|Courtesy of Lori Teague|
At the beginning of my choreographic process I began with a single core phrase that I taught at auditions. Once I chose my cast and began working with them I expanded the original phrase to include more floor material and created a second phrase. I asked the students to manipulate the phrases in groups of two or three to create small compositions within the framework of the originals. I found that each group came up with something completely different, even though they all stemmed from the same phrase material. I thought this was exciting because it provided me with a new insight into my choreography.
The wide range of approaches shown in each of the small compositions encouraged me to develop each separately and bring them all together with an emphasis on the differences. Instead of blending ideas together to make them fit into a set theme, I decided to capitalize on the differences between each and to essentially keep each composition separate. The piece as a whole has developed into a compilation of duets, solos, and one quintet that overlap and transition between each other. I envision most of the transitions between ideas being dependent on lighting changes, allowing the audience to shift focus from one thing to another.
The greatest challenge that I have faced in working through my process and linking all of the various ideas has been related to my music choices. Toward the beginning of the process I picked very distinct pieces of music for each of the small compositions. I think that each music piece highlighted specific qualities that arose in each of the duets and I was pleased with how the music and choreography were interconnected. Once I had the music cut to the proper lengths and sequenced the compositions in the order in which I wanted them to appear, I felt like there was something missing that would help everything fit together to form a unified work. At a recent feedback session I received the suggestion that I could have some kind of sound that was present throughout the work that linked the different musical ideas. I also received the suggestion to overlap some of the compositions so that some of the duets start before the music that is connected to them. Once I began working with the transitions in this way I started to see how the piece was coming together as a whole, instead of a series of discrete compositions. It was amazing for me to see how small changes in the soundscape had such a significant influence on how I viewed the work and how it made the various choreographic ideas suddenly seem to be linked together.
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