"It's like when you look at the ocean, and it seems like every wave is the same. But then you move in closer, and you realize that they're all different and constantly changing the landscape," said my student when prompted to reflect on my use of repetition when choreographing.
Repetition. It's a tool, in my toolbox, that I use repeatedly.
I repeat, precisely for that previously stated reason.
"It seems the same, but it's all different."
Every time is different. Every time I, we, you seemingly "repeat" something (in dance, in music, in life) time has already changed the original experience. We have new information with which to review the subject matter.
Compositionally, the dancer and the audience have an opportunity to experience the movement again, but differently. What else, besides the dancer and the audience member, has changed in mere moments? Spatially? Musically? In the relationship between the dancers on stage? Within the lighting? (and yes, biologically and psychologically, we are constantly changing.)
New questions: Theoretically, why do we revisit familiar patterns?
Emotionally, physically, and psychologically, can we let go of familiar patterns or do we re-enact them to get more information and more understanding?
What do we gain from the re-enactment?
Personal story: My parents tell me that, as a child, I needed to verbally recount my day before falling asleep. As an adult, I do spend a lot of time (sometimes too much time?) thinking and reflecting. I'm sure that my obsession with repetition stems from an early point in my life.
I can't help but circle back to check, again.
It's like the ocean...