Friday, February 4, 2011

In Retrospect...NACHMO 2011

Every day in January I choreographed new material as the expandance member taking part in the New York initiative NACHMO! this year.  
January was a busy month overall.  The commitment to 31 days of creating new material was a huge undertaking for me on top of my general work load of daily practice (meditation and improvisation), teaching, completing proposals and applications, planning new programmes for our community dance initiatives, and general administration.  The biggest challenge of the month was not finding studio space or organizing rehearsal schedules for other dancers, but was just having the energy to get creative and moving.  But, I’m proud to say I DID IT!  Most days I was able to work in our Wicklow studios and other days I choreographed where I could; in the shower, on our front porch, or with my son while he ate his lunch choreographing a ‘finger’ dance, which was just that, my fingers dancing while my body sat calm and still beside my son.  
At the start of the month I had posed certain questions for myself:
  • How do I feel when movement phrases change from set choreography to improvisation;  when I move from ‘knowing’ to ‘not knowing’ ?
  • Can an audience member distinguish between when a dancer is dancing set choreography or improvisation?
  • How do the dynamics, timing, and spacing of the movement series change when I’m dancing set choreography as a posed to improvisation?
NACHMO!  presented an opportunity, a gift in the new year, a little nudge up the stairs into the studio. As I look back on the month, I realise I’ve only just begun this research and that these are ongoing questions for me as a dancer and for us as a company.  Throughout 2011 I hope to research these questions more.  Below is a short clip of set choreography and improvisation developed over the course of the month.  
- Alicia

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