I had the privilege to be part of the thesis project with Laura Neese (3rd year MFA at OSU dance). I have been working with her since last fall, and this performance is an extension of her research.
The performers were Laura Neese, Teddi Vargas (Senior at OSU dance), Michaela Neild (2nd year MFA at OSU dance), and myself. This time, Cellist, Sara Troeller, and make-up artist, Parisa Ahmadi also joined the team to elaborate the performance. We performed at the middle yard at the Hopkins Hall.
I joined them at the beginning of February when Columbus was covered with white snow. I remember the first time Laura, Teddy, and I went out to the site. The trace of the footsteps, trees standing strong and lonely, the warmth of the body under the coldness. After the exploration at the site, we created the phrase by using all the elements we witness. It was a reminder of the beautiful findings in nature even though after the snow melts.
We performed the basic phrase every time we hear the theme played by Sara. I really cherish the feeling and memory every time I dance this basic phrase. Sara’s music was adding another layer of inspiration and I loved how it weaved between 4 moving bodies and space.
All-white costumes stood out and emphasized the contrast from the architecture surrounding us. We also had bright-colored eye make-up which made me think about the joy or celebration of the arrival of spring.
As for the score, we had 5 minutes of stillness and 10 minutes of improvisation, a total of 15 minutes session 4 times. (I wrote down a clear explanation below. )
We separated the site into 4, Ramp, open space (looks like a theater), bicycle stand, grabble with chairs. And we spread out to each site for the first 15 minutes. The first solo was fully engaged with the environment. The sense of visual, touch, hearing drove my movement. The second and third were partnering. I had duets with Teddi and Michaela. Both duet sessions were always found surprise, excitement, and creativity. It also could be described as active listening, call, and response, or conversation. The last part is a finale. We all gathered at the ramp. I really enjoyed all of us get to connect and sense each other. Someone initiates and someone responds. We never knew what will happen, but our connections were strong enough to adapt, adjust, and create together. I felt the sense of community.
This process was never be forced to recreate. Laura allows us to jump into more possibility within the movement score and simply having fun move together.
<Score of the performance>
Four 15 minute cycles: 5 mins stillness/silence10 minutes movement and all begin with basic phrase.
Following with improvisation solo, interaction with environment, and interaction with each other, evolving over time
cycle 1:(theme plays) stillness
(theme plays) all start with phrase at individual sites, then explore individual impetus and interaction with site
cycle 2: (theme plays) stillness in between your sites I and II
(theme plays) start with phrase -> partnerships at the sites, explore site with each other in mind
cycle 3: (theme plays) stillness between sites II and III
(theme plays) start with phrase, evolve from there in new duets at your site III
cycle 4: (theme plays) stillness between sites III and the ramp
(theme plays) start with phrase, explore ramp, interacting with site and groups
(theme plays) complete phrase again in unison