We asked our Fertile Ground and Take Root performers to tell us about their work and rehearsal process for their upcoming showcases. Today we hear from three of our Fertile Ground Choreographers
É tude de Mains
By Gina Bonanti
When I was a young dancer I made small solos about one or another thing that was dear or troubling to me. I would write poetic imagery and it would make its way into my dance and the solo dance would make its way into my writing, into my poetry. Dancing and poetry became a twin understanding and even, expression. Once I spoke of it with a group of writers and one of them went into such a fantastic state of alarm that I stopped talking about it, but I did not stop experiencing it. Now I am talking, making solo dances, and writing around its curious issues again. In this particular etude, I find myself magnetically oriented in the dancer’s hand. The outward rotating wrist alike to the heel and outward rotation those of us who study ballet understand, especially those of us who study with the Corvinos: the opening of the door by the graceful and immediately accessible doorknob instead of by the bulky innards of its hinges. This is academic, but a study of the hand is more immediately poetic. At least my study of the hand is a poetic study. In a class this year with Andra Corvino, she spoke of dancer's hands so eloquently and in many ways this is what got me going toward this study I'm now in the sweet turmoil of. At some point I might go spiraling into a study of heel, but hands have the advantage of being in air and unburdened by the weight of the rest of the dancer. They are anchors in other ways. They curve and modulate curves in the rest of the dancer, in the dancer’s wing-like shoulders and experiences of flight. When I was a child I thought that like baby birds, we children could also learn to fly, by practicing. I led my friends in hours of flapping and flying off sensibly small and low surfaces, certain that one day we would have ability. With patience, as baby birds must have patience. Otherwise we would break before we are flown. Instead, I as a grown dancing human, instead of an imaginary bird, have, at the very least, épaulement.
Someone Else, Somewhere Else
Choreographer/Dancer: Jiali Wang
“Someone Else, Somewhere Else” explores the personal monologue of myself. It is a question about myself in relation to the female issues of age, ability, and class. As a Chinese and a feminist, I have been feeling the transformation and influence of my personality, opinion and culture, since I have been in this country. I am listening to myself and perceiving the silence from my spiritual world where emotions, anxiety and fear coexists within my female body. With all the issues of age, ability and social class that I have encountered, I have no words to say anything. In this dance, moving my body in the silence strengthen the power of my mind, so I just flow into a short moment to listen, talk and to be myself.
Sofía Forero Correa
My most recent piece, "Black", explores the dark side that we all have, and how this one is necessary in order to highlight the light that we all have within.
I started this piece by selecting the music and listening to it over and over again, until the movement became clear in my mind. This is different from my other pieces, in which I wanted to break away from the ballet esthetic. In “Black”, I use it to enhance the delicacy of movement even in the faster moments. It’s a piece that blends different dance techniques including Ballet, Graham, Horton and Taylor technique, with gesture movements.
The process from this piece was completely different than what I’m used to as well. Before getting in the studio with all my dancers, I played and came up with a lot of different phrases varying in styles, rhythms, and speed. Once I taught all the phrases to everyone, I started playing around with them (their fronts, levels, speed, quality). Being in the studio with everyone and being able to collaborate with everyone is the best part of my week and fills me with joy.