Friday, July 10, 2009

Daniel Charon '09 Choreographers' Project Fellow - Week 1

I entered this process with some choreographic goals for myself. Mostly, I want to develop new and unique choreographic processes. I'm really eager to not make the same dance every time but to create something that is unique to the moment. Summer Stages offers two integral things that allows me the opportunity to try. The first is the gift of time and space, away from NYC. This gives me mental space to think, write, listen, and work. I have time to walk and bike! Secondly and hugely, is the opportunity to work with such talented and willing dancers. Their creative contribution is immense and really energizes my imagination. They try and trust and seem to have a good time which creates an easy and open environment to explore in. It makes me realize how important art is as we develop in our own lives because this young and amazing group is smart, sensitive, and able to work together. These dancers remind me how important dance is in education and society. No other art relies on one's body as the main tool of exploration. It asks us to consider ourselves both mentally and physically. It pushes us to challenge our boundaries and get in touch with what it's like to be a human being. These young artists will always be made up, in part, by their experience as dancers. They grow into good people because working together to create a piece incorporates many positive life lessons like working together to achieve a common goal, trying to get along, compassion, trust, support, and compromise, among many other things. This is what I've thought about since arriving here in Concord. So, with that being said, we've been in the studio playing games, improvising to get to know each other, learning material, lifting, talking, and working very hard. We pretend we are rocks and play hopscotch, sort of. Everyone has an unique phrase they made up based on a series of words and thoughts. We've also been faced with the demons and delight of locomotion! I've been pleased and frustrated but after only three rehearsals, things are right on schedule. More questions than answers. I guess if all the answers we're laid out in front of me that would take the fun out of it!

1 comment:

GingerKid said...

We just got out of an exciting, electric rehearsal at Walden51. Working with Daniel, Meredith and the other dancers has been incredibly fulfilling. I've learned so much. The rehearsal atmosphere that Daniel creates is open and completely conducive to creativity, play and experimentation.
We are given the opportunity to improv our own movement that Daniel then sculpts into his ultimate vision...yet its still not as black and white as that. It's definitely the most artistic experience I've ever been involved in. The piece is just molded in present time right in front of our eyes.
It's also super fun. There's a lot of trust and it's truly a group effort that relies on the sharing of energy.
Daniel mentioned how we remind him of how important dance is in education and society (which is awesome), but conversely, working with Daniel and the other dancers to mold this piece, I'm reminded why I dance and why I get up in the morning.
Not only has Daniel tapped into working, communicating, experimenting, experiencing and sharing as dancers, but also as human beings. After almost two weeks of rehearsals I feel more whole as a person as I have ever felt and am excited to know that situations like this can and do exist.
At rehearsal we were commenting on how the piece just kind of came together tonight, and Daniel said something along the lines of that he "has a whole planet in his head" and I guess that's how I feel at rehearsal...that I'm on a different planet, or in a different sphere of space where we roll like rocks and hatch and locomote and are ultimately free....which could be a disastrous working environment (especially after all the cake and ice cream we get at dinner) but he really has a clear intent and passion that he brings to rehearsal that helps us to reign it in and focus our energy in a positive, productive way.
As dancers, we are in a lot of situations where material is thrown at you- which is fine, but at that point I just feel like a body going through the motions, but with this piece we are engaged and I feel respected as a mover, thinker and artist.
Did I mention how fun it is?