Choreography of Space, People & Myself
At North Carolina School of the Arts, my least favourite class as a modern dancer major was choreography. I had trained in ballet for far longer than contemporary dance and was used to be told what to do- no improvisation allowed and perfection was the aim.
When we were asked to create new movements as well as put them into new choreography, I was lost. The most I could imagine was replicating some modern choreography that I learned at Alvin Ailey one summer into almost all of any new choreography I was asked to design. It was hugely frustrating to be asked to do something without being given the tools to learn how to. I didn’t know that the key to choreography was drawing from what made me uniquely me, or movements which were created from feelings, thoughts and visual inspirations which came from my own experiences.
Recently I have been challenged a bit by some of the complexities which communities quite often have and Jo said to me, ‘Tribe is your art’.
This made a few things fall into place for me. Designing the space and enjoying being creative with the look and feel of Tribe was easy. What is hard is bringing the community with me yet stay true to my art. At times, I questioned my own wants for Tribe being the same as the people who use Tribe.
I have decided to view it more like a choreographer.
How can I make the most of the stage, the dancers, the set and the audience? What does each dancer bring to the overall performance and how can I make my own vision for the piece be realised?