(2019) commissioned choreography
Choreography set on ten young women in North Star Ballet School’s advanced level. This work was created in collaboration with the students. I’ve been interested in exploring different ways of integrating text, voice, and clear messaging into my choreographic works. This interest began with creating gifts of performance for my mother. When I arrived at North Star, I had decided that I wanted to ask my cast of ten young women the question, “what do you have to say to the generation that is leaving you this earth”. We spent a good portion of our first rehearsal time talking about this question. I wrote down each answer, after hearing all the thoughts, I explained that I wanted to build the choreography around the words that we had just discussed. Collectively we settled on “give us a voice” as the text and title for the piece.
My aim was to push these young performers to not only realise my movement ideas, I wanted them to realise their voices individually and as a collective by building vocalised text into the choreography from the very start of rehearsals. I had decided beforehand that the sound used in this work was to come directly from the performers live. Exploration of repetition, abstraction, volume, and exhaustion was the ideas I built, and shaped this work vocally, around. I feel that younger performers often have to be shown how to learn a section of choreography so that they can know this movement sequence without having to think about what step comes next. When this effortlessness is found, the next step is to run this movement sequence to the edge of exhaustion so that the dancer’s ego is shed. When this is found ten dancers can perform as one, their awareness of the ensemble grows and is able to collectively lift each other up. A clear image of the body being propelled by muscle is the intended result. This is quite a lot to ask of young performers, I feel though that this is the most important concept to have been introduced to in the development of a young professional dancer. I was quite proud of what these ten young women accomplished in our time together in rehearsal. This work was set to premier in Fairbanks in April 2020, unfortunately Covid-19 had other plans, so for now the premier is on hold.