An Update from the Choreography Studio

In January, I wrote about the challenges of starting a new piece of choreography for the new year. As sometimes happens with creative work, those plans fell through, but I am excited to have found another choreographic outlet. On March 17 and 18, Jonathan and I will present a revised version of our duet Improvisation No. 5, which we’ve retitled Synchronicity for this showing. This newly revised piece will premiere at the Arizona Desert West Festival, hosted by Wight Noise Dance Company at the Glendale Community College Performing Arts Center.

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Synchronicity is a sometimes stoic, sometimes playful, sometimes intimate look at the relationship between movement and sound, a dancer and musician, and two human beings sharing a moment in space and time.

This duet grew out of a series of improvisational exercises designed to explore the potential relationships we saw in our collaboration: between movement and sound, dancer and musician, and two people on stage. In the first improvisations, my dance movement was inspired by Jonathan’s subtle (and not so subtle) movements in his chair as he played. Later, the sound alone was used as an improvisational movement source. I considered how the sound could travel, tumble, glide, grow, shrink, escalate, diminish, fold, and more, and based my movement on those inspirations. Further explorations were driven by my dancing, with Jonathan creating improvised music in response to the movement he saw. Finally, we explored the potential kinesthetic and emotional relationships that naturally emerged from us sharing space in the rehearsal studio. Improvised versions of this work were performed under various titles at a number of venues, culminating in a final performance at Triskelion Arts Space in Brooklyn, NY (titled Improvisation No. 5 –pictured above in a photo by Eric Bandero). 

For Synchronicity, we have been working on setting more of the music and movement (rather than using an improvised score during the performance), using the best moments from our improvisations.  As a dancer, I have been incorporating some of the movement concepts I’ve gleaned from the classes I’ve taken here in Arizona. Perhaps the greatest challenge has been the editing process, condensing the piece to create a stronger flow and energy throughout. Sara Pearson, one of my greatest choreography mentors, used to say that one must be a “ruthless editor” when choreographing – and it is certainly the truth! This has been a really fun chance for Jonathan and I to get back into the studio together, for the first time since our wedding and the move to Arizona, and to reconnect on a creative level. We are excited to share the fruits of our labor with audiences in Phoenix in just a few week! 

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