This is it: only a few more weeks until the premier of "Pluto's Renaissance", the Emory Dance Company's spring showcase! Our nine choreographers are refining their pieces, their works coming to conclusion, but we still have a few more to hear from. Let's delve deeper into the processes of our choreographers and gain some insight as to what they'll present in "Pluto's Renaissance".
My choreographic process is very jumbled: there’s an array of ideas that intrigue me that I want to incorporate. Incorporate, not highlight—I don’t want any idea but the main one to dominate the others. With that being said, it’s been a struggle to try and discretely incorporate everything and stay focused on that dominant idea. In the incorporation of multiple ideas I’d like to think that my main concept has morphed rather than shifted. Rather than portraying something fun and jumbled with a performance mind set, it has shifted to setting something on stage that doesn't belong there while still performing. I want to have a party on stage that disregards the audience for the most part and let’s them just sit back and experience a “dance” in the wrong context.
I often create movement I really like and then try to manipulate it to fit in with the rest of the piece. Even though I like my choreography it is a challenge to translate it onto other dancer’s bodies. For example, I know I have to articulate my movement super clearly because poor phrasing creates entirely different choreography. Sometimes I inspire movement within my dancers that brings out their individuality and sometimes I just modify their ideas or use them as inspiration to fit them better into what I want. My dancers have collaborated and created sections of movement together that I manipulated to intertwine with mine. My dancers have had the greatest influence on the piece by expressing their individuality and highlighting their own personal movement quirks.
The feedback sessions during the Choreography II class have helped me stay focused on my goal by making me realize what I definitely don’t want even when I’m not sure of what I do want. These sessions have also made me realize that you can’t please everyone with the final product, so the main purpose is to please yourself. My cast is great though, a little too gentle for my taste at times, but I think rehearsal is always fun! When it comes down to it, I trust my dancers will perform how I want them too because they trust me to put it all together and create a really abstractly enjoyable piece that comments on stereotypes I hope to convey!