I have been thinking a lot about the direction I want to go with this solo. After seeking some advice I looked at going down the route of Somatic Practices. I wasn’t wholly convinced it was quite the right direction but at least it was a direction.
I did some research in to somatic practices and found that a lot of it was relevant to dance in education and dance training rather than in a choreographic process. Although I didn’t think this would connect I pursued this and found some interesting thoughts.
“Feldenkrais believed that movement was the ‘language’ of the brain” [Batson. G, p3]
This is an interesting concept that I will take in to my next rehearsal. My understanding is that the movement will come, and through studying the movement we might be able to better understand the mind. Linking this to the experience and emotions I want to explore in the solo it may be a good idea to do a short improvisation just thinking about the experience and see what comes out. From this I will be able to study and develop the movement fitting it in or changing sections of the solo.
Another idea bought up during my research was that somatic practices are about breaking the habitual movement, noticing what is repeated. I find this a lot in my own choreography so is something I would like to challenge.
At this point, although these thoughts I had are relevant, and will be used, it isn’t the direction I want to go with this solo. It has taken me a while to sit with the discomfort of not really knowing what it is but absolutely knowing what it isn’t. Upon further research and discussion it has become apparent that what I want to look at is the theme of identity. This is something I will be able to do further research in to looking at practitioners such as Miranda Tufnall, Carol M. Press and Soili Hamalainen.
Batson, G. (2009) Somatic Studies and Dance International association for Dance Medicine and Science
Nov 28 2017
Through this process I am going to look at the development of a solo piece of work. I initially wanted to recap both the movement and look back at what the original starting point was for the solo. Asking why I created it? Who was it for? What did I want to say?
The solo I am looking at is one I first created during my residency in Peru. I was initially looking at the question ‘What is beauty?’. Throughout my training I was often told that I dance too beautifully, so I wanted to challenge this. It was a piece that was aesthetically driven.
During the initial process feelings came up from past experiences, of worrying I wasn’t beautiful enough or wasn’t good enough, worrying that I was different. Upon further exploration of this idea the wider concept of what beauty is came up for me. Who tells us what beauty is? Who enforces these ideas? The key idea was the feeling of oppression and not being allowed to be who you really are.
Interestingly, during this time I was also going through a difficult experience. One of feeling trapped and becoming something someone else wanted me to be. It wasn’t until this rehearsal and a lot of personal reflection on this period that I realised the solo isn’t just reflecting and exploring the experiences of a teenager but directly being influenced by the experience I was living.
During this first rehearsal I went over the material I had already created. I didn’t really want to change a lot at this point as I wanted to have the framework before I started the development. I also wanted to do some reading and research in to what this could be, I knew this would heavily influence this solo. What I did do though, was take away the original music the solo was choreographed to. Although I liked the music a lot, it contained lyrics that didn’t really link to the piece. Instead I focused on using breath.
I did adapt some sections a) because of memory and b) to make the movement flow.
Whilst going over this movement there were many sections that I knew would change over the process. I am starting to develop more of an idea about what I want to express and how it would come across.