My plan is to design and build a completely green performance hall, and, once its built, direct a professional dance company that would have residence there. It’s a tall order bordering on wishful thinking, but if I continue down the path I am on and supplement that path along the way, I believe I can accomplish these goals. I am learning the skills I need to choreograph and rehearse a company already in my dance classes, but I definitely need some help with the business/managerial aspects (finances, setting up auditions, etc.). I will ne ed to take some classes in entrepreneurship for artists at Meadows; I’ll need to be able to speak convincingly about my plan (more on that in the engineering section). As far as classes Meadows offers, I definitely think I could benefit from photography and advertising classes. Basically, anything I can do myself cuts down on costs. I need to take the classes to give me these money-saving skills. Hopefully, I will be able to accomplish that over the next 7 semesters. I’m also an environmental engineer major, which will help me to accomplish the actual creation of the green performance hall. I need to begin making connections now so that when it comes time to design the performance hall, I have colleagues in other disciplines of engineering willing to help. The entrepreneurship classes I mentioned earlier will aid in acquiring funding for this massive project. I feel that I need just one more unique aspect to set my plan apart. Similar to the daycare/music performance service Dean Bowen talked about in the “Art as an Experience” video, I need something slightly off-the-wall that makes my project essential. The green aspect adds to the aesthetic experience by covering “atmosphere”, but I still need to consider “audience”. But, I have 7 more semesters to think about it, and it may be that the inspiration will come to me once I have completed the other aspects of my plan. I want to make my profit through ticket sales once I’m established, but I definitely need to consider my options in the interim.
This article details a eagle that was trapped in a hunting cage. For some reason, reading this article got me thinking about using props and set pieces to enhance a piece of choreography. If I decided to be literal, even a cage could provide an interesting dynamic and angle to a piece. Set pieces inspire dramatic choreography for me; they make it easier to tell a story through dance. The possiblities are pretty much endless: two lovers separated by the bars of a cage, a dancer actually portraying the captured bird. I tend to have a pretty vivid imagination, and the idea of storytelling in dance (made possible by props and set pieces) is very exciting to me. Creating choreography for a very limited space (such as a cage) would also help me to expand and diversify the movement vocabulary that I work with.
This article sums up the terrible losses caused by Hurricane Sandy in October. I often try to avoid creating choreography that falls under the category of “tribute”, but the primal force of the storm, as well as the devastation it caused is compelling to me. Reading the article, I began thinking of ways to create a tasteful tribute to such an event. Though it’s an overused trope, I think a bare theater (no curtains or backdrop) would suit this work. I would definitely incorporate a solo or two, and the music would have to be very quiet at times and explosive at others. I’ve recently been interested in shifts of weight and developes a la seconde, so those two elements would definitely form a choreograhic motif. Also, I picture a dancer walking slowly from downstage right to upstage left. These bits and pieces of choreography seem mournful but tasteful to me.
This article is a New York Times review of NYCB’s Nutcracker this season. I used to love looking at the George Balanchine Nutcracker book I had when I was a little kid. I’ve always wanted to choreograph my own Nutcracker with tap, not ballet. I think it would be so interesting to look at the story and narrative in that way. It would be both challenging and rewarding to attempt to abstract the elements of the ballet into a tap piece. I’ve heard of modern and even hip-hop Nutcrackers, but I think a tap Nutcracker could put a special spin on a classic tale.
This article details a trick a basketball player used that the writer of the article had never seen before. I’m a huge basketball fan. This article gave me a highly tangential idea for a piece of choreography. I asked myself, “What could make a dance using basketballs artful?” Certainly lighting and appropriate costuming would help. Perhaps even incorporating the movement that happens on the court, the certain kind of grace that basketball has. Incorporating in a piece basketball elements to the point that they are recognizable yet tasteful could certainly provide and interesting creative outlet.
This article details the shakeups that are occuring in President Obama’s cabinet. Reading this article gave me an interesting idea. I began considering doing a piece in several movement with many dancers (possibly couples). Each dancer or couple would be featured in their own movement. This would subvert the normal corps, soloist, principal heirarchy. I feel like that could create an interesting dynamic, giving each movement its own flavor while still maintaining a cohesive aesthetic.
I was particularly inspired by this article, in which choreographer Cynthia Oliver discusses why she does what she does. She has received much critical praise but finds motivation in portraying the feelings,experiences and circumstances that make us human. This really rings true with me. I dance for many reasons- love of the technique, love of performance- but I choreograph almost exclusively to reveal some aspect of my experiences. Perhaps I should create a piece about my experiences choreographing. Communicating my process in such a manner could create an interesting dynamic and aesthetic. Another reason I like to choreograph is the potential for the synthesis of ideas it creates. The photo below represents this to me.
This article offers a photo of Nureyev as Drosselmeyer in the Royal Ballet’s rendition of the Nutcracker. To me this demonstrates to me the importance of acting in dance, even for the most virtuosic technicians. The photo below represents this to me; when the stage lights are on, dancers must bring their characters to life.
This article details a Salvador Dali etching that was found in a Goodwill store. I thought it was so interesting that the work of a famous artist was found in such an unlikely place. I began to relate this idea to a choreographic idea I’ve been working on. I’m using “Reckoner” by Radiohead (linked below), which features a prominent drum beat intro. I imagine a dancer using a few choreographed elements to create an improvisation to this drum beat. As other instruments join the drums, these small choreographed elements would inform the direction of the rest of the choreography. These small elements would be very subtle- likely port de bras. These elements would become more and more prominent as the piece progressed, demonstrating how small details can determine the direction and aesthetic of a piece.
This article details a coyote hunt and the outrage it caused. I am always infuriated by such slaughters. After finishing the article, I began to consider the ways in which I could represent the injustice that was carried out on the coyotes. I began to work with a play of levels, highs and lows, a struggle between two (or possibly several) dancers. I had never really thought about the implications of levels in choreography, and this article helped me to discover these intricacies. Another possiblity could be several dancers tormenting one dancer.