Andre Lumpkin, Senior
The title of my piece is Ordeal of Ideals. I felt this was appropriate not only because of the context of the piece itself, but also its developmental process. Though this was not my first time choreographing, it was my first experience with Emory Dance Company and an abundance of resources, such as production and technical elements. However, my dancers had the most influence on my creative process. With a large cast of twelve beautiful dancers, all who possessed different technical backgrounds, body types, movement affinities, and personalities, I contemplated day in and day out about how to connect my dancers to one another and create an ensemble.
As I was researching, I came across a TED Talk by Brene Brown titled the “Power of Vulnerability”. TED, Technology, Entertainment and Design, is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. They ask prominent scholars to speak about a number of different social and humanitarian issues. Brown wanted to research, simply, the connections between people. What she found was that vulnerability had an important role in the establishment of these connections. I realized that the idea of vulnerability is amplified for performers. Performers are put in a position where they have any number of people observing every word and action they make. Furthermore, as dancers we are challenged with the task of communicating with our audience through mostly movement. Despite the different technical elements that can be utilized to relay an idea or message, a performer must embrace vulnerability; open up and invite others in.
This task is easier said than done. A person must first be able to be vulnerable with themself, recognizing their strengths, weaknesses, habits and personal perspective. Most often, evaluating ourselves is more difficult than passing judgment on others. I’ve learned so much more about myself as well as the power of communication within dance through this choreographic process. My dancers and I invite the audience to follow us on this journey, hopefully connecting us all in the end.
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