Continuing with our series of Emory Dance Company student choreographers (see Feb. 12 for the intro), this week dance major Kaitlyn Pados describes her choreographic process.
At the beginning of the semester, I started to brainstorm ideas for my upcoming Emory Dance Company piece. I found, however, that entering my piece with an already established meaning was incredibly limiting for me. When I tried to choreograph, I immediately questioned every movement idea and took everything far too literally. Instead, I decided to restart my process from a different entry point. I created some movement material in the studio on which I wanted to base my work. I did not trouble myself with what this movement might “mean” to an audience, I was just attracted to the mood it generated as I performed it. Since teaching my six dancers this new phrase material and working through a month of rehearsals, we have discovered thematic elements which are allowing a potential meaning to emerge on its own.
My piece is now examining the line between dependence and independence. I am very drawn to fleeting interactions between the dancers, and finding where trust is built and tested in both physical and emotional senses. In rehearsals, I like to alter the timing and groupings of the dancers to explore how these components shape the relationships on stage. Currently, I am trying various music options to see how it affects the dancers and their performance. We are discovering that there is a fine line between feeding emotion to the audience via music and letting the movement speak for itself, the latter of which is my ultimate goal.