I am participating in this awesome project called Choreography Days launched by Hania Szymczak. She has challenged an international group of us dance artists to create a short choreography every day for 20 days. Everyday she proposes a prompt, a theme for the dance, and often provides music to accompany whatever we create. I am posting the resulting choreographies on my Facebook page. Join me on this journey of prolific creation, running with the first idea, filming a few drafts and settling with little-to-no editing. It's a wild ride!
Personally I have been challenging myself to come up with different ways of framing my dances for video. Each little piece is a new proposition. In my early dance practice I was very much a purist. All that mattered was the movement. Costumes, props, music all came second. In this exercise the prompt leads to a framing idea, then the content, music selection from a couple options, then costume and/or props, THEN movement. I am proposing and executing concepts. When I am initiating a project, creating a full choreography is more than just the sculpting the body. All these elements are considered by the viewer, and therefore must be considered by the creator.
Discoveries I've made during this project:
- Coming up with ideas takes time, as does executing them. From assignment to final product - even if it's only a 30 second video - can take more than an hour.
- It is terrifying to show work that I've only had one or a few shots at making/doing/recording. It has been true throughout this process that I don't feel "ready" to share my choreographies, but I do anyway. 🤢
- When adjusting my choreography, I spend a lot of time figuring out how to make something that "doesn't work" "work," rather than scraping it and trying something else (I think this makes working quickly a good exercise for me).
- I saw my jaw tension. I know it's there, but I don't see it in the mirror or in photographs... watching some of these videos where I am concentrating, I can see the tension very well. It is awful.
- I am enjoying how these different prompts explore different rhythms (e.g. movenglish and the timed choreo).
Similarities in my videos:
- I have been using a lot of repetition
- I rarely feature the whole body
- Most work is delicate, elegant
- Reoccurring theme of humour, but with a straight face
- Tendancy to use props
- Often when I am looking at the camera I am looking at myself on the screen. Does this change how the viewer perceives my focus?