As part of our series of Emory Dance Company choreographer posts, this week junior dance minor Mohammad Zaidi (pictured below) describes the piece he is developing for the spring Emory Dance Company concert, I Prefer to Call it a Nudge.
The piece I am creating for the spring concert investigates the essence of performance and the undeniable connection a performer has with an audience member. My theoretical approach towards performance is grounded in the fact that two bodies that exist within the same space and the same time share an equal importance. This theory moves beyond the dancers on stage and compels the viewer to contribute as much to the experience as the performer does. My exploration of this concept to the dance stage met challenges, but after being inspired by a scene in Orhan Pamuk’s novel “Snow,” I found that rapid changes in perspective and fluid lines of interaction between the viewer and performer can make the experience equally exciting and invigorating for the dancer and those who are “viewing” the dance. In translating this to the stage, I found that reconstructing the space so that dancers and audience members are interspersed with each other would immediately destroy the artificial boundary that exists during performance. In regards to the movement vocabulary, I found that my movement is unapologetic, bullying, and demands immediate and unequivocal attention so that the viewer is pulled into performing with the dancers at once. The aggression that is present in the movement will hopefully be an undeniable experience for the audience members attending the concert that will draw out a visceral response that acknowledges the presence and importance of every individual present in the space.