My end product for this project is turning directions. Instead of a whole dance production I will choreograph and hopefully perform a solo piece. Originally, I did not want to choreograph a solo, nor perform it. Group dances can give one more to work with in terms of patterns and such. I myself did not want to perform any of my pieces. This is not to say I don’t love performance, but a whole solo in from of people I know is somewhat weird. The operative phrase being people I know and will see again as performing for strangers is much easier.
The solo piece will be to Sleeping At Last’s song, “Light.” The music is cut so that the dance isn’t too long. Mood of my new dance is lighter than the old concept of the production. “Light” is all about love and innocence, while the production was about the loss and regaining of hope. Genius hour is a positive project and so I want to carry that positive energy with this one performance.
Choreography of the dance is fun to do. With the lighter tone I get to create more whimsical moves. Essentially, I can be a kid in this dance. The song itself seems better fit to be a duet song, but I loved it so much that I simply had to use it. This left me in a quandary. I had to choreograph a solo dance with a song that was seemingly made for a duet.
The premise of the dance is that I am writing a letter to a loved one, but I can’t think of what to say. So, I imagine that I am dancing with them. I get inspired and simply dance to express myself. Every now and then I go back to the letter to write and at the end I have a surprise. No, I won’t say what the surprise is.
Time seems to fly by. I am currently looking at my calender and I believe my eye are almost falling out of my head. The 26th of February! It has been a while since I have blogged and I could blame it on numerous….things, but that would simply be boring you with the details of my utterly mundane existence. How terrible that would be! Perhaps, I have not simply forgotten to blog, but did not to for the fact that I “failed.” Shocking I know. It seems so human. Failing. But do not fret my dear audience for the old project may have fallen through, the new one should be successful. I hope.
Yes, it seems a dance production is very hard to set-up, much less present. I would be careful to say that the project itself was a failure and this is not to just ease my bruised ego. The project, for me, was about exploring choreography and dance. I wanted to learn and experiment. Dance as a potential major spurred me on my merry way with creating choreography. Intentions and the journey are more important than the end product. What I take away from this experience is the real measure of value. So the end product changed, but the intentions and the learning are still the same, they are still happening. If anything I have learned from this. I believe it is good that I created two or three choreographed dances before the one I am presenting.
So failure? No, changes in plan, yes. You learn and that is what genius hour is about – learning and experimenting.
Winter break gave me a lot of free time to finish my choreography. With all the hustle and bustle of the last few weeks of school before break I unfortunately did not find much time to work on my project.
The second dance is a group which made trying to choreograph somewhat tricky. I had more people to work with in my head, but it was harder trying to imagine five or six people. With a lilt of ballet the second dance was finished in my grandmother’s basement. It was a very small space might I add. I choreographed in different areas and spaces. My room was the main area, but I would sometimes arrive early or stay later for dance classes and use open studio space. Inspiration also came from outside – in nature. I find that creativity likes restrictions. Over the years I have been given and adapted exercises to try to move differently. Certain ones I applied, either for creativity or because of roadblocks. One of my favorites is to choreograph to a certain song and then change the song. The core state of the choreography has to stay the same, but timing and some differences are allowed to fit the new song. This allows for different movement.
The third and last dance is a duet and it ends the trilogy on a lighter, more hopeful note.
Schedules and dates are still pending as I hear back from more dancers.
If October was the month for brainstorming, then November was the month for planning. I had all these ideas and I needed to organize them.
I started by finding the right music. I did massive searches for different styles and moods of music. I had in mind what I wanted to use and looked for it. Once I found my music I listened to it over and over again – trying to hear all the nuances. During this time I also noted the counts of the music down. With the counts noted and the rhythm understood I started creating a framework for the dances. There were certain accents, beats, and moments that I wanted to hit. I wrote my thoughts down on what I thought would be cool here or different there. I didn’t and still don’t have a perfect process. Sometimes a quick succession of moves would come to me, other times it would take patience.
I also notified more people about the dancers I wanted. My piece is mostly contemporary/lyrical. This means I need dancers who have strong ballet technique who can move freely.
By the end of November I had one dance complete and the framework of the two other dances.
I realize I already have a post about October, but I didn’t go into too much detail and here I will attempt to.
October was a month of brainstorming. Brainstorming my story, my music, my dances, my dancers. I brainstormed and mulled over just about everything in this production. If there is anything I’ve learned when creating art it is balance. In this production (and art in general) there is this constant balance of three main things. The first is realizing what you want in your art. The second, what resources are available to you. Third, what would be good for your art. I do not mean morally good, but good being in the successfulness of your art. In terms of choreography one might believe a certain move looks cool, but maybe to the audience the subtly is lost. Or perhaps your communication of your idea is lost in what you are trying to present to the audience. The fourth one is more of a plus one as it is not always relevant. Sometimes there are guidelines one has to follow and that is another thing one must keep in mind. Sacrifices will have to be made over what you want, what you can get, and what would be good for the production. There is not a specific formula for art, it is different every time.
When I realized I wanted to choreograph dances I also realized I had never actually choreographed before. Imagine my panic. I don’t. I felt it. Still, I would like to think I am a very calm person for every day things and dire circumstances, this situation being of the latter, and so I forced myself to breathe and research. I actually find research to be a somewhat calming endeavor, though often times I find myself sidetracked. In my brief research I came across three articles/webpages that I thought were the most insightful. Here I present them to you.
This one is particularly detailed, even if it is toward social dancing.
The content of all these are of course property of the original owners. I had nothing to do with said content in any capacity, except to read and share it.
I could enumerate multiple excuses as to why I haven’t updated my blog. I’m pretty sure none would be up to par. So with my laxness of updating properly acknowledged I will continue with more relevant content.
I’ll be honest, my schedule is a little thrown off. All my choreography isn’t done and nor are all my dancers guaranteed. In a moment of ego boost I will say that I did plan for extra time in case I didn’t get done what I wanted in the time I wanted. I purposefully made my goals earlier than I originally thought so that if or when I needed more time I had it. The big buffer zone this time is winter break. Still, I’m not too off my schedule so things should proceed as well as they would have if I was on schedule.
Seeing as I haven’t posted in a while I will use the following posts to show what I have been doing in previous months.
So it’s the end of October and I’m not exactly where I need to be with finishing choreography, but it’s fine as I still have November to get all my ideas organized. My goal was to get all my choreography done roughly around October and November so I’m still somewhat on track.
Quite a while ago I figured out the story I was going to base the production on along with finding the songs for the three-four dance numbers. In short the production is going to be about suicide and hope with three key dancers. The first and third dance will feature duets, while the second dance will start with a solo and move into a group.
Choreography is tricky, especially for continuous dance numbers as one doesn’t want repetitious movement and sequences or the audience will get bored. I got interested in choreography because I loved improv (improvised dancing), but keeping steps in my head is as expected a challenge. Still, I don’t need solid choreography, in fact I don’t want unchanging choreography. I want to invite experimentation and change when I teach because that’s how dances grow. What I want is a solid enough idea and rough choreography so that I have something to change. As the saying goes something can’t come from nothing and I want that basis so that I and the dancers can change and play around with it.