationship to the food and wine in writing has routed my thoughts in a slightly new direction.   It’s not an entirely new direction but I want to include a few of the associations and images that came up through this process.  I don’t necessarily want to reveal the original motif but I knew that I didn’t want to go too over the top with it and I was starting to fear it was headed down that road.  I was also feeling a little bit trapped with the style of movement that I felt I could include.  I am hoping that if I can incorporate these new images that it will tone down the original theme and open the piece up and allow the audience to have a broader interpretation.  Being “forced” to write down my intentions, to my surprise, has given me some ideas in how to veer this piece slightly off its original course.  I’m hoping that some of the planned revisions will breathe a little more LIFE into this piece.

Another surprising discovery is that with this endeavor I have involuntarily used a different choreographic process than how I have tended to work in the past.  I normally come to rehearsals with a fairly clear idea of where each dancer will be in space and what phrase they will be doing.  Lately, my life has been hectic so I’ve been forced to change this strategy.  Besides a few short phrases, I’ve been coming to rehearsals with no definite plan.  I have had sections and visions mapped out in my mind so that I would know where we would spend our time playing but I haven’t made any concrete decisions in advance.  This freaks me out and I love it.   So far, this method has been surprisingly less stressful and has gone much more smoothly than I had anticipated.  This lack of time has allowed me to see what happens when talented dancers are patient enough to test out your vague idea and  has given me the freedom to decide it’s not working.  I enjoy being a dancer in other choreographer’s pieces that have worked in this way but for fear of failing or not finishing in time I’ve never fully attempted this on my own.  Whether or not I suceed with this go around, I might be hooked with this method; or at least willing to fail again until I figure it out.




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