Saturday, July 24, 2010

In process: Summer Creation Period 2010 (post 6 - Christie Roberts)

As an artist and an educator, the process of creating choreography is something that I have been exploring. I have been researching ideas that range from sources of inspiration, choreographic tools, support resources, current trends and the process of putting it all together.

It was these questions and ideas that piqued my interest when beginning the Summer Creation Period with the Simcoe Contemporary Dancers. We had the privilege of working with two choreographers, Meaghan Giusti and Susan Kendal. As the first few practices unfolded so did the unique dance creation styles of each of the choreographers.

Susan began her work with us by talking about where her inspiration for the piece had come from. There was a word, Penumbra, and a personal story. After discussing the layers of meaning for the work, we moved into the studio. She worked with us to inspire movement by having us use our bodies to spell the word “penumbra”. The dance continued to evolve through Susan’s development of movement phrases, improvisation work, collaboration and reorganization.

Meaghan found the inspiration for her work during a trip to Scotland where she connected with her ancestry. She began setting the piece on us by teaching us three distinct movement phrases that can be found interwoven throughout the piece. Plaid is centered around a soloist whose movements are echoed and complimented by the other dancers.

Both Susan and Meaghan used a variety of pathways, transitions and layers that give depth to the two pieces. One of the most important things that I have learned from these choreographers is that there is not one right way to create a beautiful dance. Your inspiration can come from anything that speaks to you. When you let go of prior expectations, it may surprise you how your movement develops along the way.

Thank you Susan and Meaghan.

Image 1: Simcoe Contemporary Dancers in rehearsal for Susan Kendal's work "Penumbra" / photo by Margaret Lochhead

Image 2: Simcoe Contemporary Dancers in rehearsal for Meaghan Giusti's work "Plaid" / photo by Margaret Lochhead

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