Friday, February 24, 2012

Musings on Muses

Our 20th Anniversary Season shows are April 5-6 at the Marvin Center Betts Theatre!

As I look back at the last 20 years I am struck by the wonderful dancers and designers who I have had the honor to work with.  It is an amazingly generous feat for a dancer to give their youth to a choreographer and to believe in an aesthetic.  A dancer's life is amazingly short and I have worked with so many beautiful dancers over the years who have given their talent and youth to allowing me to create work on them.  These dancers include Sarah Craft my amazing dance partner for many years and confident who found her way to the first wave of DTSB&Co at only 16. What a gift she had. Her mother Polly was the early muse of  John Neumeier's, now the powerhouse of Hamburg. When I was at a very pivotal moment in my career Polly sponsored me  to visit Hamburg introduced me to John.  I flew to Hamburg to work with his school and sit in on his process. To see him in his prime at work was quite a gift.  I learned so much about the process of creating dances that speak to storytelling and the human experience.  He is  the archetypal scholar and storyteller of dance.

I am not sure what makes  a muse but Miyako Nitadori, Connie Fink, Kelly Southall and Ricardo Alvarez embody this quality for me. They have inspired essential dances for me from Island, to Charlie Chan and the Mystery of Love. I am thinking tonight how a choreographer finds dancers to embody their subconscious, the realm from which dances stem.  I keep a dream journal and devoutly follow Jungian archetypes.  These wonderful people embody archetypes for me from their dancing to the way they embrace life. 

I also have been ruminating on how designers change a choreographer's perspective.  I remember distinctly a conversation I had with Jennifer Tipton while working on a project with sculptor John Dreyfuss. She said, "remember light is an entity on stage as vital as another dancer,  if you project a relationship to light the audience will feel it completely".  Words to live by!  I never take the advice and talents of a designer lightly.  Also of major importance were my experiences with musical composer Jon Jang and visual designers Sara Brown and Laura McDonald. What generous people; they give completely to the process of dance.

Ultimately it takes a large community to breath life into the ephemeral form of dance. This communal process is what makes dance art.

Thank you!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are the most amazing choreographer around. I am so inspired by your work. Thank you!