choreo journal #11: the art of letting go

SPDC promo photo by Nicole BattistoneRELAX. RELATE. RELEASE.

This dancelife does not quit y’all.  After a full Monday through Thursday of taking and teaching classes, creating choreography, and a performance or two, I’m damn near beat. As much as I love it, the fatigue in my bones, muscles, tendons, and joints all want to take a looong break in my very comfortable bed. Then comes Friday. The end of my week is punctuated with company class and rehearsal for dancEnlight, one of the two modern companies that I dance with. I drag my physical body out of bed, toss some food down my gullet, throw on an eclectic array of dance clothing, jump in the car, battle traffic and time, arrive at the studio, say hello, and try to warmup – all that is before class begins. Class itself isn’t that bad – some stretching, tendus, battements, a lovely adagio, some really nice movement across the floor, wrapped up with a big leaps and girthy movement. Sweaty and smiling, my favorite part of class comes when the chill music plays and we take the floor for cool down.

We usually release our muscles with a lot of swinging movement: arms, plies, chasses, big releases of the head and torso. Now you’d think I’d remember to use my breath and release from time to time in class, but it must not be enough, because when I start swing my arms letting my body naturally move itself, IT FEELS SO GOOD. When I let go of my body – the control, the stalwart adherence to technical structure, the ego of how high my leg is, the rest of it just happens. Being in class and knowing that it’s a place to improve and take risks, I just sometimes forget that the technique, flexibility, and talent is there, I just have to let go and it all falls into place. I’m finding parallels of that as I work on this solo of mine.

As I slowly but surely begin working on choreography, I’ve found that it comes to me when I let go of the fact that I’m trying to choreo a solo. The first combo came to me from just moving. I then went back an clarified an arm here and a direction change there. The second combo is a riff on some movement I did for a student’s solo a while back. The song I’ve potentially chosen came from my director absent-mindedly playing some music . It all just comes from letting go. If I sit down and start thinking about it, it doesn’t come to me, and if it does, it doesn’t match what I’m looking for. I’ll be submitting for a spot for the festival soon, so wish me much luck and hop the stream of choreo continues.



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