choreo journal #8 – free


“…the moon and the stars / you know they’re really aren’t so far / I feel so free…”

– lyrics from “Blue”, composed & produced by Yoko Kanno, vocals by Mai Yamane, from Cowboy Bebop OST 3 “Blue”

Recently, I posted about “epic” songs. You know, the songs that make you feel open and free and want to soar to the highest heights. You love to listen to them because they make you feel great.

When it comes to creating movement set to the music, it’s a COMPLETELY different story. I don’t know what it is about – is it that I don’t think my movement would do the song justice?

For you to understand where I’m coming from, I have to give you an idea of my choreographic aesthetic. I love pieces that are open to interpretation and centered around movement for movements sake. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy an intellectual piece or concept/awareness-centered movement, but I feel like some dance is becoming so based on the message it wants to convey that the movement is lost. I love pieces that elicit audience reaction by the pure motion of the dancers around the stage interacting with one another initiated by the music. As a direct result of this philosophy, these are the kinds of pieces I want to create, usually using one of these epic songs I’ve mentioned already.

As a dancer, I feel that it’s my job to take movement, interpret it, and express with my whole body and soul. When I am onstage, I always try my hardest to open myself to being in the moment and leaving everything out on the floor. I want to feel physically and emotionally drained by the end of the night; that’s how I know I’ve done my job well. The problem is that I have yet to dance in a piece that allows me to REALLY do that and I don’t yet trust myself to make a piece that gives me that permission. I’m unsure if it’s because I’m dancing someone else’s choreo or if it’s some type of artistic block, but I just want that one chance to dance and feel open and free, like my soul and body are one unit, moving together, without barrier or judgement or inhibition.

I want to bring dance for dance sake back. That highly emotional, musically connected, artistry-laden type of stuff that people don’t have to think about, just react to, because from the time the lights go up to the second the lights blackout, I’ve connected to them not through their eyes or through their minds, but viscerally through their hearts and souls. Cheeseball I know, but there is no better feeling than to feel like you have spiritually connected with your audience and together taken a journey that transcends the stage and the building and the city and entered that unnamed place, that sanctum without bounds, where everyone is free.

I began with lyrics from “Blue” which inspired this post, so I feel like it fitting to end it that way:

“…everything is clearer now / life is like a dream you know / that’s never-ending / I’m / ascending…”

It’s possible, don’t you think?



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